Streams missing Montreal

News 17 March, 2018
  • Photo courtesy, Archives of the City of Montreal, VM117-Y-7_065-003. Photo chantal Poirier

    Centre d’histoire de Montréal

    Saturday, 17 march 2018 19:35

    Saturday, 17 march 2018 19:35

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    A force that is felt

    The brook Molson popped out of the ground in the spring of 1917 to the favor of the thaw and the melting of the snow. At the time, these motorists were familiar with the small stream that was not yet buried under the asphalt. It flowed from north to south to the river. It is the guess here as he comes out of his bed, crossing the rue Notre-Dame est, where only this little stone bridge used to carry traffic. The creek bears the well known name of the famous brewers in montreal. Yet, here we are although more is that the family brewery. It is that the stream ran through the farm Molson, who was there. In addition, the creek meandered from Rosemont on land that belonged also to the Molson family. Still in its natural state at the beginning of the 20th century, the creek was canalised in the 1930’s to support the development of Longue-Pointe.

    The soul of a great industrial sector

    In the distance, one can see gigantic factories. To the left, we see the Canadian Steel Foundry, a steel foundry. To the right is the Montreal Locomotive Works, which manufactured locomotives. The sector is now abandoned, because the buildings are demolished, but these huge complex are only two examples of plants that participated in Longue-Pointe at the beginning of the 20th century. The steel foundry, which opened in 1912, employed hundreds of workers. This was also the case of the Montreal Locomotive Works, in which locomotives were used by the Canadian National, among others. It was located on Dickson street, the name of the farmer who owned the land on which it was built. You can bet that the workers of these factories were mainly located in the village of Longue-Pointe, near the river. The village has disappeared during the construction of the bridge-tunnel Louis-Hyppolite-La Fontaine in the 1960s.

    An underground network alive and well

    Photo courtesy, Archives of the City of Montreal, 001_BM5-C-26-050.

    The brook Molson is one of the many water courses montreal, which, though hidden beneath the bitumen and the pipelines, are still alive in their bed underground. Many of our readers are familiar with the little Saint-Pierre river, which formed the Pointe-à-Callière and which has been converted into a sewage collector in 1838. In turn stemmed from the Saint-Pierre river, which originated in the lake of the same name, which you can see very well on this old map. One becomes aware, for the past few years, the importance of this natural heritage. Indeed, several streams could be re-energized on the island : the creek Glen, near the old Turcot interchange, or the charming ruisseau De Montigny, not far from College Marie-Victorin. The brook Molson is precisely the object of study of redevelopment and civic engagement is devoted to them, because it seeks to revitalize the sector of old factories of the east.