VIEW-4198 | Harbour from G. T. R. elevator, Montreal, QC, 1906 (?)

Harbour from G. T. R. elevator, Montreal, QC, 1906 (?)
Wm. Notman & Son
Probably 1906, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Cityscape (3948) , harbour (624) , Industry (942) , Photograph (77678) , view (1387)
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Keys to History

At the turn of the 20th century, all branches of the Montreal economy were enjoying strong growth. This was particularly true of international trade and shipping. As a result of the development of agriculture in western Canada, Montreal became the country's biggest grain exporting port. To meet the demand, the Harbour Commission had to move quickly to modernize its facilities by building new piers and grain elevators. What is now known as the Old Port was built at that time, as was the east port, in the Maisonneuve district. Expansion of the major railway networks underscored Montreal's role as a major transportation hub.

Manufacturing was also growing at an unprecedented rate. A large number of factories were expanded to meet the increasing demand, and new ones were built, many of them in the suburbs, where large tracts of land were available.

  • What

    The entrance to the Lachine Canal can be seen in the foreground, on the left. Farther in the distance, a grain elevator almost as tall as the towers of Notre Dame Church is visible.

  • Where

    The area shown here constitutes the central section of the port, now known as the Old Port. This is where the Harbour Commission carried out its biggest development projects.

  • When

    Work had been under way since 1896. New elevated piers had already been added, along with a grain elevator having galleries for the transshipment of wheat.

  • Who

    Most of the 11 harbour commissioners were businessmen representing Montreal commercial and shipping interests and the government. Composition of the commission was changed in 1907, when the number of commissioners was reduced to three, all of them appointed by the federal government.