Montreal Clock Tower

By Panaggio, Leonard | Sea Classics, August 2011 | Go to article overview
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Montreal Clock Tower


Panaggio, Leonard, Sea Classics


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We have crossed the Champlain Bridge across the St. Lawrence River dozens of times to the exciting city and area of Montreal. We have had "theme days" selecting what to see - art and historical museums, finding ancient windmills, and the railroad museum at Delson.

When crossing the bridge we could see a tall square-shaped structure which was simply called the Clock Tower. Why a clock tower on the bank of the river?

The Montreal Clock Tower (Tour de THorloge) is located in Quai de 1'H.orloge, originally called the Victoria Pier. It is located in the Old Port section of Montreal.

On 31 October 1919, His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, inaugurated the construction of the tower with the laying of the cornerstone. The tower rises 148-ft above the ground. It was completed in 1922. Paul Leciaire, a Montreal engineer, designed it.

Built under the direction of the Montreal Harbor Commission, it was dedicated to the Canadian sailors, Naval and Merchant Marines, who died during World War I.

The original plan of the tower's four clocks called for their connection to five bells calling for hourly chimes. The carillon idea was abandoned. The clock came from the firm of Gillett & Johnson of Croydon, England. It operates with a mechanism which is similar to the one which runs the works of the famous Big Ben in London which also has four clocks. There are 192 steps to climb with three observation stops, the first of which is 66~fb from the start of the climb. Visitors can view the clock's pendulum and swinging motion working for the four clocks, each one being 12-ft in diameter, as they begin their ascension to the second observation area.

According to one source of information, its accuracy is legendary.

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