Papineau and the Cholera Epidemic of 1832

With the arrival of cholera in Montreal in June 1832, many people left the city for the country to escape the disease. Papineau though decided to stay. Here, he writes to his wife, Julie, at her temporary lodgings at Verchéres, northwest of the island, of domestic matters – lemons, crackers, and work on a property […]

Pie-IX

Some days are better than others, and 19 September 1967 was more hectic than most. I am bringing together my notes on Pie-IX, the large north-south boulevard towards the east of the island that Montrealers most likely associate with the wonder, both financial and architectural, that is our Olympic stadium. In 1967, at the height of the […]

St Laurent

Apologies once again for the infrequent posts. Looming penury at the beginning of the year has been happily solved by a good deal of teaching; alas, this means less time for history! The project does continue, albeit slowly, and at this stage I am reviewing, editing the existing stations. This post improves on one element […]

Verdun

When I set out for Canada in December 2011, my friend Charlotte, hungover from a ‘Spurs victory the day before, asked me over a diet coke in a London pub, where I would be living in Montreal. “Verdun,” I replied, which led to brief but uninformed remarks about Canadian involvement in World War I. Uninformed […]

Atwater

At first glance, Atwater seems to tell the dullest history on the metro system. Edwin Atwater emigrated from Vermont in 1830; established himself with his brother, Albert, as a painter and varnisher in Montreal; went on to establish factories and and telegraph companies as well as managing banks through various financial crises (yes, they had […]

Berri-UQAM, formerly Berri-de Montigny

Originally opened as Berri-de Montigny, this station had its feet firmly planted in New France, until in 1988, it took in the university which is one of the products and symbols of the Quiet Revolution of the 1960s. For all this though, the origins of Berri is unclear. In 1989 the Tour toponymique noted that […]

Charlevoix

Remembered by Voltaire his former student at the Collège Louis-le-Grand for being a “bit longwinded”, the great philosophe bought all the books of Pierre-François-Xavier Charlevoix, not least his Histoire et description de la Nouvelle France. Coming in at 3 substantial volumes, it is the journey and observations of a teacher, editor, and priest venturing into […]