SIGN FOR THE FORGE
LET’S MAINTAIN LES FORGES DE MONTRÉAL IN ITS FOUNDING SITE
The Riverside Pumping Station is of priceless heritage value, as is the mission of Les Forges de Montréal. These two treasures have been sharing their history for almost 20 years. Their sustainability depends on your involvement. Your endorsement is a vote for keeping them alive.
The Riverside Pumping Station, an architectural treasure located between the Vieux-Port and the Canal Lachine, was built in 1887 based on the drawings of Maurice Perreault (1857-1909) and Albert Mesnard (1847-1909), two well-known architects in Montreal’s history.
The Riverside Pumping Station appears to have a very high degree of authenticity. It has an exemplary state of conservation, thanks to the occupation of Les Forges de Montréal, and no significant signs of transformation. With its fascinating underground infrastructure, it is an indisputable witness to the history of the City of Montreal’s water and sewer system, one of the oldest in North America. Since 2000, the organization has been preserving this magnificent Montreal grey stone structure.
The mission of the Forges de Montréal is to preserve, spread, transmit and modernize the know-how of the traditional forge. In the second half of the 20th century, blacksmiths gradually abandoned their practice and this artisan heritage disappeared in Quebec. Thanks to Mathieu Collette who went to France to learn his trade as a blacksmith, this ancestral knowledge is now being reactivated through Les Forges de Montréal. It is the only place in Canada where traditional forging is transmitted and shared throughout the year at different levels.
Deeply rooted in the principles of sustainable development, Les Forges de Montréal contributes at teaching techniques and manufacturing the tools essential to preserve our built environment. People trained in forging techniques then have the skills to create and restore the typical elements of our numerous heritage buildings. Thus, knowing how to work wrought iron is precious and essential to preserve the authenticity of cities in the long term. Several institutions in architecture, culture and heritage fields, including Le Conseil des Métiers d’Arts Du Québec, recognize these transmission activities.
It is vital for the organization to have the capacity to continue its mission in its founding site, the Riverside Pumping Station, beyond its lease, which expires in February 2021. At the end of the lease, the Riverside Pumping Station will fall under the authority of the Canada Lands Company (CLC) whose mandate is to administer and generate profits from buildings no longer required by the federal government.
A new lease for the occupation of the Riverside Pumping Station is necessary for the organization to continue and expand its activities. Les Forges de Montréal and the Riverside Pumping Station must continue their happy alliance!
Sign so that the responsible authorities can commit to support Les Forges de Montréal in its project of school and interpretation centre for traditional blacksmith techniques on the site of the Riverside Pumping Station.