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Urban Exploration

I discovered this old and rusty site and went for an urban exploration after a visit to my friend Peter at his secondhand store now closed unfortunately but once located in front of the George-Etienne-Cartier Park

After I left him I decided to explore Saint-Henri and this is when I discovered the Canada Malting Co. A company that still exists but that is now located on Pierre-Dupuy Avenue in the City du Havre. 

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Saint-Henri in le Sud-Ouest

An unplanned urban exploration at the old Canada Malting Co. built in 1904 and abandoned in 1989. A plant that is still located along the Lachine Canal in Saint-Henri in Le Sud-Ouest borough.

Two unexpected discoveries, at least for me. What seemed to be a cement or concrete company at first ended up being what is left of the old Canada Malting Co. built in 1904.

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Canada Malting Co. in 1904

In those days, the plant received its barley, a common malted grain, from Saskatchewan and Alberta. 

Malt is the result of the germination of cereal grains that have been dried during a process called malting and then used to make beer, whisky, malt vinegar and malted milk among other products.

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First, malted grains are sorted by length and size, second they are cleaned to remove dust and foreign particles, third they are soaked to begin germination and fourth, they are kiln dried for about 24 hours

When ready, the malt was then sent by trucks to various breweries such as Dow, Molson and Labatt, Montrealers favorite beers once.

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The Old Port of Montreal

Ships coming from the Great Lakes arrived at the Old Port of Montreal where the grains were loaded unto barges and transported upstream on the Lachine Canal.

The Old Port of Montreal in Old Montreal being the historic part of the Port of Montreal. A port territory since 1611 that now stretches along the St-Lawrence River from the Victoria Bridge upstream to Pointe-aux-Trembles downstream.


In 1902, the construction of modern grain elevators at the Old Port began and, in 1970, after the closing of the Lachine Canal, the transportation cost of the Canada Malting Co. became excessive.

The grains had to be delivered to the plant by trains and trucks and lots of damages and losses occurred during transportation. As a result, the plant closed its doors and relocated in the City du Havre in 1980.

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Canada Malting Co. in 1980

Afterwards, some forgotten company used the old plant for grain storage until 1985. Nowadays, the building is no longer the property of the Canada Malting Co. The old malting plant has been up for sale since 2005 by its present owners.

After more than 25 years of abandonment, the building cannot be recycled. The damage caused by water infiltration, decaying mortar, rust, graffiti and vandalism would cost too much to repair. It now sits empty, awaiting demolition in a world where disused buildings are demolished and replaced by condominium building structures. 

Montreal URBAN Kit
Urban Exploration by Rachel Louise Barry

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