Scandale! Le Montréal illicite, 1940-1960 (Scandal! Backroom Montreal, 1940-1960)

Scandale! Le Montréal illicite, 1940-1960

Scandale! Le Montréal illicite, 1940-1960, written by curator Catherine Charlebois and historian Mathieu Lapointe, is based on photographs collected by the Centre d’histoire de Montréal, personal accounts, and strikingly authentic character sketches. The book shines a light on an extraordinary period of Montreal’s history and the people who forged the city’s identity.

As the Second World War raged across the Atlantic, jazz and cabaret entertainment filled St. Catherine Street clubs. Half-way between Las Vegas and Paris, Quebec’s metropolis was a hub for renowned performers Édith Piaf, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong, Alys Robi, Charles Trenet, Charlie Parker, and Oscar Peterson, to name but a few. Behind the stage curtains, however, in the labyrinth of lanes in the city’s Red Light district, prostitution, illegal betting and gambling, and other contraband activities took place, leading to a no-holds-barred struggle between organized crime and Montreal’s untouchables led by young lawyer Pacifique “Pax” Plante and his morality squad.

Authors: Catherine Charlebois and Mathieu Lapointe
Publisher: Les Éditions Cardinal
In French

Promenades historiques à Montréal (Historical Montreal walking tours)

Promenades historiques à Montréal

Discover all the historical richness of Montreal.

Rushed by our activities and obligations, we hardly notice the city around us. Yet its buildings, squares, streets, façades, urban landscapes, and inhabitants have so many stories to tell us. We just have to stop and take the time to listen to them and see them through a different lens.

This book gives us a chance to do that by bringing together more than 100 columns published by the Centre d’histoire de Montréal in the Saturday edition of Le Journal de Montréal, starting in 2013.

To highlight the history contained in the feature photograph every week, the passionate researchers of the Centre d’histoire de Montréal and their collaborators applied a historical magnifying glass to three details in the picture. Each one is the subject of a small investigation. From one column to the next, almost 150 years of the daily lives of Montrealers are revealed. No aspect is neglected, from architecture to everyday consumer items, from vehicles to urban furniture, not forgetting events and the people – known and unknown – who were part of recorded and undiscovered facets of the city’s history.

Under the direction of Jean-François Leclerc, Centre d'histoire de Montréal
Publisher: Les Éditions du Journal
240 pages
Prix : 24,95 $
In French

Quartiers disparus (Lost neighbourhoods)

Quartiers disparus

Astonishing archival photographs recreate three of Montreal’s vanished neighbourhoods: the Red Light district, the Faubourg à m’lasse, and Goose Village.

A collaboration with the Laboratoire d'histoire et de patrimoine de Montréal at UQÀM and the Archives of the City of Montreal, this publication received the 2015 Canadian Museums Association award for excellence in research.


During the 1950s and ‘60s, Montreal was moving fast. A strong wind of modernization was blowing, energized by the tenets of Quebec’s “Quiet Revolution” and by the heady atmosphere of Expo 67. The change in mentality led urban planners and political leaders – with Mayor Jean Drapeau in the forefront – to rethink the city’s design. There was no hesitation about razing the past, bringing a tidal wave of demolition in older neighbourhoods, often justified in the name of slum clearance.

In this volume of exceptional photographs from the City of Montreal Archives, most of which have never been published, readers can re-imagine life in three vanished Montreal neighbourhoods: the Red Light district, the Faubourg à m’lasse, and Goose Village. A collaboration between the Centre d’histoire de Montréal, the Laboratoire d'histoire et de patrimoine de Montréal at UQÀM, and the Archives of the City of Montreal, Quartiers disparus was created in the wake of the eponymous exhibition and provides a contextual background in photographs for a turning-point in the history of Quebec’s metropolis.

Publisher: Les Éditions cardinal
Format : 7 po x 10 po
312 pages
Prix : 29,95 $

In French

Le Montréal des Premières Nations

Le Montréal des Premières Nations

Le Montréal des Premières Nations
(in French)
[4,7 MB - 36 pages]

A guide to the heritage and culture of First Nations in the Montréal area

This free French-language guide introduces you to the places and events in Montréal through which you can discover the past, present and future of First Nations culture.

A map of the Montréal area is at the back of the guide so you can locate the places mentioned in the guide: museums, organizations, universities, and historical, archaeological and sacred sites. Discoveries await you from one stop to another, whether you’re with your family, in a group, solo, or online!

Montréal, Hochelaga, Tiohtiake

The First Nations presence in Montréal dates back more than 1,000 years. The oldest First Nations sites are more than 4,000 years old. During his first visit to the island in 1535, Jacques Cartier met the inhabitants of the Iroquois village named Hochelaga - Tiohtiake, which means “place where the group separates” in the Mohawk language. The Algonquians in the area called it “Minitik Outen Entagougiban,” or “the island where there was a town.”

More than 20,000 Amerindians and Inuits of various origins live in or are passing through Montréal for school or business, or to visit family and friends.

The Mohawk or Kanienkehaka nations have lived around the island for a long time, in communities on the north and south shores of the St. Lawrence iver. People who want to find or learn more about Québec’s First Nations may find it difficult to do so at first glance in the greater Montréal area.

You can download the guide for free here or get a copy from city libraries, maisons de la culture and partner museums.

This project receives financial support from the Secrétariat aux Affaires Autochtones as well as the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine and the city as part of the 2008-2011 Montréal Cultural Development Agreement.

Montréal Clic

Montréal Clic

From 1991 to 2008, the Centre d'histoire de Montréal published a history magazine named Montréal Clic. The articles have been revised and updated, and are available online on the site Mémoires des Montréalais (Montrealers’ Memory). The print versions can also be consulted, by appointment, at the documentation centre of the Centre d'histoire.

Montréal, la
ville aux cent

Montréal, the City of 100 Bell Towers.

Montrealers look at their places of worship

This publication was written after the All Eyes on Montréal photo contest organized by the CHM in fall 1999. Specialists and participants from major religious traditions also contributed to this publication, which showcases the richness of Montréal’s religious architectural heritage and its 500 temples, churches, synagogues and mosques.

Under the direction of Colette Godin, in collaboration with Jean-François Leclerc. Éditions Fides, 2002. (Collection Images de sociétés)

Plus que parfaites. Les aides familiales à Montréal,

Plus que parfaites. Les aides familiales à Montréal, 1850-2000

This French-language publication is part of the exhibition “Beyond the Call of Duty. Chronicles of Domestic Work in Private Homes, 1920-2000,” and was made possible through the partnership of the CHM and the Association des Aides Familiales du Québec (AAFQ). It presents the evolution of domestic work from a socio-historic perspective, with many first-person accounts, and chronicles the AAFQ’s battles over the last two decades for recognition of a profession that is still poorly defined.

Raphaëlle de Groot and Elizabeth Ouellet. Les Éditions du remue-ménage, 2001.