Neighbourhood - Buildings

Piscine Lévesque



History

In early 20th-century Montreal, the overpopulation of working-class neighbourhoods, as well as the absence of plumbing and of an adequate system of aqueducts and sewers, prompted the construction of public baths in all corners of the city. Due to a concern for public health and hygiene, progressive members of Montreal's upper middle class, urged the City of Montreal to build “a bath for every neighbourhood.” Public baths were as much for sanitation as for recreation.

For the price of a bar of soap, thousands of Montrealers deprived of indoor plumbing frequented public baths in the pursuit of hygiene and health.

Opened in 1909, the Lévesque Bath was the first example of its kind, serving the population of the La Fontaine district. As it was customary for public baths to be named for city councillors, this one bears the name of La Fontaine's representative at the time, Victor Lévesque.

After World War II, prosperity and modern development led to the public baths' being used only as indoor swimming pools. This is the case with the Lévesque Bath, now an indoor pool serving the local population.

Image : HM_ARC_000150

"La natation au Plateau" ("Le Plateau 1940-1941. Revue de fin d'année de l'École supérieure Le Plateau", juin 1941, p.47)

12.6 cm x 10 cm