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The MAP Project—Exploring nineteenth-century Montreal
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X
CENSUS DIVISION
THEME
To begin choose a division
from the menu above
or click on the map below
Now, select a theme
Now, select a year
Return to the
general map

Street-crawling

Even the seagulls that soar above the river of sometimes land among the pigeons bobbing along the city streets. Take a street-level view of one of Montréal’s 505 census divisions, each of which covered between 50 and 300 households in 1901. Make it your neighbourhood and explore it block by block, street by street, or even family by family.

Cultural diversity is one of the key features that make Montréal such an interesting and fast-changing city. Since so many controversies and conflicts arose from differences in religion and language, we have defined cultural communities by cross-tabulating religion and language. In nineteenth-century Montréal, these communities were often segregated, but the level of segregation could vary from block to block. What were the consequences of segregation? The data on Belonging provide a window on how social status interacts with language and religion.

The average Montréal household had five members. But in some cases, there were up to a dozen people living in the same household and as many as a thousand living in the same institution!

Mapping the number of servants per household reveals a high degree of segregation between neighbourhoods where most households depended on servant labour and other neighbourhoods where virtually no servants were employed. Census takers recorded only live-in help as servants, but many women also reported employment as day workers. A family might hire a charwoman by the day or a laundress to wash its laundry in her home once a week.

Number of people in the household
1 to 11
12 to 23
24 and more
i

The average (mean) family size of five corresponded to a typical city flat with three or four rooms. Very large households with 24 or more members were likely institutions like hospitals, orphanages, convents, or prisons.

Number of domestics per household
None
1
2 to 9
24 and more
i

Only “super-rich” families could afford two or three servants, but institutions hired service staff for their kitchens, laundries, and stables. Who shovelled the snow and who chopped the firewood?

Number of domestics per household
None
1
2 to 9
24 and more
i

Only “super-rich” families could afford two or three servants, but institutions hired service staff for their kitchens, laundries, and stables. Who shovelled the snow and who chopped the firewood?

Cultural communities
French Catholic
Irish Catholic
Protestant
Jewish
Other
Cultural communities
French Catholic
Irish Catholic
Protestant
French Protestant
Jewish
Italian
Chinese
Other
Mixed
MAP

Contact

For additional information or to make suggestions,
contact info@cieq.ca
Sherry Olson
sherry.olson@mcgill.ca
  Dept. of Geography
McGill University
805 Sherbrooke St. W.
Montréal, QC, H3A 0B9
Robert C.H. Sweeny
rsweeny@mun.ca
  Dept. of History
Memorial University
of Newfoundland
St John's TN A1C 5S7
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