Montreal and Its Waters: An Entangled History


Montreal is a city characterized by the omnipresence of water. Situated on an island at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers, Montreal is located in the middle of a rich archipelago, and its urban development has spread to the shores of the archipelago’s rich water basin. Yet although the city’s abundance of freshwater is often celebrated, Montreal has become the object of a good deal of criticism. This article highlights how the city’s relationship to its water sources has always been experienced and mediated through two intersecting processes: the actual state and presence of water in the landscape, and current representations of water and the ways in which water manifests itself in everyday life.