The CBC this morning was suggesting that following a recent Greatest Canadian contest, it was appropriate to have a Greatest Montrealer contest. Dr Victoria Dickenson, Executive Director of the McCord Museum, here in Montreal, had a slightly surprising suggestion. She nominated Carlo Oronato Catelli. He established Canada’s first pasta plant in Old Montreal in 1867. That was the year of Canadian Confederation, Canada’s birth date. Catelli’s first products were hand-made vermicelli and macaroni.
There have been many Great Montrealers, but this suggestion is very appropriate. Montreal is the most multi-cultural of cities with a very strong Italian component. Mr. Catelli created a supreme example of the interesting mix of businesses, very many of them over 100 years of age, that are here. These complement well the multitude of successful high-tech businesses that are added every year.