Saint-Ambroise Street is located near the Atwater Market and near the Lionel-Groulx Metro Station on Atwater Avenue in Le Sud-Ouest Borough.
The street is in the vicinity of the Saint-Remi Tunnel on Notre-Dame Street West between Chemin de la Côte-Saint-Paul and Atwater Avenue.
Inaugurated in 1951, the Saint-Remi Tunnel connects Saint-Henri and Côte-Saint-Paul in Le Sud-Ouest borough
The Saint-Remi Tunnel runs under the Lachine Canal and the Saint-Ambroise Street runs along the Lachine Canal.
The Street played a major role during the industrial development of the former city of Saint-Henri annexed to the city of Montreal in 1905 and now part of Le Sud-Ouest borough.
The Canada Malting Co. is a perfect example of the industrial development of Saint-Henri in Le Sud-Ouest at the beginning of the 20th century.
Built in 1905, the Canada Malting Co. plant is similar to other buildings designed by David Jerome Spence, an architect who had an eye for arched windows and detailed cornices.
The plant received its malted grains from Saskatchewan and Alberta. Ships arrived at the old Port of Montreal on Notre-Dame West where the grains were loaded unto barges and transported upstream on the Lachine Canal.
Throughout its years of activity, the Canada Malting Company created jobs, sold malt to breweries and participated in our local industrial and economic development.
Malt is the result of the germination of cereal grains. 1) malted grains are sorted by length and size, 2) they are cleaned to remove dust and foreign particles, 3) they are soaked to begin germination and 4) they are kiln dried for about 24 hours.
In 1970, after the closing of the Lachine Canal, the grains had to be delivered to the plant by trains and trucks at great expenses. Ten years later, around 1980, the malting plant closed its doors and relocated in the new Port of Montreal on Notre-Dame East.
History journals report that a company used the place for grain storage until 1985. Nowadays, the building is no longer the propriety of the Canada Malting Plant and, since 2005, the old malting plant has been put up for sale by its present owners.
After 25 years or so of abandonment, the plant cannot be recycled and is now popular among urban explorers who favor urban exploration. The damages caused by water infiltration, decaying mortar, rust, vandalism and graffiti would cost too much to repair.
The plant and its silos sit empty in a world where disused buildings are either demolished or transformed into condos.
Two movies have been filmed on location. The Point (1978), a movie about Pointe-Saint-Charles and La Rage de l'ange (2006), a movie about the tough reality of street life by Dan Bigras.
Saint-Ambroise Street by Rachel Louise Barry - September 2015