A glimpse of the past

Help us tell the story of our community with your personal reminiscences or copies of photos or documents. You will enjoy sharing our history with your neighbours. Yvan Pelland




N.D.G.’s agricultural reputation centered around its melons, weighing as much as 10Kg, and in demand by restaurants as far away as New York. The micro climate of the Coteau St. Pierre allowed farmers such as Mr. Aubain (pictured here at left) to grow these as well as an abundance of apples.


This late 19th century photograph depicts the Hôtel Catudal located at the corner of Côte St. Antoine and Décarie. The entranceway into the courtyard was built to allow horse-drawn carriages to pass through.  As evidenced by the fire brigade’s carriage, sled runners replaced wheels in the difficult winter conditions.

Many thanks to Judy Schneider, for offering details about the man who owned and ran the Hôtel Catudal.

Yvan Pelland, September 10, 2009

Frederic Narcisse Felix Catudal, born in1864, owned and ran the Hôtel Catudal which was located at the corner of Côte-Saint-Antoine and Décarie in a ward of Montréal, Québec known as Toutes-Grâces. In 1890 at the age of 24, Frederic appears in the Montreal Business Directory as a Hotellier.

Within the hotel was the fire station.

Frederic ran Hôtel Catudal from 1890 until 1900. During the last two years in which he owned Hôtel Catudal he also was the proprietor of Jubilee Park. This is not to be confused with Victoria Jubilee Park which was located in the Westmount borough of Montréal and created in 1897 in honour of Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee. The name of the Victoria Jubilee Park was later changed to Westmount Park.

In 1901 Frederic opened a Restaurant called The 88 Restaurantwhich was located at 88-90 St. James, next to the New York Life building in Montréal. He is shown as having owned the restaurant during the years 1901 to1903. After 1903 Frederic does not show up in Vital records of any type in Canada again. I believe he and his wife, Philomene Corbeil, moved to the USA for a time. Philomene was buried at the Basilique Notre-Dame, Montréal, Québec, Canada. I have not found a burial record yet for Frederic.

I don’t have any additional information on the Hôtel Catudal but someday someone may come forward with some information.

Again, thank you for having added my request for information to your Web page.



Yvan Pelland

The Hôtel Tessier, built after the Catudal, was located on Décarie’s eastern side between Côte St. Antoine and N.D.G. Avenue.
Further south, along what is now St. Jacques, ran another farm road where some very large and stately houses such as this one and the Brodie house (see next) were built at the beginning of the 19th century. These early reminders have, alas, since disappeared.
The Brodie house was built in 1812 by Hugh Brodie, a Scottish immigrant. It was considered to be one of the finest examples of Anglo-Norman architecture in Canada. Popularly known as ‘Orchard Bank’ due to the many apple orchards on its grounds, it gave its name to Old Orchard Avenue. Sold to the City in 1949 for conversion to a cultural centre, it was never used as such and was demolished in 1961 to expand an adjoining park.
This house provides a fine example of the use made of shutters in those bygone days. By opening or closing the top or bottom shutters as needed, shade and ventilation (natural air-conditioning) were provided to the residents.
The old Walnut Exchange on Sherbrooke Street near Loyola was the Bell Telephone Company’s centre in the west end.


View of Somerled Avenue looking east at the corner of Grand.  Note that in the late 40′s the northeast corner of Somerled is as yet undeveloped.
Like the Tessier Hotel, N.D.G.’s first Post Office was built on Décarie’s eastern side, at the corner of N.D.G. Avenue. The eastern location ot both buildings reflected the residential development taking place in that sector of the parish.
Settlement and development also created a need for products and small shops such as the Baril grocery store on Queen Mary Road sprang up around the turn of the century to cater to a more residential clientele.
The Monitor newspaper has been serving the community and recording its growth since 1925 and enjoys the largest circulation of westend area papers. It was originally located on Western Avenue (now De Maisonneuve«).
The end of World War II brought another wave of development. In order to accomodate returning veterans and their families, housing complexes such as the Benny Farm were erected. Temporary housing was also provided, such as the white buildings depicted here on Victoria Avenue in Snowdon. They are no longer standing.
Development also meant the paving of city streets, such as N.D.G. Avenue, depicted here around 1917.
Erection of a telephone pole as it was done in the 1930′s.


The coming of the automobile also meant that deliveries could be made more quickly to a greater number of clients.


The proliferation of the automobile in the 40′s and 50′s engendered the establisthment of service stations.
The two examples show the care and pride with which they were treated, as exemplified by the tidy flower beds or the one ane the art deco styling of the other.




Dear Yvan, 

The garage in the photo on your NDG historical site is definitely the current location of Lazar Service Station located at 5790 Monkland corner Melrose. The original railing in the right corner of the photo is still on the property and is clearly visible today. The only changes to the exterior is the squaring off of the rounded facade probably done sometime in the late 50′s or early 60′s when Gulf acquired BA. 

Allan Lazar 

January 26, 2010053-copie





The increase in population created a growing need for recreational facilities. Here children skate in empty lots along Grand Boulevard.
Beaconsfield Avenue in the early 50′s (with Hingston in the background) was paved, but otherwise undeveloped along its eastern side.
With the help of concerned citizens, community groups and the Monteal Herald, the first playgrounds were set up in southern N.D.G. in the area around Western Avenue (now de Maisonneuve) and Oxford. It was not long before teams from N.D.G. made their mark on the local sports scene, a tradition that continues to date.



The 1920's and 30s saw the creation of more schools. West Hill, where Jack Brash (pictured here) taught, and Willindon, which recently celebrated its sixtieth anniversary, were two of them.
The 1920′s and 30s saw the creation of more schools. West Hill, where Jack Brash (pictured here) taught, and Willindon, which recently celebrated its sixtieth anniversary, were two of them.




Schools formed another important service evolving in the burgeoning community. This group of schoolboys attended École Notre-Dame-de-Grâce circa 1910. 



 Those early days meant separate classes bor boys and girls. These schoolgirls from St. Augustine school even had their own separate entrance. 



 Religious life continued to play an important role in the community’s development.
In 1927, the bells of the N.D.G. Church were conconsecrated in a great ceremony befor an appreciative crowd.


 In 1953 D.D.G. celebrated its centennial with great festivities                                                                                 xcxc

In 1953 N.D.G. celebrated its centennial with great festivities and a reception held on the grounds of the parish church. Attended by many dignitaries, among them Mayor Camilien Houde and Cardinal Léger (then Archbishop of Montréal), the proceedings attested to the pride forged by the community during its first humdred years.
















This photo collection belongs to the Fraser Hickson Library (see ‘Greatful thanks’ for more information).