VIEW-8764 | Garden party at Mr. Meighen's residence, Montreal, QC, 1908

Garden party at Mr. Meighen's residence, Montreal, QC, 1908
Wm. Notman & Son
1908, 20th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum
Keywords:  event (534) , Occupation (1110) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

Urban reform movements and their impact

The year 1896 marks the beginning of a period that has often been called Canada's golden age because of the country's very rapid growth during that time. The industrial sector was in full expansion and immigrants from all over the world - mostly European - poured in. This, in turn, increased the rates of urbanization and urban development. Benefiting most from the transformations were members of Canada's elite, who enjoyed a myriad of possibilities to increase their wealth.

The rapid growth also spawned misery and despair. In poor areas of Canadian cities, people lived crowded together in unsanitary and unhealthy conditions. The plight of the poor in a nation enjoying great general prosperity was cause for concern among many in the elite, putting somewhat of a damper on their optimism.

  • What

    The setting for this gathering is the garden of one of the most sumptuous homes in Montreal, a veritable small castle built between 1880 and 1883 at a cost of $600,000.

  • Where

    The home was located in Montreal's most prestigious neighbourhood: the Golden Square Mile.

  • When

    In 1929, this home was converted into the Mount Stephen Club, whose membership has always included some of the most privileged and powerful men in Canada.

  • Who

    Robert Meighen (1837-1911), the owner of the home in 1908, was a powerful businessman and cousin of Arthur Meighen (1874-1960), the future prime minister of Canada.