When incorporated as a municipality in 1883, Maisonneuve was just another quiet village on the outskirts of Montreal. But a group of local landowners had big plans for the new town.
Twenty years later it was "The Pittsburgh of Canada," boasting an industrial output that ranked second in Quebec and fifth in Canada. Grand civic projectsimposing public buildings, a spacious central boulevard and a huge parkwere begun to crown Maisonneuve's achievement. The story of how a handful of local landowners became rich by combining private interests with public ones is a fascinating example of a process that was repeated with minor variations across Quebec.
The Promoters' City sheds light on both the process of urbanisation that transformed Quebec at the turn of the century, and on the too-often underrated role of French-Canadian businessmen in Quebec's development.