VIEW-1882 | Bar room, St. Lawrence Hall, Montreal, QC, about 1890

Bar room, St. Lawrence Hall, Montreal, QC, about 1890
Wm. Notman & Son
About 1890, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , commercial (1771) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

A major concern among social and church leaders was the consumption of alcohol, considered to be the mother of all evil. Alcohol was seen as the cause of many of the problems affecting urban industrial society: poverty, immorality, personal debt, violence and social instability. Through the Woman's Christian Temperance Union, Canadian women embarked on a nation-wide crusade for prohibition, that is, a total ban on the sale, purchase and consumption of alcohol. In l898, the federal government finally organized a prohibition referendum, but with no clear majority after the vote, the government refused to implement the measure.

  • What

    Barrooms were places where men went to relax.

  • Where

    The long and rather luxurious bar in this photograph was located in a hotel frequented by men from Montreal's business district.

  • When

    After long days on the job, often in very difficult and conditions, men frequently ended up in barrooms.

  • Who

    Workers, who were more likely than the elite to be accused of excesses, were often criticized for spending time in bars.