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Infrastructural Development in Montreal

Good infrastructures are critical to the development of towns and cities, for they facilitate development movement, interactions, and trade in a given place. Montreal is not a reserve to these benefits accrued from good infrastructural projects, especially those developed in the early 19th century; they opened up the city to more opportunities from people who are not residents of Montreal. The construction of good roads, canals, railway lines, and bridges played a crucial role in creating the Montreal we have today (Braiden, 2021). From our class notes and other resources, we will look at the contributions of significant infrastructure projects in Montreal to the development of Montreal city in the early 19th century.

Before the construction of the Lachine Canal, Montreal was just the Westernmost head of navigation in Canada; however, its construction made the city a port. With the city being a port, it accrued so many benefits because all the goods coming from upper Canada went through this city as it was being exported to other parts of the world. With it being a port, it earned revenue from these goods, and its people benefited from getting trade commodities from other parts of Canada. These availed raw materials needed for manufacturing in their industries (Braiden, 2021). People of Montreal also got employment opportunities in this port which enabled them to earn money that they invested within the city, bringing some advancement.

Railway construction also brought a lot of economic, social, and political benefits to the city of Montreal. Cargo trains can carry bulky goods, construction of the railway led to the development of industries in Montreal due to the availability of raw materials. For example, textile and timber industries developed in Montreal since they could access these materials. The opening of these industries led to industrial development in this city. People also moved to Montreal using railways since they are relatively cheaper than other means of transport. These people added to the working population in Montreal who could provide labor in these industries. Railways also connected Montreal to other cities where they could sell their manufactured goods, expanding their market scope. Railway lines also linked farmers and the m, manufacturers to whom they could sell their farm produce; farmers began benefitting from their products which otherwise could rot, especially those highly perishable (Braiden, 2021). Knowledgeable people could also come to Montreal via train; they could then bring their expertise to Montreal industries, which helped expand them through the production of quality products.

Bridges such as the Victoria bridge and Montreal Metro Tunnel replaced the logs used to cross rivers during the primitive era. Bridges served as a connection to different places, which allowed the workforce to move from one area to the other to provide labor. Bridges also facilitated the transportation of manufactured goods and raw products to the market and industries through roads and railways. This ensured that industries in Montreal never experienced shortages of raw materials since there was a fluent supply. Their manufactured products could be sold within and outside of Montreal with the aid of these bridges. All-weather roads also increased the mobility of people to and from the industries, which helped Montreal industries to have enough labor force (Braiden, 2021).


Infrastructures that aided the mobility of people and goods played an essential role in the development of early towns and cities, including Montreal. The movement of people and goods through roads, railways, and ports and the connection of regions through bridges helped Montreal to grow during the industrial period.


Braiden, H. (2021). Building Landscape Narratives: The material and visual culture of bridge construction in Montreal, 1854-1930 (Doctoral dissertation, McGill University (Canada).


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