'La Baie', (The Hudson's Bay Co.) Montreal, QC - Historic Places Days

‘La Baie’, (The Hudson’s Bay Co.) Montreal, QC

Montréal, Québec
Cultural Heritage Centre
535 Saint-Catherine Street West, Montreal, QC, Canada
Get directions
Monday-Thursday 10:00-8:00pm Thursday/Friday 10:00-9:00pm Saturday 9:00-7:00pm Sunday 10:00-6:00pm

Hudson’s Bay

• The ‘Hudson’s Bay’, located at 585 St. Catherine W., is of great historic significance to Canadian history, dating back in time where fur-trading and the Couriers de Bois were involved in trade with the aboriginal peoples and Inuits.
• The importance of the discovery of the North West Passage by Henry Hudson’s in the 16th century permitted trading for the British as the French exercised a monopoly in the St.Laurent region. The discovery of the North West Passage has long been disputed, with voyages of Christopher Columbus and John Cabot being documented between 1492-1497.
• The Hudsons’s Bay Company was formed in England in 1610. In 1780, woollen blankets were delivered to the aboriginals in varied forts around Hudson’s Bay.
• The first store to open in Montreal was located in the Old Port in 1845, by Scottish immigrant Henry Morgan, then known as ‘Henry Morgan and Co.’ In 1891 the store moved to its present location on St Catherine St., after the transition of the commercial sector to St Catherine St due to the electrification of the rail and tramway system.
• The original store ‘Morgan’s’ was named after the Scottish Retail Entrepreneur, Henry Morgan’s. In 1874, he revolutionised the retail realm by introducing after the war ‘catalogue’ sales. The store in 1881, was located in front of Philipps Square and was named ‘Colonial House’.
• In 1960, the retailer ‘Hudson’s Bay Company’ founded in 1670, purchased the entirety of the Morgan’s stores across Canada, Toronto, Ottawa, Hamilton and Montreal.
• In 1972, the downtown Montreal store was renamed ‘LaBaie’, in English translated as ‘The Bay’.

• The first store built between1890-1891 in front of Philipps Square, was designed by the American Architect John Peace Hill. The original four story building was designed in Neo-Romanesque style in red sandstone imported from Scotland. An additional floor was added in 1902, the store facing Aylmer.
• In 1923, a replica addition of eight stories was added to the original building, facing Union St. In 1964, an addition to The Bay, on De Maisonneuve Blvd., by Architects Bolton, Ellewood & Aimers. The basement level of The Bay was connected to the Metro or subway in 1966.

Patrimonial Value
• The building is located in the area ‘Philipps Square’, designated historic by the City of Montreal.
• The building is an exceptional example of ‘Romanesque’, built in red sandstone imported from Scotland.
• The addition to the original building in 1923, is reflective of a high caliber of architectural expertise, the ‘addition’ barely detected. The repetition of the architectural elements; the pillars and arched windows are repeated with unsurpassed finesse.
• ‘The Bay’s’ history and heritage is highly reflective of the Canadian identity. The stores appeal and heritage relates to all, including the British, French Acadians, French and Inuit and Aboriginal groups dispersed throughout 300 trading posts.

Related Heritage

• The Fur Trade at Lachine – ‘The Lachine Stone Warehouse’
1251-55, boul. Saint Joseph, Lachine, Qc
• ‘National Historic Site of Canada’ – 1970/06/08
Built: 1803/01/01
Parks Canada – FHBRO Report Reference 92-026
DFRP Number: 56457 00
Fur Trade Commerce of Lachine; designated 1984 related to the memory of the ‘fur
commerce’ in Montreal.

• The 18th Century Warehouse was built in 1803 By Alexandre Gordon of the North
West Company. It was purchased in 1833 by the Hudson’s Bay Company.
The Sisters of St Ann purchased the building (1861-1977).
• Parks Canada restored the building after a fire (1978-1984).
• Designated Historic: December 12, 1996.
• The building is located in located on the St. Laurence, in an area where the first
Lachine Canal was found, currently called ‘The Promenade of Père Marquette’
overlooking Lake St. Louis et the St. Laurence River.

This listing was created by Joanna A on July 28, 2021.  Please confirm details at the site’s own website before planning your visit. Are you the owner/operator of this historic place? Would you like to make changes to this listing? Please contact us at historicplacesday@nationaltrustcanada.ca


  • Family-Friendly
  • Food and Beverages
  • Parking
  • Parkland
  • Washrooms
  • Wheelchair Access


535 Saint-Catherine Street West, Montreal, QC, Canada
Get directions

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