Friday, October 5, 2012

Handbook for travellers (1922)

From the Internet Archive, via the Californai Digital Library (by way of the Yog-Sothoth forums, as per usual) I bring to you The Dominion of Canada, with Newfoundland and an excursion to Alaska. Handbook for travellers (1922) by the Karl Baedeker of the Baedeker company who then, as now, specialise on travel books. All major formats are available, including, the most useful for me, pdfs and kindle files.

There are detailed inventories and travel routes to reach Montreal from both New York, and Boston, both the main east coast U.S. headquatrers for PCs. Also, there are travel options from both New York and Boston to Quebec City, and Portland Oregan to Montreal and Quebec. There are also possible routes mentioned from Europe, with entry to the ports of Montreal and Quebec.

The section on Quebec runs to about 50 pages, but most of the details included are how to get from one place to another within the province. The pages on Montreal and it's environs reads a bit stale compared to the travel books one can buy today, but the information packed within the chapter takes some time to read through, and is worth the effort for any GM wanting to run an adventure in Montreal, Quebec, or indeed any other part of Canada.
Contents page for Quebec Chapter

Map of Montreal
The Introduction to Montreal city is really quite evocative:

Montreal (l87 ft), the largest city and chief commercial centre of the Dominion of Canada, is situated on the S.E. side of the triangular island of the same name, formed by two of the branches into which the Ottawa divides as it flows into the St. Lawrence. The island is about 30 M. long and 7-10 M. wide. The city, which covers an irregular area 13 M. long and 9 M. wide, is built upon a series of gently-sloping marine terraces, which were cut into the hill of Mont Real or Mt. Royal (p. 143), from which the town derives its name, during the post-glacial submergence. Montreal is about 400 M. from New York, 980 M. from the Straits of Belle Isle (p. 3), and 2750 M. from Liverpool (300 M. nearer than New York). Though not even the capital of its own province [Quebec), Montreal exercises great political influence, and it is the seat of the chief banks and trading corporations of Canada, and is richly endowed with churches and large charitable or educational institutions, a characteristic which made Mark Twain remark he could not throw a stone without breaking a church window. In 1921 Montreal City contained 607,063 inhab. (470,480 in 1911). More than half were of French extraction, one-sixth Irish, one-seventh English, and one-thirteenth Scottish. About three-fourths of the population are Roman Catholics. The Jewish element forms ca. 6 per cent of the population. The French mainly occupy the quarters of the city lying to the N. of the St. Lawrence Boulevard (comp. p. 134). Montreal possesses the only French City Library in N. America, opened in 1917. Montreal differs from most American towns by the number of its old buildings. In the lower part of the town the streets are irregular, narrow, and dingy, and the houses are often built with curious outside stairs at the street- fronts, while in the upper town the streets are broad and well-built. The chief business- streets, with the best shops, are Notre Dame Street, St. James Street, and St. Catherine Street, all running parallel with the River St. Lawrence; the streets immediately adjoining the river are also the scene of great bustle and activity. The handsomest residences are in the S.W. part of the city, adjoining the slopes of Mt. Royal. Most of the public edifices and many of the private residences are built of a tine grey limestone, quarried in the neighbourhood.


  1. I love the Beadecker books! Unfortunately the one I want about 1939 London is still in copywrite or otherwise unavailable. Which is sad because there's no easy way of buying it without paying antique book prices. *le sigh* If only the copywrite holders would consent to republishing, even if only in a .pdf format.

    1. Only a few years to wait till the copywrite runs out surely!?