Schedule of Tours and Events

As with all SIA tours, the 2003 conference tours are dependent on the willingness of site owners and managers to permit visits. Negotiations with some sites are ongoing, although we hope to receive full commitments from sites, please understand that tour content may change. Tour registration is on a first come, first served basis.

Click here to see web links to Montreal area industrial sites & museums

We will be making use of the subways, buses and our feet for transportation to many conference events. Please dress comfortably and wear walking shoes. Remember that for tours of factories, hard-soled; closed-toe shoes and long pants are required. If you have your own safety glasses, bring them along. Hearing protection will be provided. Your registration confirmation will indicate which sites also require hard hats.

At least two sites on different tours require safety shoes. Since the sites cannot provide enough shoes for a group, you must have your own safety shoes ( the ones with steel toes ) for these tours. If you show up without them you will not be allowed on that part of the tour.

Click here to see the SIA Tour Road Rules

Thursday, May 29, 2003 Early Bird Tours

T1. Walking Tour of Old Montreal 1:30 to 4:00
Join Héritage Montréal on one of their famous walking tours of the highlights of Old Montreal. This area was the earliest manufacturing area in Montréal (pre 1840) but now the factories have been converted to shops, offices and condos.

T2. Desbaillets Water filtration plant 1:30 to 4:00
Spend the afternoon at the thirty five year old Desbaillets water filtration plant, which applies modern treatment methods including ozonization to ensure the purity of Montreal's drinking water. Water is treated, stored and pumped to reservoirs on the mountain for distribution by gravity.

T3. Lachine Canal Boat Tour 1:30 to 4:00
Visit the historic Lachine Canal, by boat. Superceded by the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, it fell out of use, parts were filled in and navigation eventually ceased. The canal has now been re-opened to navigation from end to end. We will explore the early industrial part from Atwater to the St Gabriel locks with guides from Parks Canada. Maximum 40 people.

T4. Bell Canada Archives & Musée des ondes Émile Berliner 12:30 to 5:30
Visit Bell Canada's collection of historic telephone artifacts housed in a telephone exchange. Selected switchboards are demonstrated from the early plug type to a Strowger step-by-step one. Musée des ondes Émile Berliner is located in the 1921 manufacturing complex of the Berliner Gramophone Company. This museum traces the history of sound. Transportation by Metro, bus and foot. 30 people maximum.

T5. Circuit of downtown museums 11:00 to 5:00
Visit a selection of museums of historical and technical interest in Montreal by Metro & foot. We will start at the Écomusée du fier monde, located in a former public bath. The museum specializes in the working class history of Montreal. Then on to Pointe-à-Callières in Old Montréal, situated on the 1643 first Catholic cemetery, an 1832 vaulted collector sewer, and the installations under the public square showing how things were built on other things over the years. The McCord Museum of Canadian History gives a good overview of Montreal's look through clothing and other artifacts. To allow people to spend the time they want at the museums, this is a pay as you go tour. We will have a guide along and you are free to drop out after one or two museums. Transportation is by bus, Metro and foot.

Opening Reception: 6:00 to 9:00
The conference officially begins at L'École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS) a practical engineering school. Some of the students’ competition projects (Concrete Canoe, electric car etc) will be on display. Trans-portation is via Metro and walking. Joanne Burgess, historian at Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) and author of many publications on Montréal, will provide a historical introduction to Montréal.

Friday, May 30, 2003 All-Day Tours

F1. East End Industry
Begin your day at Hydro Québec's Rivière-des-Prairies hydroelectric power plant, a 45,000kW run of the river station dating from the 1920s with much original equipment. Then on to the Angus Technopole, the former Angus Shops of the Canadian Pacific Railway, redeveloped into an industrial park. Spend the afternoon EITHER at Quebecor World, a high volume four-color offset printing and binding plant, OR at the Montreal Urban Community sewage treatment plant, a 1980s installation treating all the wastewater from the entire island of Montreal. Safety Shoes required for Quebecor World.

F2. Music, Cider, and Electricity
Spend the morning at Casavant Frères, the largest builder of pipe organs in North America. Established in 1840, they still manufacture organs in their almost 100-year-old wooden buildings. You will then visit Cidrerie Michel Jodoin and see a traditional Quebec beverage manufactured from the apple to your glass. The rest of your afternoon will be spent at Thomas & Betts, an electrical equipment manufacturer in St-Jean sur Richelieu, performing metal stamping, turning and assembly. Safety Shoes required for this tour.

F3. Power, Creosote, Diesel, and Health Care
Visit Hydro-Québec's Beauharnois hydroelectric plant, up the St Lawrence from Montreal. This plant was one of the largest when built in 1932 at 240,000kW and since increased. At 1.6 million kW from 36 generators, it is still a substantial plant. We will then visit Stella Jones, where they creosote and otherwise preserve wood products. At Canadian Allied Diesel in Lachine, you will watch diesel engines being rebuilt and tested. Then on to Johnson & Johnson to see sanitary pads being made on a machine dating back to the 50's and some newer ones. Safety Shoes required for this tour.

F4. Paper, Beer, Ships, Furs, and Water
See quality custom papers made by hand and by machine at St Armand Paper, on the banks of the Lachine Canal. We will also pause at McAuslan Brewery, a modern micro brewery making well-known Montreal brews. Then visit the Port of Montreal to see how Montreal's window on the water has evolved over 300 years. Next we will go back to Montreal's roots with a trip to Hercules Furs and watch Montreal's oldest natural resource become fur coats and jackets. The day will finish in the Pointe-à-Callières electrical pumping station.

F5. Planes, Trains, and Turbines
Visit Bombardier Aerospace in Dorval, home of the Challenger business jet, and regional jets. The group will then divide in two to visit the Wellington Tower, the CN railway control center for downtown Montreal, and the Musée des ondes Émile Berliner, which houses the history of radio in Montreal in an early 20th-century RCA Victor plant. The entire group will end the day at GE Hydro, manufacturer of large hydropower turbines, which is also located on part of the Dominion Engineering Bridge site.

F6. Water, Furs, Nature, and Learning
The tour will start at the 1910 Atwater water treatment and pumping station, still a vital component of Montreal's water system. Then on to Hercules Furs (see tour F4). The afternoon will begin with a behind-the-scenes look at the Biodôme, to see how replicas of four ecosystems are controlled and maintained. Then visit the Rosemount Technology Center to see how tomorrow's technicians are learning the knowledge and skills they will need in tomorrow's industries by starting on the older equipment such as manual lathes and an Original Heidelberg press.

F7. A Day with Bombardier
This tour will focus on the past and present of the Bombardier group of companies. Then on to the J. Armand Bombardier museum, covering the history of the invention of the snowmobile and its development. Includes early examples and even the family garage where it all started, plus an international exhibition of snowmobiles.

Newcomers' reception 6:30 to 8:30
First-time conference attendees are invited to join the SIA Board and chapter officers for refreshments and networking

Show and Tell: 7:00 to 10:00
This informal forum for sharing your latest IA discovery or research-in-progress will be held at the conference hotel. You are encouraged to bring slides and artifacts. To place your presentation on the schedule, please contact Jacques Lecours ( or sign up at the registration table at the conference.

Saturday, May 31, 2003: Paper Sessions, Luncheon, and Banquet
Your conference registration includes attendance at the technical paper sessions on Saturday at the Université du Québec à Montréal (walking distance from the hotel) and the business luncheon.

Saturday, Banquet: 5:30 to 10:00
Our evening activity includes a Metro ride to the Windsor Terminal where we will board the Museum Express for the Canadian Railway Museum. We will use the commuter train route over the St Lawrence River Bridge and arrive directly at the Museum where a special evening awaits. We expect to have our vintage trolleys and reproduction steam locomotive operating. You can even turn the turntable. We return as we came by rail and Metro.

Sunday, June 1, 2003 Tours
S1. Treasures of Mauricie (All day)
Travel to the Mauricie region, northeast of Montreal, to visit the Cité de l'énergie, showcasing the history of electrical energy in the region. This is where the electrochemical and aluminum industries got their start in Quebec. The Forges St-Maurice was the first ironworks in Canada. Established in 1738, they operated for 150 years. Parks Canada has interpreted the site and remains of the early ironworks.

S2. Wool and Furs 9:00 to 4:00
Spend your morning at the Ulverton water powered woolen mill of 1840 now a historic site interpreting the history of woolen cloth manufacture in the region. Then return to Montreal to visit the Centre de la fourrure in Lachine, a museum focusing on the fur trade. It is located in an 1803 stone warehouse used in the fur trade and is located at the entrance to the Lachine canal so we will also visit that part of the canal.

S3. Bridges of Montreal 9:00 to 4:00
Bridge enthusiasts, here is your tour! Montreal is an island and offers bridges old and new for you to explore. Hop on the bus for a Sunday circuit when traffic will hopefully be lighter. We plan to visit the Victoria Bridge (built 1859, rebuilt 1897), the Jacques Cartier built 1930, Mercier 1938, Champlain 1960. A number of these bridges were modified when the St Lawrence Seaway was built so we will see some of these changes, too.

S4. Canals of Montreal 9:00 to 5:00
A fun-filled day for the canal buffs, or just the curious. The Montreal region offers plenty of canal installations to satisfy the urge to explore. Our bus tour will visit the Beauharnois canal and St. Lawrence Seaway locks. Next is the Chambly canal of 1843 and the St-Ours Canal with the remains of an 1849 lock and the newer 1933 operating locks. All of these are still operating though some only for recreational use.

S5. Back to the Canadian Railway Museum
Come back and explore the railway collection in depth. Transportation on your own (or get a group together) your conference badge will provide admission on Sunday and Monday at no additional charge.

Monday, June 2, 2003 Post-conference tours
M1. Lachine Canal walking tour 9:30 to 12:00
In the morning, a walking tour of the industries and former industries along the Lachine Canal. Some of these sites are visible from the canal but others are not. Also you get to see more of some of the buildings locks and bridges.

M2. Lachine Canal Boat Tour 1:30 to 4:00
Same as Thursday tour T3.

M3. Économusées 9:00 to 3:00
Visit a selection of local craftspeople that open their facilities to the public to let you see their craft skills in action.

M4. Bell Canada Archives &
Musée des ondes Émile Berliner 8:30 to 1:00
(30 people) - same as Thursday tour T4.

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