Anyone who has met me knows I am a wee bit of a photo fanatic. That is why I follow a few cities’ vintage Facebook pages, hoping to see a photos of my ancestors’ homes, places of business, or just views of streets they may have walked.
One of my favourite Facebook pages to follow is Montréal Avant-Après (Montreal Before-After) where I can see old photos of street scenes next to photos taken in the same spot today. While the captions of Montréal Avant-Après are written in French, they are pretty easy to understand. The street name is usually provided and often the name of the original owner’s building is included.
Here is an example of what you will find on Montréal Avant-Après. The caption reads: 1889-2009. La résidence de Hugh Paton, angle des rues Sherbrooke Ouest et de la Montagne. Cette residence fut remplacée par le magasin Holt Renfrew & Co. en 1937. Source: Musée McCord. Tous droits réservés : Guillaume St-Jean. Briefly, the Before photo was taken in 1889 and it shows a house that belonged to Hugh Paton, corner of Sherbrooke St. West and Montagne St. The After photo was taken in 2009.
The following Avant photo was taken on rue St-Antoine in 1915; the Après photo taken by Guillaume St-Jean in 2008. (The old photo is held at the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.)
Which vintage pages have you found?
For the record, I am still looking for a photo of James Young’s shop at the corner of Prince Arthur and Hôtel-de-ville and Samuel Dever’s store at the corner of Prince Arthur and Colonial.