Généreux Bath : Infused with History and Culture

  • Location: 2050 Atateken Street, (corner of Ontario Street)
The Généreux bath, 1928. Photo: Rice, Institut de technologie agroalimentaire de Saint-Hyacinthe
The Généreux bath, 1928.
Rice, Institut de technologie agroalimentaire de Saint-Hyacinthe

The Généreux Bath is the work of architect Joseph-Omer Marchand. The building is notable for its Art Deco-style facade and its basin topped by a large vaulted ceiling. Opened in 1927 on Amherst Street (now Atateken Street), just north of Ontario Street, the bath first addressed a need for hygiene in a neighbourhood where many homes had neither bath nor shower. The Généreux Bath closed in 1992 and in 1996, the Écomusée du fier monde moved in and turned it into its exhibition hall.

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Pied-du-Courant Prison : Witness to a Historic and Defining Chapter in History

  • Location: 905 de Lorimier Avenue (north of Notre-Dame Street)
Pied-du-Courant Prison, circa 1900. City of Montreal Archives
Pied-du-Courant Prison, circa 1900.
City of Montreal Archives

The site includes the former prison built between 1832 and 1840, the governor’s house erected in 1895 and the surrounding wall. The neoclassical-style prison served as a detention centre between 1836 and 1912. In 1838, 12 Patriotes (the largest Francophone political party at the time) were executed here, marking a defining moment in the history of Quebec. The prison closed in 1912, and in 1921, the Commission des Liqueurs, which later became the Société des alcools du Québec (the provincial-owned liquor board), set up its head office here. In the early 1970s, the Ville-Marie Expressway construction project called for demolishing the former prison, but citizen mobilization resulted in a change in the route to protect the building.

Former Misericorde Hospital: The Era of Cots in Quebec 

  • 840-890, René-Lévesque Boulevard East
Misericorde nursery, circa 1920. Fonds La Presse, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.
Misericorde nursery, circa 1920. Fonds La Presse, Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.

In 1853, construction began on this vast convent hospital complex run by the Misericordia Sisters of Montreal. The building housed the hospice Sainte-Pélagie, the first French-speaking maternity hospital in Quebec, where midwives and medical students were taught obstetrics. Many women, known at the time as “filles-mères” (unwed mothers), were forced to give up their children for adoption here, given the stigma attached to births outside of marriage, thus giving rise to what became known as the “nursery era”. For both the nuns and laywomen who worked there and those who gave birth there, as well as for all their descendants, this place holds great meaning in terms of identity and memory. It represents an important part of women’s history.

The maternity ward became a general hospital in 1924 to better meet the training needs of doctors. It ceased its activities in 1973. From 1975 to 2012, the facility became a long-term care centre, the CHSLD Jacques-Viger. Owned by the Quebec government, it will be put up for sale in the spring of 2023. Its future remains uncertain.

Barracks No. 19 : Combining Built and Artistic Heritage

  • Location: 1945 Fullum Street (corner Coupal Street)
Barracks No. 19, Fullum Street, 1995. Écomusée du fier monde
Barracks No. 19, Fullum Street, 1995.
Écomusée du fier monde

Barracks No. 19 was built in 1903-1904 to meet the protection needs of the residents of the Sainte-Marie neighbourhood. In 1980, the Fullum Street Barracks moved its facilities to the corner of De Lorimier Avenue and Ontario Street. The following year, the building was transformed into the Espace libre, a venue for creation and performance. Notable artistic figures, such as Robert Gravel and Jean-Pierre Ronfard, are a huge part of the history of this theatre.

Mathieu Bath : A Multi-Purpose Building

  • Location: 2915 Ontario Street East (corner of Florian Street)
Bain Mathieu: A Multi-Purpose Building
Saint-Eusèbe Bath (now Mathieu Bath), at the time of its construction, 1931.
City of Montreal Archives.

Built in 1931, the Mathieu Bath addressed the hygiene needs of the underprivileged community, which did not always have access to necessary sanitary facilities. Located in the east end of the Sainte-Marie district, it closed its doors in 1990. The Society to Promote the Gigantic Arts (SPAG) moved in in 1998. In 2000, the City donated the building to SPAG, which, aware of the building’s heritage value and keen on its preservation, had it renovated and transformed into a multifunctional event hall.

Former Garneau School : Designed by Architect J. O. Marchand

  • Location: 1705 de la Visitation Street
Ancienne école Garneau
Garneau School, circa 1911.
Écomusée du fier monde.

Designed by the great Montreal architect J. O. Marchand, the Garneau School was inaugurated in 1911. It first welcomed young girls from the neighbourhood before becoming a co-ed institution in the 1960s. After the school closed in 1982, the building became the CLSC des Faubourgs, and the name “Garneau” is now attached to another school building in the neighbourhood.

Gabriel-Souart / Garneau School : A School That Has Changed With the Times

  • Location: 1808 Papineau Avenue
Gabriel-Souart / Garneau School, circa1940
Gabriel-Souart / Garneau School, circa 1940. Archives of the Commission scolaire de Montréal.

The Gabriel-Souart School is a century-old school building that has maintained its original purpose. Built in 1917 according to the plans of J. O. Marchand, the school initially only taught boys. The building was extended in 1949 to accommodate the Victor-Doré School, specializing in education for disabled students. The school changed its focus again in 1960 and opened its doors to girls at the high school level before becoming an elementary school again in 1981. It then changed its name to Garneau following the merger of several schools in the neighbourhood.

Saint-Jacques Market : A Place for Business and Socializing

  • Location: 1125 Ontario Street East
Saint-Jacques Market: A Place for Business and Socializing
Second building of the Saint-Jacques Market, circa 1932.
City of Montreal Archives.

The Saint-Jacques Market is a prime example of the food and social history of the Centre-Sud. Built in 1871, the building was entirely rebuilt in 1931, according to the plans of architect Zotique Trudel. The public market ceased activities in 1960 and the spaces were transformed to accommodate various City of Montreal departments. The building was subsequently sold to a developer in 2007. Of Art Deco inspiration, the structure is still an important landmark in the landscape.

Gédéon-Ouimet School : Montreal’s First Kindergarten

  • Location: 1960 Poupart Street
Gédéon-Ouimet Centre, circa 1990
Gédéon-Ouimet Centre, circa 1990.
Écomusée du fier monde.

Opened in 1914, the Gédéon-Ouimet School stands out thanks to its unique architecture. Built across from the Macdonald Tobacco plant, this landmark monument by architect Joseph Venne is a testament to the efforts made to educate the working class. Still carrying out its educational mandate, it now serves as an Adult Education Centre. Gédéon Ouimet was Superintendent of Public Education, then Premier of Quebec in the late 19th century.

Library – Maison de la Culture Janine-Sutto (Cultural Centre): Democratizing Culture

  • Location: 2550 Ontario Street East
The entrance of the building leads to the library and the Maison de la Culture Janine-Sutto
The entrance of the building leads to the library and the Maison de la Culture Janine-Sutto.
Écomusée du fier monde.

Initiated in the early 1980s, the Maisons de la Culture (Cultural Centres) Project primarily sought to decentralize Montreal’s cultural activity and make it more accessible to as many people as possible. The Maison de la Culture Frontenac was inaugurated in 1989 and also included a social housing project affiliated with the Office municipal d’habitation de Montréal (Montreal’s Municipal Housing Bureau). Built near the Frontenac metro station, the complex includes a large entrance hall, a library, an auditorium and exhibition halls. Since its opening, the Maison de la Culture Janine-Sutto has offered a rich and varied array of programming to the neighbourhood’s residents.

Jean-Claude-Malépart Centre : An Important Political Figure

  • Location: 2633 Ontario Street East
Building entrance, Ontario Street East
Building entrance, Ontario Street East.
Écomusée du fier monde

Jean-Claude Malépart represented the neighbourhood and championed the interests of his fellow citizens for ten years at the federal level. He left his mark and is remembered for his social commitment and contribution to the sports and leisure sector. Named in his honour, the Jean-Claude-Malépart Centre is a community sports and recreation complex located near the Frontenac metro station. The site is an important hub of activity for the citizens of Centre-Sud.