Ted de Clercq attended Cartierville School in Montreal from 1951 to 1956

Cartierville School, May 2015. Scott Munro photo

Cartierville School, May 2015. Scott Munro photo

Click here for previous posts about Cartierville School >

At a post entitled Cartierville School in Montreal, which was set up on March 1, 2014, Ted de Clercq has recently shared the following comment. I have posted his comment as a separate post, as a way to bring attention to it. Ted’s comment is the forty-third comment at the above-noted post:

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.

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

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.

Jim Carswell, Lesley Carswell, and Bob Carswell, about 1953. Source: Bob Carswell

Jim Carswell, Lesley Carswell, and Bob Carswell, about 1953, at Cartierville School annual carnival. Source: Bob Carswell

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 got 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.

[End of text]


A couple of previous posts have focused upon the history of Cartierville School in the early 1970s, by which stage it had become a French Immersion school:

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

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


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

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:






2 replies
  1. Charles Tsiang
    Charles Tsiang says:

    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.

  2. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    My own memories about Cartierville School remind me of how the retrieval of memories from our memory banks serves to shape our memories. This is a topic I’ve discussed in general terms in a post entitled: Memories are malleable – capable of being stretched or bent into different shapes.

    What remains of such memories, after they are written down, is something that is valuable as a way of maintaining a record of the past. What remains is a form of documentation, a representation of the memories; such documentation is of itself of value, as a record of a person’s fading and malleable recollections.

    I began to write about my memories of Cartierville School in a post dated March 1, 2014, as noted above. I find it so interesting that, having written down many of the key memories, and having posted them, the memories are in a sense changed.

    They are in a sense used up, in the sense that Alice Munro talks about memories that have been used up, in her account of a visit to the small community in Southern Ontario where she had grown up. In a book entitled The View from Castle Rock (2006), which combines fiction and nonfiction, she notes that when she looks at the buildings, the streetscape, of her old home town, she realizes that all of the memories associated with them have been used up in the short stories that she has written over a span of many years.

    I’m pleased that so many people have shared their own reflections and memories about Cartierville School. One chapter in the Autobiography Stories that I am writing about my own life, by way of following up on a suggestion by Graeme Decarie that we get to work on such stories, will be devoted to Cartierville School – and to the stories that people have shared about the school at the Preserved Stories website.

    What I will end up is a coherent story, with a connection at some level to whatever it was that the reality of the school may have been, had a person been writing a diary from day to day, or making notes as a reporter. A feature of memories is that with the passage of time, we develop a coherent story in the present moment based on fragments and impressions from memories – which of themselves may lack such a degree of coherence – of the past.

    This is a key point in one of the links – an article in Time magazine, about research about how memories change over time, as I recall, which Charles Tsiang shared with us – in one of my previous posts about the malleability of memories.

    I’m really pleased that I have the opportunity to put together such a record about Cartierville School – one of the many records that each of us, who has a connection of one kind of another to the school is capable of putting together. A related chapter will deal with the history of Saraguay, based among other things on lengthy and interesting interviews with Bob Carswell over the past year. Among other things, photos and hand-drawn maps associated with the school, and with Cartierville and Saraguay, serve to bring the story to life.


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