Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal) -
Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal)


Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal) - Montreal from the Mountain
1882 - Lucius O'Brien - Picturesque Canada (1882–84)
Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal)
Montreal from the Mountain
1882 - Lucius O'Brien - Picturesque Canada (1882–84)

Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal) - St. James Street, Montreal
Source: Postcard
Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal)
St. James Street, Montreal
Source: Postcard

Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal) - MONTREAL - Rue Ste. Catherine Quest. (St. Catherine Street West.)
Source: Postcard
Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal)
MONTREAL - Rue Ste. Catherine Quest. (St. Catherine Street West.)
Source: Postcard

Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal) - St. James Cathedral, Montreal.
Source: Postcard
Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal)
St. James Cathedral, Montreal.
Source: Postcard

Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal) - City Hall and Jacques Cartier Square, Montreal.
Source: Postcard
Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal)
City Hall and Jacques Cartier Square, Montreal.
Source: Postcard

Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal) - Royal Victoria Hospital
Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal)
Royal Victoria Hospital

Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal) - Cemetery Gate, Mount Royal, Montreal
Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal)
Cemetery Gate, Mount Royal, Montreal

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Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal)
People, Pictures and News From the Past

Where is Montréal, Québec, Canada (Montreal)?  Including Cote St-Michel, Sault-au-Recollet (neighborhoods of Montreal)

Montreal was the largest city in Canada up until the 1970's and is now the second-largest city in Canada and the largest city in the province of Quebec. Originally called Ville-Marie ('City of Mary'), some historians think the city takes its present name from the Mont Réal (as it was pronounced in Middle French, or Mont Royal / Mount Royal in present French), the three-head hill at the heart of the city, whose name was also initially given to the island on which the city is located.

The official language of Montreal is French as defined by the city's charter. It is among the five largest French-speaking cities in the world. As of the 2006 Canadian Census, 1,620,693 people resided in the city of Montreal proper. The population of the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area (also known as Greater Montreal Area) was 3,635,571 at the same 2006 census. In the census metropolitan area, French is the language most spoken at home by 70.5% of the population (as of 2006 census). In 2007, Forbes Magazine ranked Montreal as the 10th cleanest city in the world. wiki/ Montreal

THERE is no more beau-tiful city on the continent of America than the commercial metropolis of the Dominion of Canada. The geographical features of the place at once suggest a city. Ocean-going steamers can navigate the river St. Lawrence no farther inland, but here, where insuperable difficulties stop navigation, nature has made it possible for human skill to produce a magnificent harbour. Lying between the river and Mount Royal, rarely has it been the good fortune of any city to have so fine a background. The flat part, situated at the base by the river side, makes it easy for business; the sloping sides of the mountain are intended, perhaps, to meet the modern idea that prosperity shall build in the west end, and abundance in some overlooking heights. That which was natural happened; the city has extended westward and along the mountain side — that is to say, wealth used its undoubted right to erect its dwelling-places up the river where the water is clear, and up the mountain where the air is pure.

Reaching the city by way of the St. Lawrence, the eye rests upon a scene of rare beauty ; three miles of river frontage turned into wharves ; shipping of every kind and description, from the enormous steamship to the tiny pleasure yacht ; back of that, long lines of warehouses; then, great public and private buildings, church spires and towers asserting their right to be higher than all other structures, and thus bid the busy world pause at times and look up. But the finest view of the city can be had from the mountain...

Montreal abounds with striking contrasts. The city is comparatively small — less than one hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants—as what was called "the census" has declared. It has had only one or two hundred years of history; and yet everything is here—the antique and the modern—while hostile oddities lie cheek-by-jowl on every hand. Here are frame houses, some of them scarcely better than an Irishman's hovel on his native bog, and ignorance and squalour and dirt ; close at hand are great streets of great houses, all of finest stone. Here are thousands of French who cannot speak one word of English, and thousands of English who cannot speak one word of French. Unthrift and thrift come along the same thoroughfares. Some are content with a bare existence and some are not content with colossal fortunes. In social life we have the old French families with their Old World refinement pressed upon and almost pushed out of existence by the loud manners of the nouveaux riches...

We have the same striking contrasts in the appearance of the people on the streets. Here are unmistakable descendants of the ancient Iroquois Indians; at a turn we come upon a company who, by their dress and talk, take us back to the peasant classes of older France ; while crowding everywhere are ladies and gentlemen of the most approved modern type, according to the fashions of London, Paris, and New York...

Lucius O'Brien - Picturesque Canada (1882–84), Pages 104-106

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History / News

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1535 - October 2 - Jacques Cartier
visits the Iroquois town of Hochelaga; legend says he proclaimed "What a royal mountain," ("Quel Mont Royal (Mont Réal!)"; visits rapids at the head of navigation and calls them La Chine (China); local natives tell him of rapids and rivers to the west, and of mines of gold and copper; a priest blesses the Indian sick. todayincanadianhistory/ index.php/ October_2

1635 - Jean de Lauzon becomes the owner of the Island of Montreal.
Wikipedia - Timeline of Montreal History

1636 - The Island Where There Was a Village
The Island of Mont Real is still being used as a temporary camp and the Savages called the place 'The Island Where There Was a Village'. The Savages like Trois Rivieres better than Kebec, they stop there oftener, and in greater numbers. public/ dgarneau/ french11.htm

1642 - Fort Maisonneuve
Fort Maisonneuve (Montreal) is established by (I)-Paul de Maisonneuve (1612-1676) at Point Calliere near the ancient site of Hochelaga. public/dgarneau/french13.htm

The Algonquin Joseph Oumasasikweie and his wife, Mitigoukwe (later Jeanne) are the first Indians to be baptized and married with full church rites at Ville-Marie on July 28. Timeline_of_Montreal_history

1643 - Ville-Marie (Montreal) had grown from 50 people to 70 people by this year. public/ dgarneau/ french13.htm

1644 - Iroquois attack Montreal on March 16
Wikipedia - Timeline of Montreal History

1645 - Treaty with the Iroquois. The peace is broken a few months later. (Montreal)
Wikipedia - Timeline of Montreal History

1646 to 1653 - War with the Iroquois (Montreal)
Wikipedia - Timeline of Montreal History

1648 - Adrienne Du Vivier arrives; she and her husband, Augustin Hébert, are often referred to as "Montreal's First Citizens."
Wikipedia - Timeline of Montreal History

1650 to 1653 - 50 men held Fort Montreal
Only 50 men held Fort Montreal. Between 1650 and 1653, 32 French settlers were killed by the Iroquois and 22 were captured. The Iroquois made such ravages in New France that many settlers believed they should go back to France. a-history-of-french-canada-1650-to-1669/

1650 - Montreal Status Report
The wheat crop this year was excellent especially at Montreal. The Iroquois had driven most of the Savages from Montreal and only 50 French remained. Most French were surprised that Montreal had not fallen to the Iroquois continuous assaults. Three Rivers has also been continually assaulted and a number of times was in fear of falling. a-history-of-french-canada-1650-to-1669/

1651 - On July 26, 200 Iroquois attack the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal.
Wikipedia - Timeline of Montreal History

1652 - Montreal
Fifty miles beyond is the Great Island of Mont Reale, 180 miles distant from Kebec, which was formerly thickly in habited by Barbarians, while now they are very few. There is a fort of the French, with some families, who are founding the third colony. This island is about one hundred miles in circumference; and there the two branches unite which form our Great River. public/dgarneau/french15.htm

1653 - Congregation of Notre Dame founded in Montreal
Wikipedia - Timeline of Montreal History

1653 - Life in Montreal
The Jesuit vision of the Mountain of Montreal is a mission to convert the Natives and stop French exploration and free trading. This objective failed, and one hundred new settlers arrived this year, being the only significant expansion since its creation. The French population of New France is estimated at 2,000 persons. To test the weak and fumbling French leadership, two hundred Mohawk warriors made a surprise attack on the Hospital. The Hospital, across the little St. Pierre River, the Mo... Read MORE...

18th March, 1658 - Right to Bear Arms in Montreal
By-law permitting the inhabitants of Villemarie to provide themselves with guns and ammunition, to defend themselves against the Iroquois, to work in safe places, and to retire to their houses at the sound of the bell. — Further, authority to fish and hunt at certain limited distances, and an express prohibition to sell arms and ammunition to the Indians.

Sessional Papers: Volume 24, Issue 2
Quebec Province Legislature
January 1, 1890

9th July, 1658 - Forbidding the Sale of Liquor to Indians (Montreal)
Renewed orders, forbidding the sale of liquor to the Indians, under pain of confiscation and a fine to be paid to the Villemarie church.
Sessional Papers: Volume 24, Issue 2 Quebec Province Legislature January 1, 1890

1659 - New Laws (Montreal)
18th January, 1659. — By-law to put an end to riots and desertions arising from drunkenness and strict orders to the Officers of Justice to enforce it.

5th April, 1659. — Order prohibiting fishing or hunting, except at a certain distance of the houses on account of danger from the Iroquois.
Sessional Papers: Volume 24, Issue 2 Quebec Province Legislature January 1, 1890

20th September 1662. — Firing guns during the night, or going out after retreat, prohibited. (Montreal)
Sessional Papers: Volume 24, Issue 2 Quebec Province Legislature January 1, 1890

1666 Census - Montreal or Ville-Marie was scarcely more important than Three Rivers. The population of the whole district numbered only 625.
A fort built by Maisonneuve and Ailleboust at Pointe-a-Callieres; the house of the Sulpicians at the foot of the present Saint-Sulpice Street; the Hotel-Dieu on the other side of that street; the convent of the Congregation sisters facing the Hotel-Dieu; a few houses scattered along the road called 'de la Commune,' now Saint-Paul Street; and on the rising ground towards the Place d'Armes of later years a few more dwellings--these constituted the Montreal of primitive days. On the top of the hill... Read MORE...

1669 - Respecting the Divine (Montreal)
2nd April, 1669. — Ordinance of the King prohibiting inn-keepers from furnishing the people of the town with food or drink during the hours of divine service, under penalty of a fine for the first offence, and of imprisonment for the second.
Sessional Papers: Volume 24, Issue 2 Quebec Province Legislature January 1, 1890

7th March 1670 — Ordinance instructing the inhabitants of Montreal to mark their sacks and bags when they bring them to the mill.
Sessional Papers: Volume 24, Issue 2 Quebec Province Legislature January 1, 1890

1678 - Basilique Notre-Dame-de-Montréal established at Montréal

1697 - The English and French make peace.
The Jesuit joined the Ville-Marie (Montreal) merchants to persuade the French Government to dismantle its Forts on the upper Great Lakes. The merchants are concerned about an over supply of furs, and the Jesuit hoped to curtail the activities of the Coureurs des Bois.

The English and French make peace. public/dgarneau/french25.htm

1698 - October 14 - New France census shows: 639 houses in Montreal, 1,185 inhabitants todayincanadianhistory/ index.php/ October_14

1700 - Ville-Marie is renamed Montreal.

Canada 1701 - 40 First Nation tribes, French Colonial Government signed Great Peace of Montreal
On August 4, 1701, some 40 Aboriginal nations gathered in Montreal. On that day, their representatives dinged the Treaty of Montreal. People in Montreal would remember this ceremony for a long time. All told, nearly 1,300 Aboriginal people lived for three weeks in this small town of about 2,600 inhabitants. The ceremony took place at the same time as the annual fur fair. To keep things from getting out of hand, the authorities banned the sale of alcohol...

This peace, assuring France of domin...

1706 - Life in Montreal
The Montreal farmer's market opened this year, and farmers are forced to first to bring their produce to the market before selling it door to door. The grain trade, however, took place in the country. The sale of liquor on Sunday is prohibited because of a complaint by Father Gauthier of Beaupre, Quebec. Two inhabitants were drunk during service, and others would leave the church during the sermon to smoke. Everyone is hereby prohibited from quarreling or talking in church and from leaving d... Read MORE...

Starting in 1716, a stone wall was built around Montreal.
History of Quebec for Dummies by Eric Bedard, published by John Wiley & Sons, Canada, Ltd.

1732 - September 16 - Earthquake Near Montreal, QC. Widely felt. About 300 houses damaged in the city. No injuries. pdf/ 10/ ESS/ NRCEarthquakes/ Timeline_Earthquakes_list.pdf

1734 - A terrible fire in Montréal destroys 46 houses an an old historical church.
A young black slave called Marie-Joseph-Angélique is found guilty of lighting the blaze and is hanged. After this disaster, the intendant Bégon orders that all houses will from now on be built of stones.

1741 - "Montreal, of 506 households surveyed, nearly 60% declared they did not know how to write their name." public/ dgarneau/ french33.htm

1750 - The inhabitants of Montreal...
J.C.B. in the Great Lakes wrote: The inhabitants of Montreal are much more lively, active, courageous, passionate, enterprising and warlike than those of Quebec; They pretend to be invincible, which has not always kept them from being surprised by the Iroquois. However, they are good warriors, used to the ways of the Natives and they are hard to beat. They are good voyagers, who manage their canoe well, always singing, and they are also good hunters. They are not very rich, because they spe... Read MORE...

1786 - The Molson Brewery was formed in Montreal in 1786. It is the second oldest company in Canada after the Hudson's Bay Company
Click here to go to

1830 - Port of Montreal created webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ province/ pqztimeln.htm

1832 - June - Immigrants with Cholera land at Quebec. By September the disease will kill 4,000 in Montreal. timeline.asp

1832 - Rioting broke out during by-election in Montreal, British soldiers opened fire, three killed webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ province/ pqztimeln.htm

1832 - MONTREAL,
island, seigniory and county. - Montreal is the most considerable island in the province, and its superior fertility has acquired for it the distinguished appellation of the Garden of Canada. This island is divided into 9 parishes besides that of the town of Montreal. Its extreme length is 32 miles and its breadth 10 1/2, containing 194 square miles... The county comprises the whole of the Island of Montreal, together will all the nearest islands which, in the whole or in part, lie in front of i... Read MORE...

News 1851 - December 9 – The first YMCA in North America is established in Montreal, Quebec.
Click here to go to
December 9, 1851

Montreal, Monday, June 7.
We were yesterday visited with a most destructive conflagration, which has laid in ashes a considerable number of buildings in the business part of our city. It commenced at 6 o'clock A.M., at the corner of St. Peter and Lemoyne streets, in the carpenter shop of J. MARTIN, which, together with his residence, was quickly consumed, and two of his children were burned to death. One died on the spot, and the other in the course of the afternoon. From this point the fire ex... Read MORE...

1856 - The Grand Trunk Railway opens its Toronto-Montréal line. timeline.asp

MONTREAL, an island of Lower Canada, at the confluence of the Grand Ottawa river with the St. Lawrence, 580 m. from the mouth of the latter river. It is of a triangular shape, 32 m. long, by from 5 to 10 1/2 m. broad. The Riveres-des-Prairies separates it on the NW from Isle Jesus, which is 21 m. long, and 6 m. wide, and is connected with it by a wooden bridge. The island forms the county of M., and is divided into the 9 parishes of St. Ann, St. Genevieve, Pointe-Claire, La Chine, Sault-au-Recol... Read MORE...

1866 - St. Patrick’s Basilica established at Montréal

News 1871 - A girl of sixteen, near Montreal, recently took arsenic to whiten her complexion. None could question her success as she lay in her coffin the following day.
St Joseph Herald
Saint Joseph, Michigan
January 7, 1871

News 1873 - THE MONTREAL HOTEL FIRE. Terrible Scenes Among the Boarders and Servants - A Woman Hangs to a Window-Frame for Half and Hour - Two Lives Lost.
The Montreal papers come filled with details of the terrible scenes connected with the partial destruction of the St. James Hotel, in that city, by fire, on Monday night. The hotel was a five story structure, and it was with extreme difficulty that the firemen were able to drag their hose up the stairs to the fourth story, where the flames first raged. Meanwhile the servants of the hotel on the upper floor, blinded by smoke and bewildered with terror, rushed frantically for the stairs, but in ma... Read MORE...

1873 - Accident on the Grand Trunk
Friday morning, at 5:30 o'clock, as the Portland express on the Grand Trunk Railway was passing the 27th mile post, near Soixante, the three last cars, a Pullman and two others, left the track from spreading of the rails, broke the coupling and rolled down the embankment over 30 feet high. Thirty-two persons more or less injured were brought to Montreal by the forward part of the train. The others were left at St. Hyacinthe and Beloeil. Several are frightfully hurt. Most of the passengers were A... Read MORE...

MONTREAL, a city of the province of Quebec, the commercial metropolis of the Dominion of Canada, situated on the S. side of the Island of Montreal, in the St. Lawrence river (here above 2 miles wide), 180 miles S.W. of Quebec, 620 miles from the sea, 420 miles N. of New York. Lat. 45° 31' N , lon. 73° 34' W. It is at the head of ocean navigation, and at the commencement of lake and river navigation ; and has railway communication with the chief cities and towns in the Dominion of Canada and the ... Read MORE...

1873 - The Royal Montreal Golf Club, founded in 1873, is the oldest golf club in North America. 18950/ 145-weird-fun-interesting-facts-canada/

News March 3, 1875: First organized ice hockey match, Montreal, Canada
The Old Farmer's Almanac
March 3, 1875

1879 - The Montreal Panic Over
MONTREAL - August 11. - The banking scare has entirely disappeared to-day and confidence has returned. The feeling on the stock exchange has vastly improved and stocks have advanced all around.
The Times
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
August 12, 1879

News 1886 - Montreal Fire
MONTREAL, Quebec, March 10 - The largest fire in Montreal for a long time occurred this afternoon, and destroyed the business places of the following firms:
Soune & Leroy; E. Leichtenheimer; Park Brothers & Co.; the Diamond Steel Works; Bacon Brothers, manufacturers' agents of the New-Rockland Slate Company; the china and earthernware house of J. L. Cassidy & Co.; P. M. Galarneau's store; Compagnie Central de New-York; M... Read MORE...

1888 - Blizzard - MONTREAL, Canada, Nov. 27. - One of the most severe storms of snow and wind known here for years broke over this province and Ontario Sunday evening and still continues.
The wind at times blew as hard as seventy miles per hour. The streets and surrounding country are covered with snow drifts, ten feet deep in places, and the most severe cold prevails. The horse car lines are stopped...
The Fort Wayne Sentinel
Fort Wayne, Indiana
Tuesday, November 27, 1888

1892 - Montréal has electric streetcars for the first time

Considerable Alarm Felt in Montreal, Particularly in the Narrow Streets - Buildings Tremble and the Inmates Flee in Fright - Residents of Malone Greatly Excited - Reached Over Into New-Hampshire and Massachusetts.

BURLINGTON, Vt., Nov. 27.- A severe earthquake shock shook the buildings throughout the city at 11:53 o'clock this forenoon. The duration of the shock was about fifteen seconds. It was accompanied by a low rumbling noise. Telegrams and... Read MORE...

1894 - Montreal's Financial Straits
MONTREAL, Quebec, Oct 30. - Owing to the bad state of the finances of the city, the Board of Aldermen has recommended that all properties now exempt from taxation be taxed on-half their assessed value... There will be a tremendous outcry should this arrangement be adopted by the City Council, but the Aldermen say that they see not other way to raise funds.
The New York Times
New York, New York
October 31, 1894

1897 - HEAVY EARTHQUAKE SHOCK. City of Montreal Shaken and Other Places Felt the Vibration.
A heavy shock of earthquake shook the center of the city of Montreal last evening and caused great consternation. Large buildings shook like reeds and there was a general rush of the inmates for the doors. So far no damage has been reported. Dispatches from various points in the province and from eastern Ontario report similar shocks, but without any damage of consequence.

The shock was felt at Malone, N. Y., about 6.05 last evening. it started with a sudden boom like an explosion and reverbe... Read MORE...

"And then go to my inn, and dine." (Shakespeare)

In former lines the most fashionable hotel in the city was Rasco's. It still stands at the east end of St. Paul Street opposite Bonsecours Market, and was built on, or near, the site of the ancient palace of Mr. de Vaudreuil, Governor of Canada under the French régime. It contained two extensive suites of rooms, united by corridors at the eastern extremity. The hotel cost in construction £9,840, and the furnishing £3,300. It is said to have bee... Read MORE...

1902 - A Massachusetts Man's Big Luck - Gate Tender on a Railroad to Get a Large Slice.
The Times Special Service.
WORCESTER, Mass., Saturday, June 7. - Family records expected daily from the parish priest at Lanoraie in Quebec are expected to establish the claim of Joseph A. Demars, a gate tender of the Boston & Albany Railroad to a share of the $8,000,000 which has been in possession of the city authorities of Cleveland, O., since 1864.

Mr. and Mrs. Demars, in case they are able to prove their claim, will have to share the fortune with the families of Mrs. Loiuse Caisse, Alfr... Read MORE...

1904 - Basilique-Cathédrale Marie-Reine-du-Monde et St-Jacques established in Montréal

Manager of Manufacturing Plant Suffocated in Business Block Blaze.

MONTREAL, Feb. 13, - One man was burned to death to-day in a fire which followed and explosion in a building at Craig and St. Antonie Streets. The fire started in the basement occupied by the J. W. Hughes Plumbing Company. Three or four girls were overcome by smoke and one was severely burned.

The fire victims were Major John Rogers, manager of the Abbey Effervescent Salts Company, which had its headquarters on the second f... Read MORE...

1922 - Montréal radio station CKAC begins broadcasting, the first radio station in Quebec.


Montreal, June 17. - (UP) - A series of explosions on the British Oil tanker Cymbeline today killed upwards of 21 men and caused property damage of more than a million dollars.

For several hours after the explosions fires burned hot at the Canadian Vickers dock, where the Cymbeline had been tied up for repairs. Rescue attempts seemed futile and at mid-morning the casualties were annou... Read MORE...

1959 - Tramways stop running in Montréal

News April 27, 1967: Expo '67 was officially opened in Montreal, Quebec, by Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson
The Old Farmer's Almanac
April 27, 1967

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