The Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site commemorates the life and accomplishments of one of the Fathers of Confederation, Sir George-Étienne Cartier. The reconstitution of the two adjoining homes of the Cartier family also serves to recall the architectural heritage left by the upper middle class of 19th century Montreal.
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.