Scandal ! Vice, Crime and Morality in Montreal, 1940-1960
Zenith and decline of the “wide-open city” of fun and forbidden pleasures
Canada’s largest city in the mid-20th century, Montreal was, as it still is, a port city and a transportation, business, and immigration hub. Manifestly Catholic in the daytime, it tuned into a capital of entertainment and adult gratification at night. Quebec having refused to adopt the prohibition laws that were passed in the United States in the early 1920s, Montreal acquired the reputation of a city of pleasure with an exuberant nightlife, where North-American tourists could come to enjoy themselves, drink, and go slumming without fear of raids or arrests. Besides the all-night bars, there were countless restaurants, movie theatres, nightclubs, and cabarets in the city.