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Mar 28 1903


The Montreal Herald, Saturday, March 28, 1903

The Bull in the China Shop

It is about time that Montreal had a by-law laying down the limits within which factories and other establishments which may be objectionable from a residential point of view shall or shall not be built. The proposal to build a factory on the corner of Guy and St. Luke streets, to prevent which legal proceedings have been instituted by some of the neighborhood residents is just an instance of the extent to which the best residential localities are at the mercy of any single selfish proprietor who may choose to ruin the whole neighborhood by building a factory upon his property. There is absolutely nothing in our civic by-laws as they stand to prevent any individual who takes it into his head to do so, from erecting a factory on any part of Sherbrooke or Dorchester Street, or any other spot that he may select. It is true that the value of the property on the residential streets acts as a practical deterrent upon the building of factories fronting upon these streets themselves. But one frequently finds within a few hundred yards of even the finest streets, one upon which, on account of its narrowness or for some other reason, the value of the land is comparatively small, yet which, if used for factory purposes would ruin the whole locality. A by-law fixing the limits without which manufacturing might be carried on would give the owners of residential property a feeling of security which might reasonably be expected to result in an increase in the value of such holdings. Of course the lines of declaration would have to be shifted as the face of the city changed, but that would be quite a different thing from being at the mercy of the freak of any private individual.

Women as Aldermen

A movement is on foot in England which has the support of a good many distinguished representative persons, to press upon the Government the need for new legislation to open the way for the election of women, married or single, to take part in the business of county and borough councils. Since 1870, women have been allowed to be members of School Boards, and the value of their co-operation in educational questions has been frankly acknowledged by those who entirely disapprove of the demand of a minority among them for political equality with men.

Now it is argued that, altogether apart from educator, there are many subjects dealt with by the local governing bodies in which the intervention and the assistance of women would be most useful and important. Lunatic asylums, in which there are female inmates, and industrial schools for girls obviously belong to this category, as well as the supervision of baby farming, the regulation of common lodging-houses where women are taken in, and many larger problems connected with the housing of the working classes and the administration of the laws affecting public health.

The Times, in giving its august approval to the scheme says, "Though we are altogether unable to acquiesce in the claim of women to political equality with men, we are in favor of opening to them every suitable field of administrative activity, and we see no objection whatever to the present proposals."


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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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