30 March 2017
An influential member of the Harbour Commissioner’s of Montreal (the predecessor of the Montreal Port Authority), John Young was one of the first people to lobby for a bridge that connected the Island of Montreal to the South Shore. To encourage economic trade, this businessman called for the construction of what would be called the Royal Albert Bridge at the location where the Harbour Commissioners later inaugurated the Jacques Cartier Bridge in 1930.
Did you know that John Young is considered the father of the Port of Montreal?
A native of Scotland, John Young immigrated to Ontario at the age of 15 and moved to Montreal four years later. With the goal of turning Montreal into a true business centre, he also started supporting the construction of many rail lines in the 1840’s , and in 1845 he called for the construction of the Victoria Bridge.
Some of the biggest projects of John Young’s career were with the Harbour Commissioners of Montreal. As its chairman from 1853 to 1866, he helped develop the Port of Montreal, particularly when it came to organizing customs, installing sea buoys, building docks, and training staff.
A legacy for Montrealers
Ambitious and anxious to see the city prosper, Young was one of Montreal’s most well-known public figures from the last half of the 19th century. Today, a bronze statue of Young stands in the Old Port of Montreal, at the corner of Commune and d’Youville, in front of the seaway where dozens of ships used to pass.