Before the invention of the refrigerator, people kept their food in coolers in which they had to add ice blocks throughout the summer.
Ice was collected from the river near the Victoria Bridge from mid-December to April. With large saws, workers cut directly into the pack ice and then put the blocks on a conveyor to take them out of the water. Finally, the most crucial stage of their task was to load all these identical ice blocks onto a truck with the help of huge tongs. The ice blocks were stored in various warehouses throughout the city.
Montrealers went through around 150,000 tonnes of ice every summer. The equivalent of 2,000 NHL rinks in ice was stored throughout the city in preparation for summer.