Chez ‘Hade’ was a wonderful bike shop on Lower Ranger St. & Gouin in 1950s Cartierville

A previous post is entitled:

Ian Roach has added a comment about Cartierville School in Montreal

At that post, Dawn Corbett has commented as follows; I’m posting her comment at the current post by way of bringing attention to the discussion.

Dawn Corbett writes:

Hello Jaan,

I grew up in Cartierville on Nelligan, then Cousineau St. near the Cartierville Boating Club.  My brother Lloyd, sister Maureen and I attended Cartierville School from Mrs. Carpenter’s kindergarten class to Grade 7, then went to MCHS for 4 yrs.  I graduated with the 1969-70 class; my older siblings a few years before me.  I read your note about driving your bike around Cartierville, as we did, and remember that wonderful bike shop on lower Ranger St. & Gouin. You were close with the name.  It was in fact, Chez ‘Hade’ (Had’s we called it.)  A great shop!

Jaan Pill writes:

Hello Dawn,

Wonderful to read your message! Chez ‘Hade.’ I would never have remembered the name. All such memories of names are gone, for me. Thank you for bringing back the name. That was a wonderful place. A friendly place, as I recall. A great place for a kid to visit. I remember the impressive Raleigh bikes that were on display. I think my father bought me a used bike, with a maroon (reddish) frame, from this bike shop for $25, the first bike I ever owned. Before that, my friends had bikes but I was a kid who didn’t have one. Having a bike, when I finally got one, was really a treat.

I’m reminded of an August 2018 visit to Amsterdam:

Bicycle culture in Amsterdam

At the latter post I note:

The bicycle culture in Amsterdam also had a strong impact on me. The sight of people riding abreast on their bikes, carrying on an extended conversation kilometre and kilometre – those are among the great things that have stayed with me.

I also much enjoyed seeing young children sitting side by side, carrying on conversations while sitting in purpose-built carts, attached to bicycles, propelled by their parents.

What I saw in Amsterdam was most inspiring for me. The city’s approach to bicycling underlines, for me, what people are capable of achieving when the desire, know-how, and requisite political energies are in place. It feels great just to picture what I saw, in the time we were in Amsterdam.


11 replies
  1. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Good to know this detail, Bert. It’s interesting how the discussion about Chez Hade brings to mind memories. I remember the place as cozy and congenial. A place a child would like to spend some time in. I think that I went there to buy tools such as a bike wrench and a kit to fix a flat tire. There was a smell of oil about the place – kids knew, as I recall, or think I recall, that bikes had to be kept oiled.

    Separating what I remember from what I think I remember is a journey all of its own.

    There was a sense about the bike shop that it had been around for a long time. It was a purpose-built shop, set up in a style that was perhaps reminiscent of an earlier era. I’m reminded (from what I’ve read in recent years at this website) that Cartierville School, which was not far from the bike shop, had been around for a long time, before I first encountered it, as a child in the 1950s.

    Another memory that comes to mind is the No. 17 streetcar, whose terminus was not far from the bike shop (again, as I recall). Recently, I was at a Heritage Toronto event at an office tower in downtown Toronto. I spoke with a fellow heritage enthusiast who had grown up in Montreal. He reminisced about regularly travelling, when he was a child, to Belmont Park, I think in the 1950s, via the streetcar.

    He also spoke about the Sun Life building in downtown Montreal. He said he could always tell what the weather was going to be, because at the top of the building there was some sign, that kept on changing, in accordance with the current status of the weather.

  2. Doug
    Doug says:

    I remember Had’s as we call it too. I grew up on Emile-Nelligan from ’65 on up. We use to buy or hockey equipment there. I also remember bringing our bikes to the repair shop around back to get flats fixed. I can remember buying hockey sticks with burn marks on them after Had’s had a big fire.

  3. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    I remember there was a repair shop. It’s good to know about the hockey equipment on sale. Chez Hade was clearly a great community resource. I remember how active engagement in sports was a big thing for so many children and young people – as it is now in many cases for people of all ages. Keeping fit and having a good time is such a great part of our lives.

    • Jaan Pill
      Jaan Pill says:

      Also, Lynne Hylands-Lister writes on Facebook (she’s given me permission to post it here): “We bought all our bikes there and we had to get licenses on those bikes!”

      • Jaan Pill
        Jaan Pill says:

        On Facebook, Jaan Hendrik Pill has commented: “I vaguely remember something about licenses.”

        Doug Hambley has commented, in turn: “That’s right, Jaan. Hade’s sold the City of Montreal bicycle licenses as well as bike parts. Initially they were metal plates about 3″x4″ that went on the left front fork but later they were smaller plastic rectangles that were attached to the rear forks just below the seat. I had forgotten all about them.”

  4. Bert Eccles
    Bert Eccles says:

    It’s always interesting to observe the manner in which conversations (including online ones) evolve, as the discussion on one topic leads to another. Here, for example, the progression has been from Cartierville School to bicycles to Hade’s shop to the #17 streetcar to active engagement in sports and (spoiler alert!) later to bowling alleys. Much like life itself, a conversation has many winding trails…and in both cases when we begin the journey we are often unaware of the divergent pathways we will end up traversing.

    Jaan’s reflections on the 17 sparked my own memories. I have only a very hazy recollection of Montreal’s streetcars, as I was quite young when they were in operation and I only rode them a couple of times. I think the last active streetcar in Montreal ended its run in 1959. The 17 went from the Gouin/Grenet area to Garland Terminus near Decarie and Van Horne. The 17 bus had the same route, but I don’t know if the bus was concurrent with the streetcar or was a replacement for it when the streetcar became defunct in 1959. I suspect the latter.

    At some point Garland Terminus also became defunct, doomed by the construction of the Decarie Expressway, probably around 1964. Today the 17 still exists, but the route changed years ago and it now goes from the Cote Vertu metro at Cote Vertu and Decarie to the Place St. Henri metro. The ride from Gouin/Grenet to Cote Vertu and Decarie (previously a part of the 17’s route) has long been serviced by the 64.

    Another landmark (?) near the Gouin/Grenet area was Spot Bowling, which is now (if it’s still there?) at or near the end of the 64’s route going north. I think Spot Bowling was the last (or one of the last) bowling alleys in Montreal to offer duckpins when all the other alleys in Montreal had converted to the more popular tenpins.

    As an eager young bowler, I began playing duckpins in the late fifties and switched to tenpins in the early sixties when change became inevitable. I remember playing in a league at Paré Lanes and meeting Rocket Richard there in 1963 when he dropped in for a visit. I had a bit of an unfair advantage over the other bowlers in speaking with the Rocket, because he and my father had known each other when they were both kids.

    As Jaan astutely noted, “Separating what I remember from what I think I remember is a journey all of its own,” but I feel that most of what I have described is fairly accurate.
    One of the many great things about Jaan’s site is the way the thoughts and articulations of each poster can induce a renaissance of memories and reflections in another. I greatly appreciate Jaan’s efforts, as I’m sure all his other readers also do. Thanks, Jaan!

    • Tim Hewlings
      Tim Hewlings says:

      In 1951 my parents bought a house in a new development on St. Germain Blvd. in Cartierville. The streets were still unfinished when we moved in and a stream called Raimbault Creek ran through our back yard. Behind it, there were fields that were owned by the order of nuns that operated the Sacre-Coeur Hospital. They must have kept animals because they used the fields for haying.

      In the first couple of years we watched as new houses were built on the opposite side of the street, and later as another new street, St. Evariste was built behind us with more new homes. Eventually, the whole field was built over and had all but disappeared by about 1960.

      The house on St. Germain remained our family home all the time I went to school and long after. My mother finally sold it in the fall of 1996 at age 81 and moved into a Seniors’ residence.

      The railway track at the end of our street ran downtown. Monkland Station was on O’Brien Blvd., the next street over.
      We used to play in the haystacks out in the fields behind our house. When we first moved there, the fields stretched all the way to the No. 17 streetcar track, about a half a kilometre away, and there were a couple of dirt roads that ran through them, at either end of our street. One was called Dudemaine and the other Jeanne (later changed to Louisbourg).

      We also lived a stone’s throw from Cartierville Airport. Long gone, it is now a housing development. It was used mostly by Canadair, that eventually became Bombardier Aerospace. In the 50s, they were still building military aircraft at Canadair and there were regular flights of F-86 Sabre jets and T-33 trainers over our house, and later, the massive Argus submarine hunter.

      When I first started Kindergarten, there were no Protestant schools in Cartierville at all. There was a new elementary school being built, but it was not ready in September, so we spent the first few months in a church basement in St. Laurent.

      Our area was expanding rapidly as young families moved to the new suburb. They were building schools furiously for us baby boomers. They would overflow as fast as they could build them. Our whole gang went to five different Elementary schools – first Elmgrove, then Parkdale, both on Deguire St. in St. Laurent. The kids living North of Jeanne went to Cartierville School. Then, when we were in Grade 5, they opened Morison on Grenet, so all of us trooped off there. After a year, it needed expanding as well, so for the sixth grade, they bussed us all to Laurentide School on St. Louis, at the other end of St. Laurent. Back to Morison for Grade 7.

      High School was no different. They were building one in our neighbourhood (Malcolm Campbell), but it was not ready by the time I was to enter 8th grade. Instead we had to take the train downtown to attend The High School of Montreal.

      Hade’s Bicycle shop was on Lachapelle. My grandmother lived on Nelligan and we used to bike over there all the time. Always buying stuff to customize our bikes there.

      On a side note, Allen Jones and I both had studio apartments on Nelligan in the 70s, when I went back to university. He had finished by then and was working for an ad agency.

      The bowling alley is still there on Grenet – now called “Quilles G Plus”

      12246 Grenet St, Montreal, Quebec – Google Maps

      • Bert Eccles
        Bert Eccles says:

        Thanks for your very informative post, Tim. It appears that you’re a little older than I am, so I really enjoyed your historical perspective on my former stomping grounds. By the time I was an appropriate age, St. Germain and St. Evariste had been completed as far south as Dudemaine – although St. Evariste (maybe St. Germain also?) was subsequently lengthened – and both Morison and Malcolm Campbell were open.

        With the passage of time, as would be expected, the entire area was further developed. A tour of the neighbourhood now would evoke feelings of nostalgia for the things that remain, but would also inspire reflection on the many changes that have occurred.

  5. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Good to read your message, Bert! Thank you, first of all, for your support of my efforts as a blogger. It’s always good to know, from comments such as yours, that I’m on the right track. I think of my contribution this way: I provide a venue, for people who like to visit this website. Sometimes I say a few words. Other times, other people share their thoughts. That’s what makes it enjoyable for me. I have the opportunity to learn new things, get insights from so many people.

    It’s most interesting how conversations evolve. I remember the No. 17 streetcar because I often travelled between Garland Terminus and the starting point (or end of the line) in Cartierville. As a young Estonian (we had arrived in Canada in 1951, after my parents had left Estonia travelling across the Baltic Sea to Sweden as refugees in 1944, just ahead of the incoming Soviet Army), I regularly attended events at an Estonian Lutheran church that was not far from Garland Terminus.

    Thus I remember the streetcar trip well, as I travelled along that route many times, between the church and our home in Cartierville. The streetcar had a comfortable feel about it – travelling along tracks, lurching back and forth. There was a clanging, mechanical sense about the experience. The streetcar went along, in its leisurely way, with lots of sights and activity (and open fields, if I recall correctly, once approaching Cartierville) to see along the way.

    The Estonian church is still there. An Estonian friend from those years, who still lives in Montreal, updated me a few years ago on the efforts to keep the church in good shape, even with the passage of the years. For example, he described the steps that enabled the church to finance the installation of a new roof, for the building.

    In August 2018 on a family trip we crossed the Baltic Sea on an overnight ferry ride from Stockholm to Tallinn. I had the opportunity to get a sense of what it would have meant to travel from Estonia to Sweden across the same waterway in September 1944. I noted it’s a relatively long way to travel. Many people died making the attempt as the Second World War was coming to a close. My parents were among the fortunate ones, who made it alive to the other shore.

    Estonian was my first language, Swedish (which I’ve largely forgotten) was my second (until age 5, when we moved to Canada), and English is my third. Our intended destination in Canada was Toronto, but in the course of our train ride from Halifax my parents decided Montreal would be a better option. That’s how I ended growing up in Cartierville after living first at an apartment building in Snowdon, or thereabouts.

    Estonians (in Canada, and in Estonia when I’ve visited that country) have remarked, from time to time, that I speak Estonian without an English accent. That’s one of the little things, among other things big and small related to how life has evolved, that I’m really pleased about.

    I didn’t realize Garland Terminus is gone. It remains firmly fixed in my memory.

    It’s good to read about Maurice Richard. He played a key role in Quebec’s postwar history. I like how he worked on Grecian Formula commercials after he retired. Retired hockey players in those days still had to make a little money, when the playing days were done. He was quite matter of fact about his work appearing in commercials, explaining how, with the Grecian Formula rubbed into your hair, you can keep your hair black for years without anybody any the wiser, with regard to the fact that, as the years pass, our hair turns grey – assuming that is, that it sticks around at all.

    I tried out the bowling alley in Cartierville a few times. I’ve encountered bowling alleys a few times in the years since, on occasion in my early years in Toronto in my role as a public school teacher, and later as a venue for children’s birthday parties. I’ve always admired people who are really good at getting one strike after another.

  6. Jaan Pill
    Jaan Pill says:

    Would like to add that at the Malcolm Campbell High School Grads Facebook page, we’ve discussed the fact that bike owners needed to get licenses for their bikes, in those days.

    As an MCHS grad notes:

    “Hade’s sold the City of Montreal bicycle licenses as well as bike parts. Initially they were metal plates about 3″x4″ that went on the left front fork but later they were smaller plastic rectangles that were attached to the rear forks just below the seat. I had forgotten all about them.”


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 *