The early-19th century demolition of Montréal’s fortifications had many beneficial effects: rivers were channelled, and streets and squares were laid out, including the Champ de Mars and the New Market, which would later become Place Jacques-Cartier.
The city, much larger now, was divided into districts, or wards. St. Anne’s Market, built in 1833, would house the Parliament of Canada from 1844 to 1849, the year when Tory rioters would set it on fire in protest of a law intended to compensate victims of the 1837 38 Rebellions. In 1845, construction began on Bonsecours Market, an imposing structure which would later serve as City Hall and a public market.
Merchants built multi-storied warehouse-stores along Rue Saint-Paul, while Rue Notre Dame became the main thoroughfare for retailers and Rue Saint-Jacques housed financial institutions. Buildings in Old Montréal were made of grey limestone from the island’s substratum. Wooden houses and homes with pitched roofs in the old French style still predominated in the faubourgs.