All the lifelong day! The triumphs and tragedies of a working-class neighbourhood

Montréal, Thursday, September 27th, 2012.– The permanent exhibition All the lifelong day! The triumphs and tragedies of a working-class neighbourhood tells the tale of the Centre-Sud, a microcosm of the Industrial Revolution in Montreal. Come witness the impact of industry on labour and on the living conditions of working-class families, and discover the present-day reality of an ever-changing space. Exhibitions, cultural activities, publications and educational programs are all yours to discover!

An industrial neighbourhood
A worker in the Hydraulic Machinery factory, circa 1900. Fonds Hydraulic Machinery, Écomusée du fier monde
A worker in the Hydraulic Machinery factory, circa 1900.
Fonds Hydraulic Machinery, Écomusée du fier monde

Between 1850 and 1950, Montréal is Canada’s metropolis and the Centre-Sud is its industrial heart. See how industrialization shapes the city and significantly changes the organization of labour. Photographs of the construction of the Jacques-Cartier bridge and the port of Montréal depict a booming transportation network. Consequently, the popular neighbourhood expression “Faubourg à m’lasse” derives from the odour of molasses emitted from goods coming into the port. In addition to being a veritable hub, Montréal is the most important manufacturing centre in the country. Discover photographs and objects that depict the oldest factories in the Centre-Sud: the Molson brewery founded in 1786, the Macdonald Tobacco company established in 1858, the Viau & Frère biscuit factory dating back to 1867, etc.

A lively neighbourhood

At the heart of this industrial era is the worker and their family. In exchange for long working hours, an unskilled labourer receives an annual average salary of $240 in 1882. As a result of such insufficient revenue, it isn’t rare to see females and children working as well. Read the testimony of twelve-year-old worker Florina Lacoste, and meet the Filion family while bearing witness to the conditions in which they live. One of the numerous daily challenges is the supply and conservation of food, as depicted by an icebox of the era. Despite difficult conditions, the townspeople come together and forge relationships in parishes, unions and other social settings such as parks and cabarets. Discover the diverse theatre programs that are showed in the 1950s.

<b>Grocergy, corner of Logan and Plessis, night, 1977.</b> Photo: Daniel Heïkalo, Écomusée du fier monde
Grocergy, corner of Logan and Plessis, night, 1977.
Photo: Daniel Heïkalo, Écomusée du fier monde
A diverse neighbourhood

After the Second World War, a period of deindustrialization and decline affects the old Montréal neighbourhoods. Factories close and jobs become rare. Despite the difficulties, the residents of Centre-Sud never allow themselves to be brought down. Over fifty posters illustrate the vitality of community organizations that are founded in the 1960s and 1970s. The Centre-Sud is now distinguished by service and communication sectors, by its body of knowledge and culture, and by the presence of the Gay Village. Listen to the testimonies of local residents and community workers who evoke its memory and transformation. They’ll tell you all about how the area continues to reinvent itself.

Écomusée du fier monde: a museum, a history and a community

Since 1980, the Écomusée du fier monde is at once a museum of industrial history and a community museum. Accredited by the ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine, the Écomusée explores the history of labour and highlights the heritage of Montréal’s Centre-Sud. It develops a museum practice founded on popular education and encourages community participation in its activities. The Écomusée du fier monde is a museum that has evoked the pride of neighbourhood residents and their capacity to take charge of their lives.

Temporary exhibitions, guided tours of the exhibitions and of the neighbourhood, cultural activities, publications and educational programs are also offered!

Information: 514 528-8444 | ecomusee.qc.ca

Écomusée du fier monde
2050 Amherst Street
Corner Ontario
Berri-UQAM Metro Station

Opening Hours
Wednesday: 11 am to 8 pm
Thursday/Friday: 9:30 am to 4 pm
Saturday/Sunday: 10:30 am to 5 pm

Admission Fees
Adult: $8
Student/senior/child over 6: $6
Family (2 adults, 3 children): $16

The permanent exhibition came into being thanks to the financial contribution of the ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine du Québec.

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Photographs and interviews available upon request.

Information: Florentine Duchange | 514 528-8444 |
Source: Écomusée du fier monde

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