Westmount places:
Wood Avenue

The history behind the familiar: the former residents that called Wood Avenue their home

By Michael Walsh

November 15, 2023

Adolphe Vezina, a carter, was ordered to pay $2 costs, or go to jail for eight days on his plea of guilty for driving a horse and wagon on the Wood Avenue footpath.

Montreal Gazette, April 4, 1900

How can one begin to describe Wood Avenue? I would say it is a street of spectacular failures. Dividing the street horizontally, the area south of St. Luke Street (today Boulevard de Maisonneuve) suffered decades of urban redevelopment plans – it once boasted Montreal’s best hockey area (destroyed by fire), the demolition of a large number of Victorian houses and small businesses, an R.C.M.P. building (subsequently demolished), a proposal for a large playground that never materialized, the loss of an intersecting street (Dunlop Place), failed attempts to extend the street to Dorchester Boulevard, Westmount Square’s unfulfilled promise to offer residents an “urban park” in an area nearly a quarter of the size of Westmount Park and finally the financial collapse of a luxury condominium building.

James Duncan View of Mount Royal

James Duncan (1806-1881) View of Mount Royal from below Ste. Catherine Street at Wood Avenue, featuring the summer tram of The Montreal City Passenger Railway Company and The Major Seminary of Montreal c. 1872 – Image: Alan Klinkhoff Gallery

How did we get to this point? To answer that question, one needs to step back in time to trace the street’s origins.

To begin, let us visualize how Wood Avenue appeared in the nineteenth century. The road extended from St. Catherine Street (where there was a toll gate) to High Street (today named Holton Avenue). In addition, the road was intersected by Saint Catherine Street and Western Avenue (today named Boulevard de Maisonneuve) and by Dunlop Place, which extended from Wood to Greene Avenues.

Seminary of St. Sulpice

Priests’ Farm, Montreal College c.1859 – Image: William Notman, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The entire area encompassed land owned by the Seminary of St. Sulpice (today Collège de Montreal). Referred to as the “Priests’ Farm,” the Gentlemen of St. Suplice’s property included Wood Avenue, High Street and DeCasson Road. Interestingly, ownership of Wood Avenue was divided by a centre line, running from Sherbrooke to High Streets. The easterly portion was owned by the Gentlemen of St. Sulpice, and the westerly portion by Mr. L. H. Holton (today Holton Avenue honours his name).

Early descriptions of the road emphasized how it overlooked the Seminary’s vacant land and offered a splendid view of the City and mountainside. As such, its wood-like setting inspired the name Wood Avenue.

By 1875, most of the lots between Greene, Elm and Wood Avenues, were owned by the Montreal West End Building Society and, in 1892, were resold by auction.

The Town Council’s first mention of Wood Avenue occurred in 1880 with the construction of the first three residences. These included civic numbers 3 (W. H. Mussen, cashier, City of Montreal), 5 (Henry H. Holden, accountant) and 7 (W. H. Clare, Gross, Clare and Company).

In 1895, Edward Askew and Charles S. Reinhard petitioned the Town to open Wood Avenue from Sherbrooke to High Streets. The Town agreed on the condition that the proprietors on the street’s west side agree to expropriate their properties and bear the entire cost of opening the street. Not surprisingly, this decision was unpopular amongst the street’s residents.

Priests’ Farm Charles Goad & Co

Charles E. Goad map Priests’ Farm

That same year, the street was levelled between St. Luke Street (running from Greene Avenue to the Town’s limits – today named Boulevard de Maisonneuve) and St. Catherine Street. One year later, the street was graded and terraced from St. Catherine Street to Western Avenue. The street was drained and macadamized, holding the properties responsible for all costs and the Town harmless for all property damages. In addition, the street was graced with the construction of the Church of the Advent (1893) at the corner of Wood Avenue and St. Luke Street.

‘Outside the winter season, it [Westmount Arena] was used as a “Summer Garden” featuring comedy acts, musicals, orchestras, jugglers and operas.’

In 1898, the Town constructed the Arena Hockey Rink on property owned by the Seminary of St. Sulpice at the corner of Wood Avenue and St. Catherine Street. Designed by James Wright and A. C. Hutchinson, the arena’s grand opening was attended by many of Montreal’s well-known dignitaries – Sir William Hingston, Sir Melbourne Tail, Senator Drummond and H. Montagu Allan. Outside the winter season, it was used as a “Summer Garden” featuring comedy acts, musicals, orchestras, jugglers and operas.

That same year, to accommodate the large number of spectators, a cabmen’s shelter was installed at the corner of St. Catherine Street and Wood Avenue. For some reason, this structure caused a large number of residential protests claiming “injury to property in the neighbourhood”. As a result, the shelter was relocated further east from the arena building.

postcard Westmount Arena

Westmount Arena postcard – Image: Upper Deck

In 1904, the arena’s property (comprising 73,206 feet) was sold by the Seminary of St. Sulpice to the Montreal Arena Company, for $80,525.50 at the rate of $1.10 per foot. The arena remained in operation until 1918 when it was destroyed by a fire. One year later, the Montreal Arena Company constructed a two-story garage on the former arena’s site. In 1929, the City planned to acquire the property to construct a playground.

Unfortunately, due to the economic value of the property, this proposal faced a great deal of opposition. In 1942, the Montreal Arena Company property and garage were sold to the Canadian Government for $300,000 presumably during a period when the government was acquiring land for the construction of an R.C.M.P. building. (Today’s R.C.M.P. building is located closer to Greene Avenue federal property that was expropriated from the City of Westmount.)

Charles E. Goad map (1890)

Charles E. Goad map 1890

Stepping back a few years to 1902, at the request of proprietors, the City agreed to several of the street’s improvements. These included whitewashing the Seminary fence, levelling, grass cutting and the planting of flowers that were tended by the fronting proprietors.

In September 1905, the Gentlemen of the Seminary of St. Sulpice ceded to the Town a strip of land, 30 feet in width, extending from Sherbrooke Street to Holton Avenue at 20 cents per superficial foot. The acquisition of this land allowed the City to widen the street. In addition, in 1914, concrete stairs were constructed at the head of Wood Avenue (subsequently rebuilt in 1953).

Charles E. Goad map 1912-1914

Charles E. Goad map 1912-1914

Additionally, in 1929, the Seminary offered the City a plot of land on the northeast corner of Wood Avenue and Sherbrooke Street for $130,000. The City’s council refused the offer, however, in 1939, the City finalized the purchase, acquiring 52,800 square feet of property bounded by Sherbrooke Street, Barat Road and Vignal Street for $70,000, today known as the Queen Elizabeth Gardens. At the same time, another lot surrounded by Summit Circle was purchased from the Royal Institution for the Advancement of Learning (McGill University), forming today’s Summit Park.

One can describe the following two decades as a “calm before the storm.” More specifically, the City instituted a massive urban renewal programme in the 1960s that radically changed Lower Westmount’s landscape. This scheme proposed the extension of Wood Avenue to Dorchester Boulevard. Once completed, it would form a district (URA-5) bounded on the north by St. Catherine Street to the City’s boundary, and on the south by a parallel lane running from Atwater Avenue to the west by the projection of Wood Avenue.

‘… there wasn’t a square inch of the site that didn’t have a building already on it… what had to come down was a mélange of Victorian houses, stores, shops, and what have you…’

– Al Palmer, Montreal Gazette

More significantly, in 1966, construction started on Westmount Square. The complex encompassed 155,000 square feet in an area bounded by Greene, Western and Wood avenues and St. Catherine Street. A massive demolition project was required to create this area, as described by Al Palmer in the Montreal Gazette:

“… there wasn’t a square inch of the site that didn’t have a building already on it… what had to come down was a mélange of Victorian houses, stores, shops, and what have you…”

Surprisingly, there was almost no public opposition to the extent of this demolition. One might surmise this was a result of the developers’ extensive public relations campaigns.

photo Westmount Square

Westmount Square – Image: Andrew Burlone

The complex, designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was constructed by MonDev Corporation for twenty-five million dollars and offered residents a twenty-one-story office tower and two twenty-one-story luxury apartment buildings (encased in aluminum with a black Durachron acrylic coating) with two enclosed swimming pools. It would also contain a shopping mall, part of which named “Fashion Alley” housing Europe’s leading couturiers, a gourmet restaurant, a seven-hundred-seat theatre, parking for over seven hundred cars and a tunnel connecting to the Metro system.

In addition, the exterior open plaza would form a park-like setting complete with flower gardens, reflecting ponds, trees, fountains and pedestrian walks. Unfortunately, over time, the plaza reverted to a nondescript pedestrian-unfriendly 3.5 acres of poured concrete. (Interestingly, another of MonDev’s constructions, Decarie Square, in Côte St. Luc, is today best described as a “ghost” shopping mall.)

At this point, we should revisit the proposed extension of Wood Avenue southward to Dorchester Boulevard. The City’s council approved the extension in 1966, however, it was never completed due to the non-participation of the Quebec Housing Corporation.

‘… [the City of Westmount’s] focus, at the time, was on redevelopment, and in 1972, elicited redevelopment proposals. Two years later, the City received two proposals, one of which was withdrawn and the other with incomplete information, forcing Council to reconsider this plan.’

Furthermore, the City owned the land bounded by Atwater Avenue, Dorchester Boulevard, Tupper Street and the proposed Wood Avenue extension. As such, Council, realizing that it was not in the real estate business, decided to divest itself of this property. Instead, its focus, at the time, was on redevelopment, and in 1972, elicited redevelopment proposals. Two years later, the City received two proposals, one of which was withdrawn and the other with incomplete information, forcing Council to reconsider this plan.

There were, however, two options to purchase this property. The first occurred in 1971 from the Ithacan Development Corp. Ltd. and Woodpark Development Corp. Ltd. for $1,200,000, and the second, in 1973, by the Royal Bank of Canada for $1,350,000.

“THAT the City of Westmount negotiate the terms and conditions of an option to be granted to The Royal Bank of Canada to purchase the City-owned land bounded by Atwater Avenue, Dorchester Boulevard, Tupper Street and the proposed extension of Wood Avenue and seek the approval of the Quebec Municipal Commission to such grant. The purchase price for the Property shall be $1,350,000 payable $50,000 upon acceptance of the Option and $1,300,000 upon execution of a notarial deed of sale of the Property.”
– Council Proceedings, November 1973

With this protracted process coupled with no clear direction in terms of redevelopment plans, today the area typifies “urban decay.” Unfortunately, it appears that this area will remain in its current state for the foreseeable future.

‘With this protracted process coupled with no clear direction in terms of redevelopment plans, today the area typifies “urban decay.’

Finally, in 1993, an area called “Wood-Holton Island” appeared in Council’s meetings. One imagines a small park area at the intersection of Wood and Holton avenues landscaped with flowers and bushes – perhaps offering benches for the weary pedestrian. In fact, it is a small triangular traffic island, with a lonely deciduous tree planted in the centre.

At this point, we should pull away from the street’s development and redevelopment quagmire and focus on the residential aspects. The homes that still exist provide a window to the past and a deep appreciation of Westmount’s heritage.

No. 1 Wood

No. 1 Wood Avenue entrance

1 Wood
No. 1 Wood Avenue (1986)

Designed and built by Rhomcorp Developments Ltd. It is Westmount’s first major condominium development. Located west of Westmount Square, between St. Catherine Street and Boulevard de Maisonneuve and bordered by Wood Avenue. The condominium towers are located on the former R.C.M.P. property purchased by Montvest Realty Limited of Oakville, Ontario. After failing to pay its mortgage payments, Rhomcorp sold the property (through a sheriff’s sale) to Central Capital Corporation who, in turn, did not pay municipal taxes for 1991, 1992 and 1993. In 1993, the City of Westmount took possession of the property for $290,000. The buildings were placed for sale by public auction in 1999 and 2001.

“The deed of redemption was signed today by the Mayor and City Clerk and Central Capital Corporation reimbursed the City the adjudication price of $290,000 plus a penalty of 10% ($29,000) plus transfer duties of approximately $3,400.”

cabinet card GC Arless Photographers

Cabinet card for GC Arless Photographers

1 Wood Avenue, Suite B120, purchased by the City for $1,165.69 for non-payment of taxes on August 2017.

7 Wood
W. H. Clare (1880)
Gross, Clare and Company, manufacturers of surgical and dental instruments, artificial limbs, spine instruments and crutches. Their offices were located on Craig Street.

232 Wood
Westmount Boys’ School – “Mr. Gilbert’s” (1898)
In addition, the location of the Westmount Junior Cricket Club.

“Boarding and Day School for Boys. Boys prepared for Professional or Commercial life. The Head Master is assisted by a Resident Master, a graduate of Cambridge University, and Visiting Professors. W. R. Gilbert, Head Master.”
– Advertisement, August 1899

236 Wood
Henry Alfred Ledden (1926)
One of Montreal’s oldest photographers, associated with George Charles Arless.

Sash Ancient Order of Foresters

Sash worn by members of the Ancient Order of Foresters – Image: Creative Commons

David Reid Kennedy (1937)
High Registrar, Ancient Order of Foresters

“In the late 19th century, Forestry spread throughout the world, particularly to the British colonies but also to the United States… In Forestry, the word ‘court’ is used instead of ‘lodge,’ derived from the law courts of the royal forests, which, since the Middle Ages, had met to administer the special forest laws. Similarly, the officers of the society used the titles of officials of the medieval forest courts, such as Ranger and Woodward. Thus, the chief official was the Ranger. Courts were guarded by two Beadles and a Senior and Junior Woodward, whose job was to serve all summonses, visit the sick, dispense allowances and take charge of all court property. The regalia of the Beadles included huge cow horns (real cow horns) slung from the left shoulder and axes – each Woodward carried an axe.”
Epsom & Ewell History Explorer

236A Wood
Henry George School of Social Science (1949)

“Your Committee recommends that Council grant a permit to the Henry George School to occupy premises at 236A Wood Avenue, requirements of the Zoning Bylaw having been complied with, on the understanding that there will be no overcrowding and no nuisance will be caused to the neighbourhood and subject to the observance of all provincial and municipal ordinances which may be relevant to such occupancy.”
– Council Proceedings, December 12, 1949

“Improve Your Ability To Think, To Reason, To Discuss. Broaden your perspective. Get a new insight into how our economic system works. As a public service, the Henry George School offers free evening courses for men and women.”
– Advertisement, September 1957

248 Wood
Francis J. Singer (1932)
The Steel Company of Canada. Today it is known as Stelco Holdings Inc., located in Hamilton, Ontario.

261 Wood
D. P. Williams (1900)
E. N. Heney and Company, manufacturers of horse carriages, harnesses and saddles.

262 Wood
Vino Harisay (1956)
Piano studio, offering theory courses for elementary and advanced pupils.

Port Colborne grain elevator

Port Colborne grain elevator – Image: Niagara Falls Public Library

268 Wood
James Alexander Jamieson (1940)
Consulting engineer. He was involved in many projects, including the Port Colborne grain elevator and similar elevators across the country.
Property damaged by a fire in March 1938.

280 Wood
H. A. Hodgson (1894)
Hodgson Brothers & Co. Limited, investment securities. Office located at 252 Notre Dame Street West.

282 Wood
W. H. Chapman (1894)
Pharmaceutical chemist. Initially located at the corner of Craig and Bleury Streets, and eventually relocated to 2637 St. Catherine Street.

Church of the Advent

Church of the Advent

310 Wood
Church of the Advent (1894)
Located at the corner of Wood Avenue and St. Luke Street (today named Boulevard de Maisonneuve).

326 Wood
Test pit for subsurface investigation for the establishment of a system of rapid mass transportation (1953) – today’s Metro system.

328 Wood
Philip J. Turner (1933)
Architect and Library Trustee, City of Westmount. A professor at McGill University’s School of Architecture, he was associated with the remodelling of the Westmount Public Library and several of the Molson Bank’s branch buildings.

John Hyde (1911)
Accountant and Alderman, City of Westmount.

332 Wood
Henry Herdt (1920)
Supervisor, Dominion Glass Company

Samples from Dominion Glass catalogue

Samples from the Dominion Glass catalogue

“In 1890, they changed the name of their company to Diamond Glass Co. (Ltd.), absorbed four glass companies located as far apart as Nova Scotia and Hamilton, Ont., and continued a vigorous program of expansion. The name was changed again in 1903, this time to Diamond Flint Glass Company, other companies were absorbed, and in 1906, a subsidiary, The Canadian Glass Company, was opened in Montreal and entirely equipped with automatic bottle-making machines. Still, another factory was established in 1913 in Redcliff, Alberta, to take advantage of the plentiful supply of natural gas.”

“From the viewpoint of the historian, Dominion Glass Company Limited is one of the few active Canadian manufacturing establishments which may authoritatively claim to have provided a major contribution to the Canadian decorative arts. Indeed, any glass objects, including containers, which were produced in the preceding and extant glass factories during the period 1855-1925 have some claim to artistic beauty, rarity and/or social significance. The free-blown, non-commercial glass paperweights, whimsy bird forms and “drapes,” which were produced to exhibit an individual command of the medium, depicted in three-dimensional form, the ethnic and regional origins of specific glass blowers. The commercial containers (i.e., bottles and preserving jars) changed the Canadian housewife’s concept of preserving foods and are presently acquired by discriminating collectors and exhibited in the Royal Ontario Museum.”
Industry ’67 Centennial Perspective, The Canadian Manufacturers’ Association, May 1967

338 Wood
William Arthur Churchill Cheesbrough (1931)
Kyle, Cheesbrough and Company, dry goods merchants. Their building was located on 93 St. Peter Street.

340 Wood
Charles L. Benedict, Esquire (1903)

“Important Auction. Elaborate furniture, best Axminster carpets, Turkish rugs, real lace curtains, electric fittings, brass beds, gurney combination range, etc., at the residence of C. L. Benedict, Esq., No 340 Wood Avenue, Westmount.”
– Advertisement, April 1903

Dr. John Clark Murray

Dr. John Clark Murray – Image: Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Reverend J. Clark Murray (1894)
Professor, Faculty of Arts, Department of Logic, Mental and Moral Philosophy, McGill College and Vice-President of The Royal Society. He was one of the strongest supporters of the movement to allow admission of women into the university.

“…he was an early champion of women’s rights to education. Gillette writes of him, “While he still revered the ideal of home, he could with genuine indignation see through the Victorian ethos that made middle-class women “plumes for the vanity of men.” Gillette says Murray defined a woman as a “person,” independent being, and potential worker and believed she should have access to professional education in the same classes and on the same footing as men…”
– Margaret Gillette, interview October 5, 1981

Garden was awarded first place (row houses) in the Maisons Fleuries Contest (1991).

344 Wood
George A. Cowan (1902)
Junior member, Cowan Brothers real estate firm.

Auguste-Réal Angers

Auguste-Réal Angers – image: Library and Archives Canada

352 Wood
Sir Auguste-Réal Angers K. C. (1919)
Attorney General in the De Boucherville administration, former lieutenant governor of Quebec, and member of the Thompson administration with a seat in the Senate.

James McGoun (1900)
Secretary-Treasurer, Boston Rubber Company of Montreal. Manufacturers of rubber boots and shoes.

356 Wood
Frederick Ogilvy Hopkins (1939)
Assistant to the general passenger agent, Canadian Pacific Railway.

360 Wood
Edward Dixon Phillips (1903)
H. M. Customs Service

368 Wood
W. Stokes Greene (1945)
Assistant General Manager, Montreal Trust Company, and Chairman of Westmount City Council’s finance committee.

356 to 370 Wood Avenue

356 to 370 Wood Avenue

370 Wood
Thomas Matthew Morgan (1923)
Research chemist, Portland Cement, Longue Pointe. Obtained a patent for cement kilns in 1909.

John Edward Martin

John Edward Martin c 1925 – Image: Aegidius Fauteux, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

374 Wood
Mr. Justice J. E. Martin K.C. (1929)
Chief Justice of the Superior Court of the District of Montreal. Elected as the first vice-president of the Canadian Bar Association.
Demolished in 1955.

378 Wood
William Lyall (1894)
Peter Lyall and Son, construction firm. Their company constructed the Dominion Express Building in 1911 on St. James Street.
The building was altered into a two-family dwelling in September 1945.
Demolished 1955.

379 Wood
Lieutenant-Colonel Lacey R. Johnson (1915)
Commanding Officer, Montreal Heavy Brigade. In addition, he was the Chief Engineer with the Canadian Pacific Railway. Interestingly, in 1885, he was photographed with Lord Strathcona driving the last spike at Craigellachie, British Columbia. In addition, as supervisor of the Angus shops, he oversaw the manufacturing of artillery shells for the British Army.

The Last Spike

Donald Alexander Smith driving the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway – Image: Library and Archives Canada

380 Wood
Howard Ransom (1894)
Ransom. Forbes and Company, wholesale grocers located at 158 McGill Street.
Demolished 1955.

384 Wood
Demolished 1955.

William Joseph Poupore

William Joseph Poupore – Image: BAnQ numérique

386 Wood
William Joseph Poupore, M.P. (1918)
Image: William Joseph Poupore, 1898. (Public Domain)

“Fit ses études à l’Île-aux-Allumettes et au Business College, à Ottawa. Agriculteur, propriétaire de moulins puis entrepreneur à Chichester, Morrisburg (Ontario) et Montréal. S’occupa principalement de construction de chemins de fer, de digues et de canaux. S’associa avec Alexander Fraser en 1891 pour former la compagnie Poupore and Fraser. Copropriétaire et constructeur de l’aqueduc d’Aylmer en 1895. Membre de la société Poupore, McAuliff and Co. qui effectua les travaux du port de Sorel. Promoteur de la MacArthur Construction Co. of Canada. Président de Grand Calumet Mining Co. Ltd. en 1899, Three Rivers Gas, Heat and Power Co., Peerless Gas Light Co. de Montréal et W. J. Poupore Co. Ltd. Vice-président de la Canadian Federation of Boards of Trade and Municipalities en 1911. Directeur de la National Real Estate and Investment Co. en 1912. Membre de l’Engineers Club, des Chevaliers de Colomb et du Laurentian Club d’Ottawa.”

424 Wood Avenue

424 Wood

“Maire de Chichester de 1872 à 1882. Président de la Commission scolaire de Chichester de 1873 à 1881. Préfet du comté de Pontiac de 1880 à 1882. Élu député conservateur dans Pontiac à l’élection partielle du 6 mars 1882. Réélu en 1886 et sans opposition en 1890. Défait en 1892. Élu député conservateur à la Chambre des communes dans Pontiac en 1896. Ne s’est pas représenté en 1900.
Décédé à Westmount, le 17 août 1918, à l’âge de 72 ans et 3 mois. Inhumé à Montréal, dans le cimetière Notre-Dame-des-Neiges, le 19 août 1918.”

“Avait épousé à Chapeau, dans la paroisse Saint-Alphonsus, le 31 août 1870, sa cousine Eleonor Poupore, fille de John Poupore, fermier, marchand de bois, meunier, et de Marguerite Bouré.”
– National Assembly of Quebec

388 Wood
John Pinder (1900)
John Pinder and Company, wholesale grocers located at 301 Board of Trade Building.
The building was altered into a two-family dwelling in November 1945.
Demolished 1955.

418 Wood
John Ernest Millen (1916)
John Millen and Son. Bicycle retailers, located at 1325-1333 St. Catherine Street.

JMR Fairbairn

JMR Fairbairn – Image: Public Domain

424 Wood
J. M. R. Fairbairn (1945)
Chief Engineer, Canadian Pacific Railway. During his tenure with CPR, he oversaw the construction of over 1,000 miles of railway track. Recipient of the Sir John Kennedy Medal for outstanding merit in the engineering profession. President of the Engineering Institute of Canada and President of the American Railway Engineering Association.

425 Wood
Charles Stanley Hanson (1832)
Hansons and Macaulay, members of the Montreal Stock Exchange. Mr. Hanson succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning while changing a tire in his garage.

426 Wood
The building was altered into a two-family dwelling in May 1947.

431 Wood
Wing Commander Stansfield Tunstall Blaiklock (1946)
Awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.

484 Wood Avenue

484 Wood

462 Wood
The building was altered into a two-family dwelling in May 1945.

464 Wood
Thomas de Grey Stewart (1942)
Secretary, Anglo-Canadian Leather Company Limited. The company’s tannery was the only supplier of boots for the entire British Army during the First World War.

484 Wood
J. J. Laferme’s Residence (1916)
Builder and member of the Builders’ Exchange.

Roy Mitchell Wolvin (1917)
One of Canada’s most influential transportation magnates. His professional career included Chairman of the Executive Board of Canadian Vickers Ltd., President of the Montreal Transportation Company, Vice-President the Collingwood Shipbuilding Company, Managing Director of the Halifax Shipyards Ltd., President of the Maritime Wrecking Salvage Company, President of the Bishop Navigation Company and Director of the Dominion Steel Corporation.

486 Wood

486 Wood – Maison J. Omer Marchand

486 Wood (Maison J. Omer Marchand)
J. O. Marchand (1936)
Architect. In association with Stevens Haskell, works either planned or collaborated on include the reconstruction of the Parliament Building at Ottawa, the chapel of the Grand Seminary, Bordeaux Jail, St. Boniface Cathedral and the Montreal Water Works pumping station on McTavish Street.

Pierre Negrier (1946)
French Consul-General for Canada.

500 Wood
John Allan (1945)
Construction Engineer. His work includes the construction of the Nurses’ Home, Royal Victoria Hospital and the James Arthur House on Prince Arthur Street.

Feature image: Wood Avenue, from 310 to 338, by Andrew Burlone

Other images: Michael Walsh, unless indicated otherwise
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Michael Walsh is a long-time Westmount resident. He is happily retired from nearly four decades in the field of higher education technology. A “professional student” by nature, his academic training, and publishing, include statistical methodology, mycology and animal psychology. During this period, he was also an officer in the Canadian Armed Forces. Prior to moving to Montreal, he was contracted by the Ontario Ministry of Education evaluating bilingual primary and secondary school programs. Today, he enjoys spending time with his (huge) Saint Bernard while discovering the city’s past and sharing stories of the majestic trees that grace the parks and streets. He can be contacted at michaelld2003 @hotmail.com or through his blog Westmount Overlooked

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  1. Jacqueline Reid-Walsh

    Thanks again for an insightful article about a street we all walk on! what a checkered history of which the remaining houses only suggest. Thanks for the scrupulous research and writing as always.

  2. Martha Oppenheim

    We are thrilled to have the history of Wood Ave. We’ve lived at 464 Wood Ave. since 1979 having moved here from Paris. We are originally from NYC. Equally thrilled is someone who was doing a sentimental journey this summer visiting from Massachusetts. She lived at 464 Wood in the 1950’s before her family moved back to the USA. I’ve shared your site with her. Years ago her father also did a sentimental journey and visited the house. In fact, he did a repeat visit a few years later. This house seems to have quite a bit of sentimental value. There is a cast iron eagle above the door which we’ve always wondered about. He told us he put it there. I believe he told us he bought it in a hardware store in Vermont.
    Mordecai Richler also lived here and mentioned the house in his book Joshua Then and Now.
    Thank you for all the interesting and fun information. We’ve really enjoyed it.

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