When I was young (Montreal West & Turcot Yards)

I have appreciated the opportunity to contribute to a blog that recalls a time when I lived on another island with a deep-sea port that serves a different ocean. The thread with my comments is here Overview of Turcot Yards in Montreal. When I was young, the Turcot yards were about trains. As British Columbia builds grand infrastructure for the Olympics, it is interesting to see what becomes of of these proud (and expensive) monuments in only one generation. There is a fine quality to that blog. I think you will enjoy it.

Edit (2021 Feb. 18): When I wrote this one-paragraph blog post in 2007 I never imagined that it would start a thread of comments that now numbers over 180 contributions, and is still active. And contains so much history of Montreal West! When perusing this material, note the date of each comment and reply. A reply appears below the comment receiving the reply. That means that a new reply to an old comment may appear high up in the thread. You won’t see what is new just by looking at the bottom of the thread. The site should send you an email with every new comment if you subscribe to this post. Thank-you all for participating.

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229 Responses to “When I was young (Montreal West & Turcot Yards)”

  1. 1 Cdnlococo December 6, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    The Turcot roundhouse used to be directly below the CPR Glen/Westmount yards and was accessed by a path down the escarpment just East of where old Decarie is.

    To access Turcot by road, you turned South on St Remi, then West on Pullman I think it was, to get to the rear of the roundhouse.

    Fascinating place to be when steam locomotives were still in use.

    We used to sit at the South end of Decarie and watch them service the engines.

    As the engine arrived from a run, it dropped it’s fire into a water-filled pit between the rails where the fire was quenched, in a cloud of steam. A large overhead travelling crane with a clamshell bucket then moved the wet ashes to waiting gondolas for use as fill along the line.

    The engine without a fire then moved East on it’s own steam into a wooden-walled Blow Down Pen where most of the hot water from the boiler was drained out.

    This made a thunderous ROAR and a huge cloud of steam.

    Minerals and treatment from the water collected so the rails were buried right up to their heads, looking like streetcar track.

    The engine was then moved onto the turntable and into the roundhouse for maintenance, the rest of the water being drained inside.

    There were other outbound engines getting coal and water.

    The coal chute was to the West of the roundhouse was, in all, about 1/4 mile long, with a long-sloped trestle up which coal hoppers were shoved by a Yard Engine into the covered tower from the West end.

    The coal was dumped into bins beneath the track in the tower, and engines on paralled tracks below took coal into their tenders from chutes on the bottom of each side of the tower.

    In 1961 we spent the summer watching them scrap over 110 steam locomotives at Turcot. Sad, and never able to be forgotten.

    We used to take the 106 bus along U L road and go down the STEEP road at the East side of Rose Bowl lanes to get into the Yards. A real thrill on a bike!

    In winter the City of Montreal used to go down the same road with trucks of snow to dump once the tracks were lifted in 1960s.

    Their Yard was almost right across the street.

    LaSalle Coke used to quench coke, and each time a huge cloud of steam would rise for almost a mile in the air, especially in winter.

    Until 1956 or so, all the gas used in the city was provided by LaSalle Coke and stored in the rising tanks once so prominent.

    The Natrual Gas arrived by pipeline from the West, spelling the doom, ultimately, of LaSalle Coke.

    I suspect byproducts from LaSalle Coke were used at Monsanto.

    The crane still extantby the canal was emptied by small narrow-gauge coal cars on a cable which cirulated into the plant proper South of St. Patrick St. at CPR Power Jct.

    When a canaller was being unloaded they wrapped the wheelhouse and aft quarters on the boat with canvas as coal would blow from the clamshell bucket and also rain down on your car if you stopped to watch the unloading.

    If you had binoculars, you could watch the coal cars circulating from the foot of Decarie.

    CNR changed from steam to electric or vice vera on passenger trains at Turcot East on Central Station Trains.

    Montreal Tramways used to run along the South side of Turcot Yard thru to Lachine.

    I too remember the explosion at Monsanto, and there was an apartment block in La Salle the exploded from Natrual Gas, killing 20 or so a few years earlier. We could see the smoke out our kitchen window.

    Around 1962 a private house blew up on Beaconsfield Ave. just North of Sherbrooke.

    We were coming in from Dorval and saw the houses on fire at Brock, and immediately rode our bikes down.

    There used to be a single-track level crossing of the CNR which went by Consumers Glass in VSP, then around West of CPR Sortin Yard and thru to Vertu and thence to Jacques Cartier Jct. just South of Bordeaux Jail.

    Old CNR at that time still passed thru Lachine to Dorval along side the Tramways out to Dixie.

    • 2 saltydog July 11, 2011 at 8:33 pm

      It was 9 am on a Sunday morning in 1962 when the Haumont house on Beaconsfield was leveled by a propane gas explosion. I lived about 4 blocks away and it was the most astonishing sound…whummp..boom. Amazing how your mention of it brought that memory back so vividly..

      • 3 Ken McGuire April 21, 2013 at 7:53 am

        I remember that explosion, as well as the one at Monsanto. In the latter case we were watching a football game at Trenholme Park when it happened. We visited the Haumont site soon after-the-fact since it was such a big deal.

      • 5 Heather Ayer (nee Sinclair) May 16, 2021 at 12:13 pm

        I went to St. Paul’s Academy with Nicky Haumont. The explosion and loss of a good friend was so traumatic for all of us. It was our graduation from high school year.

        • 6 Robert May 16, 2021 at 1:22 pm

          Heather, your recollection of Nicky Haumont is sad and shocking. I do remember my family driving by the site (almost 58 years ago) and seeing fabric caught in the branches of the trees.

          I’ve found this news account:

          Montreal (CP) — An explosion killed three persons and severely injured two others, all members of the same family, levelling their two-storey brick home in Montreal’s west-end Notre Dame de Grace district early Sunday.
          Dead are MRS. ROLAND JEAN HAUMONT, 44, a native of St. John’s, Nfld., and her two daughters, NICOLE, 16, and LESLIE, 10.
          MR. HAUMONT, 41, assistant professor of French at Harpur College, Birghampton, N.Y. and his son, MARC were in hospital severely injured.
          All the victims were buried in the rubble and bits of clothing hung from nearby trees indicating the force of the explosion.
          Firemen and police were on the scene minutes after the 8 a.m. blast rocked the quiet neighborhood.
          Winnipeg Free Press Manitoba 1963-10-21

  2. 7 Robert December 7, 2008 at 12:16 am

    Cdnlococo, thank-you for the thoughtful comments. I sense that you and I saw west-end Montreal from a similar perspective… but your views seem more mature. I suspect you are 4 or 5 years older than me. We may have passed each other on our bikes or at the counter at Elmhurst Dairy.

  3. 8 Cdnlococo December 7, 2008 at 3:02 pm

    Dear Robert,

    Yes, I sense that I am just a bit older than you. I once went to Iona School over by Decarie, then to Rosedale School when part of the classes were still being held in the old Church Hall South of Terrebonne at Mariette.

    The Old Hall was being demolished when JFK was shot.

    If you go look at the house on the NW corner of Marriette and Terrebonne there used to be a white-on-blue enamel road sign on it’s bricks, which were rare even in the sixties.

    I then went to Monklands High over on Benny/West Hill.

    We had many a cone at the old Elmhurst Dairy, and, the joke always was the Bull and the Cow’s afterquarters were intact behind the billboard to the West of the dairy proper.

    I once spent 1/2 an hour looking for AVON on a Service Order! Was I mad!

    We haunted the train yards as kids, if not Turcot and it’s swamps, old Sortin Yard over at the end of Cote St Luc Rd.

    Lots of steam engines still, and the Lachine Canal not yet replaced by the Seaway.

    There were billboards overlooking 2/17 just down the hill from SKF and International Trucks and we could sit on them and view the whole scene of Turcot West, Canadian Car and Foundry and the Canal, once again with Lachine streetcars going back and forth.

    Therw was a Trucker’s Hotle, Peg’s?? on the corner of U L Rd where the truck tractors had all sorts of licence plates from everywhere.

    I don’t have time today, but once we walked the St. Pierre River from over by the CPR Hump near Blue Bonnets Raceway thru to CPR Sortin Yards at the Wentworth Golf Course.

    It drained all the arable land once where Cote St Luc is now, along Kildare, etc.

    Yes, we probably DID pass somewhere, maybe watching trains at Mtl West when seeing a DIESEL on a train was a novelty, and the Tramways used to turn up on Sherbrbrooke when thr Streetcars used to still turn at Elmhurst Loop.

    They had a big revolving illuminated LaSalle Taxi sign there next to old Track 4 at the station.

  4. 9 Terry Danks July 10, 2009 at 1:14 am

    Hmmm . . .

    I can’t help but wonder who you fellows are. My friends and I haunted Montreal West in the years 1954 to 1958 or so. Watching trains. And, indeed, I recall wanting to see DIESELS!!! After all, steamers were commonplace, eh? In fact I have a couple of snaps of The Canadian at Montreal West and a steamer too. They can be seen by clicking the small thumbnails at the bottom of this web page http://danks.netfirms.com/locos.htm

    And yes, when we could afford it out of our allowances, the cones at Elmhurst (although I had forgotten the name of the place) were a real treat.

    Yup, on bicycles too.

    I wonder if we knew each other all those years ago.

    • 10 Robert July 10, 2009 at 7:15 am

      Terry, I’ve just been reviewing your web site. The photography is stunning! I see that you have also done some excellent astrophotography. My interest in astronomy began a few years after you left the Montreal West area… in 1963. In June of ’63 a member of the Royal Astronomical Society, Karl McNamara, visited a neighbour, and he brought his telescope. Long after everyone else had gone to bed he was showing me wonders of the night sky. He told me that he was organizing a train to go to to Grand-Mère in July to see an eclipse of the sun. The next day I announced that our family was going. We did. That train was the first in many years to stop in Grand-Mère, and the town had a band to greet us at the station. The eclipse was awesome. Karl was a member of the Montreal Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. I joined that group. It was a turning point in my life. I’ve worked in three of Canada’s largest planetariums over a period of 20 years. I’m still a member of the Montreal Centre.

  5. 11 Robert July 10, 2009 at 6:57 am

    Hi Terry, I was born in 1943, so I would have been riding my bike around Montreal West during the years that you were there. I was one of the Ballantyne family who lived on Ballantyne Avenue South. My cousin Ralph was like an older brother, and he lived on the Upper Lachine Road (Avon Road). I clearly remember us watching a diesel passing through the crossing at Westminster, and him saying to my amazement, “Someday all of the engines will be diesel.” Thanks for the link to the pictures.

    • 12 Joanne Trenholme January 22, 2011 at 11:03 am

      Hi Robert Ballantyne,

      I just happened upon the ” blog” that you take part in.

      My name is Joanne Trenholme ( born in 1949) My grandfather was Wilfred Trenholme, who built and lived in that big old home at 150 Brock South. As a little girl, we used to go to Sunday dinner at my grandparents almost every week and I remember my father, Thomas Trenholme, pointing out his aunt, Ethel Ballantyne’s house, just across the street.

      I have lived all my married life in the Eastern Townships and often go over to the small village, near Richmond Quebec, called Trenholme, where my great/great/great grandfather, William Trenholme settled, in 1819.

      I am in frequent touch with most of the other members of our family: Prices, Clarksons, Kerrigans. My grandfather had six sisters, of which Ethel Ballantyne was one, so there are many cousins…. you, among them !!

      I remember going to family Christmas parties, years ago, with Ballantyne cousins: Murray, Jimmy and a third brother.

      Where, exactly, do you fit in ??

      • 13 Robert January 22, 2011 at 5:26 pm

        Hi Joanne,

        My sister and I grew up at 140 Ballantyne Avenue in the house of my father, George Ballantyne. George is the son of James Ballantyne, who built the large house at 124 Ballantyne Ave. The street was named after Grandfather, who was mayor of Montreal West from (I think) 1912 to 1927.

        I seem to remember reading a book by Murray Ballantyne about his conversion to Roman Catholicism.

        James Ballantyne was the son of John, who emigrated from the Orkney Islands in Scotland. Great Grandfather John settled on a farm near Chester, Ontario. I believe he and his wife had about 16 children; 8 in Scotland, and 8 in Canada. I think I heard that one died during the crossing. The family legend is that as each of the children came of age, John would walk them to the King’s Highway (between Toronto and Montreal), give them one dollar and send them on their way announcing that this was, “the road of life.” The story is that they all did well. One became a Senator. My namesake was Uncle Bob, a Presbyterian minister. Aunt Liz was a beloved school teacher – the Elizabeth Ballantyne School was named for her. Grandfather ran a large plumbing and heating business, plumbing buildings as far away as the Manitoba Legislature.

        I think I remember a young girl who visited ‘Wilfie’ Trenholme’s household, and was friends with the Gillespie family who lived across the street from my house. Could that be you?

        Thanks for writing… Robert

        • 14 Alexandra March 11, 2016 at 12:33 pm

          I think I just bought your great grandfather’s home! It’s almost 200 acre residence in Chesterville ON and it was labelled Ballantyne residence. He was a senator in Ottawa. Do not know very much else about them except for reading small articles here and there.

          • 15 robpatrob July 24, 2017 at 12:15 pm

            A belated reply – I am the great grandson of Senator CC Ballantyne – his eldest son was also Charlie and was the father of my mother Rosalie. CC bought the farm because it was close to the farm where he grew up. My mother used to spend her summers there. I went to see the house with her about 30 years ago. It was then unchanged and my mother’s room was as it was when she was a girl.

            Robert I used to stay occasionally with Uncle Jimmie’s widow, Hazel, at your house on Ballantyne Avenue when I travelled back and froth to the UK as a child. Before the Ballantyne’s bought it, it was the Paterson summer house. My Paterson Grandfather was a mad keen sailor. While the Paterson’s only lived there for a few years compared to the Ballantynes, they always joked with the B’s that it was really their house.

            It’s confusing with all the James and Roberts on both sides of the family. The Trenholmes also married into the Ballantynes – My maternal grandfather Charlie had Trenholme as his middle name.

            You are all close to Allancroft, the Allan’s west Island Summer home that they bought from the Drummonds before the first world war. The Allans also set up a dairy there. My Paterson grand father was a 2nd cousin of Sir Montagu Allan and also of his wife Marguerite née MacKenzie.

            Uncle Murray married Frances Stephens who died aged 102 only a few years ago. Her baby brother John was drowned on the Lusitania with the his granny. They were on their way to the Uk to see his father and Frances. Her mother was also called Hazel. Granny Stephens’ body was found and sent back to Canada on the Allan ship Hesparian. It was sunk almost on top of the Lusitania by the same Boat and the same Captain – months later.

        • 16 lynda trenholme June 7, 2019 at 12:25 pm

          Don’t know if this is active or not. Think it was me, Lynda trenholme

          • 17 Robert June 7, 2019 at 12:47 pm

            Hi Lynda. Yes this site is quietly active. Following my foot injury last year, I’ve not been blogging much (the story of my foot is described in a blog entry April, 2018). Oddly this thread has comments going back to 2007. There is lots of wonderful Montreal West history recorded here. This is where I learned about the connection between the Ballantynes and the Trenholmes. Where, or how, do you fit into the picture?

            • 18 Joanne Trenholme June 8, 2019 at 3:43 pm

              Hi Robert,
              I am revisiting this wonderful Salish Sea blog today and want to ask you to confirm the names of the three sons of Senator CC Ballantyne and his wife ( my great aunt, Ethel Trenholme )
              I believe that the sons were :
              James / Jimmy

              I certainly met Murray and Jimmy as a young child, at various Family Christmas parties. Those boys were the oldest of all the 25 or so Trenholme cousins.

              Who was Charlie married to ?
              His daughter was Rosalie?
              Other children !

              Murray was married to France’s Stevens ( Mount Steven Club fame ?)
              Who were their children ?

              James/Jimmy was married to Hazel ( second wife ….. the daughter of Lord Shaughnessy ? )

              I knew of an Elizabeth Ballantyne ( McNally )
              I think that she now lives in Knowlton.

              I have also met the artist, John Ballantyne , who lives in the Sutton area.

              Who would have been their father’s ?

              Thank you for any help that you could provide.

              Joey Trenholme

              • 19 Robert June 8, 2019 at 6:50 pm

                Joey, I have few or no recollections of your side of the Ballantyne family. I knew about the large property in Dorval, but I don’t remember ever visiting there. As mentioned elsewhere in this thread, I did read Murray’s book on converting to Catholicism, was it called, “All Or Nothing”? — but, was that a result of meeting and talking to him? It’s possible. And the names you mention were on my parents’ lips.

                So, looking on the Internet, I found this reference to James Ross Ballantyne (1905–1970), the son of Charles Colquhoun “CC” Ballantyne (1867–1950) and his wife Ethel Maud Trenholme (1882–1970). https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/108988924/james-ross-ballantyne.

                That reference reports that James Ross (“Jimmy” I guess) had three siblings: Charles Trenholme (1902-1966), Murray Gordon (b. 1909) and Linda Trenholme. So, if that account is true, there were 4 children, not 3.

                On Feb. 5, 1930, James married Mary “Molly” Elizabeth Fletcher Meigs, daughter of Walter Meigs (b. 1874) and Louise Boulter (1879-1964). Molly’s mother and aunt, Mary Olive Boulter, were nurses serving in England and France during World War I.

                James and Molly had two children: James Michael and Linda Trenholme (Mrs. Bruce Fleming). Following a divorce, James married Hazel Marion Shaughnessy (birth?–1976) on Oct. 3, 1938 in Montreal. Hazel was the daughter of Lord William James Shaughnessy and Marion Graham.They also had two children: Marion Graham and Willian Gordon.

                Does all of this sound right to you? The reference to a “Linda Trenholme” in two generations may not be correct.

                • 20 Joanne Marosi June 9, 2019 at 2:54 am

                  This is all very interesting ….. thank you.
                  Somehow, I recall that CC Ballantyne had three sons …… no daughter?
                  Linda shows up twice, but I think there is only one ….. Jame’s daughter.
                  Have you got similar information on son Charles and son Murray ?
                  Thanks, Robert
                  p.s. I had an interesting phone chat with David Watson yesterday. His computer is broken at the moment. We are going to meet in Montreal soon and share photos. He is the local Montreal West historian and I was inquiring about the new «  Edgar Davies Park », created last year, at the corner of Sherbrooke and Westminster.
                  Interestingly enough, no one seems to know who the park is named after ?
                  Not even anyone at the Town Hall ??

              • 21 robpatrob April 20, 2020 at 2:51 am

                Late reply – Charlie B was married to Rosalie Britain from Winnipeg – she had a brother Tim. They moved to St Andrews NB in 1950 – they had a house in Montreal on Redpath. Murray had many children of which Elizabeth who still lives near Knowlton as I do and we see each other quite often. John B a brother lives less than mile away from her

                • 22 Joanne Trenholme Marosi April 20, 2020 at 8:52 am

                  Looking over this blog again.
                  Could you confirm:
                  Your grandfather, Charlie Ballantyne was married to Rosalie Britain.
                  They had a daughter named Rosalie, as well, who was your mother.
                  What is your father’s name ?
                  p.s. lots of time to piece together family history. 😆

                • 23 robpatrob April 20, 2020 at 8:56 am

                  Fun too. My father was James Paterson. Known as Jim or Jimmie. He was the son of Col Alec Paterson and Anna Cowans. As a boy the Ballantyne house in Dorval was his father’s. He sold it to Uncle Jimmy. C C ‘ brother and later mayor of Dorval.

                • 24 robpatrob April 20, 2020 at 9:02 am

                  Alec lost most of his money in the depression and moved to Cartierville on the north shore in the mid 1930’s. My fathers brother was Robert Paterson who worked for the Royal Bank. He died 2 years ago aged 90. Dad died in 1981 aged 55. Mum died in 2014 on Valentine day. I have 2 younger sisters Diana who had just moved to Montreal and Cindy who lives in Turks and Caicos

            • 25 lynda trenholme June 10, 2019 at 1:33 pm

              My father is Harry Edgar Trenholme, son of Wilfred and WinnfredTrenholme. It was Dad’s grandfather Thomas that started the Elmhurst Dairy. ‘ all of dad’s siblings are deceased .

            • 28 lynda trenholme September 8, 2019 at 2:23 pm

              Thought i had answered this , sorry. My father is Harry Trenholme, son of Wilfred and Winifred Trenholme of the Elmhurst Dairy. I lived at 307 Strathern Ave in Montreal West and went to Elizabeth Ballantyne school. When my grandfather died we moved into 150 Brock S

              • 29 Alice Johnston Trachimovsky February 17, 2021 at 5:53 pm

                I do not know how I got here, but you lived across the street from me. I was at 306. I was Alice Anne Johnston

                • 30 Robert February 17, 2021 at 7:06 pm

                  Hi Alice, I am glad you somehow found your way here. Do I have the correct house http://bit.ly/306strathearnN ? Can you share some of your life in this neighbourhood?

                • 31 Lynda Trenholme February 18, 2021 at 5:34 am

                  Don’t know if this is recent. Did you live on house closest to Brock or Ballantyne?

                • 32 Peter T February 18, 2021 at 8:29 am

                  I think Strathern is on the opposite side of Westminster to Brock and Ballantyne.

                • 33 Lynda February 18, 2021 at 9:56 am

                  It is. She had said across from me, which is a very small street(can’t think of the name?. There were only 2 houses on that street, one on the Brock side, the other on the Ballantyne side.

                • 34 Lynda Trenholme February 18, 2021 at 10:34 am

                  You are right. I lived at 307 Strathern N and 150 Brock S. I assumed she meant Brock🤪

                • 35 Peter Thomson February 18, 2021 at 11:33 am

                  Hi, Lynda. Lived at 145 Percival from1952-7, attended MWHS 1952-1955. Worked for the Town from 1959-64. Many, many memories, but … alas, stuff is fading.

                • 36 Lynda February 18, 2021 at 2:30 pm

                  Nice touching bases with Montreal Westers , lol. Did you know my cousins, Ronnie and Randy Fyfe? Do you still live in Montreal West. Sad how things change and things like the Mike Stevens dances are gone.

                • 37 Peter T February 19, 2021 at 7:31 pm

                  Only knew Randy by sight, since we never had contact with anyone more than 1 grade below “us”. Live now between Lennoxville (Sherbrooke) and near Metis Beach in the Lower St. Lawrence. Does anyone then live in MW now?

                • 38 Lynda Trenholme February 20, 2021 at 6:39 am

                  Nope. I live in Hudson because I ride horses and Ronnie is in Ontario and I think, Randy is in Vancouver. Sad, I don’t like change lol

                • 39 Robert February 18, 2021 at 4:32 pm

                  So, Peter, you were at Montreal West High from 52–55. I figure I was there from around 48–55. We may have experienced some of the same teachers, and you may remember some older children who were part of my cohort. Here is who comes to mind… I may have years and spellings wrong. Teachers: Miss Vibert, grade 5; Miss Rodgers, grade 4 or 6; Miss Reeves, Grade 2; Miss (Dora) Almond, Grade 1; Mrs. Driscoll, Kindergarten; Mr. Parsons, Principal. I’m struggling to remember the gym teacher, the art teacher (Mrs. Petrie?), and the music teacher (Mr. Ringwood?). Some students: Winston Castle, Jackie Bell, Wayne Wright, Richard Dilly, Billy Russell, Chip Gillespie, Julie Borne, Dorothy Ferguson, Trudy Bell, Lynn Kirby, Susan Harris, Mary Wynn.

                • 40 Peter T February 19, 2021 at 7:38 pm

                  Robert, only attended the high school part on MWHS, and Mr. Parsons was the Principal, Mr. White the vice-Principal and Mr. Norman was the gym teacher. Miss Tate taught algebra and was the daughter of the author of our intermediate algebra text. Given more time, others could probably be named. So much is slip-sliding away …

                • 41 Robert February 19, 2021 at 8:23 pm

                  Oh, then Peter, you are several years ahead of me. Thanks for confirming Mr. Parsons as the principal, and for filling in the blank of Mr. Norman for P.E. It make me wonder for how long Automattic, Inc. will support the free version of WordPress.com (and this blog). Some, or even much of what is written in this thread might be the only written artifact of certain events, places and people during those years.

                • 42 Peter T February 20, 2021 at 4:09 am


                  Yes, I could not comment on the blog’s reply page, so sent it to your e-mail.

                  If a paid subscription is needed, depending on the individual cost, I would very much like to do so.

                • 43 Robert February 21, 2021 at 12:47 am

                  Peter, basic WordPress.com is free. The current signup process makes it very easy to think you have to pay. You don’t. You are offered the choice of a free blog or a free account. Technically they are the same thing. Register a unique subdomain, and you have that account forever. I have several. This one is https://howesound.wordpress.com. And so it this https://salishsea.wordpress.com. I have others. BTW, I don’t have an email from you.

                • 44 Lynda February 20, 2021 at 6:35 am

                  You are right!!

                • 45 Robert February 18, 2021 at 8:48 am

                  Looking at the houses across from #306 Strathearn North, are a pair of 3-story semidetached houses in a grand style that reminds me of early Montreal West: #309 and #307. They are part of a series of almost identical buildings with some unique features. The main entrance of each is at the side of the house through a substantial vestibule. That vestibule would partially block the possibility of a driveway to a garage at the rear of the property except that the adjacent building is the mirror image, and there is room for a shared driveway between the vestibules. #309 is a double lot and therefore does not share the driveway. It is interesting that after all these years, #309 remains a double lot. The double lot at #309 Strathearn North, Montreal West.

                • 46 Lynda February 18, 2021 at 10:00 am

                  Sorry I was thinking of when I lived at 150 Brock S, not 307 Strathern. Do you remember Beth Bacon and the Bright family?

            • 47 Lynda Trenholme April 18, 2020 at 11:35 am

              Just a sad note that my father, Harry Edgar Trenholme passed away march 28, 2020. Dad fell and broke his hip and died from complications after surgery. Very sad time and the last of Wilfred Trenholme’s children.
              Lest We Forget

              • 48 Judith Perry April 18, 2020 at 3:22 pm

                Lynda, I am so sorry to read about your father. The sadness never really leaves. Montreal West was a long time ago. I lived with my grandparents at 123 Ballantyne. Robbie and Nibby were my first friends.

                • 49 Lynda Trenholme April 18, 2020 at 4:09 pm

                  Well so far all I do is remember and cry. Thank you for your kind words. Where are you living now? I am in Hudson

              • 50 robpatrob April 20, 2020 at 2:54 am

                Lynda – belated condolences – did your father have a place in Knowlton too? I have a hazy memory of meeting him there

                • 51 Joanne Trenholme April 20, 2020 at 4:18 am

                  Hi Rob,
                  I can answer that. It is my father, Thomas C. Trenholme, who had a home in Knowlton , for over fifty years. As a young man, he had visited Knowlton , often, to see his cousins. Several children of T.A. Trenholme had homes in Knowlton : Elsie Trenholme Clarkson, Géraldine Trenholme Kerrigan, Marjorie Trenholme Price. Therefore, many of their children and grandchildren ended up with homes in the area …… a Trenholme enclave.
                  Lynda’s father, Harry Trenholme , was the last of his generation of approx. 23 grandchildren of T.A. Trenholme.
                  From this very large family, my brother, Thomas Gray Trenholme, is the only one to carry on the Trenholme name. Fortunately, he has two sons and four grandsons !!

                • 52 robpatrob April 20, 2020 at 4:31 am

                  How wonderful to hear from you so quickly. My mum, Rosalie Anne Ballantyne Charlie Trenholme Ballantyne’s daughter always had a bit of a crush on your dad. In an innocent way. She introduced me briefly I think on a visit here. But memory is so unreliable. I can’t be sure

                • 53 Joanne Trenholme April 20, 2020 at 4:52 am

                  So you are Charlie Ballantyne’s grandson. ; Rosalie Ballantyne’s son. What is your last name? How long have you lived in Knowlton ?
                  So Charlie Ballantyne and Thomas Trenholme ( my father) were 1st cousins.
                  Rosalie and I are 2nd cousins.
                  You and I are 2nd cousins once removed, indicating a generational difference.
                  Because the three Ballantyne boys were the first born cousins ( their mother, Ethel Trenholme being the oldest ; perhaps Harry Trenholme was THE oldest ) Charlie, Murray and Jimmy were the ‘ oldest ‘ cousins.
                  Hence, the age range in that generation .

                • 54 robpatrob April 20, 2020 at 9:04 am

                  My last name is Paterson. I have added more info in another reply

                • 55 robpatrob April 20, 2020 at 4:32 am

                  I work with Claire Kerrigan who is the founder of Tempo our local paper. She is 95 going on 50!

                • 56 Lynda Trenholme April 20, 2020 at 5:00 am

                  Thank you so much. It is a very sad time . Dad always was in my life.
                  No it was Dad’s brother, Thomas Trenholme married to Audrey Grey that had the place in Knowlton. His daughter, Joanne Maronite and is on this blog lives in North Hayley area, Lake Missiwippi(? Spelling). My father had a place at Tremblant. Where are you living now?

                • 57 Joanne Trenholme April 20, 2020 at 6:01 am

                  Just a few edits:
                  Audree Gray
                  Joanne Marosi
                  North Hatley
                  Lake Massawippi

                • 58 Lynda April 20, 2020 at 9:18 am

                  Sorry Joey that was the auto correct. Lol.

      • 60 Joanne Trenholme January 23, 2011 at 10:16 am

        Hi again Robert,

        Thanks Robert for your speedy reply. I am trying to sort out all this family history and your contributions were helpful.

        When you mention your great-grandfather John ( from the Orkneys) and his sixteen children…. one of whom was a senator, that would be, I believe, Senator C.C. Ballantyne ( Charles), who would be my connection to your family.

        I am Wilfred ( Wilfie) Trenholme’s granddaughter. Wilfred’s oldest sister, Ethel Trenholme married C.C. Ballantyne and they had three sons: James, Murray ( who, indeed, converted to Roman Catholicism and a third.) ( nor sure of his name )

        My great grandfather , Thomas Anderson Trenholme, started Elmhurst’s Dairy and his two sons, Harry Trenholme and Wilfred ran the dairy. My father told me many wonderful stories of the dairy:visiting the large stable of horses which pulled the wagons and much more wonderful lore.

        So Senator C.C. Ballantyne would have been your great uncle, ( brother of James ) and he was mine as well, through marriage. James and C.C
        ( Charles) must have lived next door to one another on Ballantyne South. I remember my father telling me about visiting the Ballantynes out at their country home in Dorval, as a little boy and eating strawberries from their garden the size of apples !

        Interesting how inter-connected we all are.


        Joanne Trenholme Marosi

        • 61 Dick Nieuwendyk January 16, 2015 at 12:27 pm

          Hi Robert,

          the property on Ballantyne Terasse in Dorval was the home of Hazel Ballantyne. She was the daughter of William James (second Baron Shaughnessy) and the 2nd wife of James Ross Ballantyne, a stockbroker with the firm of MacDougall, McTier. She was a Dorval alderman and
          parks and playgrounds commissioner in the 50s.

          • 62 Lynda Trenholme April 18, 2020 at 12:48 pm

            The cousins would have a Christmas cocktail party there every year. There seemed to about 50 of us if not more. Happy Times

          • 63 Dick Nieuwendyk May 13, 2020 at 9:42 am

            Hi Robert,
            I have posted some info on the Ballantynes a few years back.
            At this moment I am doing research on the Maison Jacques Lepage dit Roy, located on 2 Ballantyne Terrace in Dorval, for publication in our annual Héritage booklet from the Dorval Historical Society, of which I am a board member.
            This house is one of the oldest still standing since 1790. C.C. Ballantyne bought this house in 1922, even though his main residence apparently was on 3484 Mountain St. in Montreal. I know that his son James (Jimmy) married Hazel Shaughnessy in 1938 and lived in the same house. Hazel was a Dorval Councillor from from 1953 to 1961 under the administration of Mayor John Pratt, She passed on September 24, 1976.

            Would you know the date of marriage of C.C. Ballantyne with Ethel Trenholm?

            Any info on this family will be much appreciated.

            Thanks in advance,


            • 64 Robert June 6, 2020 at 11:02 am

              Dick, I apologize for the slow response to your comment — and thanks for your information about C.C. Ballantyne’s house in Dorval. While I have no information about the date of the marriage of Ethel Trenholme and C.C. Ballantyne, there are some members of the Trenholme family who have posted here, and they might have that information. We’ll watch for it.

              • 65 Dick Nieuwendyk June 6, 2020 at 11:51 am

                Thanks for your reply, Robert. I’ll be checking the Trenholm postings. If any new info on the Ballantyne family becomes available, please let me know.

            • 66 Joanne Trenholme Marosi June 6, 2020 at 11:59 am

              Ethel Trenholme Ballantyne ( note the E on Trenholme ) was my great aunt. Her brother, Wilfred Trenholme , was my grandfather, who lived at 150 Brock Ave. S. from the day he married, until the day he died.
              I have much information on this family. I would be happy to share it.
              Joanne Trenholme ( joeymarosi@gmail.com )

            • 67 Jane Stephenson March 14, 2021 at 6:44 pm

              Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne and Ethel Maud Trenholme married 2 Oct 1901.

              • 68 Robert March 14, 2021 at 11:13 pm

                Thank-you Jane. That was the event that connected my family, the Ballantynes, with the Trenholmes, before my father was born. This is a connection I never knew about until this blog thread.

                • 69 Lynda Trenholme March 15, 2021 at 7:58 am

                  I have some info on Ethel Maud born March 22, 1882 and died Jan 14, 1970.believe the parents were Thomas Anderson Trenholme 1847-1917 and IsabellaDeborah Mathews 1851-1944.
                  Grand parents John Trenholme 1807-1888 and Jane Anderson 1805-1896

        • 70 Eric Cook March 3, 2016 at 12:40 pm

          Hi Joanne:
          I live on a house on Connaught Ave. I am the second owner and I have all the original title deeds. The deed for the land sale is from “The heirs of the estate of Thomas A. Trenholme to Camille Chevalier”, the architect and builder, dated Apr. 7, 1949. The presiding notary was Charles Wayland.

          There are lots of names mentioned here, who are the parties of the first part, the heirs who are selling the land to Chevalier. They are present at Notary Wayland’s office. They are:
          -Charles Trenholme Ballantyne, representing the late Miss Ellen Matilda Trenholme
          -Dame Ethel Maude Trenholme wife of the honourable Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne,
          -Dame Elsie Florence Trenholme, wife of Ross Clarkson,
          -Dame Frederica Thorpe Trenholme, wife of William Alexander Fowler,
          -Dame Geraldine Isobel Mathews Trenholme, wife of the late Victor Ernest Kerrigan, -Dame Marjorie Meredith Holden Trenholme, wife of Charles Basil Price,
          -Wilfred Thomas Trenholme, “Dairyman”
          -Dame Emma Merab Willard, widow of the late Henry Richard Trenholme

          The purchaser, Chevalier, bought 420 ft. frontage on Connaught x 105 ft. depth, bordering on the Montreal West city line. The price was $9443.00, of which he paid a third with an agreement to pay the rest by Apr. 1st, 1950. He built 9 units, 8 of which are semidetached on the western side of Connaught.
          The document is pristine, typed flawlessly on onion skin paper, names underlined in the red ink of the typewriter ribbon.

      • 71 Robert January 23, 2011 at 12:33 pm


        Grandfather and his brother, Great Uncle Charlie, acquired a plot in the Mt. Royal Cemetery, section F10. Charlie’s family are buried on the left side of the plot — and my grandparents, and all of my aunts and uncles (and parents), are on the right side. If you are in Montreal, you might visit and find out what relatives of yours are there.

        I knew there was a Ballantyne in Dorval, but I don’t ever remember visiting. I recall my Dad mentioning the large property when we drove by. That has since been developed, and the street is called Terrasse Ballantyne.

        I had no idea of the connection between the Trenholme family and Elmhurst Dairy. The dairy was a big part of our lives. People would come a long way to visit its ice cream parlour. I remember how unhappy Frank, the Milkman, was when the dairy took his horse and gave him a truck. His horse knew the route so well that Frank could be inside the wagon making up the next order, while the horse walked to the next house and stopped. I think I remember visiting the stables and the blacksmith shop that was out behind the main building of Elmhurst Dairy.

    • 73 Sheila Brooke Perez October 27, 2013 at 11:33 am

      My name is Sheila Brooke (Perez) I was born in 1943. I lived at 4995 Connaught Ave. And I went to St Ignatius school and also church where I made my first communion. I had a best friend Adele Dunnigan. We used to walk and roller skate all over the neighborhood. We used to go to the candy store for penny candy I believe the owner was Mrs, Unsworth. My father was Charlie Brooke and mother Stella, brother Allan, sister Pat. I remember going to Elmhurst Dairy and Burks Drug store. We moved when I was nine years old in 1952 when my father died. I found this blog by accident looking up St ignatius. Does anyone remember me or my family? Other friends were Ann Colvey and Susan Wilson.

      • 74 Jane Hanson Cooney August 29, 2018 at 9:32 am

        Sheila this is quite miraculous and I hope you get this message. Last week (August 22, 2018) I was in Montreal with Anne and Judy Colvey and Judy McGuirk on a nostalgic visit to all these haunts. I found this blog because we talked about you and Adele and I did a search. I am Jane Hanson — I have a photo of you in grade 2. If memory serves me correctly your birthday is in March as is mine. Anyway I am not going to write more til I hear back. I also think I have found the correct street address for you in Florida. I am in Toronto.

      • 75 LyndaTrenholme March 15, 2021 at 8:01 am

        Just saw this. I was born in 1946. Unfortunately no one to ask

  6. 76 Terry Danks July 22, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Well, I am a little surprised (disappointed?) that perhaps we did not actually know one another. I was born in ’44 so we are contemporaries. I lived on Coronation Avenue (1954-56) and then King Edward (1956-58) before moving to Pointe Claire. Rode the commuter trains to high school and college (Loyola) until finishing in 1965.

    Elementary school was St. Ignatius (corner West Broadway and Terrebonne). My best friend Barry, a year or two older than I, went to Monklands which I also saw mentioned here.

    My Dad drove me to Grande Mere for the eclipse in 1963 and I hauled my 4″ refractor along. I still remember the deep red of the prominences visible. Was thrilled at them! But it was such a short eclipse! I envy what the folks in Asia saw today.

    I only stumbled on this site as a result of searching for photos of the Montreal West CPR station. Didn’t find any unfortunately.
    What remains of it now?

    Thanks for dropping by the web site, BTW.

  7. 80 Cdnlococo September 3, 2009 at 1:11 pm

    Was perusing the web looking for photos of NDG, and, was quite successful, finding a photo of Meldrum the Mover at Walkley and Sherbrooke when it was STILL a telephone exchange!

    Found a companion photo of the ‘new’ BTCo exchange on Monkland, later HUnter, taken between 1952, when the West extension was added to the building, but, prior to 1956, when the 3A streetcar from Girouard to Walkley by Steinberg’s was removed.

    Worked at HUnter for a while, amongst the Line Finders, Selectors and Connectors.

    ( Steinberg’s once had a tunnel with conveyors for groceries South beneath Somerled to their once-large parking lot on the East side of Walkley. )

    We used to LIVE at Montreal West Station, and the 3 E8s 1800-02 were Diesel favorites, they occasionally operated two coupled.

    Listening to the steam locomotive exhausts echoing off Slumhaven village apartments as they left for Westmount was lovely.

    My father and I saw the eclipse in 1963, but, we went up by train. CP ran an ‘Eclipse Special’ the locomotives being CP 1800-8705, then an almost-rare GP9 in the East, a MLW stronghold.

    We used to visit the stored to be scrapped steam locomotives at the CP St Luc roundhouse, then spent many a day watching the CNR cut them up at Turcot in ’61.

    At one time, Hydro Quebec had a small substation on the North side of Somerled between Doherty and O’Bryan.

    Used to listen to the steam engines, then the Diesels pull up the grade from LaSalle/Highland, South and North Jcts and then whistle for the crossing, back in the Fifties, at Cote St Luc road at West Broadway, before the shopping centre was built in ’56.

    At night, on hot summer evenings you could hear the small air whistle at the CPR Hump over near Blue Bonnets, the air whistle indicating to the pin puller how many cars to cut off to let down to the retarders, then the clatter of the retarders applying to slow them down.

    The whistles and horns of various yard engines around the area, and along St Patrick St. puctuated the nights.

    A canaller in the Lachine Canal would whistle 3-long for the bascule bridge at St Pierre by the Tramways substation and Canadian Car and Foundry and for the CPR swing bridge upstream by Dominion Bridge.

    LaSalle Coke would quench their name product resulting in an atomic-like cloud of steam hovering and expanding ominously.

    Minto was the street that disappeared.

    DExter was our phone No, then HUnter 4.

    HUnter 2 was electronic and Touch Tone could be ordered.

    All gone now.

    Many changes.

    The 105 is not what it used to be.

    Thank You!

  8. 81 Cdnlococo September 3, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Don’t forget the Fifties Royal Bank branch on the NE corner of Grand and Monkland, now an apartment.

    The Tramways used to Wye rush hour streetcars at Grand and Monkland, the original end of track before they extended to Walkley and Somerled.

    The wye was there until the end of streetcars on that route in 1956, making a satisfyling clanking beneath the floor as cars turned left onto Monkland towards Girouard.

    Yes, things have definitely changed in good old NDG.

    • 82 Robert September 3, 2009 at 6:06 pm

      Hi Cdnlococo, thanks for conjuring up those images and sounds of the Montreal that I remember… and left so long ago.

      I have a very vague memory of an orchard where Westhaven Village appeared. I don’t recall the term Slumhaven being used.

      So now I am curious to know who is behind the name, Cdnlococo. Isn’t it time for you to found your own blog or web site?

      • 83 Lori January 9, 2011 at 1:23 pm

        Yes, I’m also very curious to find out who’s behind the name, Cdnlocococo. You should definitely set up your own blog! I’ve come across your reminiscences a few times looking for old photos of NDG and find them so fascinating and well written. I can’t for the life of me find photos of what stood before the Decarie autoroute was built. But I did find out Minto disappeared, just as you mentioned.

        • 84 Ken McGuire April 21, 2013 at 8:04 am

          I remember going over to visit a horse stable on Minto. I did find – using Lovell’s Montreal Directories on-line {http://bibnum2.banq.qc.ca/bna/lovell/} – that Christie Brown & Co. was located there so the horses could have been for bread delivery.

          • 85 Lori April 21, 2013 at 9:26 am

            Hi Ken, thank you for the info about Minto. Here’s a picture I finally found (oddly just as I got an email saying you responded to my post from 2011!) of what was there before the Expressway was built. Montreal archives released aerial photos of Montreal from 1947–49. I started at P10-25 in Westmount and got to P10-22 at Decarie: http://archivesdemontreal.com/greffe/vues-aeriennes-archives/jpeg/VM97-3_7P10-22.jpg

            • 86 Robert April 21, 2013 at 10:41 am

              In case folks reading Ken’s and Lori’s comments are curious about the location of the area around Minto — a street that vanished in the Decarie construction, download this kmz file and open it with Google Earth. I’ve done a fairly sloppy job of creating an overlay of an historical picture of the area. I am delighted to be able to see where there were once 2 roundhouses. Westmount Roundhouses

              Google Earth has a slider in the sidebar that will let you change the opacity of the overlay so you can compare the historical image with the more recent data.

              • 87 Spencer (Butch) Racine October 21, 2013 at 3:54 pm

                Robert /Lori/Ken
                I remember Minto Ave quite well. I lived on Oxford and Western and would ride my bike all around the Minto/Addington area. At the bottom of Minto were barns where they kept horses. We would roam around them in the evenings and hear them. There were also dogs in some of those barns and they’d bark at us when we were close. There were people whom my older sister told me were Beat Nics that hung around the vacant buildings. Probably living there.
                It was kind of a fieldy area and half way up there was a four foot drop in the land that we would take a run at with our bicycles and sail through the air. Further up the street there were houses all the way to Sherbrooke.
                On the other side of Sherbrooke was POM bakeries where we would through rocks at the pigeons in the rear of the building. A few doors over was TWA (I think they became canadian air lines) I remember there was this metal statue of an airplane right in front on the sidewalk. A block away was the Chalet BBQ which is still there today.
                I remember watching them tear down those buildings and wandering if the horses would be ok. There were also houses on the east side of
                addington that got demolished. Again I remember thinking that they were gonna tear down the Chalet BBQ (which was on the west side of addington) where we used to go get the best fries and a Coca Cola in a small green bottle.
                I also watched them digging the biggest hole I ever saw which became the expressway.

                • 88 Robert October 21, 2013 at 5:55 pm

                  Butch, Many thanks for the vivid description of life around Minto Avenue before the Décarie Expresssway appeared in Montreal. I loved the imagery of you catching some air-time on your bikes! BTW, I thought that the Pom Bakery was at The Glen and St Catherine.

                  I remember that somewhere around that part of Sherbrooke there was a pet shop with a mynah bird. I vaguely recall being there with my Mom. Yes, the bird could talk, but every now and then it would let out a shriek. We were told that it was imitating the sound of the old streetcars as they braked. Any idea where that store was?

                • 89 Spencer (Butch) Racine October 22, 2013 at 8:04 am

                  Hi Robert.
                  It was a bakery for sure. I always remembered it as being POM. Perhaps it moved to the Glen after that part of Sherbrooke was demolished to make way for the Decarie expressway. There were thousands of pigeons in the rear of that building and as kids we were always trying to catch them. I remember flying through the alley way on our bikes into a crowd of pigeons of course they always heard us coming and flew away.
                  There were a lot of vacant lots in those days and plenty of places for us to explore. I remember when they built the sky scraper on the corner of girourd and Sherbrooke. Before that it was a vacant lot filled with tall bushes. I remember playing hide and go seek in them. We would also use the alley way there as a short cut on our way to school. Daniel O’ Connel.
                  I do remember a Mina bird. Just can’t place where. There was a comic store that we went to see the new Superman, Green Lantern and others. We were eventually chased off by the owner cause we didn’t ever buy one. There was a joke store. We’d get chased outta there to. There was a restaurant called F.D.R. Which stood for Jack De Rice. Of course there was and still is the NDG park filled with trees that we used to climb to get the chestnuts. We got chased off quite a few times by the park keepers. A friend of mine fell out of one of those trees and broke his arm. I remember flagging down a police car to take him to the hospital on Northcliffe ave.
                  That whole area was a cool place to grow up as a kid. We spent a lotta time riding our bikes there and down Decarie where you could get into Turcot yards. We would put pennies on the tracks and wait for the train to flatten them out. We would wave to the conductors and they would wave back. I remember watching the workers unhook trains and then seeing the locomotives go onto that part of the track that would spin them around the opposite way. I remember the roar they used to make when they dumped the hot ash into the water underneath the track. I remember the trains would go into that enormous sized building and they’d make this sound that was like a motor reving high that lasted a minute or so then quite.
                  We got caught a few times by the CNR police who would take us home to our parents cause we weren’t supposed to be there. We would go back of course. I must of been in that place a million times as a kid.
                  We would catch frogs in the swamps. Some of my friends actually went swimming in those green pools. My mom told me you could catch Polio from them. One summer a young kid drowned in one of them. There was plenty of places to set up bottles and throw rocks at them. Or hit them with our sling shots. We would see hobo’s there but they wouldn’t bother us.
                  If you explored enough you could make your way over to the canal where ships would be. You could see the green bridge lifting up into the air. We always thought it would be cool if we could be on the bridge as it was in the air. We never tried it. That was before Ville La Salle was even there.
                  Once in awhile when I’m driving through that area on the 20 and were stopped in traffic I look at the yards. I remember the days it was filled with trains.I remember the days that the trains became diesel and were so much faster and quiter. I remember the days we would catch frogs and through rocks at bottles. I remember thinking that the days were so long and we had all the time in the world.

                • 90 Lori October 22, 2013 at 1:27 pm

                  Thank you so much for your reminiscences – your memory of the area is amazing!

                • 91 Spencer (Butch) Racine October 23, 2013 at 11:36 am

                  Hi Lori.
                  Thanks for your comment.
                  Are you an NDG’er? If so do you remember the RagMan. He was an old man who rod around the lower parts of NDG in a horse drawn carriage yelling out “Rags for Sale” and picking up junk. He used to sharpen knives and sciccors on a hand operated grinding wheel on the rear of his buggy.

                  Us kids use to sneak up behind the carriage and jump on the lower bumper for a free buggy ride. If the old man knew we were there he’d turn around in his wooden seat and crack his long whip at us to scare us away.

                • 92 Lori October 23, 2013 at 4:39 pm

                  I only moved to NDG in 1982 from the east end of Montreal. It’s funny, my mother, who grew up in the Plateau, remembers the rag man in the horse cart. And we still have Tony coming by in his truck sharpening knives out of the back of his truck.

  9. 93 Robert Grindheim March 3, 2010 at 7:13 pm

    I was surfing the net to find some comments and notes about Rosedale School, when I discovered these postings on Montreal West & NDG. I attended Montreal West H.S. from 1957-1958 and lived across the street from the Elmhurst Dairy and down the hill from the train station. I was always fascinated by the steam locomotives that were still in service at that time and one of my most poignant memories was when I was the recepient of a roaring blast of steam from one of the engineers while busy looking at all of the pipes and gears. The Elmhurst Dairy was also a treat for many of us during the few days on the weekend that it was open to sell ice cream cones.
    Montreal West H.S. was also an remarkable school. It held classes from kindergarten through high school, which was quite an interesting mix of age groups. I also recall the Christmas Concerts and how much time our classes would spend rehearsing their hymns.
    Our family then moved to Rosedale St. and I was treated to life with Dorothea Pickel of the Rosedale School. Montreal was such a fascinating city in many ways. It was so easy to take the 102 or 105 bus to get downtown to the Atwater Station across from the Forum. From there if I recall correctly, we could take the 15 bus down St. Catherines to visit the movie theatres.
    I live in Minnesota now, and have often told me friends here that I’m living in the 11th province, eh! I haven’t been back to Montreal since 1963, but hope to make the trip back again within the next few years. I imagine that the neighbourhoods have changed somewhat, but I don’t believe that Walkley St. is now the prime value real estate sector of NDG.

    Best regards,

    Bob Grindheim

  10. 94 Terry Danks March 26, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    Hi Robert:

    I did not attend Mtl West High but I do recall going there many times during summer holidays to swim in their pool. My haunts were more around Coronation Park . . . now called Loyola Park . . . likely for political reasons?

    • 95 Robert Grindheim March 27, 2010 at 10:39 am

      Hello Terry,
      Our family moved to Rosedale between Somerled & Fielding after living in Montreal West. I remember Coronation Park aka Loyola Park very well. I played in the football and hockey leagues at the park. I’ve read that they don’t have the outdoor rink league due to budget cuts. I also understand that the leagues are now at the Doug Harvey Arena. Doug Harvey was the honoured guest at our hockey banquets. We had approximately 600 kids in attendance and Doug Harvey would sign all of our patches. It did break our hearts when he left to coach and play for the Rangers.
      I was able to do a tour of the area the other day via Google’s satellite and photo mapping. The house in which my family lived is gone and replaced with another duplex. I also discovered how many more apartment buildings have been erected on Fielding and Cote St. Luc.
      Did you also attend Rosedale School or Sir Arthur Currie?

      Best regards,


  11. 96 Robert Ballantyne March 27, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    I was in Montreal earlier this week. It was the first time I’ve been in the city for a decade. The trip was very brief and there was no time for exploring. So my experience was walking the downtown in the vicinity of the Queen Elizabeth Hotel. The taxi from and to Dorval did pass through Turcot Yards, and I could glimpse bits of my old neighbourhood. There is lots of construction going on in the Yards. I am interested to find that my perceptions of that whole area has been considerably influenced by reading Neath’s eloquent and moving blog: Walking Turcot Yards

    Robert and Terry: I have found the street view images in Google Maps and Google Earth a wonderful way to explore my old haunts.

  12. 97 Robert Grindheim March 27, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Hello Robert Ballantyne,
    I’m glad that you’ve also discovered the wonders of the Google Maps and street views. I haven’t been back to Montreal since 1963 and I intend to do some more exploring via Google during the next several weeks. I expected to see some changes but was also pleasantly surprised to see how much has remained the same.
    I’m also blessed with a photographic memory and that has enabled me to make those comparisons.
    I also remember the Queen Elizabeth Hotel. It was quite impressive when it first opened and one of the elite centers of hospitality in the downtown area.
    I do intend to return to visit Montreal within the next year or so. It would be a miracle if I encountered anyone that I knew from so long ago, but just walking through some of my old haunts would be a treat.
    Thanks again for your follow-up comments and I will also make it a promise to try some of your Scotch Whiskey.

    Best regards,

    Robert Grindheim

  13. 98 Terry Danks May 20, 2010 at 11:28 am

    “Did you also attend Rosedale School or Sir Arthur Currie?”

    Hi Robert G.

    No, neither. I was a Loyola brat. St Ignatiuis Loyola Elementary, Loyola High and Loyola College.

    I did not know that there was an arena honouring Doug Harvey. I distinctly remember seeing the venerable defenceman one morning walking his dog while I was on my way to school as I was able to walk by his house. I do not recall precisely which street he lived on . . . the one that ran down past St. Catherine de Sienne Church? Or perhaps one over from that.
    I don’t think I had the courage to say good morning to him as he seemed lost in thought and quite oblivious to the presence of a young boy walking past him.

  14. 99 Robert Grindheim May 24, 2010 at 5:03 pm

    Hello Terry Danks,
    I played hockey with a few of your fellow alumni. The one I recall most vividly is Michael O’Reilly. Although he wasn’t the biggest player on my team, he was certainly the bravest. My Boy Scout Troop also attended several events during the summer days at the Loyola College Campus.
    Doug Harvey was not well-treated by the NHL. His participation in the founding of the NHL Players Association was not well received by the Molson’s and it took the team much too long to finally retire his number.
    I’ve seen some interesting photos of Loyola Park via Google satellite views and it has evolved from the days when we used to play baseball & football. One of the playgrounds where we would use the swings and slides is apparently gone. There are also soccer fields in place of the football fields.
    I hope to visit the area in person in the near future.


    Robert G.

  15. 100 Gerry Rowe January 20, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Wow. Stumbled on this blog looking for something else. I am a few years older than the previous commentors I came from “Down the hill ” in Ville St Pierre. Walked daily back and forth to St Ignatious School, until 1950.

    Your blogs bring back all the sights and sounds of a great era. Thanks.l

    My old Birhplace has lost it’s identity, the street has been renamed, and it looks like there is a barrier set up between VstP and Montreal West.

    St. Ignatious School is finally getting some attention and money from the authorities to up-grade the interior and the old school yard. Last time I was in Montreal the school looked pretty run down.

    Again thanks for the memories.

    • 101 Robert January 20, 2012 at 2:44 pm

      Gerry, thanks for commenting. Yes, I can see on Google Earth that some of the roads have changed. VstP was, of course, a large part of my world. Where else would kids in Montreal West go to buy fire crackers? I think a bylaw prevented their sale in Montreal West.

      For some reason (probably a small feud) my parents didn’t buy their meat from the butcher in Montreal West… we always received our groceries from Paquin… that store might have been on the corner of St. Jaques and Ave. Ouellete. I can remember that when the son, Placid Paquin, bought a Thunderbird, he’d use it to deliver the groceries. Since he’d want his box back – and in those days our kitchen door was always unlocked – I’d hear the door open and he’d call out, “Placid!” then he’d store cans on the proper shelves in the pantry, and put cold items in the fridge and leave with his empty box.

      Joe Kalen ran a gardening firm, and he planted the flower beds at our house. He had his house and a greenhouse below the high railway berm in VstP, probably somewhere along Rue Desrosiers.

  16. 102 Harold Rosenberg January 22, 2012 at 7:08 am

    It’s been a real pleasure reading all your wonderful comments about Montreal West. I ran across this page while researching a Trenholme family member
    I live on Ballantyne N., retired, and I write historical articles for the MW Informer. I live across from the Presbyterian Church on Nelson/Ballantyne.
    I’m currently writing an article on Jimmy Darou, a wheelchair-bound former jockey, who ran a gas station from the 1930’s through the 1960’s, on the corner of Westminster/Sherbrooke, facing the train tracks.
    Did anybody know Jimmy Darou, and have memories of him, or interesting anecdotes? I believe that Wilfred Trenholme of 150 Brock S.
    gave Darou a racehorse as encouragement to keep going after the tragic accident that put him in the wheelchair.
    I’d like to do some future articles on the Ballantyne and Trenholme family connections to Montreal West.

    • 103 Robert January 22, 2012 at 5:45 pm

      Harold, I certainly remember the gas station… and Jimmy Darou’s story was part of legend of Montreal West – but he was of an older generation, and I have no personal recollections of him.

      One of the revelations of this blog thread – for me – is that there is a family connection between Trenholme family and the Ballantyne family. And I never heard that Wilfie Trenholme gave Jimmy a horse. It all sounds like a great story, and I’m delighted that you are researching it. I’ll see if I can find a connection with the Trenholme family for you. I’ll send you a private email.

      • 104 Judith Mc Tavish June 2, 2013 at 12:22 pm

        I have a rare booklet published in 1938 on Jimmy Darou and I notice that there is some interest in him in this blog. I will be delighted to give it to someone. It was given to my mother many years ago by MJmmy when she wrote a column about him.
        I notice lots of chat about the Ballantyne family too.I am a Dorval resident and remember Hazel Ballantyne with her trademark braided hairdo. She was a city councillor here for years and always an elegant presence.

        • 105 Harold June 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm

          Hi Judith,

          Nice to hear from you. Thank you very much for the offer of the Jimmy Darou bookl. I’d be pleased to have it. Drop me a note at my email address (hrosenberg at videotron.ca) and I’ll arrange to get it from you.
          I’m currently thinking about future MW articles. Haunted houses in MW seems like a great topic,except I don’t how the current residents of said houses would feel about learning this information.
          Currently, I’m doing a piece on the first mayor (Lingley) of MW and his house on Brock N., built around 1895.
          If anyone has any memories of MW or old photos contact me and I’ll see if I can turn them into an article for The Informer. Always looking for ideas for articles, my free contribution to life in MW.

          • 106 Kathleen Otter-Smith June 3, 2013 at 7:44 am

            Hi Harold
            If you are going to do articles on haunted houses in Montreal West you could look into 10 Ballantyne South where I lived for the first 8 years of my life. My Mother would tell you nothing was wrong with that house but believe me there was. You couldn’t give that house to me now.
            Would look forward to hearing about the other homes in Mtl West.

    • 108 Joanne Trenholme January 23, 2012 at 5:03 am

      Hi Harold and Robert,
      Following your blogs with great interest. I love it when someone wants to write some more history of Montreal West. I can add a little to the Jimmy Darou story. Growing up, my father ,Tom Trenholme, frequently mentioned what his own father, Wilfred Trenholme, had done to help Jimmy Darou. Apparently, Jimmy Darou was a jockey who rode my grandfather’s race horses. He had a serious riding accident, became wheel chair bound and my grandfather set him up with the gas station in Montreal West. He dropped in at the gas station often to chat and buy gas. Things did not go so well financially, for Darou, so my grandfather gave him a race horse. The horse’s winnings did much to help Darou out financially. Somewhere, in a box, in my home, I have a very yellowed and tattered Montreal Gazette article, written by ‘ Dink Carroll ‘ ( maybe) and entitled ” And he gave him a horse”….. You could likely find the article in the Gazette archives. I will come across it one of these days.
      Please keep in touch. I am always interested in learning more about my family

      • 109 Harold January 23, 2012 at 7:15 am

        Hi Joanne,

        Thank you very much for your reply. It clears up some questions I had about the gift to Jimmy Darou.
        I have a picture of Darou with a some race horses. There’s another gentleman in the pics. I’d like to use the pics with my article, especially if I can ID the other gentleman.
        I’m not sure whether I can paste the picture in this blog. Could you send me a private email (hrosenberg at videotron.ca) please, and I’ll forward the pic to you? I’ll also forward you some of the Montreal West articles I’ve already done.
        Thanks for the information, and your quick reply.

        • 110 Robert January 23, 2012 at 11:50 am

          Harold sent me this picture (hmm, I cannot make this a thumbprint in the comment field, and the image is nice and large… so please right-click on to open it in a new window or tab to see the whole image): Jimmy Darou with Cuvanna (the Trenholme horse) and another horse. The man holding the reins might be Mr. Trenholme, but he's not identified. Harold comments:

          The attached photo, taken on June 9, 1942, shows Darou with Cuvanna (the Trenholme horse) and another horse. I think that the man holding the reins might be Mr. Trenholme, but he’s not identified. I’d like to use the picture in my Darou piece, with a positive ID if I can get it. I’m wondering if you could alert Joanne Trenholme to my research. Perhaps she knows the ID of the man in the photo, as well as other facts about the Darou horse gift.

    • 111 1redowl May 19, 2012 at 8:55 pm

      Dear Mr. Rosenberg,
      This is all too surreal!
      My name is Mary Bronwen (Prichard) Goouch, one of two nieces of Jimmy Darou. “Jimmy’s” sister, Marjorie Darou Prichard was my Mother.
      Jimmy’s real name was Harold James Darou.
      I knew Uncle Harold, as he was called within the family very well.
      He died after I was married, so the memories are somewhat fresh.
      My cousin, Don, Jimmy’s son,.kept up the station for a while.
      The reason that I caught this website is because I am a terrific racehorse fan, especially at Triple Crown time.
      Whenever I think about horses, I think about “Jimmy”.
      “Jimmy” as I called him as an adult, would visit Toronto where we live, every year at the time of The Queen’s Plate, Canada’s premier horserace.
      What do you want to know?
      Jimmy’s accident was during a race when he was on a horse owned by the husband of his sister Evelyn. My Mother was present when they put him in the ambulance.
      My Mother, Marjorie and her sister Doris were dancers in Montreal and took part in the Charity benefit at The Forum in Montreal following Jimmy’s accident.
      A remarkable man in many ways!

      • 112 panochallenge May 21, 2012 at 2:21 pm

        Hi Mary,
        What a pleasant and great surprise it is to meet you.

        I occasionally write historical articles for The Informer, the Montreal West newsletter.

        I decided to write a piece about Jimmy Darou, after I discovered some photos of him at the Quebec Archives. I researched him further and found some very interesting anecdotes about Mr. Darou.
        He was truly a magnificent person.

        His former Montreal West garage as Don knew it was demolished about a year ago. A Pharmaprix chain pharmacy is currently being constructed on that site.

        Thank you for appearing on this blog. I’d love to chat with you further, and fill you in on my research.

        For instance, while writing the article (which has not yet
        appeared, I discovered that one of his Montreal West friends was so impressed by Mr. Darou and his courageous battle, he financed the private printing of a small book about it. Only 100 copies were printed.

        Thanks, again.

      • 113 Kathleen Otter July 27, 2012 at 10:53 am

        I grew up in the town of MTL west from 1950-1989 My family started up Mtl west hardware and I lived at 10 Ballantyne S and 160 Westminster N What a great town

        • 114 Robert July 27, 2012 at 2:48 pm

          Kathleen, many thanks for commenting. I certainly remember “Otter’s.” My family was a regular customer. I see that with “Les Fleurs Kathleen” you are still a shopkeeper, now in the beautiful town of Milton, Ontario http://goo.gl/maps/6mRk. Best wishes.

          • 115 Kathleen Otter August 2, 2012 at 7:45 am

            Hi Harold
            I don’t know anyone in the photo I was only 8yrs old.But I do remember the carnivals that were put on by the Town merchants over at Hodgson Field. The Davies Bros. used to bring in their ponies for the rides it was great fun.
            I actually started off my life in Mtl West living at 345 Westminster N corner of Northview and Westminster just before the “Hump”. My grandparents liked to buy up property and that was one of them. The house was converted into a duplex and we lived upstairs. We then moved to 10 Ballantyne S. when I was maybe 2yrs. old. It was an old Victorian built I think in 1894 my Mom loved it I didn’t this may sound strange but it was haunted (how about doing an Informer article on haunted houses in Mtl. West).
            I remember the Ballantyne mansion it was later converted into a nursing home and at Xmas we would go there sing carols pass out cookies and tea to the clients.
            Oh well enough of that for today Lots of stories and memories to tell
            Kathleen Otter

        • 116 Harold July 27, 2012 at 3:23 pm

          Hi Kathleen Otter. I’m very happy to meet you. I write occasional historical articles for The Informer, the Montreal West town newsletter. I’d love to talk to you more about your years in Montreal West. Do you have any photos from those early years of the hardware store? The Quebec Archives contains some of MW photographer Conrad Poirier’s photo archives. Here’s a Sept. 11, 1958 photo of some prizes awarded during a merchants’ assoc. carnival, taken in front of MW Hardware. Click on “voir les images” to view the picture.

          All the best,
          Harold–Montreal West

          • 117 Kathleen Otter August 1, 2012 at 7:41 am

            Hi Harold
            Yes I do have photos one shows a horse and buggy in front of the store also other ones. David Watson has lots as well. He his the Town Historian and also a friend of mine. David probably has copies of all of mine.
            I am a 4th generation Mtl wester and both my kids grew up there and we all went to EB and Mtl West High both my parents did as well. My Moms side of the family are the Norwoods they lived on Rennie and Curzon.My Mother lives with us here in Milton and she just turned 96. My dad Doug Otter passed away 2004.If I can answer questions for you fire away.
            Kathleen Otter-Smith

    • 121 Lynda June 11, 2016 at 12:53 pm

      I belive my grandfather Wilfred Trenholme bought him the gas station.
      Just found this blog while researching other stuff.

      • 122 Robert June 11, 2016 at 3:08 pm

        Hi Lynda… I discovered from Joanne Trenholme (in this thread) that the Ballantyne’s and the Trenholmes are related through marriage. Yes, it was in this thread that I learned the story of Jimmy Darou. Are you and Joanne in contact with each other?

    • 124 Lynda Trenholme April 18, 2020 at 1:01 pm

      My grandfather bought Jimmy Darou the gas station on the corner of Sherbrooke and Westminister

  17. 125 Gerry Rowe January 23, 2012 at 11:46 am

    I am also enjoying this blog. Robert, Paquin’s was were we bought our meat as well. I would also walk around the corner to Peacots, on the corner of 5th and Maple.

    I lived on 4th ave, accross from DR Kirkland’s house. I knew Claire Kirkland as a young girl when she was in University.

    Wal;king back and forth from VstP to St Ignatius school, I always admired the homes along Broughton Ave. I also delivered for Berks Pharmacy, I will never forget carrying those huge NY Times newpapers on Sunday.

    Our neighbour down the street was Mr. Morgan who was either the Fire Chief or the Police Chief in Montreal West.

    I came accross this blog attempting to connect with old friends from Ville St Pierre, alas without any luck. However I am enjoying following this one.


    • 126 Robert January 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

      Gerry, this thread has been growing slowly since 2007. If you’d like to provide some contact information here (your blog, website, or email) you are welcome to do that. Links to websites are a good idea, but spell out the (at) sign in an email address so it won’t be scraped by spammers.

    • 127 Robert January 23, 2012 at 12:12 pm

      Gerry, Dr. Charles Kirkland, and his daughter, Claire Kirkland-Casgrain, are mentioned on page 72 of this book:
      Community besieged: the anglophone minority and the politics of Quebec – Garth Stevenson – Google Books – http://j.mp/AdkoZn

    • 128 ROBERT CALDER January 2, 2017 at 1:07 pm


      Thanks for giving me such a vivid flash back!

      I was born in Lachine in 1935 -delivered by Dr. Charles Kirkland

      We moved to 11 4th avenue in 1940 and my parents remained there
      until 1958.
      Some names on 4th ave. that I knew Morgan Fell Jacoban Sherwood
      Rose ( the trucker ) Enbleau Clark Heisler Gibbons
      Morgan was the Police Chief of Montreal West

      The Lachine Canal , the VSP dump , the field between 3rd and 4th ave ,
      chasing that beautiful 1931 American Lafrance 12 cylinder fire engine
      with is distinct sound to all the various fires and the 91 street car to movies in Lachine

      My father was involved with Eastern Wood Pipe and Tank on Eastern ave near 1st Avenue !
      I have one very vivid memory that has haunted me all my life :

      On a bright sunny day in May of 1943 I saw a Ferry Command Mitchell B25 with American Insignia lose power and pass over Montreal West ,dropping auxiliary fuel tanks on a barn in the farm that was then situated across from the road to VSPin line with theMontreal West Town Hall

      This resulted in a hug fire that resulted in fire trucks from VSP , Lachine
      and several RCAF emergency trucks speeding along St Jacques street to this fire , thinking that this is where the plan crashed !

      Not so it passed over the Lachine canal close to the lift bridge and crazed on the LeGros farm just at the top and left of Dollard Ave.

      All 3 of the crew were killed. I do not know if this made the Montreal papers but I have never been able to find ant article about this event .
      Have searched Ferry Command , RCAF etc with no results
      I suspect that some how the new was censored as it may have been suspected to be the result of sabotage .

      My friend , Charlie Jacoban was with me and remembers and John Legros my class mate gave me several plexiglass pieces that he found on the farm !
      I like to conclude that I feel very priveliged to have grown up in VSP
      with all its diversity and having the good teachers at William Trenholme (1 to 5 ) and Montreal West High School

      I am still in Montreal and least walk around the ” Village “once a year to relive so many great memories!

      Thank you all for starting this memory site

  18. 129 Gerry Rowe January 25, 2012 at 9:08 am

    I do not have a Web site yet, but I am working with a friend doing some research on Montreal and our experiences. When we are done we intend to put it together in a Web site.

    My email is gerrydrowe@hotmail.com.

    Thanks for the reference to Dr. Kirkland he was not only my Doctor but a great friend of the family, especially when my Father died , I was only nine then.

    Again Thanks

  19. 130 Gerry Rowe January 25, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Just came accross a web site http://www.n-d-g.ca/english/? that covers a number of Historical items for NDG including how many of the streets were named Treholme ave would be of interest to many.. Site also has a number of historical photos.

  20. 131 Colin Paterson March 15, 2012 at 10:01 pm

    It is a small world. I grew up in NDG. In 1981 we bought a waterfront house in Queen Charlotte Heights on Bowen Island. The lawyer for the North Shore Credit Union turned out to be a neighbour who grew up across the street from me on Harvard Avenue in Montreal.
    Haven’t been back to Bowen Island since we sold the house but I can spot it with binoculars from the ferry from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay.

    Colin Paterson

  21. 132 Deb Wickens August 10, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    I only lived in Mtl West til I was 3 years old, but my Grandparents were there til they died and my Dad grew up there (Last name Wickens) They had a lovely old house on Wolsley St…. I remember the Davies Bros used to deliver groceries to my Grandma, there was a lovely big Christmas tree near the train tracks all lit up every year and a VERY steep hill leading down towards the 2&20. My Grandma sold her house on Wolsely after Grandpa died – about 1972 – for $62K – and she moved to an apartment on Westminister. Now that old house is worth almost a half million. My Dad loved Mtl West, had a ton of friends there and I always get the ‘warm fuzzies’ remembering that lovely part of town.

    • 133 Kathleen Otter August 14, 2012 at 8:02 am

      Hi Deb
      I think I remember the name Wickens from MTL West. The steep hill you are talking about is called devils hill its been there forever my Dad used toboggan down it when he was a kid.When we were kids we took our bikes down were we nuts or what.The christmas tree was on the north side of the train tracks where a small park used to be but long since gone.I too get the warm and fuzzies when I think of growing up in the town.
      Kathleen Otter

      • 134 Joyce Gosse July 5, 2014 at 8:08 pm

        Hi my name Joyce Martin Gosse I lived on Connaught near elmerst dairy I loved there maple walnut with a sugar cone.I also lived at 154 Westminster ave north across from the hair dresser and the candy store mrs Unsworth 0wned it she lived in back.I played tennis at the courts near ballentine school every day .Last year we visited and the courts are still the same even the little hut in the middle best years of my life.I also tobogganed down ashcan ally .In the winter we skated at the rinks baseball football with the boys and girls at mtl west high every day I was very busy girl love reading all the connents.

        • 135 Robert July 5, 2014 at 9:22 pm

          Hi Joyce. Wonderful comments! This is the first mention in this thread of Ashcan Alley. It reminded me of the summer day when I was riding down it on my bike, probably too fast. I don’t recall how it happened, probably a bump I didn’t see, but I went flying over the handlebars. This was long before anyone thought of mountain bicycles.

  22. 136 Robert August 10, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Hi Deb, thanks for commenting. I love my memories of Montreal West too.

  23. 137 fredm@dccnet.com November 22, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    I grew up on Wolseley, a few doors down from the park beside Elizabeth Ballantyne.

    Ironically, I live on the Sunshine Coast now, not a skip and a hop from you, in Roberts Creek. Whenever I go to town, we zip by the north side of Bowen.

    Photos of historic Montreal West are damned hard to find on the net.

    • 138 Haroldro November 23, 2012 at 11:01 am

      Fred: A good blog to check out for Montreal-related historical articles and photos is: http://coolopolis.blogspot.ca/
      Most of the recently posted vintage black and white photos are ones that I’ve come across in my research. Some have to do with Montreal West. The “comments” section of each posting is the best part. Lots of interesting comments from west-end Montreal “old-timers”.

    • 139 Mary Winrow November 28, 2015 at 4:50 pm

      Fred Mason, by any chance? My next door neighbour and friend from early sandbox days?? That would be amazing. Friend of Doug, Jacky
      and Mary?

    • 140 Mary Winrow November 28, 2015 at 4:57 pm

      Fred Mason? My next door neighbour by any chance, from early sandbox days?

      • 141 Robert November 28, 2015 at 5:26 pm

        Hi Mary, thanks for your post. FredM has used his email address. Have you tried emailing him directly? I’d be interested to find that this blog thread united a couple of neighbours — and hear something of life on Wolseley when you both were there. Were you on Wolseley North, or South?

        • 142 Mary Winrow November 29, 2015 at 6:28 am

          Early years I lived on Wolseley N., teen years moved 2 doors further south on Wolseley N., then spent many happily married years in 2 homes on Percival Ave., and now living on Bedbrook Ave. Have lived in this wonderful town all my life, attending E.B.S and Montreal West High,
          along with my 3 sisters and my brother, Bob.

  24. 143 david watson,montreal west town historian. September 16, 2013 at 6:29 am

    great memories,god bless montreal west

  25. 145 PTS May 30, 2015 at 8:47 am

    I was born in ’41, lived in VStP, spent 7 yrs at St Ignatius, 1 at Loyola High School, then 2 at Montreal West High. Played in the Cote St Luc railway yards above and below. Frequented Birk’s had GFs in Mtl West. Hung out at a restaurant on Summerled. Dumped “Borrowed” cars in Westhaven Village.
    Played at/on Ashcan Alley above Turcotte Yards, and swam in the filthy Lachine Canal.
    Later years hung out at the corner of 4th, Windsor,7th, and 8th.
    An aside to Gerald Rowe. Which side of Mitch Panciuk did you live, St James or Maple? LOL
    In summation, I would have to say I was a general “Pain in the ass”, but Damn, I had a great time, and am still alive at 73, and wouldn’t have changed a thing.
    PS: Who in hell was Boyer? Damned Lachine.
    PPS: Ohh, there is so much more, and I also live on the coast of “The Coast Salish Sea.

    • 146 Robert May 30, 2015 at 11:57 am

      Hi PTS, thanks for adding to this story. You swam in the Lachine Canal!

      Is there a reason you are not identifying yourself? I’ve had this blog for years and I’ve never been concerned about revealing my name and places where I live or have lived. So far there’ve been no negative consequences, and sometime I’ve made new friends.

      So, there’s more? Do tell.

  26. 147 Lesie June 22, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    I’m looking for some information about the Westminster Provision Store in Montreal West which my grandfather from Island Brook apparently supplied eggs to. Some old egg cartons turned up but no family members know anything about them.

    • 148 David Watson-town historian June 24, 2015 at 11:08 am

      The 1917 montreal west phone directory lists the provision store at #58 wastminster avenue.that store is today numbered # 52.the original phone number was Westmount 4400.I dont know how long the business was there.from David Watson.

  27. 150 PTS August 25, 2015 at 10:41 am

    Transportation to St Ignatius from V St P was 27 kids in a 7 passenger Limo/taxi. (Cadillac I think).
    (Test. was not able to post for some reason)

    • 151 Robert August 25, 2015 at 11:06 am

      Hi PTS, your comment is now visible. For most WordPress blogs, the first comment from someone is held for approval by the moderator. Now that this has been approved, your future comments should appear as soon as you post. The readers here would appreciate knowing a bit more about you, such as your name or your web page. You can fill that in when you post. Or, you could create your own free blog here at WordPress.com and post comments on this page when you are logged into your account.

  28. 152 Phillip Morris January 28, 2016 at 8:03 pm

    Nice to read such interesting tales of the area which was my stomping grounds during the late sixties and through the seventies. Oh , the stories I have could cause your hair to stand on end. Daily I plied and practiced my skills as a serious delinquent whereas every day was a true experience fondly remembered!!!

    • 153 Robert January 28, 2016 at 9:56 pm

      Thanks Phillip. Well, now that you’ve intrigued all of us, how about sharing a couple of hair-raising stories?

      I’ll go first. A buddy of mine loved chemistry, and for a while was into making explosive compounds. After we turned clay flower pots into flying shards, we were looking for bigger game. I had a book about trains and rail culture, and among the signalling systems was a code for leaving a series of explosive crackers on the track. We found a lonely stretch of rail south of the Décarie farm and planted our charges on the track. When the next freight train arrived, the wheels rolling over our compound produced a very satisfactory series of astonishingly loud blasts… and we were amazed and gratified to see the whole train come to a stop.

  29. 154 Phillip Morris January 29, 2016 at 9:03 am

    I’m sure you would remember Montreal West Automobiles on West Minister as they were quite popular.For quite some time it was a habit of mine to “borrow”cars from there as there was no gate nor security.Well one day I was driving along Somerled and went passed a motorcycle cop and upon seeing me he reconized my young age and right away took up chase.Knowing for sure I would be caught I jammed the brakes on ,slammed the car in park,opened the door and took off like a deer through Loyola park hearing the cop screaming STOP,STOP,STOP………as if.Thought I would start of slow in regards to hair raising!!!!!!!!!!

  30. 155 Gerry Rowe January 30, 2016 at 2:32 pm


    Just got back to reading this blog. I was closer to Maple Ave. did not know Mitch. Very familiar with kids who hung around 4 th Windsor, poolroom on St James in the 50 s. Boyer was. Counsellor who lost his job when amalgamation happened with Lachine.

    • 156 Robert January 30, 2016 at 4:59 pm

      Gerry, I not sure I’m understanding. Here is the the intersection of St James and Boyer Avenue… where was the pool hall? http://j.mp/1NIpreq. I don’t know when PTS will spot your post.

      • 157 Gerry Rowe February 8, 2016 at 12:58 pm


        The Pool Hall was on St James between 4th (Boyer) and 5th aves. The building it was located in burnt down ( or was torn down ) some time ago.

        I know hanging around a pool hall sounds bad, but know what, I never learned a bad thing during that time, as a matter of fact, I did learn how to conduct myself for fear of being barred from a place where all the Guys hung out. !!!!! I was young at the time, and when something was going down by some of the older guys, they would clear us younger ones out, Thats how things worked in the Village in those days, too bad things are not that way today.


      • 158 Gerry Rowe February 8, 2016 at 1:03 pm

        Just looked at the picture on St James and Boyer, the Pool Hall was on the left side of the picture, a few yard back. The building it was in is no longer there, or has been replaced by a new one.

        Guess my last comment did not go through.


  31. 159 Roy Motton February 5, 2016 at 6:28 pm

    Thank you to all for this amazing saga! If I may be of any assistance, let me know. Mom and Dad met at the corner of Westminster and Milner and we have many photos around town! Roy

  32. 160 PTS April 7, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Philip DesOrmeaux owned the grocery at the bottom of the back hill. Had 3 tables in the back and 2 pinball machines up front. He also owned the bowling alley kitty korner.


  33. 161 PTS April 15, 2016 at 9:34 am

    Gerald. Known to few was tha fact that George Couture’s Pool Room being described had a little secret.
    Back “in the day” ,that, when he closed Saturday nights, those in the know would gather at Mike’s restaurant (yes a real restaurant between 4th and 5th) for the time it took for the others to disperse. Once clear, back to the pool room. Adjacent to the two pinball machines was a door leading down some stairs to an earth cellar, table and chairs and two bare lighbulbs.
    Poker ’till sunrise, then back to Mike’s for Sunday morning breakfast.
    Same block, chinese laundry, Moise the drunken barber, green grocer (starts w/P) A&P. Enuf for now.

    • 162 PTS April 15, 2016 at 4:45 pm

      The green grocer’s name was Peladeaux.

      Philip Morris. Mtl West Town engineer lived across from the garage. only house in the Park. He drove a 56 Chevy with it’s key broke in the ignition. Took it 3 times. Dumped in lasalle once, Westhaven Village another, and west island. I wonder where he got his degree from.

  34. 163 Robert April 15, 2016 at 10:21 am

    PTS, many thanks for your contributions to this thread of comments. Ville Saint-Pierre was such a large part of our lives in those days! I think Ville Saint-Pierre experienced a greater impact from the road-building associated with Turcot Yards than Montreal West (the comment that started this thread).

    The two towns, with their different cultures, and yet so much a part of each other, enrich in inform my memories of growing up.

    I am counting on WordPress.com to maintain these blogs and comments. As we age and eventually vanish, some of these comments may become useful historical records.

  35. 164 Gerry Rowe May 5, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    You are correct, I do recall hearing about the ” Secret Poker Games ” below the pool room. I was never allowed to see it though.

    Other Poker games I was aware of were in the upstairs Private room at the El Paso in Lachine. I worked there as a BUSBOY and had to clean ashtrays every once in a while up in that room.. I heard some big money went down at times. !!!!!

    Boy those were the Days !!

  36. 165 Gerry Rowe May 5, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Wow. I forgot about Philips store at the bottom of the back hill in VSP. Stopped in there many time on way home from St. ignatius school, especially in the winter to get warmed up.

  37. 166 Peter Thomson May 25, 2016 at 6:59 am

    Like many others, great to see a spot on everything in and around The Town of Montreal West. Lived on Percival Avenue from 1953-1972.

    Robert, your tale of the explosive crackers immediately brought back many shennanigans, one of which was with a friend to set a track bomb (3 parts sulphur, potassium permanganate and (I think) salt wadded in cigarette foil (made sick smoking all those cigarettes to not waste them for just the wrap) at the Elmhurst MTC turn-around one late autumn Saturday night. Stuffed it between the sides of the tram tracks in the middle of the turn on Sherbrooke, retreated to the corner at Connaught waiting for the last No. 3 streetcar to arrive. It stopped in the middle of the street to change the rail to turn into the round, proceeded to cross the spot where the foil wrap was. We were disappointed when nothing happened when the first set of wheels rolled over the spot, but the second set brought a huge noise and smoke, and the car immediately stopped. Fantastic!! We ran like hell. Returned to the scene a little later, the car had gone, and no evidence remained, not even the expected smell.

    In later years, was out of my mind over unrequited feelings for Louise Whitaker on Ballantyne S. Like the criminal behaviour above, left that for its memory.

    • 167 Robert May 25, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      Hi Peter, I loved reading about your shenanigans. It’s been years since I’ve heard the name, “Louise Whitaker.” She lived across the street and up a few houses. A bit older than me, I recall her as very friendly and yes, attractive. I have this image — I think it was in her basement — of a fairly large group of people dancing to music, then gradually Louise and her partner were dancing alone in the centre of the room surrounded by an appreciative audience. A special moment.

      There was the evening my mother arrived home from a town meeting looking unhappy. She reported that at the meeting, Louise’s father stood up with a complaint about my family. He said, “Out back I have a box of expensive potting soil that is guaranteed to grow doorknobs. Every day the Ballantyne’s cat comes all the way over to my back yard to poop in my box of soil.”

      • 168 Peter Thomson May 25, 2016 at 4:47 pm

        Wow, Robert, you knew Louise … Last I saw of her was around 1966 where I bumped into her outside Steinberg’s at Cavendish and Sherbrooke. Made my heart go zing .. Yes, her Dad was intimidating, and what cat can avoid potting soil for its business. Made me laugh.

        Thank you very much for this site!!! Bombs away …

  38. 169 Peter Thomson May 26, 2016 at 7:06 am

    Robert, my mind is very slow, but here is a correction as well as a couple of other recollections:

    lived at 145 Percival from 1952-1961, lived in other areas of NDG and Mtl West from then until 1971 before teaching in Metis Beach on the Lower St. Lawrence.

    Most importantly, went to MWHS from 53-55 and Graeme Ballantyne was in our graduating class. Relation?

    Also worked for the town over a couple of summers in the late 50s and as a permanent worker (plumber’s assistant) in the very early 60s. At the foot of Brock South there was Glencoe and 2 or 3 other streets before they were demolished (I think in the late 50s) for Upper Lachine Rd extension. What was this area called and do you know the names of the other streets there?

    As an aside, an old sewer line was converted back then to a water line (seems gross now), but all regulations were met before it was done. We’re still alive …

    • 170 Robert May 26, 2016 at 2:22 pm

      I never knew a Graeme Ballantyne. Maybe he’ll show up here sometime.

      I didn’t know of a name for the neighbourhood at the foot of Brock. I do recall the amazing destruction of those houses, and I posted the story in the blog by neath, here: https://neath.wordpress.com/2007/01/05/an-ecoterritory/#comment-2153. You might enjoy reading some of the other comments in same thread at that blog.

      • 171 Peter Thomson May 26, 2016 at 4:17 pm

        At the Police station in Montreal West, the firefighters (police and volunteers) often referred to the deliberate fighting techniques from the burns down by Glencoe. George Booth of Booth Plumbing (on Westminster 2 doors closer to Milner from Berke’s) had exceptional knowledge and skills as a volunteer as well as a joke-teller: he fulfilled a promise to tell me a joke every day he saw me – for a whole year, and he never tried to avoid seeing me – it was me who ran from him “No, no, not another one … “. This one epitomizes that: A new member of a joke club was informed that no one actually shared jokes in it, they just shouted out a number, since everyone knew the stories and knew the numerical order. Each time a number was given, a roar of laughter ensued. One person shouted out “8976”, and no one laughed. The newcomer asked if that was a bad joke – the reply was “No, he just can’t tell stories”. George died from a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1972 (I think).

        Robert, what a glorious last couple of days. People before me and, I’m sure after, have such stories to tell here – you started it all and keep it running. Thank you. And thank you for pointing out your other many interests. As an example, found Dr. Stanley Coren from your web site (what an interesting life you have – amazing – and I’ve barely uncovered your words ) – looking for help for our 4-year-old golden (completely black) retriever mix – you are truly a mine of disparate information. Again, thank you Robert.

  39. 172 Barbara July 3, 2016 at 11:02 am

    Can anybody fill in more information about the 1965 stealing of the provincial exam papers from Mr. Shaffelberg’s office (Montreal West High)? One of the boys climbed up the face of the building to break in. The group got the exams, all right, but needed some of the better students to help them figure out the answers. The adults never found out.

    I’ve been a Montreal Wester since 1956. Lived in one of the first houses built on the farm at the south end of Westminster—a farm which, I now gather, belonged to the Decarie sisters. My mother used my doll’s bottle to care for two of the farm’s new kittens when the mother cat was killed on the Blue Bonnets’ hill. The developer, Al Reno, went bankrupt, and we grew up playing in the half-finished houses, and the woods behind them.

    All of your postings stir up happy memories. Thank you!

    (PS. I remember my Dad telling me George Booth’s joke.)

    • 173 Robert July 3, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Barbara. I didn’t know Al Reno’s name… but reading it now, it sounds familiar. My family remembers the Decarie farm, and has always called that space ‘the new development.’ There were years when the work there created huge volumes of dust that collected on everything in our house. It was when Mom put curtains on the windows and Dad added big new locks to the doors. Were those kittens feral, or were the Decarie sisters still there? I hope we learn more about those exam papers!

  40. 174 Brian Sinclair August 11, 2016 at 3:29 pm

    Grew up on Mariette then on West Broadway (1939-1961) went to St. Ignatius,Loyola High and College. What a great place to grow up. Many great memories of Trenholme Park and exploring the fields of The Mtl Assoc for the blind.

    • 175 Robert August 11, 2016 at 5:09 pm

      Hi Brian. Thanks for mentioning Trenholme Park. I remember that it had some great play structures that, today, would be too dangerous for kids. I can recall the thrill of visiting there, but I’m unable to remember the specific toys. The park is still there http://j.mp/trenholmepark but it seems to be completely refurbished.

  41. 176 Gerry Rowe August 12, 2016 at 9:55 am


    I also attended St Ignatius School ( 1947 – 1950 ) West Broadway basically ended at the school. North of that was an apple orchard. Funny how you tend to forget names of many people you meet, yet I can recall the names of most of my teachers from that era. Great time to grow up. Bullies were few and usually the tough guys would take care of them if they if they picked on someone who had not done anything to provoke it.. things sure have changed.

    Boy, this Blog has a lot of good history about the area in the 40’s / 50’s and 60’s


  42. 177 Judith November 15, 2016 at 7:03 am

    Hello Robert, Nibby and you were my first playmates … let’s get in touch..
    Judy Perry

  43. 180 Judy January 2, 2017 at 4:36 pm

    I can remember going with my great grandfather to Lachine to watch the men and large horses out cutting ice on the lake for the ice houses..

  44. 181 Barbara March 7, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Wow, this blog has been a journey through times. I lived on Prince of Wales in NDG, and went to Merton and then Sir Arthur Currie. At 12, we moved to Montreal West. We lived at 9 Ballantyne North right at the corner of Sherbrooke. I watched the trains constantly even recording the numbers on the cars that went through. It was fun to see how long they would take to come back again! I must have been crazy, but I loved the trains. My room overlooked the park, the tracks, the crossing and onto the top of Westminster. Always lots to see. I finished Montreal West High in 1965. I am married to an ex Montreal Wester who lived on Wolesley N. we were just there last week checking out our old haunts. Nice to see the Library Book store still there. The pizza store now under someone else played a part in Ricks life too. It has been so much fun to read all the comments. Someone mentioned Steinbergs on Somerled and Walkley. As we passed the other day, I discovered that they still have the same hand bars in front which I used to swing over waiting for my Mother to come out.

    • 182 Haroldro March 7, 2017 at 5:40 pm

      The 9 Ballantyne N. was sold less than a year ago. I knew the previous owners, I met them one day while walking my dog. Their son, who was raised in that house and who went to Royal West with my son, is the Globe and Mail theatre critic now. I live about 2 blocks north of your former house.
      Nice town to live in. Westminster N. has not changed a lot since your days in Montreal West.Same buildings, different businesses. The garage on the corner of Sherbrooke/Westminster was demolished a few years ago, and replaced by a new building, housing a chain pharmacy.

      • 183 Barbara March 9, 2017 at 10:08 pm

        It was fun going back last week. We still are in contact with some of our friends. Thanks for the update on the house. My mother is 94 now and I will share your comments with her.

      • 184 Joanne Trenholme Marosi June 8, 2019 at 2:55 am


        I am back reading this interesting blog, with much interest.
        I came across a map of Montreal West a while ago and saw that there is an Edgar Davies Park, near Sherbrooke and Westminister. I believe that he was my great grandfather , whom I never knew. His daughter, Winnifred was married to my paternal grandfather, Wilfred Trenholme.
        Does anyone have any information about Edgar Davies ? I think that the family lived on Brock S. and he had an upholstery business ??
        Would love to know more about him.
        Thank you

        • 185 Robert June 8, 2019 at 7:59 am

          Hi Joanne. I’m not sure about this, but I sort-of recall that Edgar Davies was the butcher at Davies Bros grocery shop in Montreal west — I think it was at this location: http://j.mp/daviesbros-mw Maybe another reader here will have more certain information. It would be interesting to know the story of the naming of the park. It is a very recent decision of the town. There is this news story from last year: https://montreal-west.ca/en/edgar-davies-park-project-phase-2-summer-2018/ The Park seems to be the renamed Memorial Park, adjacent to the Town Hall, that includes the cenotaph. It is at this location: http://j.mp/cenotaph-mtlwest — and now may have some new amenities.

          • 186 lynda trenholme June 8, 2019 at 9:07 am

            Remember the two brothers , Edgar and george. They had a farm , I believe, in ormstown. Dad use to play a game with the two whenever he shopped there. If he won free groceries . If he lost, he had to pay double.
            No relation to Winifred Davies Trenholme. The brothers spelled the name Davis

          • 187 Joanne Trenholme June 8, 2019 at 9:10 am

            This is really funny !
            I assumed that the Edgar Davies Park was named after my great grandfather.
            But, hey ! Maybe not !
            I just spoke to David Watson, the Montreal West town historian.
            He, too, thinks that the park is named for the butcher at Davies Bros.
            But he is not sure.
            Does anyone really know ?
            How can I find out ?

          • 188 Joanne Trenholme June 10, 2019 at 10:12 am

            Me again , Robert
            Lynda Trenholme thinks that the name of the butcher shop on Westminister was ´ Davis ‘ …. not Davies.
            What I find extraordinary is that no one , neither the Municipal Office nor David Watson, the town historian , whom I just spoke with, seem to know for whom the park was named.
            And it was only created a year ago ??
            Who can help with this ?

        • 189 lynda trenholme August 13, 2019 at 8:46 am

          150 Brock was your grandmother and grandfather house. When Wilfred died , my dad, Harry moved into house. You were living on Sunnyside in Westmont

          • 190 Joanne Trenholme Marosi August 13, 2019 at 4:01 pm


            That is an odd reply.
            Of course I know where our Trenholme grandparents lived ….. and that your family moved in after our grandfather died … and that I lived on Sunnyside ????

            I was speaking of our OTHER grandparents .. the Davies …… who , I
            believe , also lived on Brock , across the street .

            • 191 lynda trenholme August 14, 2019 at 5:56 pm

              Sorry😯oops misunderstood . Remember you told me you didn’t remember the cows so I jumped to the wrong conclusion .
              Think you are right about the house but I believe it was our grandparents before he built 150. I will ask Dad tomorrow . Good question though😚

    • 192 Lynda Trenholme June 22, 2019 at 7:32 am

      Interesting . I too lived on Prince of Wales and then moved to strathern. North in Montreal west. Then Brock south. You must remember the Elmhurst Dairy then and the cows.

    • 195 lynda trenholme June 22, 2019 at 7:35 am

      Yup, they had a nice “unveiling” for my family . I was the one that told the Gazette . They were suppose to have a huge reception with the mayors, gazette but it never happened

  45. 196 Judith Perry June 21, 2019 at 3:44 pm

    I remember the store being “Davies”. I am fascinated that when the boys were entranced by the trains I was fascinated by the Lachine Canal and the ships that went through when the bridge was raised. My mother said that my first word was “boat”. Now I live with a fantastic view of the Halifax Harbour.

  46. 197 Judith Perry April 18, 2020 at 4:47 pm

    I am in Halifax. I have an apartment overlooking the Royal Naval Dockyards.

  47. 199 Deborah September 8, 2020 at 7:15 am

    Wow…there is a lot to read…yet the mention of Minto and the Mynah bird on Sherbrooke…is a starter…so glad that some other people have the same memories as I do.

  48. 201 Robert December 29, 2021 at 1:29 pm

    A friend found an entry in The Quebec History Encyclopedia about my grandfather, James Ballantyne.

    James Ballantyne
    Of the Heating and Contracting Firm of James Ballantyne.
    Montreal, Can.

    JAMES BALLANTYNE, Mayor of the Town of Montreal West, and the holder of many civic positions, was born in Dundas County, Ontario, July 15th, 1865. His father, John Ballantyne, his mother, Christina (Gordon) Ballantyne. He was educated at the ordinary schools of the county and began his earnings in a minor position with Robert Mitchell & Co., in the heating and ventilating line, and to which business he has devoted his entire time and attention. In 1891, he started the present house of James Ballantyne in Montreal, of which he is the head and it is in all probability the most extensive heating, plumbing and ventilating concern in the Dominion, having installed systems in the Transportation Building; the Royal Insurance Building; the Windsor Hotel; the Central Y. M. C. A. and Macdonald Colleges; the Eastern Township Building; the Liverpool, London & Globe Building; the Dominion Express Company and the new General Post-Office, all in Montreal, also systems in Ottawa; Quebec; ; Winnipeg; Regina; Saskatoon; Saskatchewan and in many other cities in Canada. Mr. Ballantyne was elected Mayor of Montreal West, in 1911, and holds that office at present, 1913. He is president of the James Ballantyne Co. Ltd., of Winnipeg; past-president of the Builders’ Exchange of Montreal; is a life governor of the Montreal Western Hospital and of the Lachine General Hospital, and was chairman of the Road Committee at Montreal West for two years. He is a member of the Masonic Fraternity and of the Engineers’ Club. Mr. Ballantyne was married to Georgina Loranger, at London, Ontario, November 1st, 1899 ; they are the parents of two sons and three daughters.

    Source: Canadian History Makers. A Volume Containing Accurate and Concise Sketches of Men who have Done Things in The Dominion of Canada Past and Present Together with Photogravures Made from their Latest Photographs, Montreal, Canadian Publication Society, 1913, 159p., p. 87.
    The members of my father’s family were: boys, John and George, and girls, Ruth, Marjorie, and Barbara. My father was George Loranger Ballantyne.

    • 202 Lynda Trenholme December 29, 2021 at 2:07 pm

      Hi Robert, your family married into our family. Sent this to my cousin, Joey Trenholme Marosi, who is the historian of the family. She probably has already seen it.
      Interesting history, thank you. Happy New Year and stay safe.

      • 203 Robert December 30, 2021 at 1:43 am

        Lynda, I learned about the connection between our families in this blog thread. Also about the founders of Elmhurst Dairy, and the amazing story of Jimmy Darou. All the best for 2022.

        • 204 Lynda Trenholme December 30, 2021 at 5:29 am

          Yes, Jimmy Darius involvement was interesting. He was a jockey and my grandfather had racehorses. I don’t think he rode any of my grandfather’s horses, though.
          Are you living in BC now? Stay in touch, pls,. There was always a huge Christmas party at the Ballantyne’s in Dorval where all the cousins would get together. Sad that tradition is no longer there😔

          • 205 Robert December 30, 2021 at 11:53 am

            I am living on Bowen Island in the mouth of Átl’ka7tsem/Howe Sound — North America’s most southerly fjord and a region that has just been designated a Biosphere. I am the author of this Salish Sea blog, and it is an exploration of my new-found world. It describes some of my adventures here. You might be interested in the article I wrote about this region for Quora.

            • 206 Lynda Trenholme December 30, 2021 at 1:56 pm

              That is wonderful, so no oil drilling. As much as I love nature, I think where you are extremely remote. Keep in touch, Lynda

  49. 207 Judith Marguerite Perry December 29, 2021 at 2:48 pm

    I seem to remember that James’ sister referred to him as “my brother, the plumber”.

    • 208 Robert December 30, 2021 at 1:39 am

      Judith, would you remember which of his sisters said that, and how you heard about it?

      • 209 Judith Marguerite Perry December 30, 2021 at 3:25 am

        Well I was very little with big ears and I heard it from listening to a conversation between my elders. I think it was from Miss Ballantyne who lived down the street. I believe it was not a serious comment but ” My brother the plumber and my brother the senator”. Does that make sense? I was very young.

  50. 210 Myles Frosst January 13, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    Hello Robert and others on this site:

    I hope I am not an interloper here. ‘Came across this intriguing and captivating collection of personal histories as a result of an email from my old boarding school, BCS in Lennoxville, which in turn brought me to the website of a primary school I attended in the early ’60 established by Frances Ballantyne, “The Priory.”

    I have very little Montreal West connection, my youth having been spent in T.M.R., starting in the late ’50s, though I can recall (thanks to this blog) the scent of POM Bakery, walking into Elmhurst Dairy, and the taste of ice cream licked close by if not under the cow heads. (Grateful for the photo above.)

    I may however be related to you Robert and others through my grandmother.

    My grandmother on my father’s side was born Elizabeth Ballantyne and married Eliot Sumpter Frosst. With her at his side, my grandfather and others built a once well-known multinational Canadian pharmaceutical company started by his father. Although I have very fond and rich memories of her gentle and gracious humour while with her in her grand Acadia apartments across from the Ritz Carleton when I was a child, I know very little about her history as my grandfather divorced her in the late ’50s (the cad!) a few years after I was born. Neither of my parents passed on many details about her life to me.

    However, my mother (Rita Kehoe — proudly working-class Irish-Catholic, solidly Montreal West / NDG family, very much unlike my Upper Westmount Protestant father) did tell me (1) that the Frances Ballantyne who “ran” the Priory that I attended was a relation, I assumed through my grandmother, (2) my great-grandfather “did the plumbing” in the Windsor Hotel, and (3) a Senator was involved in the family somewhere, somehow. sometime in the distant past. As I said, not many details.

    Finally, though this has nothing to do with a family relationship, I note that either Joanne or Lynda Trenholme may very well have known my father Eliot Ballantyne Frosst as he lived for some time in his youth on Sunnyside in Westmount with his mother and father.

    If we are related, I would be grateful to hear from you Robert. Confirmation of our relationship (coupled with my newly acquired knowledge of Frances Ballantyne’s history) might help shed some light on a few questions I have regarding my parents’ own past.

    In any event, please accept my appreciation for this wonderful blog and the many interesting personal historical vignettes offered illustrating Montreal West life in the ’50s and ’60s.


    • 211 Robert January 14, 2022 at 12:11 am

      Hi Myles. If you mean The Priory at 3120 The Boulevard, I am sort-of familiar with it; not because of of Frances Ballantyne (a name that is new to me) but I attended St Georges School, which is next door to The Priory. I was at St G for 3 years, and the first year we were in three houses. The following year they constructed the building that is there today. I vaguely remember Eliot Frosst (and the Frosst boys). I certainly recall that everyone’s favourite pain-killer was Frosst 222s (AC&Cs). I thought the connection was through my Aunt Barbara (née Ballantyne). When my Aunt Marjorie (née Ballantyne) was a widow she moved from her house into the Ritz. Her sister, my Aunt Ruth was then living in the apartments across the street. So, the plumbing could have been done by my grandfather, James Ballantyne, and the senator could be CC Ballantyne — both mentioned in this thread of comments. Nevertheless, more digging will have to be done to confirm our relationship.

      • 212 Myles Frosst January 14, 2022 at 8:36 pm

        Hello Robert and Lynda:

        Thank you both for the prompt response. Little did I suspect when I sat down before my laptop last night that I might be meeting family members over the internet at a time when I am trying to put together for my two children a written background on the family.

        Yes, Robert, we are referring to the same primary school, the Priory, on the Boulevard in Westmount beside St George’s. My grandfather Frosst, I was told, was a strong supporter of St. Georges and helped in the construction of the building that opened in 1957. I did not know that my father (or uncles Jim and David) attended that school. My father only made reference to his time at Pickering College. Very much my mother’s style to choose for her children the next-door competitor to the school my grandfather helped build. (I believe I and my classmates would toss snowballs over the fence into your school’s yard.)

        Lynda, I moved to Ottawa from Montréal in 1980 with my wife (Robin Wisener originally from Toronto; we met while at McGill.) And I have lived in the village of Manotick (part of the Ottawa metropolitan area) since 1990. Only two out of twenty or so of my high school friends and none of my university friends remain in Montréal. All went West or to the States, Asia Pacific, Europe. Only a couple of us ended up here in Ottawa. It’s a mobile world: my daughter teaches in Yellowknife; my son commutes between Toronto and San Francisco. But you know, I still feel, and I use this unusual term not in jest but with sincerity, “pure lain Montréalais.” When I walk the streets of Montréal, I feel as much at home as I do here in Manotick. While much has changed on the surface, not at heart. It is as if the spirits of the places that I knew in my youth and twenties are always there to greet me whenever I return to Montréal. I don’t get that sense downtown Ottawa.

        I want to believe we are indeed cousins (at whatever distance), and so Lynda I appreciate your assurance although I am having difficulty clarifying the exact relationship. Robert, you have referred to your grandfather James Ballantyne; I am thinking of my grandmother Elizabeth Frosst’s (née Ballantyne) father James Ballantyne, my great-grandfather, who would have worked on the Windsor Hotel during the original construction 1876-78 or in1906 after the fire. Would the timing fit?

        Now, regarding “Aunt Ruth.” My grandfather Frosst had three sisters, Stella, Jean and Ruth. “Aunt Ruth” as we referred to her, was married to Dougall Cushing who I never met. I do not recall her ever living in the Acadia Apartments, the building at 1227 Shrebrooke Street Ouest immediately across from the Ritz Carleton. Nor do I ever remember her joining the family for our regular weekend dinners with my grandmother Frosst at her place in the Acadia Apartments which, one would think, she would join if she shared the same building. However, I was young so I don’t necessarily recall all and, moreover, family dynamics play out in so many different ways. Maybe they met for tea or cocktails only, away from the rest of the family. Or just across the street in the lounge or Ritz Garden with the ducks.

        The “Aunt Ruth” that I knew, and that is after her husband died, lived in a ground floor apartment on Sherbrooke Street further west, just past Atwater, around the corner from Atwater Club. I don’t recall the address but it was a relatively modern building for the area, built in the 60’s I suspect. In my early twenties one winter I drove Aunt Ruth to her club in central Florida, a journey that took seven days as we had so many overnight visits to make with friends and her husband’s family. The further south we traveled, the more I sensed I was entering a romantic world of Southern gentility that was more the stuff of American literature; all very foreign to this Laurentian young man who thought himself so worldly. And then, crossing into Florida, the snow began to fall. A memorable trip.

        As for the senator, my interest in him has been heightened after reading tonight an essay published by the Canadian Nautical Research Society.
        ( https://www.cnrs-scrn.org/northern_mariner/vol02/tnm_2_1_1-13.pdf ) Senator Charles Colquhoun Ballantyne was instrumental, as Minister of Public Works at the end of WWI, in public-private partnership for a Canadian shipbuilding programme. He had also been Minister of Marine and Fisheries and ex-officio of the Naval Service in Robert Borden’s Union Government. My career was spent finding common ground among public and private interests and I had, as an economist, an academic interest in public enterprise. Perhaps my calling was genetic.

        I have gone on long enough and hope that I have not tried your patience. Again, thank you for your prompt reply.


        • 213 Lynda Trenholme January 15, 2022 at 5:45 am

          Hi Myles, I will contact my cousin but I know that a Ballantyne and a Trenholme married. I will try to find out from my cousins.

        • 224 Joanne Trenholme Marosi January 15, 2022 at 9:39 am

          Hello Myles,
          I am Lynda Trenholme’s first cousin.
          I am interested in reading about your branch of the family/ Frosst ?
          We had a country home in Knowlton for fifty odd years, where we spent all our summers
          ( 1950-2010 )
          There was a Frosst family just down the street on Lakeside.
          The children were Martin and Sharon , who were my age.
          Sharon lives in the Ayers Cliff area of the Eastern Townships.
          I live in North Hatley. I see her occasionally.

          Ethel Trenholme, my grandfather, Wilfred Trenholme’s oldest sister, married CC Ballantyne.
          The Trenholme family lived in Montreal West and started Elmhurst Dairy.
          Ethel and CC had three sons: Charles, James, known as Jimmy and Murray.
          There are various Ballantyne family members scattered around the Townships: e.g. Sutton, Knowlton etc…
          These three sons were my father’s ( Thomas Trenholme’s ) first cousins.

          But, of course, the biggest treat of all is to visit the little hamlet of Trenholm. ( the E was added later , to make the name seem more sophisticated !! )
          Trenholm is right near Richmond , Quebec on the St. Francis River, where my Trenholme relatives settled in 1819, having been given a land grant from the King of England.
          I visit the village often. The Trenholm Methodist
          Church still proudly stands, built by John Trenholm, my great, great grandfather and his brick farmhouse is across the street, still owned by family relatives, the Wintles.

          I have passed on a chunk of info and would be happy to try and answer other questions, should you have any.
          Joey Trenholme

    • 225 Lynda Trenholme January 14, 2022 at 5:58 am

      Hi and welcome Myles, yes you are a relative, a cousin but it is my cousin Joey Trenholme Marosi and her brother, Thomas Trenholme that lived on Sunnyside. I live in the family home in Montreal West at 150 Brock. I will send this on to Joey. Let me know if she replies to you, please. Where are you living now? I am still in Quebec.
      Glad you reached out. Stay safe.

  51. 226 robpatrob January 15, 2022 at 7:28 am

    Just met Michael B, son of Jimmie aged 90 a few weeks ago with his daughter Sarah who was visiting from BC. Michael lives in Montreal

  52. 227 Myles Frosst January 15, 2022 at 5:38 pm

    Hello Joey,

    I do not Sharon well, though we know of one another. I met her and Martin far fewer times than I would have liked. She is fortunate to call Ayers Cliff home; it is a lovely town, one that I am familiar with though I am much more familiar with North Hatley. While I was at boarding school, it was a haunt; while visiting my daughter as she studied at Bishops University, I would stay at one of the inns there; and now every couple of years I take a few days, usually in the autumn, to make North Hatley my base while revisiting the Eastern Townships. When feeling extravagant Hovey Manor; otherwise Auberge Le Coeur d’Or.

    The Eastern Townships seem to be central to this quest. My sister Debbie has just informed me that “of course we have a cousin, John Ballantyne, who lives in Sutton. An artist.” Debbie, a sister by my father’s first marriage, ten years older than me, and who knew my grandmother Elizabeth Ballantyne far more than I did (she passed away when I was barely six), will turn out to be a great source. She too said that there are a number of Ballantynes scattered about the Townships.

    Thanks to a distant relative (i.e. John E. Frost — one “s” as are all members of American side of the family, 1917 -1992) — a complete genealogical history of the Fros(s)t family, at least in a patriarchal lineage sense is available covering the period 1628/32 through to the mid 1970’s, that is to say the birth of my generation. In 1628/32 Nicholas Frost (one “s”) arrived from Tiverton, a town in Devon, England. John E. Frost tracked down all the male descendants on that family tree, including the members of the branch of my great-grandfather Charles E. Frosst, the one who immigrated from Richmond Virginia, north to Montréal in 1898/9. His father added an extra “s” to the family name.

    My resolution for this year is to bring that study up to date. Time’s winged chariot and all that, and a sense of debt to John Frost. I am doing so for the benefit of my children. If I can include stories about or at least reference to the Ballantyne influence on their history …. ah, that would be sweet.

    I have one of the few hard copies of John Frost’s text. A version of the scanned text is available courtesy of a library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. and held on the Internet Archive’s server.
    ( https://archive.org/details/nicholasfrostfam00fros/page/n23/mode/2up )

    Trenholme-Ballantyne-Frosst: the mosaic is becoming clear. Thank you.


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Robert's professional sites:
Ballantyne and Associates

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