Arrested in 1942. Prostitute Madeleine Gagnon, 1940s
Marguerite Smith was smirking when she was taken into custody at the 1223 Bullion as part of an investigation
in connection with prostitution.
Prostitutes of Montreal
What These Women Were Forced To Do To
Survive Will Make Your Blood Run Cold
Montreal wasn’t always a nice place to visit. In fact, after World War I, the city was known as a sex tourist destination. That reputation was only further confirmed during
the Prohibition era in the United States. Many Americans would take the short trip over the border to Montreal to take care of all their illicit needs. Following the end of Prohibition, the government of Montreal decided to clean up their city, and crack down on practices like illegal gambling and prostitution. These vintage mug shots of some of the prostitutes arrested in Montreal show a very different side of life that many of us know nothing about. They are fascinating and heartbreaking all at once. The saddest thing about these photos might be that while there were frequent raids on brothels in the 1940s, the fines for prostitution were low. It was routine for these women to be released the same day as their arrest and to quickly resume business.