Cartierville School in Montreal

Grade 7, June 1958 – Cartierville School. Click on image to enlarge it. Click again to enlarge it further. Photo source: Eric Karbin. Eric has included a comment about the 1958 Grade 8 class in a comment at the end of this blog post.

Updates

A May 2017 CBC interactive webpage is entitled: “Montreal is 375 years old, but how old are its buildings?”

A May 17, 2017 Montreal Gazette article is entitled: “Montreal’s history did not start 375 years ago.”

[End]

 

A browser search for Cartierville School didn’t turn up a lot of information when I conducted a search for it on March 1, 2014. The purpose of this post is to say a few words about the school, which I attended in the mid-1950s. If you have recollections to add, it will be great to hear from you.

Many recollections have been added (see Comments below) since I wrote the original version of this text on March 1, 2014. We owe many thanks to each person who has taken the time to write. Your comments add so much value to the picture that emerges, in our minds, of Cartierville School in the 1950s.

Do you have any photos of Cartierville School? If you do, it would be great to post some as jpeg files.

We welcome additional photos

We owe many thanks to Eric Karbin for sending us the photo we have included at this post. It will be great to add additional photos from those years to the post. If you have a photo but no scanner, you can get the photo scanned at a copy shop or photo store, and have it sent to me at jpill@preservedstories.com as a jpeg file. Graeme Decarie recently arranged to send me a jpeg file using this procedure. It’s a great way to share photos with a wider audience.

Cartierville School, May 2015. Scott Munro photo

Cartierville School, May 2015. Scott Munro photo

I’ve spoken a bit about Cartierville in a previous post.

A map of Cartierville can be found here. The neighbourhood, which is part of the borough of Ahuntsic-Cartierville, is currently bordered by O’Brien Boulevard, Autoroute Chomedey, Riviere-des-Prairies, and by the southern commuter train line.

I attended Grade 4 at Cartierville School. I may have attended an earlier grade as well.

Years after my attendance at Cartierville School, I had the opportunity to teach Grade 4 classes at Munden Park Public School in Mississauga, Ontario. When I began teaching that grade, several teachers told me that Grade 4 is a great age level to be working with. The kids, I was told, are still excited about learning and still have a great deal of respect for teachers. A corollary message was that in the grades that follow, a certain degree of cynicism arises in students.

I did much enjoy working with Grade 4 students. In recent years, I’ve been making presentations to Grade 4 students, in the community where I live and elsewhere. I’ve also made presentations to other age groups. I would say that I enjoy making presentations to students of all ages, these days.

May 2015 photo of Church of Good Shepherd, across the street from Cartierville School. Scott Munro photo

May 2015 photo of Church of Good Shepherd, across the street from Cartierville School. Scott Munro photo

Friendships are a key part of elementary school experiences

Anyway, one of the other things that teachers told me, when I began to teach Grade 4, was that “Everybody remembers being in Grade 4. It’s a really memorable year for students.”

I taught Grade 4 for several years. I noticed that students at the end of the Grade 4 school year tended to see things in ways that were different, as compared to when the school year began. That was among the most significant things that I learned. They also communicated to me how important recess was, and how important their friendships were.

Another thing that I learned about from my years as a teacher, a career that began in the mid-1970s, concerned the benefits of mindfulness meditation. Toward the end of my career, I found the work pretty stressful, which may come as a surprise to people who have not worked in schools. For some teachers, at particular stages of their careers, it can be stressful. Once I embarked upon the practice of mindfulness meditation, I found the stress level gradually ceased to be an overriding source of concern for me – in teaching and in other aspects of life. The practice of mindfulness underlines for me, as well, that our only access to history – in the personal or wider sense – is through the here and now, through the present moment.

People often remember Grade 4

I remember Grade 4 at Cartierville School really well. I remember the classroom, and the hallway outside of it. I remember some of the things that went on inside the room.

Our teacher was Mrs. Shields. I remember her well. I estimate she would have been born around 1905. She once took me aside and expressed concern about how I was doing in math. I didn’t do well in math then, or since – although with hard work, and good instruction, I know I can make some progress. Years later, a neuropsychological assessment of my brain functioning, organized for other purposes, indicated that dealing with spatial perception and mathematics may be not as easy for me as it is for some other people. Fortunately, there were some other aspects of my neurological profile that were sufficiently robust, so that my lack of innate flair for mathematics could be placed into some kind of context.

I think I was at the school in some earlier grade as well, because I had another teacher before Mrs. Shields, so far as I can remember. I recall these early morning walks down a long hallway or series of hallways to our classroom. We would stand in rows, waiting to go into the room. This was at the start of the Baby Boom. There were large numbers of students. As well, there was a church or some building across the street from the school. It may have been where assemblies were held, or it served some other purpose, such as a venue for a visit by Clarence Nash from California.

Clarence Nash was the voice of Donald Duck

One time, before Grade 4, I believe, Clarence Nash, who was born in 1904, came to visit the school. As a Feb. 22, 1985 New York Times obituary explains, Clarence (Ducky) Nash “was the only voice of Donald Duck in more than 150 cartoons and movies over five decades.” Well, that was a memorable visit. He did his Donald Duck routine and the kids all had a good time. Live entertainment is a unique experience. When he left, he and his entourage drove away in a row of little Nash Motor cars. This was the smaller version of the Nash car. “Nice cars,” I thought. “Quite a sight. Must have cost a few dollars to buy those.” They got inside the cars and drove away. The picture stays in mind: The voice of Donald Duck, the vexatious, celebrated, bad-tempered little bird, driving down the road.

Shortcut through the music room

I recall – and this must have been before Grade 4 – that I used to sometimes take a shortcut through a music room to get to some other part of the school building – maybe to get to or from where the bus came in, or to or from the building across the street, where some of our school activities were held.

One time, the music teacher, or some other teacher, stopped me while I was taking my shortcut and began to scream at me for taking the shortcut. It was quite a sight, I thought, a teacher standing there screaming at a kid. “Wow, that’s quite a production,” I thought. Until that time, it had been my understanding that it was fine for students to take this particular shortcut.

I think that after that, I found some other way to get to my destination. Another time, I saw the same teacher talking to colleague, looking toward me and pointing to my shoes, which happened to be a little scruffy. Fortunately, I didn’t have many dealings with that teacher – and most of the teachers who worked with me were great to work with. I felt at ease around most of them.

In retrospect, I experience an empathy for the screaming teacher that I would not have had as a child. What drove her emotions? I estimate she would have been born around 1915. What experiences did she have as a child? What constellation of social forces and life circumstances came together to produce such a performer? I also retain empathy for the child – and children – she was screaming at.

Tackle football

We had lunch and gym in a basement room, as I vaguely recall. I remember the lunch would include Campbell’s soup sometimes. In those days, I had the ability, as young kids sometimes do, to do a forward summersault, flipping over from a standing position and landing again on my feet. I don’t recall if I only practised these in gym class, or at other times as well, such as lunchtime.

I’ve seen toddlers similarly doing remarkable things, making good use of their size, flexibility, and agility. One trick involves a situation where a toddler is standing straight one second, and in the next second the feet are thrown straight up in front, so the legs are horizontal. A split second later, the child is sitting on the floor, feet spread out in front. Except for a gymnast standing on a mat, I can’t picture too many adults who can perform that feat. The key difference is a matter of physics related to body size and agility. Young children learn so many things through the sheer pleasure of unstructured playtime activities.

It’s also been my observation that toddlers are exceptionally agile at rolling sideways down a grassy hill. One picture that stays in mind, from more recent years, is the sight of three or four toddlers rolling sideways down a hill together, laughing and conversing as they rotate.

These topics reminds me that, as a March 4, 2014 Education Week article notes, there’s a lot to be said for viewing recess as an essential part of early childhood experiences.

I also much enjoyed playing tackle football at recess. Some of the touchdowns that were scored, in seemingly impossible circumstances, such as when the buttons are torn off a player’s shirt but he still eludes a field of tacklers, became the stuff of schoolyard legends. Kids would sometimes still be talking about them years later.

One time, I came to visit the school, a year or several years after Grade 4, and I realized at once that kids were still talking about a particular play that I had participated in. Tackle football in a schoolyard can be a lot of fun. One of the Grade 4 classmates I played with at recess  – he was often the quarterback – later played as a professional football player.

Recess entertainment

In the winter at recess time, during those years, I would sometimes practise a judo move with my friends. In this move, you manoeuvre your opponent so he loses balance, after which you quickly flip the person over your hip, after which he falls flat on his back in the snow. With a little practice, a person can become very adept at this move.

I was very skinny, pretty well as I’ve been ever since. I didn’t eat my lunch very often. Sandwiches would be left inside my desk or wherever else I thought would be good place to leave them. They would accumulate and take on a petrified quality.

In those days I began to deal with the fact that I stuttered. I began to stutter at the age of six. By Grade 4, I began to realize that speaking out in class was difficult for me in a way that wasn’t difficult for other kids. It wasn’t until I was 41 years old that I was able to achieve control over my stuttering. Until recent years, for several decades, much of my volunteer work was devoted to the efforts of the Canadian Stuttering Association and other organizations engaged in public education about stuttering.

Some recesses were devoted to snowball fights

At recess, we used to have epic snowball fights. When I taught in Mississauga and Toronto, the throwing of snowballs at recess time was forbidden. But at Cartierville School, you could throw as many as you wanted. Because I was a younger student, my self-chosen task was typically to slowly and carefully prepare the “perfect” snowball for one of the older students, an all-round athlete named Norman Alamo, who had a powerful throwing arm and was regarded with awe by the younger students. The snowball fights, as I remember them, were in the nature of artillery duels, conducted over a considerable distance between two opposing teams. People didn’t stand around throwing snowballs at each other at short distances, so far as I can recall.

The school had trees and a large playground, located on a bit of slope ending on the north side at Gouin Boulevard, which ran alongside the Rivière des Prairies.

At least one of the students in my class lived in a big estate house, not far to the west of the school, on a large property that extended from Gouin Boulevard to the Rivière des Prairies. His name might have been Alex McGougald or some similar name. I recall he was character, and had a great sense of humour. In those days I knew of at least one other student who appeared to live somewhere else, in a shack without running water.

I also remember a student named Howard Gilbert or a similar name. If I recall correctly, he went on a big vacation with his family and his return was an event that we all talked about. As well, I remember Sally, who sat next to me in class. We had some great conversations. Sally’s eyes would light up, she would shake her hands in excitement, moving her forearms quickly back and forth, and would share with me things that were on her mind. That was a fun class.

I lost touch with these students, when I went to another school. I would enjoy catching up with news from or about them, which would now be close to sixty years later.

Davy Crockett and Maurice Richard

For part of the time that I was a student at Cartierville School, we travelled by bus. There were also times, perhaps before the bus routine was in place, where I walked to school – walking several kilometres – along a creek that ran not far from our house and that emptied into the Rivière des Prairies. Part of the route to the school involved jumping across the creek to get to the pathway that would be leading to the school. One time, when jumping the creek, I fell and cut my leg. The scar across my shin, from that occasion, remains in evidence even now. The creek is long gone.

On the bus, during the time of the “Davy Crockett” craze, the students would sing the verses of the Ballad of Davy Crockett. In retrospect, I would say that Walt Disney had a pretty strong hold on children’s minds in those days.

Howard A. Hight has asked me recently if I remember Mrs. Jackson, the grade 7 teacher at Cartierville Elementary School. The answer is that I don’t, as I was there only until Grade 4. After that I was elsewhere.

Howard’s question prompted me to recollect another thing that I recall from Cartierville School. I remember that the Maurice Richard Riot at the Montreal Forum on March 17, 1955 might have occurred when I was at the school. I may have heard people talking about it in the hallway. There was talk about streetcars being overturned, as I recall. I heard vivid, animated descriptions of the riot. I was interested to learn, years later, that this was an important event in Quebec’s history. It was, as well, a narrative that Walt Disney didn’t participate in, at least not directly.

Hungarian uprising of 1956

The news of the Hungarian uprising of 1956, which I learned of through newspapers and CBC radio, and local conversations, had an even stronger impression on me. By 1956, if I recall correctly, I may have been in Grade 5 at Morrison Elementary School. Grade 6 may have been at Laurentide Elementary School, and for Grade 7 I think I was back at Morrison, followed by Grade 8 at the High School of Montreal. After that, I began classes at Malcolm Campbell High School.

My sense is that, as young a child, I had just recently taken on the human form and was getting to know a bit about the nature of this earthly existence. A person at that age has a certain sense of wonder, a feeling of the promise of life. Early childhood has always been an age that I could relate to. It’s the reason, years later, that I choose teaching as my profession. I would add that, as a child in school, the idea that one day I would find myself standing in front of a class, in the role of teacher, would never, under any circumstances, have occurred to me. There were times in those years when I couldn’t get out any words at all. It would have been beyond a person’s capacity to imagine that I would, in my adult years, become a teacher.

I’ve added additional comments in a subsequent post.

Updates

An Aug. 4, 2015 mesquartiers.wordpress.com article is entitled: “TOP 15 DES PLUS BEAUX PARCS RIVERAINS À MONTRÉAL!”

A February 2017 Longreads post is entitled: “A Brief History of Disney.”

 

54 replies
  1. yvonne
    yvonne says:

    I attended Cartierville School in the 50’s perhaps 54/55 starting in grade 4 until grade 7 when Roxboro Elementry School opened. My teacher in grade 4 was Mrs Gamble and she was very pregnant near the end of the school year, I believe there were 2 grade 4’s my classroom was near the stairway to go to the gymnasium, and yes I do remember the campbels soups we used to get for lunch in the winter, tomato, vegetable and I think chicken noodle, I think we had to do some fundraising to pay for the soup, I vaguely remember the building you speak of across the road set back from Gouin Blvd back in the tree’s what it was I don’t recall. We were not allowed to throw snowballs in my time, that I do remember since I ended up in the principals office (Mrs Findlayson) for throwing snowballs. Your name doesn’t sound familiar but then it was a long time ago, your name does seem Dutch though which is interesting, did you live in Cartierville, anyhow look forward to hearing from you, Yvonne

    Reply
  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Good to read your comment, Yvonne. I now recall that I remember a student named Yvonne, from my elementary school years. Possibly you’re the Yvonne that I remember. I live in Toronto now. Jaan is an Estonian name. The Dutch spelling would be Jan, or Johannes. I remember especially the Campbell’s tomato soup. There’s a big Campbell Soup plant close to where I live in south Etobicoke in Toronto. I didn’t know the school did fundraising for the soup. That’s good to know. That kind of detail would have escaped me. Many such details escape me. It’s a treat to learn from others some of the things that I hadn’t noticed or don’t remember, or wasn’t at the school long enough to learn.

    That’s great to know that Mrs. Findlayson wasn’t keen about snowballs. Given that my memory has never been of the highest quality, I’m pleased to know there is contrary evidence, regarding the snowball policy. Possibly the snowball battles were engaged in when teachers weren’t in sight. I can only speculate, which I don’t like to do.

    I would be really interested to know of other people’s recollections. I remember one of the snowballs that I constructed for Norman Alamo. It was a perfectly round sphere. It was so perfectly formed that it was a work of art, an absolute prize-winner of a snowball. If grades were given out for snowball construction, that one was worth an A+, That’s one of the great events, from those years, that has stayed in mind.

    I had forgotten the name of the principal. Now it comes back – it was Mrs. Findlayson (or similar spelling). As a young child at Cartierville School, I viewed power as some force or form of energy that emanates from the principal’s office to every classroom in the school. I had the sense that she was at the centre of the power system, whatever the system was. She had a sense of authority about her, as I recall. I think kids sometimes figure out such things, without putting them into words. I would be interested to know recollections other students from the 1950s would have of her.

    I also vaguely remember the report cards, which in some way also referred, in my mimd, to some sense of how things are organized and sorted out, in a sense, in society. Some of the report cards in those days had illustrations featuring happy family life and the Bank of Montreal logo.

    I enjoyed Cartierville School. It was among my favourite schools, of the elementary schools I attended. Maybe it was my favourite, in retrospect. However, I don’t generally think in terms of favourites. The other elementary schools I went to were Van Horne, Morrison, and Laurentide. Cartierville School had a certain warmth and “rightness” about it, that stays with me. I also remember the trees, the river nearby, with its strong, lively current – the natural, green setting, a sense of being well settled into place. I imagine it would have been a great experience to spend several years there, all the way up to grade 7, as was the case with other students that I know from those years. That would be wonderful, to spend many years at such a school, I would say.

    Reply
  3. Ian Roach
    Ian Roach says:

    I attended Cartierville School from 1954-55 thru 1959-60. My teachers were:

    1954-55. Grade 2.Miss Schaefer.
    1955-56. Grade 3. Miss Knowles.
    1956-57. Grade 4. Mrs. Shields. She was a really nice lady, and I think that was her last year teaching before she retired.
    1957-58. Grade 5. Mrs. Hamilton.
    1958-59. Grade 6. Mrs. Staniforth. In September 1958 while she was teaching us she was informed that her mother had died, but she stuck it out until the end of the day, but I remember how stressed she was that day.
    1959-60. Grade 7. Mrs. Jackson. She became an inspector for the school board a couple of years later.

    I remember Mrs. Lillian Finlayson. She gave me the strap one time for jumping over the flower bed. She retired after the 1958-59 session and she lived to a ripe old age – I think she was 96 when she died. Mrs. MacKenzie was principal in 1959-60.

    Also, the janitor while I was there was Mr. Lawrence. His daughter, Lena, also attended the school.

    In grade 7, I remember we had wood working class one day a month at Morrison School.

    For a while, we had movies on Friday afternoon in the auditorium at Cartierville School about once a month.One of the movies I remember seeing was ‘West of Zanzibar’.

    Reply
  4. Fred Fohring
    Fred Fohring says:

    Cartierville School .. yes, very fond memories … NOT!!!

    Family moved from Pointe Claire to Roxboro during 1956 and I was bussed to Cartierville. Must have been very dull trips every day as I only recall getting on the bus LOL What I do recall, is in grade 7 (1957-58), the trips on that electric trolly to another school for shop classes .. that may have been the highlight of my time … except around mid May of 1958.

    The school had a paved play area to the right, and extending to the back. Right next to that was a chain link fence with a winter outdoor rink on the other side, a row of very large trees ran parallel to that fence. The rink was illuminated by overhead lights suspended by a wire cables and at least two of those wire cables were attached high up on the trees.

    No one was allowed to run in the school yard, punishable by death I believe!! I remember Mrs. Findlayson very well LOL

    So one bright day during morning recess in May a couple of boys were teasing and ran away, me chasing them. Seems one of those cables had broken maybe and was still attached at the tree and the loose end had been attached to the chain link fence leaving a wire at about chest height or so strung between fence and tree. The boy I was chasing ducked under, I saw it too late and in ducking it hit my neck, the momentum causing my body to end up on my back on the pavement also hitting my left shoulder.

    I was taken to the nurse’s office and my neck cleaned as it had been scraped badly .. I was in and out of coma as I recall. After a few hours of this the Principal was going to send me home. Luckily the Janitor on his own took me to Sacré-Coeur Hospital where I was in traction for next 6 weeks as I had one slipped disc, and a few fractured!! I was going to be sent home? That summer my parents sued. Got all of $5000. The school board did pay the hospital bills. The next spring I had my shoulder operated upon as my left arm kept popping out of the socket; damaged from that fall.

    Fond memories of Cartierville School.

    Started Grade 9 at High School of Montreal Sept. 1958 still wearing a neck brace for a few months. Every day for 2 years on the electric train from Roxboro to Central Station, then the trek up University Avenue with all the distractions along the way LOL LOL but that’s another story.

    Cheers

    Reply
    • Eric Karbin
      Eric Karbin says:

      Hey Fred,

      Those weekly or so trips on the #17 streetcar to St. Laurent High are also one of my favorite memories from Grade 7 at Cartierville School. In metal working I made an aluminum salt and pepper shaker holder; in wood working, a model sailboat carved out of a short piece of 2×4. I lived near the school in Cartierville, so boring school bus trips was not a problem. However, I sometimes wish I had lived in Roxboro or A Ma Baie at that time because it would have been nice sitting next to Leslie [B], the female classmate I had a crush on and who took the bus.

      I remember that terrible mishap you had in 1958. I was delegated to go visit you at Sacre Coeur Hospital on behalf of the class. I remember the wire between the fence and the tree that your neck hit as you were running. [By the way, I was not one of the two guys teasing you] That wire was a real bad hazard the way it was placed where it was placed, in the paved play area. There was no excuse for that wire to have been there. As for Mrs. Finlayson’s prohibition against running in the school yard, a stupid rule if ever there was one for school kids. But then, I don’t recall such a rule, except that the front school yard was grass and was off- limits quite often to anyone wanting to play there. Mrs. Finlayson may have wanted the front yard to look pretty, like a nice, big lawn. I remember Mr. Lawrence, the janitor, kicking us off quite often, whenever we tried to play football there.

      You say you started Grade 9 at HSM in Sept. 1958. That should read Grade 8. If not, how could you skip grade 8? At Cartierville School, you were in Grade 7 for the 1957-1958 school year.

      Like to hear what you mean by the distractions on University Avenue. Actually, it was University Street, on which HSM was located across the street from McGill Univ. University Ave sounds a bit like Toronto.

      Reply
      • Charles (Ren-Hsin) Tsiang
        Charles (Ren-Hsin) Tsiang says:

        The big distraction on University Street was T Eaton & Co. Otherwise we headed down to Central Station and hung out down at the end where there was a food stand and I used to buy french fries soaked in vinegar.

        Reply
  5. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I much appreciate you sharing this experience, Fred.

    This is a valuable topic – the topic of bad experiences and how they are dealt with.

    What is a source of comfort for me, in reading your story, is that some measure of support was available for you, from a wide range of sources including the Janitor who on his own took you to Sacré-Coeur Hospital, and your parents who sued the school board. The role of the Janitor stays in mind very strongly, afer I have read your account. What a difference that made, given the circumstances.

    Your story has echoes – at a metaphorical level – with a disability that I experienced throughout my school years, starting at the age of six. I’ve talked about it elsewhere. The help that I received, over the years, that enabled me keep going until I found a way, at age 41, to deal with things, is something that will always stay with me. Sometimes it was some seemingly very small thing, that someone communicated, that lifted my spirits on a bad day, and warmed my heart in a way that would always stay with me.

    Reply
  6. Jack Conway
    Jack Conway says:

    I attended Cartierville School in the mid to late 40’s and was at the school when a yonge black boy was run over by a truck and killed at lunch break during the winter months, Noles I think was his last name. I wonder if any one recalls that day or was at the school at that time?

    Thanks,

    Reply
  7. Bob Carswell
    Bob Carswell says:

    Hi Jaan,

    Haven’t spoken to you since the meeting in downtown Toronto after the 40th anniversary for MCHS. I see you are still alive. I was born in Harrogate, England in November 1944. My brother Jim who went to the High School of Montreal with your brother was born in 1943. We came to Canada with my mother, one of Canada’s 49,000 War Brides.

    Those with children born to Canadian fathers brought 22,000 war babies like my brother and I. Both my parents participated in the military during the war, both became officers and both saw war action. My mother’s photo appears in the book Ghosts of Biggin Hill. Because of war service, they were treated as two individuals in the military which meant that no consideration was given to the fact that they were married to each other so they spent months on end apart at times. Such was WWII.

    My first home in Canada was an apartment in a house in Pendleton, Ontario as a baby. My father had been posted back to Canada by the RCAF in June 1944 and as station adjutant was the last commanding officer of this Early Flying Training School with a staff of something like a thousand men and women, all waiting for the war to end.

    He met me when I was four months old when they allowed a ship of wives to travel via the Azores to avoid any German subs as they headed to Halifax. Released from the RCAF after 6 years of service in the NPAM, Cdn Army Signals, CASF, RAF and RCAF, my father was ready to go back to work.

    A graduate of Lakefield College in Lakefield Ontario, he lost a lot of friends in the war. Settling in Montreal, he went back to P.S. Ross the accounting firm he had articled with before the war. After two years, a breakdown due to PTSD and a third child on the way, he joined Henry Birks and Sons in systems and methods.

    Over the next 26 years before taking early retirement, he climbed the ladder to Office Manager, Assistant Secretary, and Secretary and Director of nine Birks companies. My mother never worked after the air force experience but contributed her hand as a volunteer to every cause going…most important to her, secretary of the Cartierville School Home and School while her 4 kids went there.

    Our first Montreal home was a new apartment, in a six-plex on Laurentian Blvd, then called Reed Street, the main route north to the Laurentians. We lived there for about 5 years. Then Dad had a house built on Martin Avenue in Saraguay and we moved there in 1951. It was torn down in the 90s to be replaced by a modern stone house. My Kindergarten was at Mrs. Terrat’s home at Reed and Gouin Blvd.

    It closed when the houses on the east side going down to the bridge were torn down to widen the road. Names I remember, Mrs. Carpenter, Kindergarten at Cartierville School, Mrs. Talbot, Grade one, Mrs. Shields, Grade three, Miss Stanforth in Grades 5 then 6 (We did not get along), Mrs. Jackson in Grade 7 and Mrs. Findlayson, the principal.

    One year, Grade four was a divided class across the street in the old Anglican church before the new one was built. I remember a pair of identical twins, Robbie and Wallace, one on each side of the class.

    Mrs. Findlayson and I came to blows at times especially when I pulled my hand away while she was trying to strap me. I was an average student yet very bright. I could never understand why my brother got VG and I only got G on my report card. High school was worse.

    I spent 3 years at the High School of Montreal, 3 years at Malcolm Campbell High School and 2 years doing another 13 credits at Sir George Williams Evening High School. I then went into SGWU heading for a B. Comm degree.

    After taking two summer courses, my company transferred me west. I returned to Sir George Williams University in 1969 full time and completed my degree. In my 50s I self diagnosed my learning disabilities which had plagued me all my life and had myself tested at the U of T. which confirmed it. When things went bad for me later in life, I took five years off and went back to school.

    In total I have four Bachelor degrees and a fellowship in the Institute of Canadian Bankers, equivalent to half a degree….B.Comm (marketing); SGWU; Honours Bachelor of Business Administration (management) and Bachelor of Arts (film) both from York University and a B. Ed from the University of Toronto.

    I have been doing my family genealogy for some 40 years now and have a skill that way. My roots are English, Scottish, Irish from both parts, and Swedish-Finnish, an interesting mix. I also reunited my mother and her sister after 62 years and brought them together for the last ten years of their lives.

    My family history turned out to be a very unique one going from the London Docks to entertaining the Royalty of England. I too married an English girl that I met at a summer chalet at Montgomery Center, Vermont. We lasted 12 years together, separated and divorced about 9 years later since she wanted to remarry.

    I have a son and daughter. My son is single, lasted in one relationship long enough in Toronto for that to destroy him and he then chose to do an MBA at the London School of Business in the UK in 2007. Setting up his own entrepreneurial firm, he is currently doing his part in a massive project for the British Government and will likely remain in the UK for the rest of his life. My daughter who lives in Victoria, BC works for the VIHA.

    She is expecting her second child in October 2014. Her eldest daughter made me a grandfather for the first time 2 years ago. Funny as it is, her husband’s mother lives a couple of miles from me here in Toronto.

    Jaan, You mentioned a school friend. You are talking about Allan McDougall, cousin to Jamie Duncan, and part of the old Saraguay family there. It was his grandfather Dr. Duncan that delivered my own father into this world. Allan moved out to Vancouver, set up a book distribution firm and ended up the North American distributor for the Harry Potter books. He is also a on the Board of Directors of the Vancouver Library System along with a good friend of my youngest brother, also in Vancouver.

    [Bob refers to a book he’s written that he’s like to turn into a movie.] I am also looking for people who would help me edit my other many books to make sure they make sense and address the problems caused by my LD problems.

    No money though as I am just a poor author and artist these days. Well, that is probably enough for now. Let me know what you want to know about Cartierville School and I will try to answer it. Cheers !!!

    Reply
  8. Klaas Vander Baaren
    Klaas Vander Baaren says:

    Wow,
    I’m glad didn’t gather my thoughts until now. All the previous comments triggered more memories so I can be a little more detailed and literate with my memories.
    Yvonne,

    I definitely have a Dutch name. I was born in Utrecht.

    Ian,

    I believe we were in the same class for grades 2 – 4. I recognize the teachers‘ names. Mr. Lawrence is someone I also remember though not well. And Mrs. Finlayson. I managed to get into enough trouble that I received the strap from her each year. I remember her crying as she dealt out the punishment my last year.

    My time in Cartierville School started after we moved from Ahuntsic to 8th Avenue in Roxboro. Fred, we no doubt shared the exciting bus rides to school. The three memorable things I remember about the bus:

    – If the snow was deep enough, the bus would get stuck on 8th Avenue since it was rarely plowed and we would get the day(s) off.

    – One day the bus slide through the intersection of Somerset and Gouin Blvd and broad-sided the bus. No serious injuries.

    – If you were late for the bus, it was gone and you would hitch-hike home. I remember doing it a number of times without incident. I can just see a school allowing that today.

    I finished elementary school at Morrison School when we moved from Roxboro to 2 blocks from the school. From there we moved to Barnes Street at the top of Somerset. Couldn’t get away from the area. That’s where we lived through my time at MCHS. More about my life in the autobiographies for the reunion.

    Mr. Carswell,

    I am so glad you put in a reply. Our connections are numerous. First, the Katiens. That’s where we first connected, at one of their parties where Paul Jr. and us kids ended up in the games room. Do you have any contact with Paul?

    Then there was the Birks connection. My mother was a real estate agent for many of the Birks executives moving to Montreal. All though you parent’s connection with her through the Katiens. And your dad was instrumental in getting my wife Nancy her first job, at Birks in the back office, after we graduated from Acadia and moved back to Montreal. Please get in touch with me at Klaas@vanderbaaren.com. I just visited mom for her 94 birthday 2 weeks ago in Morrisburg, ON.

    Hope to see all of you in 11 months.

    Reply
  9. Charles Tsiang
    Charles Tsiang says:

    Hi Fred! I remember you in my grade and the time when you had that accident and wore the neck collar for so long! And i recall the teachers named in one of the earlier posts. I used to take a bus from Roxboro to get to Cartierville. Think I started in grade 5 after going to Elmgrove and Parkdale in Ville St Laurent. Someone mention Campbell’s soup…. I was just telling my wife that one of the things I remembered was the vegetable soup that we served down in the lunch room ? downstairs…. the “honor” of getting the milk crates and distributing the boxes. There was Christmas play that we put on …. I guess I was one of the 3 Wisemen and I had to ad lib my lines when I froze up. When i saw the picture that Eric Karbin posted I immediately looked to see who I could recognize…. besides myself. ( Just pointed out myself to my son who is visiting us from Seattle for Thanksgiving weekend. He was impressed by my bow tie. ) That’s great to have a picture like that with classmates from more than 50 years ago! ! Thanks Eric! Wonder if we can get enough folks to identify everyone in that shot?

    Like you I went to The High School on University Street… ugh…what a walk uphill in the snow in winter from Central Station lugging the saxophone and my book bag! Do you remember Mr Scott in the Music room? Mr Mitchell, Frasier, ….. But we had fun walking thru Eatons after school …. and getting the ice cream waffle sandwich down in the basement floor. French fries in the station. The Roxboro and Amabaie group on the train. … two years there and then two at MCHS.

    Reply
    • peter jort
      peter jort says:

      This is fun to find this,
      Charles, Eric Karbin and I got together in Vancouver and somehow got a copy of the photo of that grade 7 class, he was able at that time to identify everybody, I was amazed at his memory.
      hello to all
      peter jort

      Reply
  10. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I remember Mr. Scott from that particular high school. Some years ago I did a video interview with a friend, Winston Purdy, who taught Vocal Music at McGill. He doesn’t have a connection to Malcolm Campbell but he knows a lot about the High School of Montreal. He mentioned that Mr. Scott played a key role in the music scene in Montreal in those days, I think (as I recall from what Winston said) as it relates to music education.

    I’m so pleased that Eric Karbin sent us the jpeg of the Cartierville class photo, and that the resolution is good enough so that you can click on the photo to get a closer look.

    If anybody else has a photo(s) from MCHS or Cartierville School or any of the other elementary schools that served as feeder schools for MCHS, please send a jpeg or jpegs (a resolution of about 1.5 or 2 MB works well) to Jaan Pill at jpill@preservedstories.com

    If you have digitized 1960s-era Super 8 movies that would be of interest, we would be keen to post some of those also. Please contact me if you have such footage, that you may wish to share.

    On Nov. 26, 2014 the MCHS 60s Reunion & Celebration of the 60s organizing committee met in Kitchener. We find the face to face meetings are an important part of the planning process. Lynn Legge (that is, Lynn Hennebury) spoke at length (once the planning discussions were out of the way) about the former Polo Field in Saraguay, that Graeme Decarie has mentioned in one of his comments, on this website, and about which we’ve shared a few links. Lynn lived right by where the field had been. She’s also hard at work seeking out MCHS contacts who were associated with the Cartierville Boating Club.

    As you may know, a key means of sharing updates about the MCHS 60s Reunion is a Newsletter that Diana Redden in Vancouver and Howard Hight in Boston send out regularly, to members of the MCHS 60s database, that they have prepared. We now have well over 100 names on the database and are seeking to grow the numbers in the weeks ahead.

    If you are an MCHS 60s grad (or student or staff who attended at any point in the 1960s, even if you did not graduate from MCHS), and wish to read well written and succinct updates related to the Oct. 17, 2015 reunion, please add your name to the database; if you wish to add your name, and have not yet done so, please contact Howard Hight at hahight@gmail.com

    We’re keen to have ideas from potential attendees, related to the organizing of the event. We want to ensure that all attendees have a strong sense of ownership of the reunion. We’re also working at setting up electronic links whereby MCHS grads who can’t attend the Oct. 17, 2015 event in person can participate via interactive online video (e.g. Skype or Google Plus). We also seek to ensure that MCHS grads have many opportunities to touch base with each other with a view toward keeping in touch – for example via the ongoing regional mini-reunions, and dinner and coffee get togethers that many graduates have been holding for many years – even after the reunion.

    Reply
  11. Bob Carswell
    Bob Carswell says:

    January 3rd, 2015

    HAPPY NEW YEAR

    I am just back from Christmas with my brother’s family and after a busy December with doctor and eye appointments plus some hospital tests, I have not been up to much in the way of writing.

    The difference between Jaan and I is that he lives near Lake Ontario around Fortieth Street while I live with Lake Ontario in my backyard at Fourth Street and close enough to Campbell Soup to smell it when the wind is right.

    I went through the picture of the 1958 graduating class at Cartierville School and I can identify the following 9 people. In all cases I am counting heads from the LEFT.

    The teacher: Mrs Jackson (who lived in Saraguay)

    Back Row
    3rd from Left Robert Jort
    4th from left Tommy Killam (died in his 20s or 30s I believe)
    10th from left Bobby Pare – married his next door neighbour Heather Giles (ran into them in 1980 – 1981 at Pickering Town Center)

    Middle Row
    5th from left Eric Karbin
    15th from left Doug McGurk -plaid shirt – older brother Dennis was in my 57 grad class
    17th from left Bill Robert (pronounced ROW BEAR) in the dark shirt on the end

    Front Row

    8th from the left Marianne Kerr – Linda Kerr’s sister – married, had 5 children, husband died at 39, she raised them by herself than married again and moved to Calgary – I shared a room at the Montreal General Hospital with her father in for kidney stones in 1963. The girls came in to see their father with their mother and ended up talking to me. Fun time???

    11th from the left Dianne Brewer – her father had been the Cub Master or Scout Master at the Church of the Good Sheppard across the road which, incidently was a church on Sundays and a hall all the rest of the time.

    I just did a bit of interesting research on Reverend Tulk, the first minister at Cartierville that we all knew as the old reverend. It was during his time there that the larger church was built and the old church/hall became the official hall and no longer was the church. Built in 1922, it has since been torn down to allow a newer expansion. It is now a French Seventh Day Adventive Church. I think I mentioned this before.

    That is it for now.

    Reply
  12. Bob Carswell
    Bob Carswell says:

    Me again. You mentioned a SALLY. Could that have been Sally Heiny ?

    Regarding the ice rink over the fence. That was the backyard of the Lefevere family on Bruton Road. The school events and hockey took place in the rink on Somerset Road just past Bruton Road on the left side between Somerset Road and Cousineau Street. It was set up by the city as a community rink and change house. Cartierville School used it for hockey games and their annual winter carnival with all the costumes. The Carswell family seemed to win the group prize at this one on occasion. Mum was creative and made great costumes with our help. I still remember wearing a papier mache head as Mama Bear. My sister was Goldilocks. My older brother Jim was Papa Bear and my youngest brother John was Baby Bear. Must be time to grow up and go to bed.
    Bye

    Reply
  13. Victor
    Victor says:

    I attended Cartierville Elementary from 1967-1969. Cartierville close after the 1969-70 school year, and I was transferred to Parkdale (penitentiary) 🙂 for grades 3-6.

    I had great memories of that small intimate school from my time in grade 1 and 2 (Ms. Wahlberg and Talbot). I did not like kindergarten much, as the teacher at the time was quite a nut-house.

    What I remember was that this elementary school actually had an (string) orchestra, which was/is quite unheard of in any elementary school as far as I know. I was very sad when it closed.

    Reply
  14. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Victor, it’s wonderful to know that Cartierville School continued on for so many years. Remarkable to know about the string orchestra. I think that is one more thing that underlines that this was a remarkable school. I would be interested, Victor, if you have any additional memories of the closing of the school. That is, what circumstances led to the closing? What became of the school and the property after the closing of Cartierville School. Do you have any photographs, that you can scan and send to me as jpeg files, that we could post at this website?

    Bob, it’s wonderful to have the updates and additional details. I don’t recall what Sally’s last name was. At any rate, if she visits this webpage, I’m pleased to say “Hello.”

    Also, one of the neighbours on the street where we now live, my family and I, works at Campbell Soup. It’s quite a community landmark in New Toronto. This year Mike James (a retired principal I used to work with at Munden Park Public School in Mississauga when I was a teacher) and I are planning a Jane’s Walk (a walking conversation about local topics and landmarks involving local and also sometimes far-off residents) in New Toronto. For the previous three years, our focus was on staging such walks in Long Branch, the community on Lake Ontario between New Toronto and Mississauga.

    I like the Jane’s Walk concept because it’s a conversation (or it can be a conversation, if it’s set up to be one) instead of a top-down lecture. In so many areas of life, we have so much to learn from each other. Every story matters.

    Reply
  15. Victor
    Victor says:

    I no longer live in Montreal, so I have no photographs of my own. However, here is a link to Google Street Maps that is quite good:

    12266 Somerset Way – Google Maps

    As you can see, the Cartierville School building and exterior landscaping is pretty much as I remember it 45 years ago, kind of frozen in time. The sign at the front indicates that it is now a Montesori day-care of some kind. I kind of doubt a day-care could take up the entire school. The landscaping on the Gouin Blvd side with the lush trees is still as beautiful as I remember it.

    Why did Cartierville school close? Beats me – no one really explained the political/economic/etc… reasons to a 7-year old for why the old PSBGM decided to close that school. Sometimes school board politics and complex government funding formulas result in bizarre decisions. Certainly when I was there the school appeared to be reasonably full of students.

    I have no idea who owns Cartierville school now. The building may be aging and the land it occupies appears to be sitting on a large parcel of potentially prime real-estate for high-end condo development or such. If Montesori owns Cartierville now, I don’t understand how they can pay for its upkeep, taxes, etc…. and not be tempted to sell-out to some developer with deep pockets. If someone knows the real story about the closing in 1970 and how it was frozen in time ever since, I would love to know.

    Reply
  16. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    That’s beautiful to see the Google Maps view of the school. I’m delighted that the school buildings remain. It’s a treat to see the Google Street View photographs.

    I would imagine that some of the trees would be trees that were there in the 1950s.

    Your post prompts me to think that I will make an effort, before the MCHS 60s Reunion & Celebration of the 60s, to travel to Montreal and visit the school, just to have a look at it over 50 years later.

    Reply
  17. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Graeme Decarie has shared this comment:

    Its smaller twin, Crystal Springs School (on a street called Mistral, and on a corner just a street west of St. Hubert) was closed about the same time. It was then torn down, and some cheap apartment buildings put up. I suspect a lusting for larger schools was a factor. Five schools the size of Cartierville or Crystal Springs need one principal rather than five – and there are many other economies of scale.

    Reply
  18. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I much like the fact Cartierville school was a small school.

    When I was at at the University of Toronto in the early 1980s to get my teaching degree and teaching certificate, rather than taking a course in Educational Psychology, I did an independent research project on how the architecture of school buildings affects the learning that goes inside of of them.

    It was a topic that I became intrigued with when I worked as a supply teacher, before I went to the U of T Faculty of Education. In those days, in some circumstances, you could work as a supply teacher so long as you had an undergraduate degree, as supply teachers tended to be in short supply.

    Among the things that I learned, in my independent research project, was that for high schools, the smaller schools have a lot of advantages, from the perspective of what a student experiences and learns, including through extracurricular pursuits at the school, as compared to really huge high schools. That’s what the research indicated.

    I imagine that a smaller elementary school has advantages also. I know that for varied reasons, Grade 4 is a year that people tend to remember – in many ways (physical growth, intellectual and social growth) it’s an important transitional year in a person’s life. I attended Grade 4 at Cartierville school. For the other grades, I was all over the place, as were many other people. I remember so many enjoyable things about the school. I like to think it had a positive influence on me, on my outlook on life.

    I’m really pleased I attended Cartierville School. It had all the qualities – including the trees, the large school grounds, and the characters among the classmates, teachers, and administration that made for a great experience. Even the setting – a quiet residential street not far from the Back River – had an impact. I like to think that attending Cartierville school is among the great blessings of my years as a student,

    Reply
    • Jim Benedict
      Jim Benedict says:

      I attended Morison School for part of the 61-62 school year. My father had a job in Montreal at the time. During the summer of ’62 we moved back to Denver, Colorado. I have recently been trying to locate our old home and the school on Google but to no avail. I found some old notes that referred to the home as 5343 Jeanne, St Laurent but maps seem to massage that into Rue Jeanne-Mance. The street view appears as row house architecture so I am quite sure this is not the correct address. My memory is that Morrison School was basically down the street (Jeanne) from our home. But that is a 50+ year old memory. I don’t find a Morison School in my research or the correct Jeanne street. Does the school even exist anymore? Was it renamed? Converted to something else? And would you know how I might determine the accurate street name? I would be ever grateful. Thank you.

      Reply
  19. Ulrich Laska
    Ulrich Laska says:

    I attended Cartierville school from 4-7 grades. My parents having landed from post war Germany in 1951 bought a brand new bungalow in a very early suburban subdivision of Roxboro in 1955 for $13,000. I was always amazed and grateful how just a few years after such a terrible war we were welcomed to Canada, could buy a home, receive a wonderful education, and live a life of peaceful opportunity.

    Roxboro it was a sea of mud. No one had thought to construct a school. There were 4 years of daily school busing down Gouin Blvd to Cartierville, with stops at A Ma Baie and Saraguay. We didn’t have a TV at home so I felt a little left out when all the kids would be mimicking the TV shows and commercials of the night before. Those were the years of cars with big tailfins, I remember the favorite game with my seatmate Ricky White was to see who could count more 1959 Chevrolets or Pontiacs during the trip.

    I recall Mrs Staniforth in 6th grade and the pregnant Mrs Gamble in 7th grade.One year I was Mr Weatherbee in the school play, and Mrs Findlayson would hover over me applying stage makeup, all I remember was the bad breath. Occasionally there would be a movie afternoon down in the basement, that was always a treat,

    Baseball and touch football in the school yard during lunch hour were fond memories, there were no organized team sports available for kids back then, not like it is now. The schoolyard was where I learned to play those games, that’s where I first hit a baseball and caught a football. The camaraderie and lessons in fair play were memorable.

    On occasion we would sneak off at lunch hour and scavenge for lost golf balls at the nearby golf course. Sometimes when there was an activity after school, it was a problem because the school bus would be gone. I would have to hitch-hike back home. How times have changed.

    So many names come back to me, hazy with mists of time. Thank you Jaan for hosting this forum and helping resurrect these snippets of history

    Reply
  20. Janet
    Janet says:

    My first elementary school was Morison we moved from Toupin to Somerset in 1966 I was in grade 4. I struggled with the transition and the curriculum change and had to repeat grade 4 in Cartersville centennial year ,1967 was a fabulous year I’m sure we all remember it well !

    I am so surprised that there is such a little evidence of the schools existence on the World Wide Web. The only other reference is a Montreal school board site it says Carterville school was opened in 1922. My grade 6 class was the final year of Carterville being opened as a regular elementary school closing in June 1969. It reopened and served as the very first test school for French immersion in the province. We were devastated and relocated as Victor said to Parkdale elementary. What used to be the most pleasant and eventful walk to school had now become a bus ride.

    I lived on Somerset during the years of transition for the old Marlborough golf course. The grand old Clubhouse had been closed down and the course a vacant paradise for kids in the area.
    A kind of a nature park before nature parks had been dreamed of. http://courses.stanleythompson.com/courses/118-Marlborough-Golf-Club-
    A beautiful green space with many species of trees, some huge in ancient all welcoming and accommodating for climbing, hiding in and foundation for many a fort. In summer and sang with frogs and crickets especially the magnificent water feature that was at its center plenty of pond life and swimming for those who dared

    Reply
    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      As things worked out, Janet wrote a second version of the above-noted post, when it appeared the first one had not arrived at its destination. Here’s the second version. I’ve posted both versions as a separate post, in order to bring attention to the great information that Janet has shared.

      SECOND POST

      Good to have your second version of the post, Janet.

      JANET WROTE EARLIER:

      Comment: My first elementary school had been Morison until we moved from Toupin to Somerset in 1966. The catchment for Morrison extended from Bois Franc Road to the CN tracks, everything north of the tracks would be bussed to Cartierville.

      Toupin and Somerset were the boundary roads for the old Marlborough Golf course. http://courses.stanleythompson.com/courses/118-Marlborough-Golf-Club-

      The only adjoining throughway was either Gouin Boulevard or a dirt path that ran along with the CNR tracks which later became Keller.

      The years that I lived on Somerset the Marlborough golf course had been closed down and was a virtual paradise for all the kids in the bordering territory. We ran freely in this green space, a kids natural cornucopia of sorts, with trees to climb, meadows to romp in and even ponds to wade in . For time the stately old clubhouse even stood there abandoned bidding entry to those who dared.

      By the time I entered Carterville the school population was so small that we had combined classrooms and we probably knew every kid in the school. The baby boom era was coming to a close . Cartierville was a magical place with the interior and floors is being built of wood there were even creaking sounds as you walked the corridors. There was a smell to it, the rich kind of a homey feeling. We didn’t even mind that our gymnasium was in the basement had only a 10 foot ceiling.the gym teacher Mr Brown used to take us horseback riding on Bois Franc Rd. Mrs. Boothroyd was principal when I was there. Teachers I remember Mrs. Mitchell Miss McBain became Mrs. Wood , Mrs. Talbot and Mrs. Hoar.

      In 1969 the school board transferred the last regular classes out of Cartierville to Parkdale elementary, very different from our old Cartierville ! Carterville was to become the first experimental grade 7 French immersion school.

      So much of living in this area was magical. Things have changed dramatically since then. Children don’t roam freely the way we did, and don’t encounter nature on a face-to-face basis daily anymore. Thinking then again, I guess they don’t encounter the dangers that inherently went with those discovery behaviours we had . We played under the Hydro lines that run parallel to the CN tracks and in the lumberyard just beyond where no one ever chased us away ! We rode our bicycles through virtually deserted territory from Somerset to Noel park to swim on those dog days of summer for $.10 cents a day and we even had a locker included. We went to church across the street from school …. The Church of the Good Shepherd still stands but belongs to some other community organization now. We bought penny candy at the depaneur on Cousineau or the one across Gouin Boulevard.

      It would be glorious to get inside that building once again !

      Reply
  21. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    What a delight to read your message, Janet! Your comments add so much to the pictures that we have, in our minds, related to Cartierville School and the Marlborough Golf Club. Thank you for sharing the link with us, for the golf course.

    I’m really pleased that, now, when a person does a Google search for Cartierville School, they will find quite a bit of information. It’s a delight that people are regularly adding information and reminiscences about the school.

    I’ve copy edited your text so that Morison is spelled with one “R.” It’s my understanding that the one-“R” spelling was the correct spelling.

    My own contact with the golf course was in the days when it was still open. It’s so interesting to read about the course as it was experienced by children in the area in the years after it was closed.

    In a recent separate post I’ve shared one of the many anecdotes that have been shared about caddying at the golf course:

    Elmer Lach died at 97

    Reply
    • Janet
      Janet says:

      So sorry Jaan for the double posting. I lost the first one and started from scratch. If you care to edit and graft the two I’m fine with that.
      Thank YOU for providing the only portal into the history of Cartierville School.

      Reply
  22. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    No problem with the double posting, Janet. I’ve included both versions (please see above) of your post. At first, I had removed the second post because I had assumed that, somehow, a copy of the earlier post had been added. That sometimes happens.

    Your subsequent post alerted me that you had sent two slightly different versions. Both versions are great to read! I’m also delighted that, as it has turned out, we do now have a great portal into the history of Cartierville School in place.

    I was at the school for Grade 4. As I learned later in my life, when I began teaching Grade 4 in Mississauga, many years later, Grade 4 is a stage in life that many people remember. It’s the transition year from early childhood to the adolescent years. I’m really, really pleased that Cartierville School was where I experienced Grade 4. It’s an experience that has stayed with me, and that remains close to my heart. There was a sense of magic about that school year, and about the neighbourhood!

    Reply
  23. Bob Carswell
    Bob Carswell says:

    CARTIERVILLE SCHOOL
    I have taken the past hour rereading a number of early posts on Cartierville School. I am also the family genealogist, a military researcher and a published military writer among other things. Perhaps my perspective will answer a lot of questions about the origins of the school, the additions, etc. etc.

    Firstly, there were two times in Canada in the past century that are recorded by the dates of school openings. We talk about baby boomers and everyone knows that there was a large group of children born after people returned from war and began to start their families. I do not know what they called them back in 1920 but the same phenomena happened back after WWI.

    The troops returned in 1919 and 1920, met the lonely girls and married quickly. Then the families began to come along. By 1923 when new family members reached that age when they would need schooling a great many new schools had to be built to accommodate them. Hence you have the list of Montreal schools built in 1922 that appears on a Montreal genealogy site edited by someone I have known for thirty years living here in Toronto.

    It would have been the same in other cities and towns right across the country but not as prevalent as in the big city of Montreal and perhaps Toronto back then. In anticipation of the first families born around 1919, there were greater numbers in 1920 and 1921 so by the time grade seven was reached the system had to have considerably more schools than under normal circumstances. After the baby group of WWI reached high school, additional high schools had also been built to accommodate them.

    By the 1930s it levelled off to a degree and enrollment declined during WWII as expected with a million men away fighting at war. Most of these were the baby boomers of WWI just as my mother was in the WAAF in April 1940 until she resigned her commission at the end of 1942 due to her marriage and subsequent pregnancy, so too did her father go through the same situation in WWI.

    While both my grandfathers were British-born, I refer to my mother’s father as my British Grandfather as he never lived in Canada only visiting once in 1947 with his second wife. My paternal grandfather arrived here in 1908 or 1909 as he was 11 years older and too old for war service. Plus he was also with Northern Electric by then so his skills were needed as an accountant and finance individual during both wars.

    In any case, my British grandfather got his girlfirned pregnant just before leaving for boot camp and then got permission just after the baby was successfully born to marry the girl. For those who do not know, it was a common practice back then for marriages to take place after a baby was conceived out of wedlock and considered “too bad it happened” but was traditionally accepted as long as the couple then married.

    In some earlier times it was the practice just so that the father could be sure that the woman was not barren and trying to take advantage of him. It is a hard fact but that was life back then when marriages often began as being arranged with the couple falling in love later. To find birth dates that do not add up to nine months after a wedding are not uncommon in older genealogical records. In fact, I gather it was a regular pattern for the first child in most Scottish families but don’t quote me on that one.

    In any case, My grandfather’s military service interfered with his normal family development and he was away at war from 1914 to 1919. He then came home, reunited with his wife and 5-year old daughter and fathered his second child, my mother, who was born in early 1920. The family did not grow any further because the girls’ mother came down with TB and ended up in a sanatorium where she died at the age of 30 in 1926.

    My mother was initially raised by her grandmother, a widow who had remarried a Finnish-Swede who had settled in London at 28 after 20 years at sea and together they increased the family from 2 to 9 children. Such were the times and conditions of life. Death of children was very common back then so not losing any was quite a feat. My other grandmother lost a few in the early years. It was more common than today.

    Then again, families were bigger back then for the most part. There were one or two exceptions to that rule at Cartierville School. So, having said all that about two sisters who were blood related but apart for a lot of their lives, it was nice when I was able to find the elder sister in Northern England after 62 years from the last time she and her sister were together. That is another of my amazing research stories. I gave the news to my mother and a letter from her sister earlier in the week of her 50th wedding anniversary as my present. I knew it had bothered for years not knowing.

    So that all takes you back to the early years after WWI and hopefully explains all the 4-room schools put up all over the place. Remember, this is a far cry from the traditional 1-room school house of earlier times….so this was great progress! But by 1945 it became apparent that a 4-room schoolhouse was not going to be enough with life settling back to normal after WWII so Cartierville School was expanded to the west by several more classrooms.

    Once it became apparent that this additional extension was not going to be enough, it was then decided that the land at the west end of the school could be developed further and a two level addition could be added. The old portables in those days were big and heavy and the last of them sat in the back of Cartierville School for a number of years while I went there. They became a clubhouse for the grade 7 kids born early in the war and later ended up as strictly storage before finally being torn down or removed after I had left.

    So that was the development of Cartierville school between 1922 and 1957….but as I mentioned in an earlier post, two additional classes of Grade 4 had to take place over in the original Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd with its wood-burning potbellied stoves for heat. That would have been at the height of the baby boom hitting the school and maybe when the two-level addition was needed and subsequently added.

    I am only guessing as to the timing without actual facts other than knowing that when I was in grade five and six with Mrs. Stanforth (1954-56) ( … ) and grade seven with Mrs. Jackson, that addition had been built and was there for at least two years so I am guessing the last addition was in 1954 or 1955 which coincides with the baby boom dates and the need for additional space.

    So if the last of the baby boom mothers stopped having kids and sending them to school in ever-decreasing numbers, the need for additional schools and extensions to existing schools also ended. I would say that period of gestation and growth to age six lasted about twenty years. So, we are now talking the late sixties and the FLQ problems and separatism which are driving business away from Montreal. That meant the employees followed. That is why there are so few Montrealers left in the city that most of us grew up.

    For the most part we had to leave to stay with our employers or to find a job in an English-speaking company. It was only later, as Montreal became more French-speaking that those who remained behind became totally bilingual for the most part. There was little option by then. As the population left Montreal in the 70s, the city’s downtown core became a virtual ghost town. I spent a week a month there on business in the 70s and into the 80s and I have to admit it looked like it was going to shutdown for good.

    Eaton’s then Simpson’s went as the downsizing happened while Toronto department stores lasted a lot longer…. The value of my father’s property dropped heavily and the only blessing he had was the fact that he owned an “arpon” of land ( a bit smaller than the traditional English acre but a Quebec measurement) which was a plus.

    Lynn Hennebury might remember when he got together with her father, as we were neighbours, and they exchanged a small piece of their two respective properties so that a straight road could be put through to extend the one that was put through years earlier crossing the old field running parallel to Gouin Blvd. This extension added another block to that street but with it gave both my father and Mr. Hennebury a new frontage on the side of their property and room to sell off land as smaller building lots.

    My father turned a $100,000 property that had dropped to $60,000 on the market into 4 lots, one with the house on it which was sold for the $60,000 as the focus was on the house, not the land. In addition, he sold the other three lots for $10,000; $10,000 and $20,000 thereby getting out of Quebec for what the value was originally estimated at before the economic collapse.

    So, with the economy and population go the results of everything else. Cartierville School was closed as part of massive closures under the Protestant School Board of Greater Montreal as it also at some point changed its own face under the new government regulations. The four story High School of Montreal that was filled with Baby Boomers for years and had stood in downtown Montreal since the late 1800s could no longer fill its classrooms with regular students and had to then specialize as an Arts Center for the most part to keep it going.

    The old High School then moved to De Bullion Street and became “The High School of Montreal Adult Learning Center.” This in turn replaced the need in the city when the Sir George William Evening High School closed and with the modern Montreal Subway system makes it easy to reach from downtown. It was a trip that would have been difficult in my day considering the location where it is today. As numbers of students decreased so too did the function of a number of schools.

    Like many schools, Montreal’s Baron Byng High School on St. Urban Street closed down in 1980 and today that old building that was largely the enclave for many notable Jewish students who achieved success, even though they came from poor Jewish communities, ended up as a French Community Center. Old buildings don’t always disappear, they just take on new tenants but unlike them old memories remains as they were and only disappointment seems to come when you go back and look at them in the past.

    Fortunately, reunions do not do that to you because you and the others who attend are living in the past for a short time and just catching up. It is kind of nice for a change especially if you are savvy about modern technology and able to use it. Even my father was taking computer classes in his late 70s just to stay up with the changing world. He lived to be 88. So having digressed here and there I hope I have provided enough insight into the 20th century with its wars, baby booms and what have you to answer all the questions. I am sure I will get more questions now that this has been written. I guess that’s my fault!

    Reply
  24. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Great to have the overview of things, Bob!

    That’s an interesting question: What do reunions entail? What’s involved when people meet at a reunion? This will be my first reunion, so on October 17, 2015 I will find out what it means for me. In the meantime, as a member of the MCHS 2015 organizing team, I’ve met quite a few people that I knew in high school, and quite a few people that I didn’t know then but have gotten to know now, because we are working together on the reunion, or are talking back and forth by phone, in person, or online.

    The main thing I find is that meeting others, who went through the same experience of sitting at school desks at MCHS, and walking down the halls, and all else that goes with the experience of being a high school student, adds depth and texture to my experience of life. It adds to the quality of my life. It’s fascinating to learn about other people’s journeys and experiences in life. The conversations that I’ve had about all of thee topics, with people who were at MCHS at one time or another, add to the depth of my understanding of who I am, where I’ve been, and what a person’s journey through life entails. I feel very fortunate to be involved in the organizing of the MCHS 2015 reunion.

    Reply
  25. Victor
    Victor says:

    Hey Janet,

    Thanks for the shared memory of that old golf course just after it closed down. It was quite a playground, magical and eerie at the same time. In the middle of the development in the old golf course is Marlborough Park, which retains a small sample of the former glory of that old golf course. I think that some of the trees are “original”.

    https://www.google.ca/maps/@45.523524,-73.721166,3a,75y,121.33h,75.29t/data=!3m4!1e1!3m2!1sZDaHd0f0DnlVVLxq0t7c3w!2e0

    Reply
    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      It’s really interesting how sometimes the land use changes but the trees remain. For some years I’ve been organizing Jane’s Walks, based on the legacy of the urbanist Jane Jacobs, in the neighbourhood of Long Branch in south Etobicoke (Toronto) where I live.

      In the 1920s to the 1950s a fondly remembered cottage community was in place at the mouth of Etobicoke Creek, which feeds into Lake Ontario at the Mississauga-Toronto border. I recall a neighbour, now in her early 90s, showed me around the area prior to one of our Jane’s Walks. She had played on the beaches and woods in the area as a child and adolescent during the cottage country era. She remarked that the one thing that has remained are the tall, old trees. She pointed them out to me. I was really taken with her story.

      https://preservedstories.com/2012/04/30/were-pleased-to-share-with-you-these-1920s-to-1940s-cottage-country-images-from-etobicoke-creek/

      It’s also been of interest to learn that, like Long Branch which served as cottage country for wealthy citizens of Toronto in the late 1800s, places like Saraguay and surrounding communities in their early history served as cottage country for prosperous residents of Montreal.

      Reply
  26. Gary Lambertz
    Gary Lambertz says:

    Looking for Dana Allan. If anyone knows how to get in touch with him, I would like to re-connect with him. We both went to the same Elementary school but have not seen or spoken since.

    Reply
  27. Claire
    Claire says:

    Hi. Can anyone tell me if this is the same Cartierville School that I attended 1970-71 in its first year as a “French Immersion School”? This was where the top x number of pupils of grade 6 in English speaking elementary schools in thr Montreal region (I was at Roxboro Elementary) were given the chance to do grade 7 “immersed” in the French language, in readiness for French becoming Quebec’s 1st language The only time we were allowed to speak English was during English lessons. It was the best year of my life, only to go on to the worst year of my life when my parents moved us to England (they left there in 1956 with my older brother, aged 2, for a new start after my older sister died aged 51 days). I haven’t been able to find any mention of Cartierville as an immersion school, and would love to find out what happened to all my old friends.

    Reply
    • Steve
      Steve says:

      Yes, it’s the French Immersion school from back then. I also attended from Roxboro. Some of the staff names were Sylvia Marks (or Marx) – principal. Mr. Drum – gym teacher. Mrs. Woods – English teacher. Mr. Malette – custodian. Mr. Djamel Benyekhlef, Mr. Bensoussan, Mr. Peytour (I think), Miss Linda Gionta (or Giunta) who was my homeroom teacher. Miss Huguette Levesque – math teacher. I think the PSBGM had French Immersion somewhere else the previous year (1969-70), maybe called Stonecroft school ? The Cartierville students graduated to either Riverdale or (maybe) Sir Winston Churchill HS. Our motto was “Ici on parle Francais!”, je me souviens.

      Reply
  28. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Great question, Claire! I’ve posted your question as a separate post:

    Question from Claire: Is this same Cartierville School that I attended 1970-71 in its first year as a “French Immersion School”?

    Let’s see what the answer is. I like to make sure that everything that we say, at this website, as much as it can be done, is based upon evidence corroborated from many reliable sources.

    Some questions that come to mind: Do you remember where the school was located? Do you remember the name of the street? Do you remember a church across the street from the school? Do you remember its name?

    Reply
  29. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    At another post, dedicated to Claire’s question, Martina Auer writes (June 11, 2016:

    I attended Cartierville and was chosen for the Gr. 7 immersion class but it wasn’t held at Cartierville. I can’t remember the name.

    Reply
  30. William Archibald
    William Archibald says:

    Hello. My sister Bonnie and I attended Cartierville School in the late 50’s and early 60’s. The only person I remember at all was my Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Carpenter (1958 or 59). My sister was 2 years ahead of me and she was learning to spell and write. This is the reason I remember Mrs. Carpenter. I was bored and learned to write by watching, and then doing my sister’s homework. Finally, I was so bored with Kindergarten that I wrote a letter to the teacher…..

    Dear Mrs. Carpenter,

    I will not be in school tomorrow.

    Signed,
    Willie

    She and the principal were not impressed. My mother asked if they had taught me to write. Sadly, they had to admit that she had a point.

    I don’t remember anything from Grade 1 and 2. We moved to Snowdon after that.

    Thanks for the memories everyone.

    Reply
  31. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Beautiful to read your story, William! I’m amazed at how many stories there are, in connection with Cartierville School.

    It’s interesting to know that you moved to Snowden. When I arrived in Canada at age 5 with my family in 1951, we lived for a few years in Snowden before we moved to Cartierville. I went to Kindergarten and maybe some of the early primary grades at a school called Van Horne School in Snowden. If I can find some old report cards, which are stored away in cartons somewhere, I will check to refresh my memory about such details.

    I don’t remember much about the school except that recess appears to me, as I look back, to have been my favourite part of the school day. I so much enjoyed playing all kinds of recess games. The physical activity – running around and having fun at recess time with kids running around everywhere – is what I remember the most from Van Horne School.

    Reply
  32. Ted de Clercq
    Ted de Clercq says:

    I attended Cartierville School from 1951 to 56. I lived a couple of blocks away on Reed street. It was too close to eat lunch at school unless you had a note and I envied the friends came by bus and who ate lunch and could order soup and chocolate or white milk , to go with the lunch that they brought from home. We had no lunch room. I believe Friday was cream of tomato.

    My father also went to Cartierville school in the 1920’s and had Mrs Finlayson as a teacher. This was before she was married. .I seem to remember my dad saying she use to be Miss Snyder but I may be just guessing. The school had 4 classrooms then. It was expanded twice that I know of, once before I started grade 1 and again when I was in grade 4. Mrs Shields was my teacher for the first half that year. While the school was under construction the class was housed in the hall of the Church of the Good Shepard, across the street.The same hall that was used for cub scouts.

    The grade 4 class was very large near 50 children. There was no central heating in the hall and as Bob Carswell mentioned, was heated with a pot bellied stove that was in the middle of the room. The stovepipe was split where it was fitted to the stove and you could see flames going up the stovepipe. I was unfortunate to have my desk next to it, It cooked me on my left side. When we moved back into the school in January the class was divided in two. I was unfortunate and not selected to be in Mrs Shields class. Mrs Rood was nice but there was no one like Mrs Shields.

    I remember Miss Brownley who I though was very beautiful. I seem to remember she got married and was then Mrs Pearlman. She may have had a twin sister that taught at the school as well. I remember twins that taught the first couple of grades, I am a bit blurry on their names . I also had Mrs Shaefer, Mrs Hamilton and Mrs Staniforth.

    The front lawn was large and has a steep hill just in front of the school. It the summer the hill was a rock garden and we had the joy of planting bulbs in the fall and seeing them flower in the spring. It was a great place to slide in winter until I broke my nose from hitting the ice on one run. Mrs Finlayson then forbid all sliding from then on.

    We were lucky to have Princess Elizabeth visit the school a year before she became queen. She planted a tree in the front lawn.

    In the early 50’s we celebrated Mayday with a Maypole dance, rapping and un-rapping the Maypole with ribbon, Lucky were the kids who were chosen to dance weaving the ribbons. The back of the school was mostly paved and games of marbles or flicking bubble gum cards at the wall were played until rulings came down from the office that gambling or games of chance were forbidden. Buck-a-buck was also forbidden after some kids go injured.

    After the second expansion we has an auditorium/gym. It was a room for Christmas plays, school meetings.Tests for TB were also done there. Scary stuff at the time, getting 6 scratches on your back, then waiting for the results.

    I moved to Laval-sur-le-lac, when I was 12 and attended grade 7 in a school in Laval West. I did miss Cartierville a lot.

    I lived in Montreal, after Concordia and UBC, until 1980 when I moved to Florida where I still live today. I have two sons. One in Canada and one in Tennessee. I am an artist/painter and still have a drawing of an antique car and driver that I did in Cartierville school when I was 8.

    Reply
  33. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    This is a wonderful overview, Ted! I have posted your comment as a separate post, as a means of bringing attention to it.

    At the latter post, Charles Tsiang has shared the following comment:

    Wonderful post Ted. I remember Cartierville from perhaps the late 50’s and recall Mrs Staniforth , Mrs Jackson and Mrs Findlayson. Kids were from all backgrounds and some tensions remained from the war. Friends Peter van Toorn and Gert Moritz weren’t exactly good buds. Enjoyed playing out in the front yard… softball down by the front fence… playing chase… being so afraid for Fred Foehring when he ran into the support wire on one of the trees and had a serious neck injury. Christmas play on the stage in the basement recreation room. Big cans of soup heated up at lunch. Crates of milk boxes brought up to the classrooms and distributed to each kid. The bus ride back and forth from Roxboro/Amabaie down Gouin to Cartierville.

    Reply
  34. Frances Ipsen (nee Oppenheimer)
    Frances Ipsen (nee Oppenheimer) says:

    Hello everyone
    Gosh I have fond memories of Cartierville School.. Teachers that I remember asise from Mrs Findlayson, nee Snyder. Not only was she the Principal but she was also my grade 7 teacher. and there was Miss Hughes, and Mrs Carpenter. Does anyone recall Mrs de Courville. She was so nice.. Students I remember Roslyn Forman, Louie Whitehouse and his sister Doreen, Judy Ross, Eleanor Powell, Rankin Caldwell, to name a few My favourite thing was, the skate party in February when all the students wore costumes and a panel picked out the best one in a number of categories an prizes were given out. I won a few times. Boy it is nice to think about those days especially with all the violence going on these days. I could go on and on but I like I will end it here. All the best to everyone

    Reply
  35. Darren
    Darren says:

    I grew up in Cartierville (Lavigne street) but started elementary at Morison in 1970 which I believe is right after Cartierville school was closed. Went by it the other day and the windows and doors are now all boarded up. Sadly it looks like the building’s days may be numbered.

    Reply
  36. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Good to read your message. I grew up on Lavigne St. also (starting in the mid 1950s), on the west side of Lavigne between Forbes and de Salaberry. If by chance you can get some close-up photos of the school, it would be great to be able to post them at this website. JPEG files of about 1 or 2 MB are a good size. In the event the building is torn down, it would be great to get photos of that process also. It’s all part of the passing scene!

    Reply
    • Darren
      Darren says:

      I was on the east side between Forbes and de Salaberry at 12075 between the Boyers and the Boys families. My parents bought the house when it was new and my mother still lives there. After Morison I went to MCHS, class of ’82. Next time I’m in the neighbourhood I’ll see if I can snap some pix of Cartierville school. It’s interesting to read about everyone’s memories.

      Reply
  37. Dave Foss
    Dave Foss says:

    Hello all — It is wonderful to read about Cartierville, my first school. I attended from 1963/64 until November 1968, when my family moved to Pointe Claire. We live at 2977 Somerset, just across from the small circle park nearly to Kellar and the big field at the end of our street and Cousineau. I remember all my teachers, except for either 2nd or 4th . . .

    K – Mrs. Carpenter
    1st – Mrs. Wahlberg
    2nd – Perhaps Mrs Talbot
    3rd – Miss Aiken, on whom I had a terrific crush — then she was married at New year’s (I think), and returned to school as Mrs. Hoar, and I was heart-broken!!
    4th – Perhaps Mrs. Talbot
    5th – Mrs Mitchell
    Mrs Boothroyd was Principal

    I have many, many fond memories of my time there: the older gentleman who lived on Somerset about half-way from my house who always took such good care of his front garden and especially his lilac trees; skating all the way to school one day after an ice storm; field days on the front lawn (trying to slip under the school bench for the obstacle course); playing Champ on the paved playground out back at recess; Grade 3, during the Centennial year and a field trip to Expo ’67; being a scared kindergartener, until Linda Lee, the granddaughter of our landlady took care of me, the new kid; trying to help a new kid in Grade 2, Randy (forget his last name), who sneezed on my arm as he was crying; the beautiful flower garden out front; older students threatening to throw us over the fence of the hospital across the street if we didn’t scram; attending Cubs at The Church of the Good Shepherd; getting dizzy on the merry-go-round at the park up Somerset and playing hockey on the rink there. I recall playing on the golf course as it was being constructed, and losing a belly boot in the muck – then trying to explain how to my dad! Lots of other memories, too. Some nice folks, too: Linda Lee, her grandmother, Mrs. Yuen, our neighbours, Sandra and Michelle Knautz and their mom and dad, Betsy Tranter, and, of course, Randy.

    I’ve been back to visit the old neighborhood a few times in the past 15 years or so. The last time was in October 2016, and the building seemed closed, resembling a storage facility as I looked in a rather cob-webby window to see piles of furniture; several years earlier, it was the Montessori School as someone noted above.

    We left for Pointe Claire, as I mentioned, then to Ottawa for my high school days. After some stays in Kingston (grad school), Miami, Laredo (Texas), and now San Antonio (since 1996), I am myself a high school teacher, one who tries to live up to the kinds of instructors I had at Cartierville. It was a great time and place to in which to grow up, and I appreciate reading the recollections of the other contributors here. I came across this website while procrastinating on some grading, but it has absolutely been fun to reminisce with you all. So, Thanks, from South Texas!

    Reply
  38. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Wonderful to read your message, Dave! So many great memories, so evocatively delineated. I am so pleased you came across all of the great previous comments. It’s also a delight that you have sent greetings to all of us from South Texas!

    Reply

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