Public Artwork

La vie à Montréal au XIXe siècle

Nicolas Sollogoub, La vie à Montréal au XIVe siècle,1974
Nicolas Sollogoub, La vie à Montréal au XIVe siècle,1974
Nicolas Sollogoub, La vie à Montréal au XIVe siècle,1974
Nicolas Sollogoub, La vie à Montréal au XIVe siècle,1974
McGill Subway, Montréal, QC, Canada
Artwork creator(s): 
Sollogoub, Nicolas
Text author(s): 
Sollogoub, Nicolas
Installation year: 

This massive cycle of five stained-glass works is composed of more than 1,200 pieces of glass. The first panel depicts the river and the island's forest, along with an inhabitant of the village of Hochelaga and two French colonists; in the centre, the arms of the city; and to the right, the Monastère des Récollets. The second panel depicts, on the left, a street scene with people in typical early 19th-century dress; an inset shows tools used by artisans of the period. On the right is the Seminary, the oldest extant building in Montreal. The central panel features the most prominent figures in the work: Jacques Viger and Peter McGill, first and second mayors of Montreal. The subject of Peter McGill was imposed by the City (even though the station is named for James McGill, the founder of the university); Sollogoub decided to add Viger as well. To the left of the mayors are shown several newspapers of the period; to the right, we see banknotes and scenes of industry and commerce. The last panel is devoted to the Lachine Canal and its industry, especially the Grand Trunk Railway. In the foreground we see the various types of boats that have plied the Rapids and the Canal: canoes, sail vessels, and steamships. Behind we see a Grand Trunk train; in the background is a cityscape with factories (including that of the sponsor of the work) and the mountain.

Text of the artwork: 

First panel:

Hochelaga Armes de la ville composées par Jacques Viger, premier maire de Montréal Monastère des Recollets 1694


Second panel:

Les outils des artisans Les habits ou la façon de se vêtir La sauvegarde Le Vieux Séminaire 1683 Montréal 1800


Central panel:

Le Silver Dollard Saloon 1812 L'Aurore La Minerve L'Avenir Gazette Littéraire Les journaux de l'époque Peter McGill 1789-1860 2e maire Le Saint-Laurent se trouve balisé, le vapeur a démodé les bâtiments à voile, les chemins de fer remplacent le vieux système de routage. Montréal devient la grande métropole du Canada. Jacques Viger 1787-1858 La Maison du Clavet 1771


Last panel:

La Maison du Pressoir 1806 W.C. Macdonald 1865 Le flottage du bois - La drave Grand Trunk Longueuil - St-Hyacinthe - Richmond - Sherbrooke - Coaticook - Groventon - Berlin - Betel - Paris - Portland Québec - Montréal - Lachine

Text theme: 
Artwork theme: 



It was sponsored by the Macdonald Tobacco company, whose president, David M. Stewart, had a special interest in Montreal history. It was the last part of the metro's initial art program (sponsored works themed on Montreal history) to be unveiled, on December 10, 1974. In the 1990s, it was lowered by a few metres to accommodate the construction of businesses above it.


Société deTransport de Montréal