Location: Avenue Viger est
Date of photo: March 6 2012
Photographer: Martin New at Montreal in Pictures
The Craig pumping station was built in 1887 after the Saint-Lawrence flooded the city up to Square Victoria in April 1886. Another pump station was built East of the Bonaventure. Both pumps were used almost every winter until 1950 to prevent another major flood. It seems today that flooding in Montreal still occurs on a fairly regular basis, anytime of the year, but is due to water pipes breaking or insufficient capacity of the drainage network in severe storms – but that’s another story.
In the 1950′s the Saint Lawrence was canalized and together with ice breakers being used to keep the Saint-Lawrence navigable year-round, there was no longer a requirement for the pumping stations. The City abandoned the station in the 1990′s, although according to a heritage group, the pumps and steam engines were still in situ in 2002