Monday, October 7, 2019

The Montreal Canadiens Just Signed Flambo The Dog To A Lifetime Contract

Flambo

                                                       A warm fuzzie for Monday...more





Wednesday, September 25, 2019

“A New Leaf”, A new Television Series by Ancestry® to debut on NBC this Fall

Hosted by Daisy Fuentes, “A New Leaf” Highlights the Value of Understanding One’s Family History

Set your DVRs and mark your calendars — we have a new television show debuting on NBC!

We heard your feedback: You love “Who Do You Think You Are?” – but also want to see everyday people embark on journeys of personal discovery too. So, we bring you – “A New Leaf”!

Each week “A New Leaf” will follow people on the cusp of key life inflection points, who using family history, genealogy, and sometimes AncestryDNA® analysis will go on a journey of self-discovery and learn from the past while looking to the future. In partnership with Ancestry, Fuentes will join families as they learn the importance of appreciating and understanding their family history and ancestors in order to make important life decisions.

 A New Leaf 

Monday, September 16, 2019

Mile End - Saint Jean Baptiste Market

Perfect example of a local business, the old Saint-Jean-Baptiste market at the corner
of Rachel Street and St. Laurent Street offers villagers fruits and vegetables, meat and fish. 

Built in 1870, the original market precedes the installation of small street corner grocers because urbanization makes residences not too far away. The building
illustrated in the photograph is a more modern version dating from 1906. 

The floor houses the town hall and a theater that hosts public assemblies or political, theater, as well as sporting wrestling or boxing events. 

After a fire in 1928, the market was rebuilt in 1933. The ground floor houses the butcher's stalls and there are fishmongers in the basement. In time, competition from new supermarkets as well as changing habits of consumption, the market is finally demolished in 1966. Today there is the park of the Americas.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Mile End - Dollard School

At 5941-5945 rue Saint-Urbain stood the first Lambert-Closse School from 1910 to the end of the 1960s. Until 1931, it was called École Dollard. It was demolished following its expropriation in 1968 by the city of Montreal for the construction of the tunnel allowing the connection of Clark Street to Saint-Urbain Street under the railway tracks.

In 1910, the Saint-Georges parish factory, which covers an area between the Canadian Pacific Railway to the north, Saint-Viateur Street to the south, Hutchison Street to the west and Henri-Julien Street to the west. is, open a school of boys, the Dollard School. The parish already has a girls' school, the Académie Saint-Georges. Plans for the new school are due to architects Joseph-Elgide-Césaire Daoust and Louis-Zephirin Gauthier, who specialized in the construction of religious and school buildings. The factory entrusted them with the drawing up of the plans of all the buildings of the parish: the Saint-Georges Academy and its chapel (1909) at the corner of the Bernard and Waverly streets, the Saint-Georges church (1913) at the corner of Bernard and Saint-Urbain streets and the patronage building Jean-Léon Le Prevost (Patro Le Prévost, 1913), St. Dominique Street. All these buildings have disappeared today.

Until 1959, the school was run by the Marist Brothers, a congregation from France who arrived in Quebec in 1885. It was named École Dollard to respond to the wishes of Archbishop Paul Bruchési of Montreal, who wished to see the commission Catholic School of Montreal commemorate the heroism that Dollard des Ormeaux would have demonstrated during the battle of Long-Sault, by baptizing one of his schools with his name. In 1931, the school was renamed École Lambert-Closse by the Commission des écoles catholiques de Montréal.

The Dollard School is what is then called a model school of commercial instruction. The school's enrollment is growing rapidly, in line with the population growth in Saint-Georges parish. At its opening, it has 120 students for 3 classes and reached 315 students in 1916 for 8 classes. In 1918, the school was enlarged: one floor was added to the north wing, where the brothers' quarters were, to accommodate an extra class. In 1949, the school loses the complementary level (7th and 8th years)

The Marist Brothers intend to provide education that is at once moral, intellectual and physical. The school has a well-known choir of sports teams, including a hockey team (the school sets up an ice rink in the winter) and religious societies such as the Phalange of the Sanctuary's Children. Cadets of the Sacred Heart.

On September 27, 1968, the school building and the land it occupied were expropriated by the city of Montreal to connect Clark Street, north of the roadway right of the Canadian Pacific Railway at Saint-Urbain Street, south of Van Horne Avenue, a connection that is part of the larger project to build the Rosemont-Van Horne viaduct. A new Lambert-Closse school is built on the grounds of the factory occupied by the Académie Saint-Georges and the Saint-Georges church and its presbytery.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Where does the name Plateau-Mont-Royal come from?

The Plateau-Mont-Royal Historical Society has more than 10 years of existence and - we blush to admit - we have not yet found the definitive answer to one of the most basic questions about our neighborhood . What is the origin of the name "Plateau-Mont-Royal"?

When did this name first appear and for what reason? 

We know that the Guide Mont-Royal newspaper, founded in 1938, already named Plateau-Mont-Royal in its first year of existence, which, according to him, had a population of 200,000 at the time. 

One of the first childhood memories of Jean-Luc Allard, son of Louis-Joseph Allard, the founder of the newspaper, is a walk on the mountain with his father where he showed him the extent of the avenue du Mount Royal, saying, "Look at Plateau Mont-Royal." For little Jean-Luc it was the first time he heard that name.

But it is likely that this notion of the "Plateau" goes back further. It evokes of course the topography of the sector. The following passage appears in "The Diocese of Montreal" at the end of the 19th century, published in 1900: 
"The Saint-Basile boarding school is located in the Saint-Denis district, on Mont-Royal Avenue, between Berri and Rivard Streets. The elevated position it occupies on the rich plateau of the Mile-End, the abundance of clean air provided by it and the mountain and the river, the magnificent panorama that unfolds at its feet, give this boarding house an allure particular ".

The author and journalist Hélène-Andrée Bizier reminds us that at the beginning of the 20th century, the neighborhood around La Fontaine Park was called Duvernay and in the early 1940s, she says, we do not talk about the Plateau yet. . 
The writer and man of theater Jean-Claude Germain agrees in the same direction. In a 2006 interview, not long before the publication of his "Rue Fabre center of the universe", he said, speaking of his childhood in the 1940s, "The plateau did not exist. Montreal was divided into small, disparate parishes linked only by tram 52 ... ".

Hélène-Andrée Bizier offers the following explanation of the origin of the name, making the link with the school "Le Plateau", located in the park La Fontaine and whose auditorium welcomed in 1935 the conductor Wilfrid Pelletier and the formation of the Montreal Symphony Concerts (which will become the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in 1954). 

"Approaching Sherbrooke / Calixa-Lavallée, bus drivers announce:"  Plateau! ". This is how it is said that the word ended up designating the entire neighborhood located on the heights of Sherbrooke Street. "

-courtesy Historical Society of Plateau-Mont-Royal

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Mile End - James McCready and Company


James McCready & Co. was founded in 1867 by James, Robert and Thomas McCready who were leather merchants. The company was located on rue Saint-Paul near Saint-Pierre. In 1869, James and Robert left the partnership and started separate businesses. Thomas brought his son into the business and renamed the company McCready & Son, while James founded the shoe factory of Mullarky & McCready, which settled on rue Sainte-Hélène.

In 1871, J.& R. McCready was created, a new partnership between James and Robert. In 1878, the business was renamed James McCready & Company and moved to William Street. James and Robert remained the sole owners until 1882, when Charles Francis Smith became a partner. In 1883, the company moved its offices and factory into larger premises of a building, built by Michel Laurent for the Grey Nuns on rue d’Youville, who also rented space to a grocery wholesaler, a transport company and to the Commissioners of the Port of Montreal in the same building. James McCready occupied space here for about 20 years.

James McCready & Company was considered one of Montreal’s major factories, producing 12,000 to 15,000 pairs of boots and shoes for men, women and children per week, which was considerable at the time. In 1906 Arthur Congdon, a wholesale boot and shoe merchant from Winnipeg amalgamated with the James McCready Company. He became Vice-President and General Manager of Ames, Holden, McCready Limited in 1911, and organized Congdon, Marsh Limited (wholesale boots and shoes) in 1914.

In 1915, Ames, Holden, McCready Ltd., then being Canada’s largest shoe manufacturers, received an order from the Government for footwear for officers and soldiers here in Canada and in England. Within thirty-three days they supplied 32,217 pairs of leather ankle boots and 30,000 pairs of canvas shoes, the largest quantity of footwear supplied by any manufacturer.

An article in the Montreal Gazette, Saturday, May 15, 1915 stated that ”these boots were worn by our soldiers on active service, and that they were subjected to the most severe usage. They travelled over rough roads, they waded through mud and slush, they were soaked by the never-ceasing rains of an abnormally wet English winter and, yet, THEY STOOD THE TEST”

Other tenants in this building were the Montreal Suspender and Umbrella Manufacturing Co. (from 1903 to 1955) and the Golden Gate Manufacturing Co., a manufacturer of bottling machines (from 1911 to 1963). From 1963 on the building was gradually abandoned. In 1977 the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation purchased the building and undertook major renovations. The two upper floors were converted into social housing and the lower floors were rented to various organizations, including the Maison Jean Lapointe and the Musée Marc-Aurèle-

The building is located at 355-367, rue d’Youville & rue St. Pierre in Old Montreal.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Village De Lorimier - The Plateau Stampede

It's not just Calgary that has its "stampede" ... the Plateau has its own! In 1926, the race track of "Delorimier Park" hosts a rodeo worthy of the Far West.

Horse racing is still popular in Montreal, the territory of the Plateau has housed over time several racetracks. These had to relocate as the urbanization of the neighborhood progressed. 

We are here at the Montreal Driving Club Co. Ltd, which first ran its horses at the corner of Mount Royal and Boyer; to move to where Baldwin Park is today, during the years 1901 to 1907. Subsequently, the track moved further north on a lot of land bordered by Des Érables, Masson, Fullum and Mont-Royal streets. 

At the end of the thirties, the track of "Blue Bonnets" becomes very popular and our district develops very quickly. After the start of the race track, this vast area is subsequently occupied in part by a first construction trade school. Later, a new trade school is built and the southern part of the land is occupied by the Lucie-Bruneau Rehabilitation Center. As for our "stampede" featured this week, we see a race of "shopping carriages", "chuck wagons", which use a team with three horses installed in "crossbow" (two on the sides and one more in front center). These shows, which were filmed in the major North American cities, were full of urban audiences a little out of place in this reminder of the time of the great discoveries of the plains of the West. 

The track usually hosts mostly "trot and amble" races (with sulky) but also during motor racing.

Friday, July 26, 2019

Mile End - Fletcher's Field

Jeanne-Mance Park


sledding at Fletcher's Field


The park was previously known as Fletcher's Field. According to local tradition, the park was named after one Fletcher, who lived on the outskirts of the grounds and pastured his cows there.

The history of the park began at the end of the 19th century with the planning of Mount Royal Park and the city's acquisition of land on Mount Royal, which ran from the summit of the mountain to Esplanade Avenue, between Pine Avenue and Mount Royal Avenue. 

In 1878, Montreal's Crystal Palace was relocated to Fletcher's Field. 

The structure was destroyed by fire in July 1896. In 1879, Fletcher's Field was identified by the Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain as a notable source of Hyoscyamus niger, a psychoactive plant.

The park used as a military parade ground, as was Logan's Farm (now part of La Fontaine Park). During the Great War, troops were trained on Fletcher's Field. The Montreal Lacrosse Club and Royal Montreal Golf Club (as well as youth lacrosse and football clubs) also used Fletcher's Field.

In September 1910, during the Montreal Eucharistic Congress, there was a campaign to rename the park in recognition of the founder of the Hôtel-Dieu de Montréal. The city of Montreal officially changed the name of the park to Jeanne Mance Park in 1990. 

The plaza entrance of Jeanne Mance Park opposite the Sir George-Étienne Cartier Monument is affectionately known as Place Fletcher's Field, serving as a reminder of the park's former name.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Mile End - Saint Joseph Boulevard (from another time)

Boulevard Saint-Joseph is the news these days with his adventures tumultuous and icy; but he has already known calmer days. This photograph of the early 1940s shows us in her beautiful summer attire. 


We immediately note the rows of mature trees
which provide a beneficial shading for pedestrians. Further, the trees leave place to a generous lawn turf and planted with shrubs. Henri-Julien Street is actually the border between Ville Saint-Louis and the village of Coteau Saint-Louis, which will later become the Saint-Denis district. 

In 1905, it is the architect and engineer J.E. Vanier who proposes to the Ville Saint-Louis to transform St. Joseph Street into prestigious boulevard, the first in Montreal. We remember that at the time it was third largest city in Quebec. Montreal will then extend the boulevard to the east, but without the trees. 

This path will eventually be widened at the beginning of 1960s.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Mile End - The Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace - 1866
The Crystal Palace was an exhibition hall built for the Montreal Industrial Exhibition of 1860, originally located at the foot of Victoria Street (one block west of University) between Sainte-Catherine and Cathcart Streets, then relocated to Fletcher's Field. It was used for temporary exhibitions, and in winter, housed an ice skating rink.

The building was designed by Montreal architect John William Hopkins. It had an iron framework, a tinned barrel-vaulted nave and two galleries, each twenty feet wide, extending all the way around the interior. Its design was inspired by The Crystal Palace in London. Its main facades were of iron and glass. Its side walls were of white brick with rose-coloured contrast, with the iron and wood elements painted to match the brick. Its bays were subdivided by three arches, with only the centre arch glazed. Constructed in 20-foot modules, the Crystal Palace was intended to be 180 x 200 feet, but was constructed with shorter transepts, reducing its dimensions to 180 x 120 feet.

The Industrial Exhibition displayed agricultural and industrial products from the then British North America. The displays ranged from minerals, native woods, seeds and grains, preserved birds and fish, oils and foodstuffs to textiles and leather goods, furniture, clothing, machinery, iron work, tools and crafts. As part of the exhibition the Art Association of Montreal, the future Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, organized a display of Canadian art. The Prince of Wales visited Montreal that year and officially opened the exhibition.


The Prince of Wales at Opening Night 1860

The large open space of the exhibition hall was suitable for other uses. In later years, the hall would house a natural ice skating rink in the winter, and was one of the first indoor skating rinks in Canada. The skating rink was used by McGill University students to play ice hockey and the rink is the site of the first known photograph of ice hockey players in hockey uniforms, taken in 1881.

The rink also housed the Crystal Skating Club and Crystal Hockey Club, more commonly known as the Montreal Crystals which played men's senior-level amateur hockey in the Amateur Hockey Association of Canada.


In 1878 it was dismantled and moved to Fletcher's Field, part of which is now known as Jeanne-Mance Park. In July 1896, the Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire, as London's original Crystal Palace would be. The site of the Crystal Palace, between Mont-Royal Avenue and Saint-Joseph Boulevard, was developed for housing a few years after the fire.

The original downtown location later was home to the Palace Theatre, a movie house, and today contains an alley named Ruelle Palace.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Mile End - United Dairy

This charming building, built in 1933, bears witness to the past presence of many small dairies in the area. The development of the dairy processing activity is explained by the proximity of the railway coupled with the dramatic growth of the urban population in the early 20th century.

From the late 19th century Quebec agriculture specializes to milk production. Due to urbanization, industrialization and the development of transport, this activity is no longer simply a rural activity, it is also developing in the city. Milk becomes an industrialized product destined to supply cities.

United Dairy received the milk from the countryside along the lines of the Canadian Pacific Railway in the Laurentians and Montérégie, and then transformed it. Inside the building were bottling and pasteurization, butter making, bottle washing and storage.


Robert Brettschneider, of Polish Jewish origin, arrived in Canada in 1926. He brought the following year his wife Bessie and his younger brother Osias. In 1930 Robert Brettschneider founded with Jacob Rottermund the dairy United Dairy. It will have a short and eventful story.

The dairy starts in rented premises, a backyard house at 5244-5246 Casgrain Avenue. In 1933, it moved to a new custom-built building. However, constantly struggling with the authorities and with the complaints of its competitors (for example, selling milk to a distributor below the official price of the Dairy Commission, use of glass bottles belonging to other dairies, change in the fat content in milk, and even the sale of shares of the dairy without going through a securities broker), the United Dairy is condemned in court repeatedly: in April 1938, the newspapers echo his nineteenth sentence, with a fine of $ 1,000. The dairy declares bankruptcy shortly thereafter.

Robert Brettschneider does not admit defeat: he incorporates (only) a new company, the Snowdon Dairy, in September 1938. He can stay in the former premises of the United, thanks to a friend who buys the building in the sale of bankruptcy, selling it to him a few years later. The dairy will do business until it is closed in 1954 - a time that is the height of the Jewish migration from Mile End to Snowdon. From 1953 to 1958, the building also housed the offices of a milk distributor, North End Milk Distribution, apparently the last activity related to the dairy industry in this building.

During his retirement, Brettschneider serves as president of the congregation Shomrim Laboker, recently moved to a modern building in the Snowdon neighborhood. He oversaw two mergers with other congregations in 1957 and 1959. He also got involved in other projects such as a clothes shop with a son and real estate investments with a son-in-law, to whom he sold the building of the old Dairy in 1963. He died in 1966, leaving behind his wife, five children, and his brother's family.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Mile End - The C.P.R Hotel

The Canadian Pacific Railway Company’s fame stems, in part, from the construction of prestigious grand hotels between 1888 and 1930 designed to attract affluent tourists to spectacular sites served by the railroad. Inspired by the castles of France’s Loire Valley, they became icons of the Canadian landscape, including Château Frontenac in old Québec, Toronto’s Royal York and the Banff Springs Hotel in the Rocky Mountains. Less well-known is the fact that Mile End once had a hotel, much more modest in scale, which was known for many decades as the C.P.R. Hotel – although it was never part of that company.

While the structure exists no longer, the hotel sat on a site at the northeast corner of Saint-Laurent Boulevard and Bernard Street for over a century, a few steps from the Mile End train station located a bit farther east on Bernard. The station, opened in 1876, created a new hub of activity in what had been a completely rural area. Previously, travellers and neighbourhood residents patronized hotels located at the other Mile End intersection, further south, where Saint-Laurent meets Mont-Royal Ave. The history of the C.P.R. Hotel is closely related to that of its founding family, the Hogues. Two interviews with family members, spaced about 50 years apart in time, provide information.

— Weren’t you once a hotelkeeper?
— Yes, I built the C.P.R. hotel, located at the corner of Bernard and Saint-Laurent streets, in 1878. In those days, there were no sewers, no sidewalks and of course no street lamps. My business was in a rather empty spot. To the north, I had no neighbours up as far as the land where the Institut des Sourds-Muets is located,2 where an Irishman lived at the time.
— And to the south?

— Not so peaceful as on the north side, I had no neighbours to the south until Laurier Street. But there was a shack around Saint-Viateur Street, where a guard manned the gate leading out of the city. The gate was managed by the Turnpike Trust, which charged an outbound toll that varied according to the type of vehicle.

In May 1985, La Presse journalist Gérald Leblanc found Télesphore Hogue’s grandson, Martial Hogue. At the time he was 77 and described himself as a poet-painter and a “professional outsider” who was born and grew up in the neighbourhood. The short interview revealed very little new about the hotel’s history, although the journalist called Martial Hogue “inexhaustible” about the subject, as well as about the tailor shop belonging to his father. 

But the article did provide a unique photograph of the building in its heydays. The old hotel which had been the pride of the Hogue Family was about to disappear. A fire completely destroyed it seven months later, in the early morning hours of January 5, 1986, in the middle of a snowstorm. Today, more than a quarter century has gone by, and the land on which the C.P.R. Hotel once stood is still vacant.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Mile End - The Rialto Theatre Opening Night 1924

The Rialto on a wintry day just before its opening on 27 December 1924. 

The ‘torch’ and the building-long iron-and-glass canopy are in place, and the ads for the opening movie, In Every Woman’s Life, are in the panels beside the doors. A florist, dress shop and tobacconist are among the stores already open.









The lobby in 1930: lots of marble and a fancy lamp. The door on the left led to the loges, the next to the orchestra. The third door was an exit for those leaving the theatre, and the stairway led to the balcony.


No wonder people build with marble. This is the lobby stairway in 1987, unmarred by sixty years of use.


The hall in 1930, with the great vaults of decorative plaster and stained glass on the ceiling and under the balcony. 

No other Montreal theatre had features quite like these, nor the amount or variety of both decorative plaster and stained glass. 

The vault’s colour-scheme was sombre: beige, gold and turquoise.

The corner of the upstairs vault. Note the plaster oak leaves and acorns, and the painted faces.


The downstairs vault in 1930. It may still be there, behind a false ceiling. Photo right


The Standard, Montreal, Saturday, December 27, 1924.
Montreal’s New Luxury Theatre The Rialto

Park Avenue at Bernard

Opens To-Night at 8.15

The opening of the Rialto tonight marks another step forward in theatre building and welds still another link in the famous chain of theatres operated by the United Amusement Corp. Limited, which also includes the Strand, Regent, Papineau, Belmont, Plaza, Corona and Mount Royal.

We feel proud of the Rialto, and justly so, as the most brilliant brains in the country were secured to transform the highest quality materials into what we believe to be the finest constructed and most luxurious theatre in Canada.

We cordially welcome you to the Rialto and sincerely hope that you will become a regular patron and a friend. It will be a pleasure to serve you at all times and we will welcome any suggestions you may offer for the improvement of Rialto entertainment or service.

Policy of the New Rialto

Admission Prices

Matinees except Sundays and Holidays: Adults 17c, Children 10c. Evening, Sundays and Holidays, Orchestra and Loges, 33c. Balcony 25c (tax included).

Film Programs
Complete change of program every Sunday and Wednesday. There will be two feature pictures on every bill except when presenting big productions of more than the usual length.

Coming Attractions
Marion Davies in “YOLANDA”
Milton Stills, Enid Bennett and Wallace Beery, in “THE SEA HAWK”
Harold Lloyd in “HOT WATER”
Norma Talmadge in “SECRETS”
Anna Q. Nilsson and All-Star Cast in “THE FIRE PATROL”
George O’Brien and Dorothy Mackaill in “THE MAN WHO CAME BACK”
Pola Negri in “FORBIDDEN PARADISE”

Gloria Swanson in “WAGES OF VIRTUE”


Rialto - 2015

Originally a neighbourhood movie theatre, the Rialto Theatre was built in 1923-1924 according to plans by Montreal architect Raoul Gariépy. The Beaux Arts façade was inspired by the Paris Opera while the neo-baroque interior features a rich décor signed Emmanuel Briffa. The Rialto Theatre was designated as a Historical Monument by the City of Montreal in 1988 and by the Government of Quebec in 1990, and also as National Historic Site of Canada in 1993.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Mile End - Church of St. Michael the Archangel

Perhaps the most recognizable architectural symbol of Mile End is the Church of St. Michael the Archangel of 1914-5, on Saint-Viateur Street at the corner of Saint-Urbain. 

The church, designed by Aristide Beaugrand-Champagne, was built for an Irish Catholic community, as expressed by omnipresent shamrock motifs; yet the overall style of the building is based on Byzantine rather than Western architectural traditions. 

Even more striking, the church has a slender tower that resembles a minaret. The building has been shared since 1964 with the Polish Catholic mission of St. Anthony of Padua, which officially merged with the parish of St. Michael in 1969 to form the current parish of St. Michael's and St. Anthony's;masses are celebrated in Polish and in English.

At the turn of the last century there was something of a migration of Irish-Canadian working people from their overcrowded Point St. Charles and Griffintown haunts north into Mile End. In 1902, the Catholic archbishop of Montreal, Mgr. Paul Bruchési, gave his approval for a new parish to be created. The first mass was said upstairs of a fire hall at Laurier and Saint-Denis that no longer exists. Their first small church building was on rue Boucher near there; it no longer exists.




By 1914 the growing parish decided it needed something bigger and grander. In July of that year excavations began. Work stopped briefly when war broke out that autumn, but resumed in April 1915, and the church was ready to use by that December. The price tag was $232,000 and the church could hold 1400 people.

This information comes from a booklet published in 1927 when the parish was already 25 years old. The text describes, and images show, that the dome and the cap on the tower were both decorated with patterns, and the massive façade with the words Deo dicatum in honorem St. Michaeli and a smaller motto on a banner over the doors. Those flourishes are gone, but carved shamrocks are still part of the façade, a nod to the time when the parish was pretty well a monoculture, with priests called McGinnis, Fahey, McCrory, Walsh, O’Brien, Cooney and O’Conor and church wardens Keegan, Gorman, Dillon, McGee and Flood.





Also, unusually, there’s no mention of bells, and no evidence that the tower ever contained any: unlike most church towers it’s closed all the way to the top.


Monday, May 20, 2019

Mile End Station


Mile End Station before expansion in 1913



The new C.P.R. station at Mile End


The first Mile End station building was erected in 1877 on the east side of Saint-Laurent Road, near what is now the intersection of Bernard Street.




A much larger station was built in 1911 it closed in 1931, when service was moved to the new Park Avenue Station (Jean-Talon), and was demolished in 1970 to make way for the Rosemont–Van Horne viaduct.


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Mile End - The coming of the railway

The transcontinental railway gave Mile End its first growth spurt and separate identity. In 1876, the Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway – a project vigorously promoted by Antoine Labelle and Louis Beaubien – came slicing through the area on its way from east-end Montreal to Sainte-Thérèse, Lachute, and Ottawa. This railway was bought in 1882 by the Canadian Pacific, and it was by this route that the first trains departed for the Prairies in 1885 and for Port Moody, British Columbia in June 1886 (extending to Vancouver in 1887). 

The first Mile End station building was erected in 1877 on the east side of Saint-Laurent Road, near what is now the intersection of Bernard Street. (A much larger station was built in 1911; it closed in 1931, when service was moved to the new Park Avenue Station (Jean-Talon), and was demolished in 1970 to make way for the Rosemont–Van Horne viaduct.)

In 1878, the village of Saint-Louis-du-Mile-End was incorporated, population 1319. Its territory consisted of the western third of Côte Saint-Louis: bounded on the west by the limit of Outremont (generally along Hutchison Street), on the south by what is now Mont-Royal Avenue, and on the east by a line running mostly just east of the current Henri-Julien Avenue. The northern border was north of present-day De Castelnau Street or just south of Jarry Park.


The second growth spurt of Mile End coincided with the introduction of electric tramway service in 1893; the area can be considered an example of a streetcar suburb. The agricultural and industrial exhibition grounds at the southwest of the village, near Mount Royal, were subdivided in 1899 for housing. The village became a town in 1895 and changed its name to simply Saint-Louis. Apart from a tiny street located just outside the town's northwestern limit, and (for its remaining years) the railway station, the name Mile End passed out of the official toponymy for close to a century, coming back into use as a municipal electoral district only in 1982.

The town of Saint-Louis built in 1905 a magnificent town hall on the northwest corner of Saint-Laurent and what is now Laurier Avenue; the building still serves as a fire hall and firefighters' museum. The town was annexed by the expanding city of Montreal on 29 May 1909,[20] taking effect as of 1 January 1910, and became Laurier Ward (quartier Laurier). Population growth had been explosive: in 1891, the village had 3537 residents; in 1911, after annexation, the ward's population was about 37,000.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Mile End

Nineteenth-century maps and other documents show the name Mile End as the crossroads at Saint-Laurent Road (now Boulevard) and what is now Mont-Royal Avenue. Originally, this road was Côte Sainte-Catherine Road (heading west) and Tanneries Road (heading east). It is probable that the name Mile End was inspired by the East London suburb of the same name. 

Contrary to popular belief, the place is not precisely a mile away from any official marker. It is, however, a mile north along Saint-Laurent from Sherbrooke Street, which in the early 19th century marked the boundary between the urban area and open countryside. (Several decades later, the Mile End train station near Bernard Street was situated coincidentally one more mile north along Saint-Laurent from the original crossroads.)


Mile End was also the first important crossroads north of the tollgate set up in 1841 at the city limits of 1792. From the crossroads to the city limits the distance was 0.4 miles (0.64 km). The city limits were located 100 chains (1.25 miles or about 2 km) north of the fortification wall, and intersected Saint-Laurent just south of the current Duluth Avenue.

As early as 1810, there was a Mile End Hotel and tavern, operated by Stanley Bagg, an American-born entrepreneur and father of the wealthy landowner Stanley Clark Bagg. The earliest known published references to Mile End are advertisements placed by Stanley Bagg, in both English and French, in The Gazette during the summer of 1815. He announced in July: "Farm for sale at St. Catherine [i.e., Outremont], near Mile End Tavern, about two miles from town...". On 7 August, he inserted the following:

STRAYED or STOLEN from the Pasture of Stanley Bagg, Mile End Tavern, on or about the end of June last, a Bay HORSE about ten years old, white face, and some white about the feet. Any person who will give information where the Thief or Horse may be found shall receive a reward of TEN DOLLARS and all reasonable charges paid. STANLEY BAGG. Montreal, Mile End, August 4, 1815.


A photograph of 1859 shows members of the Montreal Hunt Club at the Mile End tavern.

The road variously known as Chemin des Tanneries (Tannery Road), Chemin des Carrières (Quarry Road), or Chemin de la Côte-Saint-Louis led to a tannery and to limestone quarries used for the construction of much of Montreal's architecture. 

The village of Côte Saint-Louis (incorporated 1846) sprung up near the quarries, its houses clustered east of the Mile End district around the present-day intersection of Berri Street and Laurier Avenue. 



It was to serve this village that a chapel of the Infant Jesus was established in 1848 near Saint Lawrence Road, on land donated by Pierre Beaubien. In 1857-8, the chapel was replaced by the church of Saint Enfant Jésus du Mile End. 

The church, made even more impressive by a new façade in 1901-3, was the first important building in what would become Mile End.

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Irish Catholic Churches of Quebec - W is for Saint Willibrord

In the city of Montreal. 

Address: 335 Avenue Saint-Willibrord, Verdun neighborhood. 

The registers of this parish opened in the year 1913. 

A pastor resides there since this last date. Canonical Erection: July 7th, 1913. 

The territory of this parish is included within the limits of the city of Verdun. This parish was founded for the English-speaking Catholics of the parish of Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs-de-Verdun and part of the parish of Saint-Gabriel. 

This is why she was placed under the patronage of a saint of English origin. Saint Willibrord was born in England around the middle of the seventh century. He has been nicknamed the Apostle of Holland. He died with merit on November 7, 739 at the age of 81 years.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

The Irish catholic Churches of Quebec - V is for Saint Veronica

St Veronica’s Parish was founded on January 17th, 1958.

Construction of the  church began in the year 1962 at 1300 Carson Avenue, and opened for services in 1963. Before the church was built, mass was celebrated at what is now known as the ’ Gentilly Elementary School'.

The first mass was celebrated on May 4th, 1963 by Rev. Norm Griffin and the church was blessed on Sunday September 8th, 1963 by Cardinal Paul Emile Leger, the official completion date.

The 25th Anniversary Mass was celebrated on May 1st, 1983 by Archbishop Paul Gregoire.

The 50th Anniversary Mass was celebrated on September 14th, 2008 by Cardinal Jean Claude Turcotte. 





Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The Irish Catholic Churches of Quebec - T is for St. Thomas Aquinas

In the city of Montreal. 
Address: 124 rue du Couvent. 

This parish was founded for English-speaking Catholics. The parish registers opened in 1908, and a parish priest resides there since this last year. 

Canonical erection: June 18, 1908. The territory of this parish is circumscribed as follows: on the east by Atwater Street, on the west by the limits of the city, on the north by the Canadian Pacific Railway and on the south by the Lachine Canal. Pop. 3,000.

The parish closed in 1990.


Monday, April 22, 2019

The Irish Catholic Churches of Quebec - S is for St. Ann's Church

St. Ann’s Church was the heart of Griffintown’s Irish Catholic community. 

Built in 1854, it was Montreal’s second English Catholic church after St. Patrick’s (1847). Whereas the “lace-curtain” Irish around St. Patrick’s consisted of merchants, skilled workers and professionals, St. Ann’s parishioners were known as “shanty Irish” -- unskilled labourers employed in factories, in construction or on the docks.

The population of Griffintown began declining after World War II and, in the early 1960s, the municipality decided that Griffintown no longer had a future as a place for people to live. It was rezoned as industrial commercial in 1963 and, in 1967, approximately a third of the neighbourhood was demolished to make way for the Bonaventure Expressway. 

Having lost most of its parishioners, St. Ann’s Church was torn down in 1970. A few years ago the City of Montreal ‘restored’ the foundations of the church and today the site is a park with benches instead of pews.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

The Irish Churches of Quebec - R is for Church of the Recollets

Following the authorization of the Récollets to settle outside Quebec , with the appointment of Mgr. Jean-Baptiste de La Croix Chevrieres of Saint-Vallier in 1688, the order moved to Montreal and undertook the construction of a church to be opened in 1693. It would be the work of brother Didace Pelletier who also led the work of the convent of Trois-Rivières . It is located on the quadrilateral of Notre-Dame , Sainte-Hélène , Récollets and Saint-Pierre streets .

A monastery is added to the church in 1705. The master builder of the site is a man named Pierre Couturier. New works were undertaken in 1713 for the façade of the church with the sculptor Jean Jacquié dit Leblond. A fence is built in 1722.

In 1760, after the capitulation of the colony , the church was ceded to the British occupier. It serves as a barracks until 1792, while the goods of the Récollets are sequestrated around 1810.

In 1818, the expansion of Montreal, with the construction of St. Helena Street, led to the demolition of the west wing.

The Sulpicians also settled in the old church in 1831. They enlarged and embellished it by adding a portal taken from the old Notre-Dame church demolished in 1829. The church was then used to worship Catholics Irish who use it until 1847. Become a school, the site is finally destroyed in 1867. 




The interior décor including the church altar was preserved and moved to the church of Notre-Dame des Anges on Lagauchetière Street. 


The latter building later became the church of the Chinese community; it still exists to this day.














Thursday, April 18, 2019

The Irish Catholic Churches of Quebec - P is for Cote St. Paul

The Verdun, Côte St. Paul district has been
another bastion of the Irish community since the 1870’s. 

Located next to “The Point”,the region catered to the mid-income dwellers, among them the immigrants from

various European nations including the Irish, Scots and the British. 

Montreal. Address: 1558 Avenue of the Church. 

The registers of this parish opened in the year 1874, date of the arrival of the first resident parish priest. 

Canonical Erection: December 10, 1875. Civil Erection: December 24, 1875. 

The territory of this parish has been detached from the parishes of Saint-Henri-des-Tanneries , Saint-Pierre River and Côte Saint-Paul.  

The parish was put under the patronage of St. Paul probably because of its neighborhood with the parish of Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs-de-Verdun , formerly known as "Village of the Saint-Pierre River".

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

The Irish Catholic Churches of Quebec - L is for Our Lady of Good Council

(1879) – Rev. M. Campion, Rev. P.F. O’Donnell, presiding. 

Located at 724 Craig Street East in south central Montréal, 

This Irish church was somehow associated with Saint Bridget, another parish of the same district of Faubourg Quebec. Our Lady of Good Counsel was located at the corner of Craig (St-Antoine) and Panet Streets.


At the Archives, the church records can be found under Notre Dame du Bon Conseil.

The parish of Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Conseil was first erected under the name of "Sainte-Marie-de-Montréal", for the English-speaking Catholics of the parishes of St. Bridget , St. Vincent de-Paul , Saint-Eusebe , Saint-Pierre and part of Sainte-Catherine. 

The registers of the parish opened in the year 1881. Canonical erection: December 20, 1879. The canonical decree erecting this parish was published in the Official Gazette. On the occasion of the blessing of the church, the parish was put under the patronage of Notre-Dame-du-Bon- Advice. 

Today it includes English-speaking Catholics from the parishes of St. Bridget , St. Eusebius , St. Peter and St. Vincent de Paul. Pop. 2,255.  

The parish closed in 1984, and the church was demolished.