Built within an exceptional watershed, Montreal is intertwined with the waterways that ring its island and flow beneath it in underground networks. Montreal, City of Water focuses on water not only as a physical element – both shaping and shaped by urban development – but also as a sociocultural component of the life of the city. This unique study considers how water has produced and transformed urban space over two centuries. It traces the history of Montreal’s urbanization, shining a light on current concerns about water pollution, rehabilitation, and public access to the riverfront – and on the power relations involved in addressing them.
Michèle Dagenais is a professor of history at the Université de Montréal. She specializes in urban and environmental history and is the author of Faire et fuir la ville: espaces publics de loisirs et de culture à Montréal et Toronto aux XIXe et XXe siècles (2006) and Des pouvoirs et des hommes: l’administration municipale de Montréal, 1900–1950 (2000). She is also co-editor of Municipal Services and Employees in the Modern City: New Historic Approaches (2003) and Metropolitan Natures: Environmental Histories of Montreal (2011). Peter Feldstein is the translator of eight books, including Paul-Émile Borduas: A Critical Biography, for which he won a Governor General’s Literary Award in 2014. He lives in Montreal.