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14 Stunning Photos of Vintage Montreal

By Diana Smith and Sarah Purkrabek


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There’s a reason this city was named a UNESCO City of Design in 2006. Montreal is one of the design capitals of the world, with a large chunk of its population working in the field, and it was the first city in North America to employ an official design commissioner. With all that creativity in the air, it’s no wonder why Montreal is also one of the coolest-looking cities we’ve ever seen. A little bit English, a little bit French, and a little bit something all its own, Montreal has given us plenty of imagery to fawn over, both past and present. Here, our favorite 14 photos that show just how stunning vintage Montreal is:

Ready to hit the ice. The Bank of Montreal hockey team, 1895. Photo courtesy of the McCord Museum.
All is calm on Gouin Boulevard in Sault-au-Récollect neighborhood. Photo, circa 1920, courtesy of the McCord Museum.

Perfectly poised for the picture in front of Chevra Kadisha Synagogue, circa 1910. Photo courtesy of the McCord Museum.

Montreal’s central substation on  Wellington Street. “An indispensable role in the Montreal electric grid.” Circa 1920. Photo courtesy of Archives d’Hydro-Québec.
 Workers load sacks of grain onto a ship. Photo, circa 1920, courtesy of the McCord Museum.

Caught without an umbrella. “Montrealers taking shelter under a department store canopy,” circa 1960s. Photo courtesy of Ross Dunn
On the hunt with the Prince of Wales and the Montreal Hunt Club, 1923. Photo courtesy of the McCord Museum.
Saint Catherine Street, circa 1910-1920. Photo courtesy of Library of Congress.

And Saint Catherine Street again in 1952. Photo courtesy of Philippe Du Berger.

The hustle and bustle of Saint Jacques Street, circa 1920. Photo courtesy of the National Archives of Canada.

La Ronde water skiers show off at Expo 67. Photo courtesy of Shawn Nystrand.

Notre-Dame Basilica from Saint Urbain Street, 1860. Photo by William Notman.

Top photo of the Church of Saint Peter the Apostle, 1980, courtesy of Philippe Du Berger.

Want more? Check out our ultimate guide to Montréal!

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