age of steam, age of faith

The Age of Steam and the Age of Faith have both played their part in forging the local landscape.

The fact that such a large uncultivated open field exists in the middle of the city is due to the presence of the railroad. The Quebec – Montreal – Ottawa – Occidental Railway was built in 1876, on the same right of way that Canadian Pacific occupies today. The nearby Mile End train station was an important presence from 1878 up to the 1930s.  The meadow used to be full of the tracks of railroad sidings serving local industries.

Mile End train station, 1910

Maguire Street and Maguire Meadow, site of the Roerich Garden, are named for Hannibal Dellagenga Maguire, stepson of Dr Pierre Beaubien (1796–1881), who owned most of the land in this part of the Plateau.  The young Maguire, son of a naval surgeon, acquired his name in honour of Pope Leo XII, Annibale della Genga, who reigned from 1823 to 1829.

Immediately East of the meadow, behind their newly-rebuilt wall, dwell the Carmelites, whose 1896 convent and the way of life it shelters constitute Montreal’s closest link to the Middle Ages.

Kevin Cohalan, Société d’histoire et de généalogie du Plateau Mont-Royal

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