Fire Station No. 30 – Saint-Louis du Mile-End was a thriving industrial village that experienced a great expansion in the late 1800s, becoming one of the largest villages of the island of Montreal. At that time the town Hall of Saint-Louis was located on Saint-Dominique south of St. Joseph boulevard, but when the village became a town in 1895, the council felt the need for a more prestigious building. They acquired a lot located at the corner of St. Louis (now Laurier) and St. Laurent.
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Designed in 1898 by Joseph-Émile Vanier, an architect who also happened to be the city engineer of Saint-Louis, this building would become one of his finest achievements.
After being delayed for some time, because of cost issues, construction finally began in 1904, and the new City Hall was inaugurated in December1905. The Chateau-style building consisted of a council room, fire station, police station, municipal court, dormitory, stables and an attic. The function of the building as City Hall would last only four years, when the Town of Saint-Louis was annexed to the City of Montreal in 1910. After being renovated in1950, not much of the original interior remained, except for the prison cells in the basement.
Today the old municipal building of the Town of St. Louis-du-Mile End is home to Fire Station 30, and, since 1980, the Firefighter’s Museum (Musée des pompiers auxiliaires de Montréal). The museu provides a great insight into the history of the Montreal fire service through a large selection of photographs and equipment. Along one wall is a cabinet of the helmets of all the Montreal firefighters who have lost their lives since 1948. The second floor houses a display dedicated to the fire fighters of the New York Fire Department, who lost their lives during the Twin Towers attack on 9-11.
Entry to the museum is free but donations are accepted toward the upkeep of the museum.
The museum is open to visitors every Sunday from 1:30 to 4:30 pm.
The building is located at 5 Ave Laurier in Montreal
Source: Mile End Memories / The Gazette / PAM
By: Dick Nieuwendyk – mtltimes.ca