Central section of grain elevator no. 5 in 1920.Musée McCord / VIEW-19569
The three sections of grain elevator no. 5 today. © Pierre Chantelois
The capacity of this huge grain storage facility was increased three times over the years to meet the needs of the Port of Montréal, which had become one of the most important grain ports in the world.
At the turn of the 20th century, the Port of Montréal was growing in importance. With the beginning of transcontinental freight rail, the transit of merchandise grew significantly.
With port activity increasing, grain processors and flour mills opened near the port. The central, all-metal, portion of grain elevator no. 5 was built by the Grand Trunk Railway. In later decades, concrete extensions were built to the east and west to meet the changing demands of the trade.
Whether it arrived by ship or by train, grain was transferred into the elevators by dock workers. Working conditions were very demanding. Grain dust irritated eyes and lungs and was highly flammable. A serious accident occurred on December 1, 1924, when an explosion occurred inside elevator no. 5, killing one person and injuring four others.
Grain Elevator no. 5 has been under the management of the Canada Lands Company (CLC) since 2010. The CLC hopes to carry out an innovative project to showcase the Pointe-du-Moulin and its silo.