Parks Canada

Parks Canada

May 01, 2009 10:00 ET

Government of Canada Recognizes the National Historic Significance of the Atwater Library

WESTMOUNT, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - May 1, 2009) - 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 plaque commemorating the national historic significance of the Atwater Library of the Mechanics' Institute of Montreal.

"To this day, the Atwater Library of the Mechanics' Institute of Montreal is an important educational centre which offers Canadians a personalized and authentic learning experience. The Government of Canada is proud to recognize the work of those who dedicated themselves to the development and success of this distinguished institution," declared Senator Angus.

Since its completion in 1920, this elegant building has housed the Mechanics' Institute of Montreal, the oldest subscription library in Canada. Established in 1828, the Institute provided working men, and later women, with technical training and "useful knowledge." The building embodies the ideals and mission of the organization with its sculpted medallions representing the mechanical arts; its library and reading rooms decorated in oak and marble; and its lecture hall, classrooms, and exhibit rooms. The Atwater Library is the last Mechanics' Institute building in Canada that continues to serve its original purpose.

"This fascinating knowledge center is Canada's oldest subscription library," said Minister Prentice. "I am honoured to commemorate this exceptional place, which holds a unique collection and stands as a key witness to the history of education in the province of Quebec."

The Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, established in 1919, advises the Minister of the Environment on issues relating to sites, people, and events of national historic importance. The presentation of a commemorative plaque represents official recognition of their value for Canadians.

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Contact Information

  • Parks Canada
    Melissa Larose
    Communications Advisor