Montreal is currently in the heat if a large social debate on how to put the road on Mount Royal to best use. But how did that road get there in the first place?
H/T to Montreal Archives contributor Marcela Aranguiz, who curated these archival shots and provided much of the research cited in this article. Click here to view her original, highly detailed piece (in French).
A compilation of historical photos from the City of Montreal’s archives shows that the shape and location of the Eastern portion of the road was pretty much determined before any asphalt was even laid! The path used to be serviced by tramway line 11, with two sets of train tracks running up and down the mountain along the exact same path that Chemin Camilien-Houde takes today.
Check out this old tramway map, circa 1940:
As for Chemin Remembrance, it was a road much earlier than Camilien-Houde, but it was much narrower before and only went as far as the cemetery.
After construction of Camilien-Houde began in March 1957, Remembrance was also widened to its current width. The police station, belvedere and parking lots that are still there today were also built during the same period. Total cost of construction: a mere $1,070,000!! (In today’s dollars, that’s $9.7 million.)
Click below to see fascinating historic photos of the Mount-Royal road before and during its construction!