Nord Sud Est Ouest

If you live in Montreal you probably recognize this view. You see it as you drive south on Clark Street, just before the underpass to get into Mile End. The rusty water tower stands out starkly against the sky, and I’ve always wanted to sketch it. New York City has tons of these rooftops reservoirs, but there aren’t many in Montreal, and on a Sunday morning you can sometimes find a spot to park where you can see the tower. As I was sketching I realized that I didn’t know much about the building it sits on. I could just make out the faded word “Warehouse” on the brick but not much more, and because the structure in sandwiched between a one-way street and some railway tracks, I’ve probably never gotten very close to it. Back home, a little Google sleuthing turned up little more. The building is called St. Lawrence Warehouse but most of what I found were links to a musical collective of the same name. So what was this warehouse used for? What’s in there now? Still hoping to find out more.


18 Comments on “Nord Sud Est Ouest”

  1. Monique says:

    It’s wonderful Shari.


    • Does this look familiar to you Monique? Right near one of your favourite places, I’m sure.


      • Monique says:

        You know what? It’s not..I guess I have never looked up when I was right there:)
        I grew up on McClynn..Mtl..but not that area..I think my friend Nancy lives there.
        I moved when I was 10 to the WI..and only went back to train..for 4 months at McGIll..when I was 19.I can’t even get downtown on my own.
        Country girl since I am 21..shameful.
        Thank goodness Jacques know Mtl inside out.


  2. E. Bancroft says: It was built in 1924 and is also called the Van Horne Warehouse Inc. If you look up Marc Gosselin you’ll see his artistic renderings of it using a variety of media.


  3. karim waked says:

    Years ago, when I lived nearby, I rented a locker there. Don’t know what purpose it served way back when…

    Beautiful! Thank you for this one too, Shari!

    Bon dimanche !

    X K


  4. Frank Bettendorf says:

    Shari the next time you come to the Northwest of US you should checkout the water towers in Portland.
    Frank B


  5. Theresa Chruscinski says:

    Hi Shari
    I remember it as the Van Horne Warehouse back in the day.


  6. Chris Rusk says:

    Hi Shari
    Just before some of my relatives (great Grandma and most of her surviving children) gave up on Montreal and moved to New York in 1929 or 32, I believe they lived near this area. Thanks so much for such a great picture! I always wonder about them when I see that water tank.


  7. Dear Shari,
    My Mum grew up about two blocks away from this warehouse, judging by the map! I’ve just written to ask her if she remembers it. She was about five when it was built.


  8. joantav says:

    I love views of these rusty structures. Well done!


  9. Linda Daily says:

    This is wonderful Shari! I have always been attracted to water towers. I have sketched the few in Portland many times and always enjoy it. I heard recently the iconic one by the river may be torn down. I hope it isn’t true! I especially admire the color of the sky.


  10. Ross says:

    Great. I like the feel of this… particularly the signs and the graffiti. Nice work.


  11. This is my neighbourhood – you have done an excellent job of capturing the feel of it.


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