With the construction of Windsor Station,
at the close of the 19th century, the city's transportation
infrastructures and business centre began shifting to
the more affluent upper town. Before that time, all
the major facilities of this kind had been located around
the historic city centre, in the lower town. To serve
this upper town, tracks were first laid along an escarpment.
Then, in the 20th century, other tracks were laid beneath
Mount Royal, through a specially dug tunnel. Finally,
a long urban viaduct, straddling several streets, brought
the tracks from the southwest part of the city, where
the Grand Trunk facilities taken over by Canadian National
were still located. This all meant that ocean-going
passengers were only a few moments away from continental
trains: immigrants arriving by the thousands in the
port, along with wealthy tourists travelling first class
on steamers owned by CP or its competitors, simply had
to transfer to the railway stations and board trains
owned by the same companies.
A new downtown emerged around the two
stations, one Victorian and the other modern.