Parks Canada

Parks Canada

March 05, 2010 14:15 ET

Sir John Kennedy, Credited With Modernizing the Port of Montreal, is Celebrated

The Government of Canada highlights the national historical importance of the Harbour Commission chief engineer from 1875 to 1907

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 5, 2010) - On behalf of the Honourable Jim Prentice, Canada's Environment Minister and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, the Honourable W. David Angus, Senator, today unveiled a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque commemorating the national historical significance of Sir John Kennedy.

"I am proud to be taking part in the commemoration of Sir John Kennedy," said Senator Angus. "This great engineer began as an apprentice when he was just 15. He transformed the Port of Montréal into a 20th-century international port complex and made it Montréal's transportation hub. Some of his work is still visible today, in particular the four wharfs in the Old Port."

Chief Engineer of the Montréal Harbour Commission from 1875 to 1907, Sir John Kennedy played a key role in the modernization of this port, creating a world-class complex that contributed to the development of the city. He oversaw the deepening of the St. Lawrence River from Québec City to Montréal and the reconstruction of the harbour to his design, which allowed the port to handle larger ocean freighters. An outstanding early civil engineer, Kennedy is admired for both his professional achievements and ideals. 

"Today we are celebrating one of the founding members of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering, of which he was president from 1887 to 1892," said Minister Prentice. "As a symbol of excellence in Canadian civil engineering circles, Sir John Kennedy contributed greatly to the scope of engineering through his sustained efforts and the high standard of his professional achievements."

Created in 1919, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada advises the Minister of the Environment about the national historical significance of persons, places, and events that have marked Canada's history. The placement of a commemorative plaque represents an official recognition of their historical value to the country.

Parks Canada manages a nation-wide network of national historic sites that commemorate persons, places and events that have shaped Canada's history. In 2011, Parks Canada will celebrate its 100th anniversary.

For additional information, please see the accompanying backgrounder at under Media Room.

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