Montreal Star

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The Montreal Star
The Evening Star Montreal 1869.JPG
A copy of The Montreal Evening Star from 1869
Type Daily newspaper
Format Broadsheet
Owner(s) 1869-1925, Hugh Graham and George T. Lanigan;
1925-1963, John Wilson McConnell;
1963-1979, Free Press Publications
Founded January 16, 1869
Political alignment Canadian federalism
Language English language
Ceased publication September 25, 1979
Headquarters Montreal, Quebec, Canada

The Montreal Star was an English-language Canadian newspaper published in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It folded in 1979 in the wake of an eight-month pressmen's strike.

It was Canada's largest newspaper until the 1950s[citation needed] and remained the dominant English-language newspaper in Montreal until shortly before its closure.


The front page of The Montreal Daily Star announcing the German surrender.

The paper was founded January 16, 1869, by Hugh Graham, 1st Baron Atholstan and George T. Lanigan as the Montreal Evening Star. Graham ran the newspaper for nearly 70 years. In 1877, The Evening Star became known as The Montreal Daily Star. By 1899, it reached a daily readership of 52,600 and by 1913 40% of its circulation was outside of Montreal.[1]

By 1915, the Montreal Star dominated the city's English-language evening newspaper market and Graham was able to out-perform his competitors who closed and assured him control of the English-language market.

In 1925, Graham sold the Montreal Star to John Wilson McConnell, but continued to operate the newspaper until his death in 1938. McConnell also owned two other newspapers, the Montreal Standard[2] and Family Herald.

Beginning in the 1940s, the Montreal Star became very successful, its circulation was nearly 180,000 copies and it remained around that level for approximately thirty years.

In 1951, the Montreal Star launched its Weekend Magazine supplement (subsuming the former Montreal Standard), with an initial circulation of 900,000.[3]

After McConnell's death in 1963, Toronto-based FP newspaper group, owner of The Globe and Mail and the Winnipeg Free Press acquired the Montreal Star. Thomson Newspapers later acquired the FP chain in 1980.

In 1978, a strike by pressmen (printers' union) began and lasted eight months. Although the strike was settled in February 1979 and the Star resumed publication, it had lost readers and advertisers to the rival paper The Gazette, and ceased publication permanently only a few months later on September 25, 1979. The Gazette acquired the Star's building, presses, and archives, and became the sole English-language daily in Montreal. Prior to the strike the Star had consistently out-sold The Gazette.[4]

The newspaper ceased publication only a few months after another Montreal daily, Montréal-Matin, stopped the presses. These closings left many Montrealers concerned.[5]

The simultaneous closing of the Star, Calgary Albertan, Winnipeg Tribune, and Ottawa Journal caused the federal government to establish the Kent Commission to examine newspaper monopolies in Canada.

Notable contributors

The Star was the first newspaper in Canada to employ a staff editorial cartoonist, when it hired Henri Julien in 1888.[6]

Its sports editor Harold Atkins, writing under the column 'Sports Snippings', nicknamed both Maurice Richard as the "Rocket" and the wheelchair basketball team as "The Wheelchair Wonders".

Tom Paskal, Associate Editor responsible for science, in 1981 wrote Sand Castles: Telidon Field Trials in Canada,[7] one of the first studies of what was to be the Internet.[not in citation given]

Other contributors of note included Red Fisher, Doris Giller, Nick Auf der Maur, Don Macpherson, Terry Mosher and Dennis Trudeau, many of whom moved over to The Gazette when the Star folded.

Raymond Heard was the newspaper's White House correspondent from 1963 until 1973, and then served as the newspaper's Managing Editor, from 1976 until it closed in 1979. He served under Frank Walker who was Editor-In-Chief.

See also

Montreal newspapers


  1. ^ McDowall, Duncan. "Getting Down to Business: Canada, 1896-1919". McCord Museum. Retrieved 2 July 2015. 
  2. ^ Granatstein, J.L. (16 December 2013). "Montreal Standard". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Historica Canada. Retrieved 2015-07-02. 
  3. ^ "The Influence of American Magazines". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  4. ^ "Press: A Star Is Shorn". TIME. Canadian edition. October 8, 1979. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 
  5. ^ Déclaration du Conseil de presse du Québec concernant la fermeture du Montreal Star (extrait du Rapport annuel 1979-80) (In French)
  6. ^ "Popular Recognition". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2008-03-26. 
  7. ^ Paskal, Tom (3 March 1981). "Sand Castles: Telidon Field Trials in Canada" – via Google Books. 

External links

  • file on The Montreal Star (in French)
  • Time Magazine article on The Montreal Star
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