Montrealers and visitors alike are discovering the rich history of the Port of Montreal and learning about the vital importance of port and shipping activities past and present through an exhibition entitled History of Ships. The port is holding the exhibition at its Port Centre – the first interpretation centre on port activities in Quebec – located on the second floor of its new cruise terminal on Alexandra Pier. Admission is free. More than 20,000 people have toured the exhibition since it opened on July 19.
Visitors learn how the port – a founding component of the City of Montreal and key player in the settlement and industrialization of Canada – has played a pivotal role in the socioeconomic development of the city, the province and the country, and how today it continues to be a vital cargo logistics and tourism hub.
“History of Ships is our special contribution to celebrations marking the 375th anniversary of Montreal and the 150th anniversary of the Confederation of Canada,” said Sophie Roux, Vice-President of Public Affairs for the Montreal Port Authority. “This treasure trove of information and displays provides a unique opportunity to sail back in time to relive the milestones in Montreal’s rich port history. It raises interest in our city’s maritime heritage and showcases the port’s benefits and value.”
Six ship models are on display in the exhibition hall. They represent the vessels – various types of cargo ships and passenger vessels – that have sailed to and from the port through time. A large mural of visual and video information illustrates the history of goods transportation and covers six themes:
• An overview of the port then and now with a focus from 1900 to the present;
• Overall port development in terms of cargo handling and infrastructure;
• The modern era, featuring Alexandra Pier, cargo sheds, land routes, grain elevators, etc.;
• Diversity of cargo handled and the heyday of wheat;
• The modern port facilities of the 21st century; and
• Jobs in and around the port.
A second mural on passenger transportation focuses on ship arrival and departure areas through time, passenger terminals for the Expo 67 Universal and International Exhibition, and an overview of the port’s new cruise terminal project.
The exhibition is open every Saturday and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information: www.port-montreal.com (in the “Community” section).