From model city of the 20s to modern city of the 21st century
The original model city of Mount-Royal is located in the heart of Montréal Island and is bordered by a railway on the northwest end. From a design perpective, it is a perfect blend of urban renewal movements from the early 20th century, reflecting the influence of the City Beautiful, Garden City and Garden Suburb movements making it an oustanding example of a planned community in Canada.
It was in the 19th century that various reform movements, such as the city park movement were established in response to industrialization. In Canada, these ideas were introduced by town planners or landscape architects coming from the United States.
The designer Frederick Gage Todd designed the entire plan for the Model City of Mount-Royal. You can note the very organized logic of the town, using curves roads and straight lines with large boulevards lined with instutions and appartment buildings that converge into a central public place reflects the principles and influences of City Beautiful movement.
The influence of the Garden City movement is clear with the integration of the railway and in the separation of the city's functional areas with very distinct residential streets and main thoroughfares. At the same time, the town was created with a view to making it a competitive suburb on the outskirts of Montréal, hence the connection with the garden suburb. The creation of the Model City in the early 20th century is associated primarily to the construction of a railway. It was initiated by the Land Company, launched by Mackenzie and Mann of the Canadian Northern Railway and was linked to downtown Montréal through a tunnel built under the mountain. The promoters expected that transporting inhabitants to work in less than ten minutes on a daily basis would help sell this major project.
Considered to be a large town between 1914 and towards the end of the 1930s, Mount-Royal grew considerably between the beginning of the Second World War and the end of the 1950s. The entire network was complete by the mid-1970s as per the original plan established years before. Over the years, the supervision and the completion of the initial project was overseen by the city itself, the plan was executed to a tee as defined originally by the lanscape architect Todd.
Today, Town of Mount-Royal remains a jewel in the middle of the city of Montréal, the center of the town still revolves around Connaught Park, the center has developped into a small downtown core boasting luxury condominiums and thriving businesses, the Mont-Royal train station direct to downtown thanks to AMT and a multitude of modern city services.
The 'Town' as it is still known today will remain a haven for all those who appreciate a true Garden City with a close knit community surrounded by beautiful parks, trees and very uniques homes.
Long live the Model City of Mount-Royal!