Montreal – Allan Building / John Young

333 De La Commune West

At the corner of De La Commune and St-Pierre Streets, west of the Pointe-à-Callière Museum stands a 1859 two-story building on a small square with a monument. This was the head office of the H.& A. Allan company for freight transactions and the monument is a memorial to John Young.

The Allan Shipping Line offered sea transportation options for merchandise and people between Montreal and Scotland. The transportation business began in 1819 by the father of Hugh Allan who had established in Montreal. Over the years, Mr. Allan became an influential personality and was involved in important projects including the railway development. Cargo builder, transport, trading, banking, telegraph, the Allan businesses were massive and were considered a leader of transportation.

In April 1912, one of the Allan steamships, the Virginian picked up the distress signal of the Titanic and it requested a change of course to go to the rescue. Sadly, the ship did not make it in time. The company relayed the message quickly enough to change the headlines of the Montreal Gazette the same morning. According to some, it was in this building that the message of the tragedy was received.

From 1917, the building became the property of Canadian Pacific Railway Company and Allan Shipping Lines became Canadian Pacific Steamships.  The building changed hands over the years as the needs changed and in 2009, the Society of the Old Port of Montreal took ownership.

In front of the building a monument is dedicated to John Young. The monument was originally erected in front of the port to the memory of the recognized man for the development of the port of Montreal. This monument dates back to the early 1900’s.

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