Graeme Decarie (teacher at Malcolm Campbell High School) recalls Raimbault Creek, the stream that ran through Cartierville in the 1960s

1907 map, which includes an image of Raimbault Creek as it existed at the time. The early map, Tim Hewlings (MCHS '63) notes, is from: A. R. Pinsoneault, Atlas of the Island and city of Montreal and Ile Bizard, s. l., The Atlas Publishing Co., vers 1907 found on the BANQ website.


We are pleased to let you know that Graeme Decarie has posted the following comment at a post entitled:

The stream that used to run through Cartierville in Montreal was called Raimbault Creek

I’ve posted this great message and have also posted the following comment in turn:

Message from Graeme Decarie

Graeme Decarie. Source: MCHS 1962-63 yearbook

I remember the creek very well from the years before MCHS was built. When I was a Boy Scout, I spend many a weekend walking down the country road that is now the Laurentian Autoroute, usually with my .22 rifle to shoot a tin cans and other threats.

(I’m not actually an MCHS grad, just a teacher. I left in 1963 to go back to school.)

graeme decarie

[End of message]

Comment in response to message from Graeme Decarie

Wonderful to read your message, Graeme.

Extract of a 1949 map of Cartierville, showing Raimbault Creek, that Tim Hewlings has located

.22 rifles were a popular item in those days; I didn’t realize they were used along the country road that is now the Laurentian Autoroute. That’s a great detail to know about.

Malcolm Campbell High School, March 1960. Source: MCHS 1961-62 yearbook

The MCHS Sixties Reunion welcomes teachers at its reunion on Oct. 17, 2015. We welcome your participation and the participation of other teachers who taught at MCHS in the 1960s, or who taught students who attended in the 1960s but who graduated in the 1970s.

The MCHS Sixties Reunion is for all students who attended in the 1960s, at any point, including those who started in the 1960s and graduated in the 1970s. Teachers who taught any of these students are most welcome at out reunion.

Anything that you can do, Graeme, in spreading the word among former MCHS teachers and administrators, who worked with the 1960s cohort, would be much appreciated.

As well, we welcome photos (from prewar times to the present day) from teachers and administrators, that we could post at this website and display as foamcore reproductions at Old Mill Toronto in October 2015 as part of the reunion.

As well, we would much enjoy posting an essay or report or reports from you or other teachers about any topic of interest to the MCHS Sixties students.

[End of message]

Aerial photo showing Raimbault Creek

The following photo is from a post entitled:

Archival aerial photo of Raimbault Creek (now a lost creek) in Cartierville – Many thanks to Peter Halliday

This is an archival document that Peter Halliday has forwarded to us. Click on the image for a closer view. Click again to enlarge the image further. The identifying data includes this file number: VM97-3_7P24-29.

Update

With regard to Montreal history, I’d like to bring your attention to Steven High’s website at Concord University. I became interested in his work when I began reading about the history of postwar deindustrialization in North America.

 

10 replies
  1. Marge Huk (Fuller)
    Marge Huk (Fuller) says:

    Oh my goodness. I remember you. When you went back to school what did you take? Did you stay in the teaching profession? You must have been about 22 years old when you started teaching – not much older than your students. I started teaching grade 2 in Dollard Des Ormeaux just before my 19th birthday in 1967 and retired in 2008 as a high school English teacher in Calgary.

    Reply
    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      Graeme Decarie has shared the following comment, for Marge Huk (Fuller):

      Graeme Decarie writes:

      Well, I was born in 1933. – and a started teaching in 1957 at Parkdale. (I flunked out of high school, but got into evening classes at Sir George as a mature student – then to teacher’s college, taught at parkdale while finishing a very bad BA at Sir George, and moved up to MCHS. Nobody would look at me for an MA with those grades. So, on the first day of school for 1963-64 , I made a wild decision. I quit, drove down to Acadia U., and begged for a chance to do an MA. They reluctantly allowed me to do another undergrad year as a test. So I did, got my act together and got straight As, did another year for the MA, and got a scholarship to Queen’s for the PhD.

      Taught at UPEI for three years, then got an offer from Loyola (now part of concordia U). Back in Montreal, I also lucked into a spot on CBC radio for a dozen years. But they dropped me when I became too prominent in the language wars. (I was chairman of Alliance Quebec). Then I got a call from Gord Sinclair at CJAD to do a daily show – and it was close to my Con U office. So I did that for a dozen years. I also did quite a bit of TV for CBC, CTV, global, BBC, NBC… And wrote for newspapers and magazines. Also taught History in The Netherlands and China – and journalism to working reporters in China.

      I loved every minute of teaching – and I miss it terribly.

      [End of text from Graeme Decarie]

      Reply
      • Len Thyer
        Len Thyer says:

        Hi Graeme, I was in Miss Kiddy or was it kettty’s class at Parkdale when you were a student teacher. I remember standing beside you MG TC ( I believe ) talking about it with you. I was in Mr. Allen’s 10B the first year at MCHS. I was the one who turned Mr. Allen’s Renault sideways between two other teachers cars in the parking lot beside the autoroute.. I remember you interviewed me for the high school radio rep. ( I forgot the station ). When I got the position Talbot ( who hated me ) pulled MCHS from the program.

        Reply
        • Graeme Decarie
          Graeme Decarie says:

          That might have been Miss Keddy (though I can’t remember what she looked like). Wasn’t she an older teacher? Yeah, I think it’s started to come back to me. And I remember that I did do a week of practice teaching at parkdale.

          Reply
  2. tom edge
    tom edge says:

    Raimbault creek was clean then.But when Canadair dumped in it it was a sewer. Finally covered over for the park behind immaculata school.

    Reply
  3. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I enjoyed the reference (Marge Huk (Fuller)) to how young people could be when they began their teaching careers. I was interested to read about Graeme Decarie’s teaching career (see comment above). I retired from teaching in 2006. In my case, the career began around my late twenties. As a child, I would never have imagined that one day I’d be standing in front of a class, in the role of a teacher. It would never have occurred to me.

    I enjoyed the creek, in the 1950s and 1960s, before it was gone. I’ve written about my own recollections of the stream at a blog post some time back:

    Farmers’ fields north of Montreal is where the City of Laval was built

    I remember one time a local resident told me and some other kids (this must have been around the late 1950s, when he told us the story) about the time, some decades earlier, when the water in Raimbault Creek was clean enough so that kids could enjoy their summers swimming in it.

    There’s a creek near where we live now, in Toronto, that also used to be clean enough for kids to swim in. People have great memories of times spent there when they were kids in the prewar years:

    Here’s a quick view of Marie Curtis Park, before and after the creek was channelized

    Reply
  4. Eric Karbin
    Eric Karbin says:

    The 1949 map provided by Tim Hewlings shows St Evariste Street & Notre Dame des …. Looks like the same area as present day Raimbault Park. Search Google Maps “Notre Dame des Anges, Montreal, Quebec”. You’ll see area: The creek is more like an inlet today; nearby streets include Gouin Bd, St Evariste & St. Germain.

    Reply
  5. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Here’s a map that shows where I used to live, on Lavigne Street between Rue de Salaberry and Rue Forbes:

    Rue Lavigne, Montréal, QC

    Part of the creek used to run parallel to Rue Forbes, on its way to Riviera des Prairies. I see from the map that there’s a Park Raimbault (which may also appear in the 1949 map that Tim Hewlings has shared) north of Gouin. The autoroute is to the east of Parc Sainte-Odile, which used to be largely a wooded area – part of what was called “The Bush” – that the creek ran through. Where the autoroute is now located used to be part of The Bush.

    Where Cartierville begins and ends – where the boundaries are – is a matter of interest, which I’ve explored in one of my earlier posts about Cartierville and the nearby communities.

    Reply
  6. Marty Stockton
    Marty Stockton says:

    We lived on St.Evariste just down from de Salaberry from about 1954 or 1955. My Dad would take me and a my friend Ronny down to the creek at the north end of the street. It seems to me we tried fishing the creek but we never caught anything. When I was about 11 or so we used to take our bicycles down the street, along the creek, all the way to Raimbault park where we would fish the Back River. On one occasion I caught an eel in the river. Nothing fights quite like an eel. Of course when you are 11 or 12 all eels are ‘electric eels’ and no one would dare touch the creature. To my relief the eel flipped off the hook and back into the river.

    Reply
  7. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Most interesting to read your comment, Marty. I remember that there were some kind of fish called catfish in the creek, with long whiskers. There were also these leech-type creatures that took hold of the skin on your feet if you happened to try rafting on the creek. They held on tightly. I’m looking forward to finding aerial photos and also street maps showing the creek in the 1950s between the Back River and de Salaberry.

    Reply

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