Charles Manhire, Shearer & Brown Co. Ltd. (1897)
“Shearer was an innovator. He is said to have developed a hollow roof drainage system to overcome the problems of the Canadian winter. The roof was concave and the drain for the run-off was in the centre of the roof; it carried the water down the inside of the building where it was protected from freezing. This type of roof was apparently first used on the Windsor Hotel in Montreal in 1877.
Shearer was also responsible for the “Shearer scheme” to redevelop Montreal Harbour. In 1882 he put forward an extensive plan, consisting of a large dam, with a combined railway and roadway on top, from the foot of Victoria Bridge to Île Sainte-Hélène and a suspension bridge from there to the south shore of the St Lawrence River. Since the development would require major changes to the facilities of the Grand Trunk Railway, the Montreal Harbour Commission, and various shipping interests, there was substantial opposition to the scheme. As a result, a bill to incorporate the St Lawrence Bridge and Manufacturing Company, which was to implement the plan, failed to get approval from the House of Commons committee on railways and telegraphs in March 1883.”