Talk:Saint Jacques Street

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Name of this article[edit]

Am I alone in finding the new name of this article — Saint Jacques (Saint James) Street — unfortunate, to say the least?

The article should bear the name of the street: Saint-Jacques. That it once was called Saint James is fine, and should be mentioned in the article. The only question is whether it should be rue Saint-Jacques or Saint-Jacques Street. (For what it is worth, I have no problems with Saint-Jacques Street.)

The way it stands, we have a hybrid article name that does not reflect reality. Honestly, who is going to look up an article called Saint Jacques Saint James? — Grstain 21:55, July 25, 2005 (UTC)

I have moved it to "Saint Jacques Street". This conforms with the Anglophone practice of dropping the hyphens and using English generics. Usage is split in English between Saint Jacques and Saint James, however, because the two names are very different (unlike Mountain/de la Montagne), the article should use the English form of the official name. Although "Jacques" is a translation of "James", the difference between the two is too great to support using just the English name (as can be done with Saint Lawrence, Saint Catherine, Mountain, etc...). However, it I believe the street should be referred to as "Saint James (now Saint-Jacques) Street" when used in a historical context, because the street, under the name "Saint James", was once the financial centre of Canada. Really, the two names represent two different ideas. Saint James was Canada's Wall Street. Saint Jacques is now a central street of Old Montreal. The street really has a "dual personality", which is why I thought both names should be in the title. As for someone looking it up, they would be redirected from "Saint Jacques Street", "Saint James Street", Saint-Jacques Street"... but I agree the title is cumbersome, which is why I moved it. Now, however, I am uncertain if this was right. We should wait until the issue has been resolved at Wikipedia:Wikiportal/Montreal/Discussions/English Names before deciding if the move is final. --Larineso 00:49, 26 July 2005 (UTC)

Proposed correction of content[edit]

Saint James street as a term used to refer to Canada's financial sector is in fact nineteenth and early twentieth century usage. The Toronto stock exchange outgrew that of Montreal shortly before World War I by aggressively financing the mines of northern Ontario. From that time the Toronto exchange and Bay street have continued to grow at a faster rate than the Montreal Exchange and Saint James street. This trend accelerated even more after World War II, and not in the seventies due to the rise of separatism. Montreal as a major financial centre was already in serious decline then. --Dmy 02:47, 16 August 2005 (UTC)

Nonetheless, it was the threat of Separation and, more importantly, the very strong opposition to English in business which in part characterized the early years of the Separatist movement, which drove many companies and people to hit the 401, as they say.
Why and when did Standard Life, Sears Canada, The Hudson's Bay Company and others, including even The Bank of Montreal (really quite pathetically located on Queen St W) move?
Of course, it is worth mentioning that the decline caused by the threat to English companies is separate from the decline that caused St James St to be eclipsed by Bay St. However, with St James St as a symbol of Montreal's powerful economy, it is easy to be confused. Feel free to correct the information. -Larineso 03:28, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
In all the cases you mention, the bulk of operations were in fact already in Toronto long before the seventies. Moving the head offices was purely symbolic.
In my view, it's extremely important to be lucid about the effects of separatism and the language police in the province of Quebec. This means avoiding dramatising facts. Standard Life is a very good example in that it was the most publicized move in the seventies, and even at the time, reporting on this event acknowledged that the offices in Montreal had only held a symbolic status before the move. --Dmy 10:02, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
Considering that Toronto only began to take off after the St. Lawrence Seaway opened in 1960, I find it quite difficult to accept you statement that they had based their operations there "for decades". At the most, it was one decade, although most in fact were based in Montreal, and not just nominally. Also, ask yourself: would they have moved their headquarters to Toronto in the 1970s had Quebec been a fully integrated, stable part of Canada? It is true that they might have moved, albeit much later, due to Toronto's economic rise. The reason why they moved in the 70s is, in part, the instability created by the Sovereignty movement. How could these Canadian companies remain in Quebec when it looked like Quebec was no longer going to be part of Canada?
The fact that Toronto was an appealing place to move to only made it easier to move, it wasn't the motivation. --Larineso 21:05, 19 September 2005 (UTC)
Untrue. As I wrote, it is a fact that the Toronto stock exchange became more significant than the one in Montreal early in the 20th century. They made a fortune out of financing the mines in northern Ontario, investments that staid St James Street didn't want to touch. Also, from an economic point of view, Toronto was the fastest growing city in North America in the 1950s - before the St Lawrence Seaway opened. Finally, the sovereignty movement was a catalyst, nothing more. --Dmy 10:32, 28 September 2005 (UTC)