Macdonald Tobacco Plant: Still Operating Today

  • Location: 2455 Ontario Street East
Macdonald Tobacco Plant, circa 1940 Macdonald Tobacco Collection, Écomusée du fier monde
Macdonald Tobacco Plant, circa 1940.
Macdonald Tobacco Collection,
Écomusée du fier monde

The Macdonald plant is one of the few remaining industries in the Centre-Sud neighbourhood. This tobacco company was founded by William Christopher Macdonald in 1858. Originally located on Water Street near the port, the plant moved to the corner of Ontario and Iberville Streets in 1876. The building was rebuilt after a fire ravaged the site in 1895. The company has employed thousands of people since its founding, including many Centre-Sud residents. The McDonald building leaves an indelible mark on the Sainte-Marie landscape given its size and central tower that features a four-sided clock.

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Molson Brewery: A Pioneering Industry in the Centre-Sud

  • Location: 1670 Notre-Dame Street East
Molson Brewery, Notre-Dame Street, 1936. City of Montreal Archives
Molson Brewery, 1936. City of Montreal Archives

Established at the foot of the Courant Sainte-Marie, the Molson Brewery was founded by English-born businessman John Molson in 1786.

Molson Plant, 1995. Écomusée du fier monde
Molson Plant, 1995. Écomusée du fier monde

After over two centuries operating at its original site, Molson Coors moved its brewing operations to a new facility on Montreal’s South Shore. Thanks to its head office remaining on Notre-Dame Street East, Molson Coors is able to preserve the memory of this important Montreal industrial site.

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Craig Pumping Station: Fighting Floods in the 19th Century

  • Location: 2000 Viger Avenue East
Craig Pumping Station Building, circa 1921 City of Montreal Archives
Craig Pumping Station Building, circa 1921.
City of Montreal Archives.

Tucked away on a median not far from the entrance to the Ville-Marie Expressway, the Craig Pumping Station is a testament to the evolution of the city’s water system in the 19th century. At that time, the city experienced devastating floods during spring thaws. This led the City to build a permanent infrastructure to protect against flooding. Built in 1887, the station was designed to pump water to the river in order to prevent overflows in the downtown area.

Cold Storage Warehouse: The World’s Largest in 1922

  • Location: 1000 de la Commune Street East
Gare-hôtel Viger, vue du carré Viger vers 1954
Aerial view of the warehouse, circa 1927.
The Growth of a Great Port, Harbour Commissioners of Montreal, Écomusée du fier monde

Opened in 1922, the cold storage warehouse was used to preserve the perishable foodstuffs moving through the port. This monumental building, now converted into housing, is a reminder of the importance of trade and port activities at the turn of the 20th century, when Montreal was the Canadian metropolis.

Former Alphonse Raymond Ltd. Plant: Jams and Marinades

  • Location: 1800 Panet Street and 1345 Lalonde Avenue
Usine C footbridge, 2015
Usine C footbridge, 2015.
Écomusée du fier monde

Despite its new purpose, the former Alphonse Raymond industrial complex is an important part of Montreal’s industrial heritage. Founded in 1905, the jam and marinade manufacturing company expanded and built a new plant on Panet Street in 1913. It subsequently became one of the most important factories in Canada. Today, the site is home to Usine C, a space for artistic creation and presentation, as well as residential spaces.

Dominion Rubber: America’s First Rubber Factory

  • Location: 2000 Notre-Dame Street East
Dominion Rubber : La première usine de caoutchouc en Amérique
Dominion Rubber Buildings, now Uniroyal,
circa 1995. Écomusée du fier monde

The Dominion Rubber Company dates back to 1854, when the first rubber factory was built adjacent to the Molson Brewery. It first manufactured boots, then hoses, conveyor belts, extruded elastic threads and cylinder liners. The company became Uniroyal in 1966 and ceased operations in 1984. The remaining buildings now house Cité du son and storage spaces.

Viger Hotel and Railway Station: A Chateau-Style Building in the Centre-Sud

  • Location: 700 Saint-Antoine Street East
Gare-hôtel Viger : un bâtiment d’inspiration "château" dans le Centre-Sud
Viger Hotel and Railway Station, view from Viger Square, circa 1954.
City of Montréal Archives.

The Viger Hotel and Railway Station was built in 1898 by the Canadian Pacific Railway. This chateau-style terminal offered transcontinental stopovers, in addition to connecting the metropolis to Quebec City and the Laurentians. The economic crisis of the 1930s led to its closure despite strong protests from the French-speaking bourgeoisie in city’s East End. The building was later purchased by the City to become the Jacques-Viger Building.

Dominion Oilcloth: Manufacturer of the Renowned Montreal Linoleum

  • Location: 2200 Sainte-Catherine Street East
Former Head Office of Dominion Oilcloth, circa 1995. Guy Desrosiers, Écomusée du fier monde.

Founded in 1872, the Dominion Oilcloth & Linoleum Company stands out as one of the first flexible flooring production plants in North America. By the middle of the 20th century, the company employed more than one thousand workers. Spread over a vast area between Parthenais and Fullum Streets, south of St. Catherine Street, the industrial complex was almost completely demolished to make way for Télé-Québec facilities in the late 1960s.

Former Barsalou / Familex Factory: A Curve in the Jacques-Cartier Bridge

  • Location: 1600, avenue de Lorimier
Building facade, De Lorimier Avenue, circa 1995
Building facade, De Lorimier Avenue, circa 1995. Guy Des Rosiers, Écomusée du fier monde.

Built in 1910 according to the plans of architect Eugène Payette, this building is best known for the curve in the design it forced on the Jacques-Cartier Bridge. Soap manufacturer Joseph Barsalou first occupied the building until it was bought by Proctor and Gamble in 1935. Roméo Parent’s pharmaceutical company, Familex, then purchased the building in 1943. The company was then sold to Pierre Valcourt in 1983. The Valcourt family sold the building to the Cosoltec company in 2019.

Dalhousie Station: Starting Point of the First Train to Cross to the Pacific Ocean

  • Location: 417 Berri Street
View of the Berri Street viaduct and the back of the Dalhousie Train Station, 1905
View of the Berri Street viaduct and the back of the Dalhousie Train Station, 1905.
Edgar Gariépy Fund, City of Montreal Archives

Montreal established itself as a hub for transportation and national trade in the 19th century. Completed in 1884, the Dalhousie Station is a reminder of the glory days of the Canadian Pacific Railway. As soon as it opened, the station offered routes between Montreal and Winnipeg. In the summer of 1886, P.C. inaugurated the first passenger train between Montreal and Port Moody, British Columbia. This was the first transcontinental route. The building was restored to house the National Circus School and is now home to the Cirque Éloize.