Post-Industrial Montréal


Post/Industrial Montreal examines deindustrialization and urban change in Montreal since 1945.

Former Northern Electric (Nordelec) manufacture converted into condominiums, photo by David W. Lewis, 2012


"The deindustrialized landscape, like a ruined battlefield that heals over, is ripe for commemoration.” 
Michael Savage

Great social transformations”, writes Sharon Zukin, are “both an end and a beginning.” If Montreal was representative of the broad forces driving North American industrialization, the same can be said about its transformation into a post-industrial city. The combined impact of deindustrialization, suburbanization and the building of super-highways has ravaged working class districts resulting in population decline, unemployment and other social problems. It also inspired community mobilization and resistance. We aim to foster a better understanding of the many consequences of urban change in a post-industrial context and their different meanings. What concerns should be raised in the wake of deindustrialization and urban change in a metropolis such as Montreal? How do these transformations influence identity, place and solidarity within communities?

Post/Industrial Montreal considers how we might integrate oral history into historic site interpretation, museum exhibition and walking tours. The aim here is to create spaces of deep listening. How can oral history become a catalyst for public reflection, dialogue and even political action? All of the mobile methodologies and technologies employed here offer oral and public historians the possibility to track subjective, partial and individual trajectories through time and space.
This web platform was created as part of a project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and which serves to explore urban change in Montreal in a post-industrial context. It was also funded by the Canada Research Chair in Oral History. On this platform, you will find information on various research projects carried out by COHDS, its affiliates and partners, by the Canada Research Chair in Oral History as well as by Professor Steven High and his students. 
Through personal stories, memoryscapes, audiowalks and many other artistic and new-media creations, as well as academic publications and ethical and methodological considerations, Post/Industrial Montreal invites you on a journey through an ever-changing city. Come and meet the individuals that have shaped and were shaped by this transforming urban landscape.