Montreal, Tuesday, October 20, 2020. – October 21 marks the first anniversary of the name change of Amherst Street to Atateken. Celebrate the evolution of this important Montreal artery dating back to the 19th century! The exhibition tour takes visitors on a journey through the history of the industries, transportation and businesses that were part of the neighbourhood’s dynamic growth, including the founding of the Gay Village in the 1980s. The exhibit runs from February 10 to April 18, 2021 at the Écomusée du fier monde.
A History of Controversy
As early as the 1960s, the street’s name was called into question from a French-Canadian nationalist perspective, as General Amherst was involved in the capitulation of Montreal, which marked the end of New France.
More recently, it is the General’s genocidal remarks towards First Peoples that sparked controversy. It is in a spirit of reconciliation that the City of Montreal chose a Mohawk name, Atateken, which means “brothers and sisters”. This decision was made following the recommendations of a Special Toponymy Committee made up of First Nations people and acts as a reminder of the ancient Iroquoian presence on the Island of Montreal.
An Architectural Heritage
The first section of the street appeared as early as 1801. However, the arterial road only truly began to develop at the end of the 19th century with the industrialization and commercial development of the district. Until the 1960s, Amherst Street was known as the hub of the fur industry. In addition to businesses and a few industrial companies, the street also included large public buildings such as the Saint-Jacques Market (1931) and the Généreux Bathhouse (1927), both of which boast remarkable architectural features.
Things are Moving on Atateken!
After a period of uncertainty due to deindustrialization in the 1960s and 70s, the emergence of the Gay Village in the 1980s helped revitalize a large portion of the neighbourhood. The Village Commercial Development Corporation (VCDC), which brings together businesses in the area, as well as the redevelopment of the Old Port during Montreal’s 350th anniversary, brought new life to the neighbourhood. Thanks to both old and new buildings, its varied population, institutions, community organizations and many businesses, Atateken Street remains a vibrant artery.
History and community museum
The Écomusée du fier monde is a history museum that promotes grassroots involvement. You are invited to explore little known facets of Montréal culture. Discover the daily life of the working class and follow the inspiring journeys of grassroots groups. Visit the Écomusée exhibitions and the former Généreux public bath, a magnificent example of 1920s architecture.
Écomusée du fier monde
2050 Atateken Street
Berri-UQAM Metro Station
Wednesday: 11 am to 8 pm
Thursday/Friday: 9:30 am to 4 pm
Saturday/Sunday: 10:30 am to 5 pm
July and August: Thursday/Friday: 9:30 am to 5 pm
Student/senior/child over 6: $6
Family (2 adults, 3 children): $18
Information: 514 528-8444 | ecomusee.qc.ca
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For more information, photographs and interviews:
Florentine Duchange | 514 528-8444 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Écomusée du fier monde