VIEW-789.1 | R. J. Tooke's store, Windsor Hotel, Montreal, QC, 1878

R. J. Tooke's store, Windsor Hotel, Montreal, QC, 1878
Notman & Sandham
1878, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
10 x 8 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  Architecture (8646) , commercial (1771) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

The elegance of the façades was surpassed by the quality of the interior decoration. The showrooms were spacious and richly decorated, with classically inspired cast-iron columns and wooden pilasters. Precious, finely wrought materials were used to make cabinets and cases in which wares were carefully displayed. Mirrors and glass, as well as elaborate lighting, played an essential role in showing products to their best advantage. Everything was designed to create an atmosphere of refinement and exclusiveness.

  • What

    R. J. Tooke's very elegant store sold shirts and collars made by the company at its factory on St. James Street (now St. Jacques). It also carried ties, handkerchiefs and other "furnishings" for Montreal gentlemen who wished to look their best.

  • Where

    Tooke's store followed Montreal fashion and retail trends. When St. Catherine Street became a major commercial artery, Tooke opened a branch there around 1884.

  • When

    This store was in the Windsor Hotel, which had just opened in 1878. The Windsor was in the heart of the Golden Square Mile near Dominion Square. It was the grandest, most prestigious hotel in Montreal.

  • Who

    R. J. Tooke was a manufacturer, merchant and importer. In the early 20th century, he was reputed to be one of the biggest clothing manufacturers in the country.