McCord Museum’s Photographic Archive of Life in Canada (1858-1935)

Breakneck Steps, Quebec City (c.1870)

I remember walking down these steps, which look different today, during a grade school (or elementary school, as we say in Canada) trip with my French immersion class.

They were called L’Escalier Casse-Cou (Breakneck Steps in English). We got a big kick out of the name of these strange stairs as kids and dared each other to rush down recklessly and tempting fate–no one got hurt that day.

It was winter time and I remember the narrow alley beautifully blanketed by snow. Old Quebec City can be magical at times.

This image is from Montreal’s Musée McCord Museum, which has become the first Canadian institution to join The Commons on Flickr.

An excellent archive of historical Canadian culture, the McCord has an extensive photographic archive of Canadian life from 1858 through to 1935. I hope they continue to add images to their Flickr page.

Here are some others: view of Montreal harbor (1884), Rideau Falls in Ottawa (1869), View from Signal Hill, St. John’s, Newfoundland (c.1900), Quebec City from Parliament Buildings (1908), and Barrington Street in Halifax (c.1915).

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