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Petition for incorporation

With time, that distant system of government no longer met the needs of a city that had developed into a flourishing business centre.  In 1830, Montréal numbered well over 30 000 inhabitants but could only provide basic services. Water distribution was not available throughout the district, waste removal was erratic and fire prevention was inadequate.

For years, city merchants and dignitaries had petitioned the Lower Canada Legislature for a charter that would allow them to choose their own representatives.  They filed a new petition on December 6, 1828:

That in the flourishing state of the population and business of the city, the authority now entrusted with the magistrates is not sufficient to conduct its municipal affairs, to further and ensure its wellbeing and prosperity for the future;

That among the ills that are the necessary follow-up of the little power granted to the magistrates, there is the inefficiency of police by-laws and the lack of accountability for city appropriations (…)  That it is expedient to file a new petition with the provincial parliament, imploring it to draft a law for the incorporation of the city of Montréal, with all powers to enact regulations…and provide for the future growth and prosperity of this city1.


1. Ville de Montréal, Division de la gestion de documents et des archives.  Historical file 001.2, microfilm, in La Minerve, December 11, 1828.



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