The Secretariat and Legal Affairs Department has published two books that present brief histories of the companies that formerly operated the public transit systems of Montreal and the surrounding area. These publications contain an inventory of documents from these companies as well as some photographs and reproductions of those documents.
Catalogue of the Montreal Tramways Company Archive Collection
This catalogue, prepared according to the Rules for Archival Description (RAD) of the Canadian Council of Archives, is 146 pages long and contains several illustrations and an index of names.
The collection presents the activities of the Montreal Tramways Company, a private company that was for most of its lifetime the only public transit provider on the Island of Montreal and later on the South Shore. Founded in 1911, the Montreal Tramways Company at various times operated electric tramways, buses (starting in 1919), and trolleybuses (after 1937). The Montreal Tramways Company saw two world wars, the Great Depression, and Montreals stunning growth, transporting more than four billion passengers between 1939 and 1950. In 1950, Montreal City Council adopted rule no. 1981, which authorized the creation of the Commission de transport de Montréal. The Commission officially began its activities on 18 June 1951 by buying up all stock in the Montreal Tramways Company. Thus ended an important company whose ptits chars (French nickname for streetcars) still have a place in the fond memory of many Montrealers.
The collection contains 14,5 shelf metres of text documents, 1 950 photographs, 1 691 maps and plans, 105 diagrams and 4 artifacts. It is composed of management documents such as minutes, reports, registers of all kinds, and operation documents such as fares, passes, maps, plans, diagrams, technical specifications, descriptions, etc. The collection also contains a large quantity of legal documents, such as acts of sale, leases, wills, contracts, and decisions, as well as a substantial number of collective conventions and employee dossiers. Finally, several files worth of letters complete the collection.
The publication of the Numerical Catalogue of the Montreal Tramways Company Archive Collection was made possible through the financial assistance of the Réseau des archives du Québec and the Canadian Council of Archives.
To obtain a copy of the catalogue, write to the Secretariat and Legal Affairs Department : firstname.lastname@example.org . The catalogue costs $21.40 (taxes included).
Catalogue of the Archive Collections of the Montreal Street Railway Co., the Montreal Park & Island Railway Co., the Montreal Terminal Railway Co., the Public Service Corporation, the Commission des tramways de Montréal, and the Verch�res, Chambly & Laprairie Tramways Co.
This catalogue was prepared according to the RAD by Andr� Vigneau, archivist. The 172-page catalogue is supplemented by some forty illustrations from primary sources. This project was made possible through the financial assistance of the federal government via the National Archives of Canada and the Canadian Council of Archives (Réseau des archives du Québec).
These collections are particularly rich, presenting the activities of each of the private companies who operated public transit on the Island of Montreal between 1861 and 1911. An essential ingredient in the development of Montreal and surrounding cities, public transit at that time was essential to the population, especially to workers who had to get to and from work six or even seven days a week. On the demographic scale, Montreal and its suburbs were exploding, growing from some 100 000 residents in 1861 to 554 000 in 1911. It is easy to understand the importance of a public transit network and adequate infrastructure in this context.
These companies archives bear witness to, among other things, the first public transit network in Montreal in 1861; the use from 1861 to 1894 of horse-drawn tramways; and the birth of the electric tramway in 1892. They also show the introduction of the first "pay as you enter" system in North America. They contain lavish information about the development of the network and the evolution of modes of transit in Montreal. Finally, they detail the many mergers and acquisitions that led to the monopolization of Montreal transit in 1911.
The directory also presents the collection of the little-known Commission des tramways de Montréal. Often confused with the Montreal Tramways Company, a private firm that administered the public transit system in Montreal from 1911 to 1951, the Commission governed transit, making the decisions with regard to the development of the network, service, new modes of transit (the bus, for example), and even collective conventions. The 308 meetings that the Commission held in its first year illustrate its involvement. Created in 1918, the commission was retired as obsolete in 1951, when transit was taken over by the city government. The Commission operated during a turbulent period, characterized by the financial crisis after the First World War, the Roaring Twenties, the Great Depression, and the Second World War. This period also saw important innovations such as the introduction of the bus in 1925 and the trolleybus in 1937.
The six collections total 8,51 shelf metres of text documents, 123 photographs, and 378 cartographic documents, ranging from 1844 to 1951. The collections are composed of various documents such as minute books, reports, registers of all kinds, press clippings, fares and passes, contracts, human resources documents, maps, plans, diagrams, technical specifications, and correspondence.
To obtain a copy of this catalogue, write to the Secretariat and Legal Affairs Department : email@example.com . The catalogue costs $21.40 (taxes included).