Morgan's (formally Henry Morgan & Company) was a Montreal-based Canadian department store chain. At its peak, the company had stores in Quebec and Ontario. In its last years, the chain was known in Quebec as Morgan without the possessive. Morgan's is the predecessor of The Bay department store chain in Quebec and Ontario.


The first store was opened in Montreal in 1845 by Scottish immigrant Henry Morgan[1] as Henry Morgan and Company at 240 Notre Dame Avenue, then moved in 1852 to 208 McGill Street (addition at 284 Notre Dame in 1857) and again in 1866 to St. James Street (Saint Jacques Street) at Victoria Square. In 1891, they built a new flagship store at 585 Saint Catherine Street West in front of Phillips Square.[2] This store opened as businesses were moving away from the old city center and helped to make Saint Catherine Street the principal street for shops in Montreal. The second store to operate under the Morgan's name opened in 1950 on Queen Mary Road in the Snowdon area of Montreal. Other stores then opened on the island of Montreal, and in several Ontario cities.

Ownership of the store was originally split evenly between Henry Morgan and his partner, David Smith. Smith's portion was later purchased by Henry's brother, James Morgan. The store stayed under the ownership and management of the original Morgan brothers and their descendants for over 100 years of business.[3] Morgan's was purchased in 1960 by Hudson's Bay Company.[4]

In 1964, the stores in Ontario were converted to the new name – The Bay.[5] At that point, the Morgan's logo was replaced with a new logo with a similar design to the Bay's logo (shown above) for the Quebec stores still operating under the Morgan's name.[6] The Quebec stores were converted on June 19, 1972.[7][8]

The Morgan's flagship store in downtown Montreal still operates as The Bay.[9] The Montreal locations in the Dorval and Rockland shopping centres are also in operation as The Bay stores, while the one at Boulevard Shopping Centre lasted until September 2018.[10][11] The Queen Mary Road standalone store was shut down in the 1970s, after the chain was renamed. Outside of Quebec, only The Bay at Eglinton Square Shopping Centre remains. All other The Bay stores in Ontario, that were previously Morgan's, have since closed between the 1970s and 2000s depending of the location.

1945 Commemorative Wedgwood Bowl

In 1945, Morgan's Department Store commissioned a Wedgwood bowl, designed by Keith Murray, to commemorate the store's 100th anniversary in Montreal. Black and white transfer prints on the front and back contrast Montreal as it was in 1845 and in 1945. Relief portraits on each side of Jean Baptiste and John Bull are surrounded by colourful maple leaves, shamrock, rose, thistle, and fleur-de-lis and celebrate the city's French and English heritage. The inside of the bowl is decorated with the coat of arms and motto Concordia Salus (Salvation Through Harmony), colourful maple leaves, and the following English and French inscriptions around the upper rim: "Discovered by Jacques Cartier in 1534, Founded by Maisonneuve in 1642, Decouvert par Jacques Cartier en 1534, and Fonde par Maisonneuve en 1642". The underside of the bowl has the Morgan's and Wedgwood logos and provides the population data for Montreal in 1845 (45,000) and 1945 (1,500,000). This footed bowl measures 12 1/4" in diameter, and is 6 3/4" high.


See also


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