Neighbourhood - Buildings

Dominion Textile



History

Attracted to Saint-Henri by the tax exemptions offered by this formerly independent municipality and by local grants, the Merchants Manufacturing Company built a textile mill here between 1880 and 1906.

The factory's main building was built in 1880 and expanded in 1892, 1898, and 1916. New buildings were added in 1899 (north side) and 1906 (next to the railroad tracks). This cotton spinning mill employed mainly women to produce sheets, coverlets, and clothing of all kinds. In 1891, Montreal's first textile strike was organized. The company then merged first with Colonial Bleaching and Printing, and subsequently with Dominion Textile in 1904. More strikes were staged in 1907, 1946, and 1952, with employees demanding better wages and working conditions. One of the leaders of this struggle was Madeleine Parent.

Dominion Textile moved away in 1966, and Eagle Toys (now Coleco) occupied the premises from 1967 to 1989. After that, the buildings remained vacant for ten years. Since 1999, the complex has been known as the Château Saint-Ambroise and has housed commercial and residential lofts, artist studios, and business offices.

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Merchants Cotton Company (Saint-Ambroise Street)
1905
© Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Albums de rues E.-Z. Massicotte – MAS 5-34-b, © Héritage Montréal

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Ad for the Merchants Cotton Company, published in the Book of Montreal

© Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, © Héritage Montréal

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Merchants Manufacturing Factory
2003
© Parks Canada, Lachine Canal NHSC, © Héritage Montréal

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Workers at the Dominion Textile

© Library and Archives Canada(MG 28 III 77, vol.5), © Héritage Montréal

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Inspection of cloth at the Dominion Textile

© Library and Archives Canada(MG 28 III 77, vol.5), © Héritage Montréal

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Printing machines at the Dominion Textile

© Library and Archives Canada(MG 28 III 77, vol.5), © Héritage Montréal

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Weave room at he Dominion Textile

© Library and Archives Canada(MG 28 III 77, vol.5), © Héritage Montréal