Grade 7 photos from Elmgrove School – with thanks to MCHS grad Susan Holmes Nash

We’ve had some good discussions about Elmgrove School recently on Facebook and in comments at this post:

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

Here is a picture (posted with her permission) from Susan Holmes Nash of the grade 7 class at Elmgrove Elementary School in St. Laurent that she attended. This is Mrs. Johnson’s class, Room 2, 1958/59 class picture.



From left to right:

Back Row: Betsy Clarke, Carol Ibey, Anne Preston, Ellen Miller, Anna Veenstra, Gloria Robinson, Arlene Shulman, Lynn Smiley.

3rd Row: Donald Pearce, David Valliers, David Westgate, Howard Eisenberg, Clinton Webber, Robert Cooper, Mike Milburn, Stephen Gray.

2nd Row: Paul Newell, Roy Meany, Fred Shiri, Sonia Herman, Sylvia Orlean, John Kerr, Sydney Cohoen, (Mrs. Johnson).

Front Row: Betty Monroe, Julie Perly, Janet Carson, George Fowler, Susan Holmes, Hellen P., Ellen Baynton, Judy Shwartze.

Second photo



The second photo is Mrs. Chevrier’s class, Room 7, 1958/59 class picture at Elmgrove Elementary School. Susan does not have the names of the students.

If you click on the photos, you can slightly enlarge them


Archival photo of Cartierville

I recently came across a Jan. 31, 2021 Facebook post from Peter Halliday that I want to share; Peter writes:

I posted this shot a few years ago, but because of the renewed interest in the Canadair shot below, I thought I’d re-post this one too. Some landmarks are visible already – the path of highway 15, the railroad tracks, Sacre Coeur hospital, the neighbourhood where MCHS would be built, in the lower center of the photo. I think the picture was from the 1950’s, but I am not sure when… If you want the full zoomable photo/file you can try this link:–10HVXABELl_AdmbOi95ci6HL2B1a-I


16 replies
  1. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    It’s a delight to see photos in my case particularly the one that includes the names. I recognize several of the names and faces – of students I knew later at Malcolm Campbell High School! I much enjoy learning more about Elmgrove School.

  2. Jill Woollerton
    Jill Woollerton says:

    My mom, Evelyne Woollerton, taught at this school from 1954-56, then at Mount Royal HS. Where exactly was Elmgrove in St-Laurent? Someone has said Deguire Blvd – would it be where Parc Roman-Zytynsky is now?

  3. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Answer from Katherine, a former student, on Facebook:

    Yes, on Deguire between Sainte- Croix and Guertin. I attended school there for grade 7 French Immersion.


    I attended Elmgrove from grade 1 -7. Lived just down the street on Depatie. It’s still there. not sure its current vocation.


    Went there from kindergarten thru Grade 7 – 1960-68.


    Between Guertin and Ste Croix is my guess based on vague recollections of my walk from Ouimet. My years at Elmgrove were 1950-54, then to Parkdale and then to Cartierville.

    Lynn B:

    Elmgrove was 4 doors from my house at the corner of Deguire and Depatie. I lived on Depatie.


    I went to Elmgrove in 74 for French immersion. It was very close to Parkdale School if that’s still around. Deguire near Poirier is about right. I live in Ontario now so hard to exactly remember.

    Peter affirms that Parkdale School is still there.


    I also attended Elmgrove, and Parkdale, also. ’54 at P., ’55 at E.
    Saw the movies, Lassie Come Home, and Captains Corageous.
    My Grade 4 teacher was Miss McVicor. She was also my dad’s Grade 4 teacher.
    What in the world!


    I attended Kindergarten at Elmgrove in 1955-56. It already had temporary classrooms in the yard when I attended. In 1956, Morison opened on Grenet Street in Cartierville and I attended it for Grades 1 through 7. Morison began with one classroom for each grade plus a large room for Mrs. Baran’s Kindergarten and was expanded significantly in 1960 adding a gym and additional classrooms. Kids from Cartierville School came over to Morison for Gym classes.


    I attended Elmgrove for grade 7 immersion as well!


    That brings back lots of memories. I attended Pakdale for the last three years of elementary school and then went to Elmgrove for a year for French immersion in 1977-78. And then MCHS till 1982 when I graduated. Such a long time ago….


    I was in Parkdale for a couple/few years at the end of the 60s.

    Wallace (following is an excerpt):

    Jill Woollerton asked me to post her message:

    “Thank you all – I can see that the school still exists as École Primaire des Grands-Êtres.”

  4. Steve Marco
    Steve Marco says:

    I also went from Grade 2 to 7. First year was in the church as the school was under construction. It currently is Primary School Des Grands-Êtres École Primaire des Grands-Êtres
    1150 Rue Deguire, Saint-Laurent, QC H4L 1M2

    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      This additional detail – the name of the school that now occupies the building – is truly a treat to know, Steve. Thank you for sharing this detail.

      I’m reminded that a decade ago, residents in Long Branch in Toronto where I lived at the time, worked together to save a school called Parkview School. It’s now called École élémentaire Micheline-Saint-Cyr, at 85 Forty First Street in Long Branch. I have many posts at my website about how the school came to be saved. It’s wonderful when buildings are repurposed and their work as buildings continues on!

  5. Lynn Berry
    Lynn Berry says:

    My cousin David Westgate is in that first picture. He lived on Filion 2 blocks from the school. I also went to Elmgrove from Sept.1961 to June 1969. I went to Malcolm Campbell from Sept. 1969 to June 1973.

  6. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    Jaan..I would be happy to share all of my classes at Elmgrove from kindergarten to Grade 7. I kept them all and had them on display at our MCHS Class of 1973 Grads 40th reunion in Montreal Aug.3, 2013.

    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      Lynn – Yes, that would be awesome. Can you send me the photos as good-sized jpegs (scanned so that they are about 1MB or 2MB in size)? You can send them to me by email at – can you also include a caption to go with each photo?

      I also want to mention to anyone who is reading this: If you have photos from years past, from personal or family collections related to schools such as Elmgrove, that you would like to share at this website, please send them to me along with captions. This is a wonderful way for us to share memories from days gone by, at a place online that people can visit.

  7. Bob Carswell
    Bob Carswell says:

    Elmgrove School like a lot of other English Schools in the Montreal area seems to see its last days around the same time that MCHS closed down in 1987. The school building still exists to this day but for many years now has been a French school, and its latest venture is a relatively new one. It is known as “Primary School Des Grands-Êtres.”

    You can find photographs of it on Google Maps at 1150 Rue Deguire. Built as an elementary school under the Protestant School Board in 1954 to accommodate the baby-boom after WWII, the push to a large French community in Quebec in the 60s and 70s started the departure of more than a hundred thousand English people from the province who followed their corporate jobs or needed employment after finishing university in a city that was almost vacant downtown throughout the 1980s.

    I spent a week per month in the city so I can tell you personally, that St. Catherine Street was totally vacant at one point.

    The former Elmgrove School building was acquired by the Marguerite-Bourgeoys school board in 2014 to meet specific needs in the city. What it was used for between 1987 and 2014, I cannot tell you. In order to meet the needs of the school, the building has since been expanded as photos on Google Maps will show you.

    ‘Grand-Êtres Primary School’ is an institution that brings together around 575 pre-school and primary school students each year. It should be noted that the students of the school do not live nearby, which means that the vast majority of students are transported by bus.

    The school’s clientele is mainly multi-ethnic and predominantly disadvantaged (index of 9 on a possible 10). A great many Lebanese and Syrian refugees make up the families using the services of the school. The parents of the students are mainly allophone with only about 10% using French as their language spoken at home, but this does not prevent the promotion of education. The education of their children is sometimes the main reason which explains their immigration.

    A recent parent survey showed that for 97% of parents, the relationship they have maintained with teachers is good. As far as students are concerned, 97% of students like to come to school. In addition, all of the graduate students believed that school gave them a chance to improve and succeed.

  8. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Good to read the overview, Bob. It’s good to have the additional information. Would I be correct assuming the details are from Wikipedia?

    [Bob replied: “No, I went to the trouble of reading the French on the actual website for the school translating some of it and making up the story. If you want to add photos of the present school. you can copy them from Google maps.”]

    The topic of changes in Montreal since the days we attended MCHS is for much interest; it’s a topic explored at previous posts including:

    Many changes have occurred in Cartierville where Malcolm Campbell High School was located from 1960s to late 1980s

    Graeme Decarie has a question about the old Bois Franc. Do you know the answer?

    Recent comments at Preserved Stories website bring to mind memories of Canadian musician Marty Butler, and of Marlborough Golf Club

  9. John Kerr
    John Kerr says:

    What a surprise to see our class with Mrs Johnson, one of the finest teachers ever. She was all business. I went on to attend Malcolm Campbell, Winston Churchill, Sir George (Concordia), and Western. She drilled enough French into me to enable my serving in the Royal 22nd Regiment. I played hockey with the two Daves, and Bob Cooper was my lifelong buddy until he died two years ago. Janet was always our academic star. St Laurant was a great place to grow up. With the baby boom there must have been 30 kids on my block of O’Brian Bd. No locked doors and skating rinks across the street.

    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      Awesome to read your comment John! It’s so interesting and valuable to read your recollections and those of other students from those years. Thank you for sharing.

  10. Linda Larose
    Linda Larose says:

    Just stumbled across this site and was surprised to see the first picture. Mrs. Johnson was my mother and she taught at Elmgrove School for many years ending in 1963 when she retired. She lived to an outstanding 105 years and resided here in Ottawa, Ontario.

    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      Wonderful to know that you stumbled across the site! Wonderful to know that Mrs. Johnson was your mother. It’s a delight to know, through your message, about you mother, Mrs. Johnson, the teacher in the photo!

  11. Tom ShawStiffel
    Tom ShawStiffel says:

    Also just stumbled on this site ! Such fond memories !! I was at Elmgrove from 1964 (Grade 2) thru 1969-70 (the first year of French Immersion) Btw I think it was the first such school in QC Well, a few memories … one day in grade 2 I befriended a fellow student (Joanna) after I walked her home in the rain as she had no umbrella 🙂 In 1968 (grade 5) Joanna & her family moved to South Africa & we’ve been in touch by snail-mail then email ever since, now 55 years & counting !! We also met up in person once in Toronto in 1990 Btw in grade 2 (1964) I recall the flag in our classroom was still the Union Jack as our “new” flag was only approved the following year 🙂 In grade 3 I had a little “crush” on Ms Mullins (our homeroom teacher); I felt she’d make a perfect match for Batman ! Then in grade 5 it was Ms Cohen … once I bumped into her at the A&W drive-thru on Decarie Blvd (the old-fashioned one where they served u in your car) … it was a bright sunny afternoon & she was in her Mustang convertible (wow !) Grade 7 French immersion was by far my fav esp thanks to Mlle Boiscard (sp ?) A few other memories … we kids would often play baseball at the back of the school I’d also watch the planes landing at Trudeau (Dorval in those days) as they were so low One fine day the “new” B-747 flew by on its maiden trip around the world ! Awesome sight !! Of course, I could go on & on but one last memory … I used to live on du Ruisseau Blvd & walk to / from Elmgrove each day One summer, since du Ruisseau was still an open creek, it was being converted to an underground tunnel It was so deep I thought “I’d seen China” as we’d say But the main prob for me was that I had to make a detour along O’Brien (the big scary street for an 8 year old 🙂

  12. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Wonderful to read your memories Tom. It’s so interesting to know of very specific things that have stayed in mind for you. Such connections as you’ve described – so valuable!

    For some students who’ve shared memories of the school, Elmgrove was a stepping stone on the way to other schools. in other cases, students were there for many years. It’s of much interest to know, these many years later, of people’s connections to the school. Every comment is of tremendous value!


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