Great question from Shirley (Taitelbaum) Gravenor: Who was Marcel Laurin, and when was the Laurentian Blvd. changed to Marcel Laurin Blvd.?

A great question recently has come our way:

Who was Marcel Laurin, and when was Laurentian Blvd. changed to Marcel Laurin?

The question is from Shirley (Taitelbaum) Gravenor (MCHS 1976), a key player in the organizing of a July 4, 2018 MCHS 1976 mini-reunion in Montreal:

Planning is underway for an MCHS 1976 mini-reunion at Via Marcello restaurant in Montreal on July 4, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Bob Carswell has written the following reply, to this great question:

My first home in Canada was in the village of Pendleton, Ontario, as of March, 1945 since my father was in charge as Station Adjutant (commanding) of No. 10 EFTS or Early Flying Training School under the BCATP or British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, having spent a year in the Canadian Army in Europe as part of the first contingent, then 3 years in the RAF as an officer and pilot and then the same rank of Flight Lieutenant when he was transferred to the RCAF and returned to Canada in June 1944 leaving a pregnant wife, and his first born son behind.

I was that second born child. I met my father in Montreal at age 4 months but I don’t remember it. When the war ended everyone was looking for a home in which to raise a family and after months of working in Montreal, living with his brother and wife, then returning to Pendleton for the weekends, he eventually found a home at 10215 Reed Street, 2nd floor in a brand new 6-apartment building with two separate addresses on a 4-lane, two-way cement highway in Cartierville, the second building on the west side of Reed Street below De Salaberry where the family settled in 1946 when it was ready.

I lived at 10215 Reed Street for five years before moving to our new house that was built in Saraguay. (It has since been torn down.) Lynne Legge then Hennebury was my next door neighbour and we used to play baseball outside of her house with the Jarry brothers and a few others I cannot recall.

10215 Reed Street became 10215 Laurentian Blvd and ultimately, 10215 Marcel-Laurin Blvd which it is named today although it is a one-way four-lane paved road going south from the former Cartierville bridge, now referred to as the Lachapelle Bridge, since traffic was diverted to Lachapelle at the location of the old White Rose gas station that sat like the old flat iron building in Toronto as the pointed building that gave you a choice of going left or right of it.

That building today is directly opposite the old location of Tolhurst Farm (east side of Lachapelle) and created the route that became the southern branch off of RTE 117 to the bridge. To see an image of that place today, go to Google Maps and enter the address for 10215 Marcel-Laurin

If you want to know all about the mayor of St. Laurent, Marcel Laurin, you can find his history at:

History of Saint-Laurent – Marcel Laurin

The original Decarie Blvd became the Decarie Expressway and the extension into St. Laurent carried the name further from the original expressway extension. This is the famed Decarie family from which Graeme Decarie is descended and they once owned a great deal of farmland in Montreal….correct me if I am wrong here, but that is the story I recall.

This should answer any questions you may have.




Graeme Decarie adds:

He was mayor of St. Laurent in the 1950s and 60s. His father (also Marcel) had been mayor before him in the 1930s and 40s.


Supplementary question:

Bob, do you know when the name-change occurred?

By way of preliminary research, I have determined from a 2005 City of Montreal online document entitled 4.18 Laurentien / Lachapelle / Marcel-Laurin that the change appeared to have occurred after 2005 (unless it was in 2005); in this particular 2005 document, the arterial road is still named Laurentian Blvd.

An April 26, 2008 online document posted at Steve Faguy’s blog entitled The Toupin Blvd. Plan indicates that the name-change had occurred by 2008.

Bob Carswell had added (June 16, 2018):

Sorry, I don’t know when the change took place as it was a surprise to me too but if you check with the Lovell map books/directories for Montreal that came out each year, you might find the changes in Street names there and maybe even the names of all the family farms along Bois Franc Road….not something I need to know but it will help answer the questions coming to you from Montreal. Easier today for someone who also reads French more proficiently that I can these days.


Decaries became Decarie

Bob Carswell has also shared this link, related to Decarie Blvd. (and also related to Graeme Decarie):

Jean Descaries (1621-1687) and sons


2 replies
  1. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    That is good to know that detail, Tim. I had thought the name change had occurred between 2005 and 2008 based on a quick look at online sources. It’s of interest to know that Lovell’s Directory positions the name change as between 1993 and 1994. I look forward to learning more; the story is of interest – the definitive narrative, based on available documentation, is of particular interest.

    Access to the francophone sources, regarding this question, is of tremendous value. I am wondering if French-language Montreal newspapers have articles that refer to the name-change. With regard to questions related to local history in Toronto, I’ve found that newspaper sources are often of high value, when questions arise regarding when a particular event took place.

    On another topic, Shirley (Taitelbaum) Gravenor (MCHS 1976) and other MCHS 1976 grads are working on a get together in Montreal on July 4, 2018 of MCHS grads from that year.

    In discussing the get together, I mentioned to Shirley the memorable get together that took place in Montreal in 2014, of Sixties grads, with thanks to your work as a Montreal-based organizer.

    It’s a great thing, when such get togethers (or mini-reunions, as they may at times be called) take place.


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