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

Cartierville School, May 2015. Scott Munro photo

Cartierville School, May 2015. Scott Munro photo

Updates – Part 1: Spiro Couris (please see Comment below) has noted that the school that Claire refers to was Elmgrove. Jean Anne Mason Ouelle, in an additional Comment, has also affirmed that the school was Elmgrove.

By way of an additional update on the discussion, I also want to note that there has been a reference in a previous post, related to Cartierville School, indicating that there was an experimental Grade 7 French immersion program in place at one point at Cartierville School:

Versions One and Two of Janet’s great post at our portal to the history of Cartierville School

At the latter post, Janet notes: “In 1969 the school board transferred the last regular classes out of Cartierville to Parkdale elementary, very different from our old Cartierville! Cartierville was to become the first experimental grade 7 French immersion school.”

One way to get further corroboration would involve a discussion among Claire and the above-noted Elmgrove graduates, to determine if they were part of the same of overlapping social networks at the school, or if they share memories of details about the architecture of the school, and other physical details related to the setting.

Updates – Part 2:

Spiro Couris Athina Maroudas writes, at the Malcolm Campbell High School Grads Facebook page:

From an article in the Gazette June 1970. Elmgrove School was the experiment in 1969-70. The PSBGM expanded it to other schools in the 1970-71 school year. Other schools such as Cartierville took it up in 1970-71:

Immersion classes: French courses expanding

[End of comment]

At the above-mentioned Facebook page, I have noted:

This is most interesting information, Spiro! I will add this detail as an Update to the original Post at the Preserved Stories website. I much appreciate your help in enabling us to find these most important archival details.

[End of comment]

To bring attention to the above-noted second update, I have written a separate post dedicated to it:

The French Immersion program Claire attended in 1970-71 may indeed have been at Cartierville School

Updates – Part 3:

At the Malcolm Campbell High School grads Facebook page, Glenda Gilpin-Bisig has added:

I attended Cartierville school as the first French class there in 1970. It was the 2nd school to open Fr Immersion after Elmgrove. We had 7 classes of Gr. 7s!

[End of comment]

At the above-mentioned Facebook page I have noted:

Wonderful to know! It’ is so valuable to know the sequence: Elmgrove followed by Cartierville.

[End of updates]


A previous post is entitled:

Cartierville School in Montreal

A comment from Claire at the above-noted post on June 11, 2016 reads:

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 the 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.

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

[End of text]


Can anyone tell us if this is indeed the same Cartierville School?

Further question from Claire

Claire has also posted a comment at a post that I had forgotten about (my memory at times does not serve me well, which is the reason I need to write many things down, or I would either forget them or else my recollection of them would be off the mark); the post is entitled:

Versions One and Two of Janet’s great post at our portal to the history of Cartierville School

At the latter post Claire writes the following comment:

Janet’s post is the first mention of Cartierville being the test French Immersion School. I was in that 1st test year and am desperately trying to find information about it during this time, to try and reconnect with my class mates. It was the best year of my life. The following year was the worst of my life as my parents moved us to England, from where they had emigrated to Canada in 1956 (I’ve left a post on another page here and think I said 1953, not that it matters 🙂 ).

[End of text]


It turns out you did say 1956, Claire. It’s my hope that people reading this post will help you find the information that you need. I’m pleased to say that through our previous stories about Cartierville School, some people have been able to re-connect with old classmates that they otherwise would not have been able to re-connect with. It’s such a great thing when people can re-connect after these many years!


12 replies
  1. Martina Auer
    Martina Auer says:

    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.

  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    It’s wonderful to have your update, Martina, concerning the topic at hand.

    The story that Claire has shared is a poignant one; whether the French Immersion school was located at the Cartierville School building or elsewhere is a topic of interest. That being said, any story that relates closely or distantly to Cartierville School is equally of interest.

    The Malcolm Campbell High School Sixties Reunion in Toronto on Oct. 17, 2015 has come and gone. We still talk about MCHS and about Cartierville School and Ahuntsic School and other elementary schools we are familiar with from the 1950s and later but at this point it’s great if the discussion includes experiences of those of us who did not attend any of the above-mentioned schools.

    What stays in mind from Claire’s story is how much she enjoyed that early 1970s school year and about the major change that occurred when the family moved. It’s my hope Claire will be able to re-connect with some of her classmates, as a result of our ongoing online discussions.

    The other thought that occurs to me is that it’s so important for us to keep track of facts, as we explore the past. I like to make sure, to the extent that it’s possible, to ensure that all of the information that we share, at this website, is based upon evidence corroborated from many reliable sources. That’s a project that involves input from a great many people; input from every source is much appreciated.

  3. Spiro Couris
    Spiro Couris says:

    The school where French Immersion was a pilot project was called Elmgrove. I was selected ( since then only students with high grades or a good command of the French language could attend) I was the latter. Elmgrove started in 1969- 1970 and I attended in 1970-71. Only 3 schools had followup immersion courses in high school and one of those was Malcolm Campbell. The first principal of Elmgrove was Mr. Hay who also had the idea of creating French Immersion for English students.

  4. Jean Mason
    Jean Mason says:

    elmgrove item

    I also attended Elmgrove French Immersion from Morison Elementary and then on to Malcolm Campbell H.S., I still have my certificate dated June 1975.

  5. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    This is wonderful to know, Jean. We much appreciate the additional details, that you’ve shared with us. I would add, for site visitors, that if you click on the photo above, you can get a close-up view of it.

  6. Janet
    Janet says:

    I went to cartierville school for about a year in grade 3 or 4. I remember a grouchy old teacher there. It was maybe 1961 or 62 ish. I lived on crevier st. I remember that a child got hit by a car when crossing the st- gouin. Don’t know what happened. Nice to see a photo of the school and of the church across the st. I had forgotten the name. Somehow or other I came to be in the choir at that church- mysterious part of my life as far as my memory recalls. Thanks for the info.
    Janet Hogg

  7. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Wonderful to read your reflections, Janet. Car collisions are terrible things. We have lost a substantial number of fellow students in traffic fatalities in elementary school and high school.

    I find it of much interest to read comments, such as yours and comments from other people about events that happened in the past. Cartierville School feels so far away for me yet also so close; it’s a place that will always have a special place for me, in my memory bank.

    • Charles Tsiang
      Charles Tsiang says:

      I can’t recall the name of the street, but the school bus would come down Gouin from Roxboro and turn right on the side street. The buses would park by the side of the school and I guess the church was on the other side of the street. After some “easy” years walking to Elmgrove and Parkdale from nearby apartment building, the rest of my school career was spent traveling considerable distances by bus (Cartierville) or train (HSM and MCHS).

  8. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Most interesting to read, Charles, that you came to MCHS by train. I had never thought of that aspect of things. When I was at Cartierville School in Grade 4, for part of the year I walked to school jumping across Raimbault Creek just south of Gouin Blvd. as part of my journey. One time I fell against a rock on the embankment and sustained a cut across my shin. The scar is still there.

    My father travelled to work by the 17 streetcar to a place called Douglas Brothers, a steel fabricating plant in Ville St. Laurent where he worked as an estimator. He would walk to the start of the 17 streetcar line not far from Cartierville School. One day I met him, walking back home, when I was on my way to Cartierville School. He’d forgotten his wallet and had no money for the streetcar. Fortunately, I had some money and so was able to lend him the fare. I still remember my surprise at running into him.

    I don’t know if the money I was carrying was lunch money. I do remember that my mother would send along sandwiches for me, I think things like peanut butter and jam sandwiches. I generally never ate them, except for maybe a few bites. They would end up stuffed in my desk and various places until they got thrown into the garbage in the classroom, in those days before the recycling of compost.

    During the winter we travelled by bus to Cartierville School. Some days we would, as a group of passengers, sing all the verses for The Ballad of Davey Crockett, or a song with a similar title about the latter icon of 1950s American popular culture.

    Sometimes when the bus dropped me off, I would have to wait outside until one of my parents got home from work. In those days the winters in Montreal at times got super cold. I still remember the sensation of my hands and feet starting to freeze while I waited outside in the snow.

  9. Bob Carswell
    Bob Carswell says:

    Jaan, I just came across this for the first time. Interesting. A thought comes to mind. If the people who attended Cartierville School immersion in the 1970-71 graduated into the 1971-72 MCHS classes then they would appear in the 1975-76 MCHS graduation photos and if you sent all of these to Claire, she might be able to identify most of her former classmates from either the name or individual photo. It is a start.


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *