VIEW-2404 | Tandem drive, Montreal, QC, 1889

Tandem drive, Montreal, QC, 1889
Wm. Notman & Son
1889, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  horse drawn (65) , leisure (134) , leisure event (98) , Montreal (409) , Mount Royal (11) , Occupation (1110) , Photograph (77678) , sleigh (17) , Sleigh (315) , sleighing (1) , tandem drive (1) , transportation (338)
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Keys to History

Demographic growth and expansion of the city limits made it necessary to establish modern public utility systems. The inauguration of the new water supply system, in 1856, meant that it was possible to distribute water efficiently throughout the city. An underground sewer system was also built, which helped to clean up the urban environment. The Fire Department was set up in 1863 and the Board of Health in 1865. The municipality also provided other services, such as building inspection, police, markets and parks.

Montreal's first big park, Mount Royal, was established in 1874. The most famous landscape architect of the time, the American Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903), who had designed New York's Central Park in 1858, was commissioned to develop it. The City later created La Fontaine Park and the park on St. Helen's Island -- the land in both cases having been obtained from the federal government a few years earlier.

  • What

    A tandem was a two-wheeled open carriage drawn by two horses harnessed one behind the other. In Montreal, in winter, a sleigh was substituted for the two-wheeled carriage.

  • Where

    Mount Royal Park was created with the aim of preserving the highest point on the Island of Montreal for future generations. It provided Montrealers with a beautiful place to walk and admire spectacular views of the city and its surroundings.

  • When

    In winter Mount Royal Park attracted many sports enthusiasts. Snowshoe clubs made regular excursions there, and it was also an ideal place for strolling and sleigh rides.

  • Who

    Mount Royal Park appealed especially to the well-heeled Montrealers who lived in the St. Antoine neighbourhood. Streetcars did not yet have access to the park, but a funicular railway carried people directly up to the top of the hill.