Imagine my surprise to discover that my ancestors lived in my neighbourhood more than three hundred years ago.
At that time, Verdun’s Crawford Park was a very different place than it is today. Today, the neighbourhood encompasses about 1000 people in about 20 city blocks between the St. Lawrence River to the aquaduct in the north and between the Douglas Research Institute and the borough of LaSalle to the west. In 2006, more than 20,000 people lived here.
When my ancestor Étiennette Alton lived here, however, the neighbourhood was known as the fief de Verdun and it extended further north through Angrignon Park and the St. Jacques Escarpment.
She moved here after marrying her second husband, Barthélémy Vinet dit La Reinte on Monday, June 13, 1672. She already had three sons and a daughter from her first marriage. Her fifth child, their first son, Martin was born a little later the same year.
The family were among 83 families in the neighbourhood, according to the 1681 census.
The census reads :
« Barthelemy Vinet 48; Etiennet Alton, sa femme 42; enfants : Pierre 20, Jean 16, Louis 14, Marie 11, Martin 9, Gunégonde 7, Madeleine 6, Guillaume 3; 3 fusils; 18 bêtes à cornes; 20 arpents en valeur. »
The couple had five more children in the following fifteen years. They could afford them. Her husband worked for Sieur Jean-Baptiste Migeon de Branssat, an attorney and later judge with the manor of Montréal.
At that time most men—including Vinet, Migeon, and Montreal Governor Francois-Marie Perrot—earned significant portions of their income from hunting and selling furs. The market for furs, however, was diminishing.
In 1676, a new law forced fur traders to obtain licences, although few bothered to do so.
A year later, Migeon was appointed judge and asked to create a public inquiry into the fur trade industry. During that inquiry, he discovered that most elite, including the Governor himself, were illegally involved in the fur trade. The Governor responded by accusing Migeon of breaking the same laws and putting him under house arrest to halt the inquiry before its results could be known.
I’d appreciate your help. During the municipal election on Sunday, November 5, I’m going to ask residents of Desmarchais Crawford to vote me in as their representative in Verdun. To make it happen, I need voters, donors and volunteers.
Jean-Francois Parenteau, the mayor of Verdun, has recruited me to run as borough councillor of Demarchais/Crawford. This means I am now part of the Denis Coderre team. It also means I get to work closely with Marie-Eve Brunet and Ann Guy. Whoo hoo! These are people I adore. Here’s a story from our local newspaper about our campaign: http://journalmetro.com/local/verdun/actualites/1165758/remaniement-dequipe-parenteau-pour-conquerir-desmarchais-crawford/.
It’s thrilling to get the opportunity to work within local government to promote Montreal as a resilient city that builds abundance by protecting the planet, treating people well, and helping businesses profit. Applying for the job of representing my friends and neighbours in an administration that recognizes Verdun’s strengths is such an honour.
If you live in the sector of Verdun between Riel Street and LaSalle, please go out and vote for me on November 5th. If you know someone in that area, ask them to vote for me please!
If you live in other provinces, you can still help by donating, volunteering or just cheering me on! Thanks so much for your support.
It’s an election year so you can donate up to $200 to one or many candidates in your municipality. That includes me if you live in Montreal. If you live outside of Montreal, you can donate up to $25.
Here’s my donation page: https://equipedeniscoderre.com/candidate.php?contact_id=93
My plan is to go door-to-door eight hours every week from now until September 22 and pretty much daily after that. I need someone to accompany me for each of those hours to write down whether the person I just spoke to is likely to vote for me or not. I’ll be caught up in the discussion and people are nice, so I’ve found it’s impossible to read their body language properly. If this is something you can do, please let me know.
Once the election gets going, our team will need people to help to put up posters, phone people, seek donations, and tons of other tasks.
If you can help, please email me at writer (at symbol) traceyarial.com.
You don’t like politics or you support another candidate for the job? That’s okay. You can still join the movement for a more resilient city by joining CAUS, helping with our markets or participating in Grand Potager.
CAUS is a non-profit solidarity coop that promotes abundance in Verdun via farmers markets, aquaponics, hydroponics, composting and micro-green production. We’re now looking for consumer members. In exchange for purchasing one $10 share in our company, consumer members get discounts, occasional give-aways and the opportunity to contribute to Verdun and Montreal resiliency. You can get a consumer membership at our markets, which take place three times a week in Verdun:
We also need lots of volunteers. Between now and Thanksgiving, we need people to count visitors and help put up and take down tents before and after every market on Wednesdays and Sundays.
CAUS is also a member of Grand Potager, which is the OBNL that animates urban agriculture at Verdun’s municipal greenhouses. CAUS will open a garden supply and market products kiosk there soon to sell market products, micro-green seeds and a new compost and seed lawn rejuvenation package. We’ll also offer urban agriculture workshops soon. You can also sponsor Grand Potager itself in exchange for a message on a fruit tree in the jardin d’hiver.
Let me know if any of these projects interest you, and I’ll put you on the appropriate newsletter.
Thanks for everything.
Floods are on everyone’s mind right now. My heart goes out to people in Rigaud, Ile Mercier and Ile Bizard,who were ordered to evacuate. Also, there are many homes in Ste. Anne’s, Pierrefonds, Laval and Dorval whose homes are flooded.
Mayor Denis Coderre just called a state of emergency in Montreal after three dikes collapsed in the Pierrefonds-Roxboro borough near Rivieres des Prairies. There have been 221 homes evacuated so far.
There are 400 soldiers on duty in Quebec now to help fill sandbags. Another 800 are on their way.
Laval police are also helping to handle the emergency situation as I outlined in my story the Suburban.
In last week’s Suburban, I also wrote about the Crawford Park School consultation, bridge frustrations and an entrepreneur event and several other police operations in Laval.
Here are all the stories:
Crawford Park School consultation underway again (C, May 3, pA9)
Lachine, LaSalle, Mercier Bridge Construction (C, May3, pA19)
Laval Joins Relay for Life June 10 (L, May 3, pA1)
Public Senior Residences Hold Bazaars Next Weekend (L, May 3, pA13)
Four Police Services Cooperate in Synergie Operation (L, May 3, pA13)
Police spokespeople attend training last week (L, May 3, pA14)
Juliette Brun headlines Second Annual Entrepreneur Celebration (L, May 3, pA15)
I have more stories than usual in last week’s Suburban. Most of my stories are in the West Island and Laval issues. I’m particularly impressed with the first one about the event Wednesday night.
Inspirational women raise money for women shelter (WI,Apr26,pA6)
Lachine transfers human resources to Mtl (WI,Apr26,pA9)
On Rock faces incredible use surge (WI,Apr26,pA14)
Jean-Pierre Menard to speak to CSSS Laval (L,Apr26,pA3)
Demers to pitch Laval (L,Apr27,pA3)
Emergency crews on standby for flood (Laval, April 19, A1),
Children in Pierrefonds celebrate Montreal (WI, April 19, A6)
UPS to expand Lachine plant (WI, April 19, A11)
Backyard shed thieves caught red handed (Laval, April 19, A1)
Laval to benefit from Plattsburgh Montreal (Laval, April 19, A3)
Is education important? If so, how can teachers, parents, school board officials, government leaders and community groups work together to help students succeed?
That’s what provincial and local leaders will discuss during a full day education summit taking place in Verdun tomorrow. While most of the day is geared to serving education insiders, they’re welcoming members of the public to join their ranks from 5 until 7 p.m. Parents and others interested in education can visit 25 different kiosks to speak with representatives from local schools and daycares, the health bureaucracy, city and boroughs, and community groups.
School success is a big issue in Verdun, where drop-out rates are extremely high. One of every two boys who register in local high schools doesn’t get a diploma. Drop-out rates for girls are slightly lower, but they still surpass 30%. Someone has to make schools more relevant for students, and that’s what all the education partners will discuss throughout the summit.
Verdun Mayor Jean-François Parenteau will speak just after 5 p.m., just prior to dance performances by students from Beurling Academy and École secondaire Monseigneur-Richard.
At 5:30, participants will be able to select one of three workshops on offer. The English sessions feature language development by the CIUSSS of Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal, performance anxiety among adolescents by Dr Côté-Lecaldare from the Douglas Mental Health University Institute, and going back to school by the Literacy Foundation.Parents of teens (room 106)
A Circus performance by l’École de cirque de Verdun takes place at 6 p.m.
After that, there are two more workshops. The CIUSSS of Centre-Sud-de-l’Île-de-Montréal will talk about how parents of teens can make family life work better. The Charles-Étienne Lavoie group will present a session about managing stress to thrive.
Many activities have been set up to enable parents to bring them along. A daycare is offered for parents with young children. Older children will appreciate learning about cartooning with Jacques Goldstyn or perhaps coding with a group of computer experts.
If you want to discuss the future of education, join the summit from 5 until 7 p.m. at the Champlain Adult Education Center, 1201 Argyle Street.