VIEW-3189 | S.S. "Canada," Cap à l'Aigle, QC, about 1895

S.S. "Canada," Cap à l'Aigle, QC, about 1895
Wm. Notman & Son
About 1895, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  harbour (624) , Photograph (77678) , steamer (448) , Transportation (2517)
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Keys to History

The Canada was one of the steamers on which vacationers sailed the St. Lawrence River around the end of the 19th century.

Nature was considered a great virtue during the Victorian Era. The well-to-do fled the cities to sail on the river or relax on the shores of the St. Lawrence in order to escape the negative effects of urbanization and industrialization.

The Canada, built in Sorel in 1866, belonged to Richelieu & Ontario Navigation. The passengers of the veritable "floating palaces" of this company travelled in luxury. Around 1886, this company owned most of the steamers sailing between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic.

The name of the steamer, Canada, recalls the event that marked the year it was christened: Confederation, in 1867.

  • What

    People living along the river nicknamed the Richelieu & Ontario Navigation boats the "white boats" because of their colour and their elegance.

  • Where

    Murray Bay, today La Malbaie, a village near Cap-à-l'Aigle, became one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada after the construction of Pointe-au-Pic, in 1853, because ships could then put into port in the region.

  • When

    The arrival and departure of the steamships caused great excitement in the villages where they called. The growth of Charlevoix villages depended on the presence of wharfs. The first wharf in the region was built in Pointe-au-Pic, and the second in Cap-à-l'Aigle.

  • Who

    Vacationers in the Charlevoix region could stay in the homes of "habitants" in Cap-à-l'Aigle.