SAH Montréal Seminar

SAH 2021 Virtual Conference

Community, Conservation, Activism:
Montréal as a City of Neighbourhoods

The content of the first video, "Montréal: The Water's Edge," is in its entirety the intellectual property of Phyllis Lambert, excerpted from a forthcoming publication, and cannot be used without written permission of the creator. Equally, Phyllis Lambert and Richard Pare retain full copyright on any and all of their photographs included in this video.

Saturday, April 17, 2021
8:00–11:00 AM CDT


Sponsored by

McGill Fu logo

Dr. Cynthia Hammond, Professor, Department of Art History, Concordia University, Coordinator 

Architectural conservation in Montréal is rooted, historically, in community- and neighbourhood- based activism. What is the legacy of this activism, and how do different communities in the city enact their urban goals today? The 2021 Montréal Seminar seeks to explore the promise of conservation activism through the work of five speakers. In the first part of the Seminar, we will hear from Dr. Phyllis Lambert, architect, scholar, activist, and founding Director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. In addition to helping save key buildings and entire neighbourhoods, Dr. Lambert’s grassroots activism was integral to the creation of important institutions in this city, such as Save Montréal and Héritage Montréal. Her presentation, based on the first chapter of her forthcoming book about Montréal, will showcase key aspects of the city’s architectural heritage and set the stage for the remainder of the Seminar. A panel of speakers constitutes the second part of the Seminar. They will explore the question of neighbourhood- based community organizing, activism, and conservation activities from their own perspectives, including questions of race, gender, the city as creative space, and accessibility. These lightning talks focus on one of the following themes, as these pertain to the speaker’s own work/activism/research: conservation as activism, communities and neighbourhoods as agents in conservation work, and the challenge of preserving community. A round table will form the final part of the Seminar, in which all speakers will participate in a shared discussion on the future of conservation activism in Montréal’s many distinct and deeply-cherished neighbourhoods.


Louise Abbott, The Demolition of the Van Horne Mansion, 8 September 1973. Copyright and collection of Louise Abbott.



8:00–8:10 am
Welcome and land acknowledgement, Cynthia Hammond, Concordia University

8:10–8:35 am
Part One - Phyllis Lambert, "Montréal: The Water's Edge"

8:35–8:55 am
Conversation between Phyllis Lambert and Cynthia Hammond

8:55–9:00 am
Short break

9:00 am–11:00 am
Part Two - Lightning Talks

  • Nakuset, Executive Director, Native Women’s Shelter of Montréal
  • Eunice Bélidor, Director, Faculty of Fine Arts Gallery, Concordia University
  • Oumalker Idil Kalif, sociologist and co-founder, Femmes Noires Musulmanes au Québec
  • Dr. Laurence Parent, Postdoctoral fellow, University of Ottawa, and board member, Société de transport de Montréal

10:00–10:15 am

10:15–11:00 am
Part Three - Roundtable with all speakers and the audience, moderated by Cynthia Hammond

11:00 am
Closure of program


SAH thanks The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation
for its operating support.
Society of Architectural Historians
1365 N. Astor Street
Chicago, Illinois 60610