The Canadian metropolis, like other big cities of Europe and North America, attracted more women than men, and textbook accounts of its fast-growth phase 1842–1901 record their increasing presence in factory labour and contemporary concerns about their health, exploitation, abuse, and 'morality'. Successive stages of the industrial revolution are often defined by transitions from horsepower to waterpower, steampower, and the electric motor; and the timing in Montreal is consistent with other North American cities. The reorganization of production that we still think of as the harnessing of the steam engine, entailed a continual repartitioning by gender, as well as rearrangement of spaces, concentrating workers in large factories, in cities of unprecedented size, and under wider and deeper structures of corporate management. The simple mapping of gender – straightforward in the HGIS – has brought us directly into the profound contradictions of social life in Montreal.