Monday, September 26, 2016

Tobogganing on Mount Royal Park Montreal, QC, 1885


This photo shows the members of the Club de la Tuque Bleue practicing their favourite winter sport on the slopes of Mount Royal.

-courtesy McCord Museum

Opened in 1876, Mount Royal Park was then considered by the English-speaking elite of the "Golden Square Mile" to be the "natural" extension of their neighbourhood, and they had difficulty conceiving that the park should be accessible to everyone. As a result, an imaginary boundary divided Mount Royal into two parts in the 1880s. For winter sports enthusiasts, this division meant that "proper people" tobogganed in the western part, while the youth of the working-class districts went down the slopes on the east side.

However, tobogganing, that "new craze," did not appeal to everyone. In 1885, the bishop of Montreal, Bishop Fabre (1827-1896), warned Catholics against the opportunities for sin associated with this activity, which was practiced by both men and women.


    ©2016 Linda Sullivan-Simpson
    The Past Whispers
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