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© McCord Museum
Market day, Jacques Cartier Square, Montreal, QC, 1884-85
Wm. Notman & Son
1884-1885, 19th century
Silver salts on paper mounted on paper - Albumen process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

By the end of the 19th century, Montreal had acquired all the characteristics of a big modern city. All the latest inventions, from the elevator to the electric streetcar, were quickly adopted. The city also had a large number of newspapers, both French and English, that provided domestic and foreign news, keeping Montrealers informed about what was happening in the world around them. Older institutions, such as The Gazette (1778), The Herald (1811) and La Minerve (1826), soon had to compete with new publications such as The Star (1869), La Presse (1884) and La Patrie (1879).


The offices of the newspaper La Minerve, an organ of the Conservative Party, were located on Jacques Cartier Square. It was Montreal's oldest French daily.


Jacques Cartier Square was built in the early 19th century to accommodate a public market. At the time, it stood at the heart of the city centre, close to the city hall.


Founded in 1826, La Minerve ceased publishing in 1899, unable to compete with the mass-market newspapers that had sprung up.


Jacques Cartier Square was frequented chiefly by farmers from the surrounding region who came to Montreal to sell their produce to city folk.

© Musée McCord Museum