Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site of Canada
Did You Know That...
The Victoria Bridge Was Inaugurated in 1859, and Was Considered to Be the Eighth Wonder of the World?
The Victoria Bridge
© Thiery Marcoux / Bibliothèque nationale
du Québec, iconodoc.092, E.Spanier, La Haye
Montreal was a rapidly expanding city at the time George-Étienne Cartier
entered politics. The city's population increased by 56% between 1851 and 1861,
and topped the 100,000 mark in 1871. Cartier believed that Montreal's economic
prosperity depended on business and trade. Thus, as early as 1846, he took an
active part in the development of transportation and communication infrastructures.
Throughout his entire political career, George-Étienne Cartier was
an ardent proponent of railroads, particularly the Grand Trunk Railway, which
he began promoting in 1853. The Victoria Bridge was built, moreover, in keeping
with plans to link Montreal and Portland, Maine. In 1860, the main line, or
trunk, of the railway was completed, and now ran from Sarnia, Ontario, to
Portland, with major stops at Montreal and in the Eastern Townships.