Conference – 2019

Crossing Boundaries and Constructing Linkages

The History of Montreal's Golden Square Mile in National and International Context

Date: June 19th – June 20th, 2019

Location: McGill University, Montreal, Quebec

Professor Donald Nerbas – CBHA/ACHA, McGill University
Elizabeth Kirkland, Dawson College

Montreal History Group
Macdonald-Stewart Foundation
Dawson College
McGill Institute for the Study of Canada
Chair in Canadian-Scottish Studies, McGill University
Rare Books and Special Collections, McGill University

Synopsis: A conference of academics and social studies experts which will present on the impact of the activities of the Golden Square Mile on Montreal’s and Canada’s social and financial history.


Day 1: 19 June 2019 @ McGill University, Macdonald Engineering Building, Room 279

Registration: 8:30 am - 9:00 am
9:00-9:15 Welcome  
9:15-10:15 Keynote Roderick MacLeod, The High Ground: A Historical Overview of the Golden Square Mile
10:15-10:30 Nutrition Break  
10:30-12:00 Session 1 – Institutions of a Metropole Laurence Mussio (York), The Role of Canada’s First Bank in the 19th Century Rise of Montreal   Kurt Korneski (MUN), “Not a very orderly population”: George Simpson, Donald Smith, and the Making of a de facto State in Labrador, 1830-1855   Jean-Philip Mathieu (McGill), Square Mile Capital and the Formation of Montreal Rolling Mills, 1867-68
12:00-1:00 Lunch  
1:00-2:30 Session 2 – Family and Gender, Connections and Boundaries      Peter Gossage (Concordia) and Lisa Moore (Concordia), Marriage, Property, and the Law in a Square-Mile Family: The Case of Annie Stevenson Anderson vs David Morrice, 1884   Max Hamon (McGill), “A Very Fair profit”: Commissioner Donald Smith and Investment Networks in the Northwest   Elizabeth Kirkland (Dawson College) and Mary Anne Poutanen (Concordia), Searching for Intimacies Beyond the Notman Photographs: A Case Study of Amy Redpath
2:30-2:45 Nutrition Break  
2:45-3:45 Keynote Annmarie Adams (McGill), Unravelling Scottish Architecture in Canada: Percy Nobbs, Ramsay Traquair and their Montreal Networks
4:00-5:00 Walking Tour Roderick MacLeod
Day 2: 20 June 2019 @ McGill University, Macdonald Engineering Building, Room 279
9:00-10:00 Session 3 – Architecture and Place Julia Gersovitz (McGill), Architects of the Square Mile 1860-1914   William Fong, Where Exactly was the Golden Square Mile and When?  
10:00-10:15 Nutrition Break  
10:15-11:45 Session 4 – Property, Credit, and Networks Robert Sweeny (MUN), Landed Ladies: Gender and property ownership in turn-of-the-century Golden Square Mile   Sherry Olson (McGill), Applying the Tools of Visualization to Kinship, Credit, and Governance   Mark Sholdice (University of Guelph), Towards a Taxonomy of Financial-Industrial Networks in Canada, 1867-1914
11:45-12:30 Lunch  
12:30-2:00 Session 5 – Crisis and Transformation: the Square Mile in the Early Twentieth Century Stephen Salmon, The Changing of the Guard: Bartlett McLennan, Roy Wolvin and the Leveraged Buyout of the Montreal Transportation Company, 1903-1920    Greg Marchildon (UofT), Max Aitken in Montreal: Financial Innovation and Creative Destruction in the Laurier Boom   Nicolas Kenny (SFU), Imperial Boundaries and Intimate Linkages: Reading Soldiers' First World War Letters
2:00-2:15 Nutrition Break  
2:15-3:45 Session 6 - Private Fortunes, Globalization and Decline Alexander Reford, Dwindling Fortunes – The Montreal Business Elite and the Great Depression   Andrew Ross (Library and Archives Canada), From the Golden Square Mile to the Las Vegas Golden Knights: The Globalization of the Montreal Game   Joe Martin (Rotman), The Shift of the Financial Centre of Canada from Montreal to Toronto; 1929 to 1936
4:00 -4:30


@ School of Architecture
Cynthia Hammond (Concordia), The Home, The Hospital, and the Healing Garden: Notman House

@ Rare Books and Special Collections: McLennan Library

Keynote Harold Bérubé (Sherbrooke), The death of the “Golden Square Mile”? Understanding the mutation of an urban district, 1945-1980



@ Rare Books and Special Collections: McLennan Library Reception

@ Faculty Club: Banquet and Closing Remarks