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Photograph of men paddling a canoe in a flooded street


Flooded street in front of the Grand Trunk Railway freight offices in Montréal

Photograph of railway cars surrounded by flood water and people paddling in canoes


Flooded streets around Bonaventure station

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Flooded Out!

The spring floods of April 1886, caused by the breaking up of the ice, resulted in waters as high as six feet in places. Much property damage and havoc with traffic and trains occurred in and around Montréal. The city newspaper reported that some people paddled about using the wooden sidewalks as rafts.

"... at the G.T.R. works yesterday much damage was done. ... The works were closed yesterday and 120 men are thus at leisure until the waters subside."
"The River on the Rampage", The Gazette, April 17, 1886, p. 3

"At the Bonaventure Station no trains arrived yesterday. The cars in the yard stand in the water. At Guy Street an engine was caught by the rising flood, its fire drowned and its course stopped. The amateur boatmen who have established themselves at several points are evidently determined to make all they can of the opportunity, and extort high prices from whoever seeks to use their means of transportation."
"The Worst Flood Yet," The Gazette, April 19, 1886, p. 5

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