VIEW-3024 | Mount Royal Funicular Railway, Montreal, QC, about 1900

Mount Royal Funicular Railway, Montreal, QC, about 1900
Wm. Notman & Son
About 1900, 19th century or 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
25 x 20 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cityscape (3948) , Figure (1339) , Figure (1339) , Photograph (77678) , rail (370) , Transportation (2517)
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Keys to History

In 1874, the landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903) was hired to design Mount-Royal Park. The Mountain Park Funicular Railway was built although Olmsted had strongly advised against a fast access route to the top of the park. He believed in a slow progression to the summit which could have allowed a greater variety of perceptual experiences.

The funicular was inaugurated in 1884 and officially opened a year later. Offering Montrealers a spectacular view of Mount-Royal Park, the funicular ride up Mount-Royal gave access to the summit for a cost of 5 cents for adults and 3 cents for children.

In 1918 the funicular was declared unsafe due to the weakening of its frail structure and was shutdown. It was dismantled in 1920.

  • What

    The Mountain Park Funicular Railway, which was steam-driven was an alternative to a wooden staircase, which also brought visitors up the mountain.

  • Where

    The funicular brought visitors to the summit of Mount Royal, on the south-east side, above Duluth street as well as to the east-end lookout.

  • When

    The funicular opened in 1885 on Mount Royal Park and ran for 33 years.

  • Who

    Olmsted's goal was to create a park that was to be a healing environment to enable people to better withstand city life, and recover what spirit they might have lost from living in it