Neighbourhood La Fontaine

History

1845 1903

Before 1903

In the 19th century, the territory comprised farmland belonging to the family of James Logan. In 1845, the land was sold to the federal government to be made into a military parade ground. In 1874, the City of Montreal rented part of it, giving birth to Logan Park, renamed La Fontaine Park in 1901.

By this time, some of the sites recognized as jewels of Montreal's cultural heritage were already in place, such as the Institution des Sourdes-Muettes, Fire Station No. 16, the Cherrier School and the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

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Ferme Logan



Before 1903

In the 19th century, the territory comprised farmland belonging to the family of James Logan. In 1845, the land was sold to the federal government to be made into a military parade ground. In 1874, the City of Montreal rented part of it, giving birth to Logan Park, renamed La Fontaine Park in 1901.

By this time, some of the sites recognized as jewels of Montreal's cultural heritage were already in place, such as the Institution des Sourdes-Muettes, Fire Station No. 16, the Cherrier School and the Church of the Immaculate Conception.

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Fête de la reine à Montréal: la grande parade des volontaires sur le parc Logan et le Champ de Mars ("Le Monde illustré", vol. 13, no. 361, 6 juin 1896, p. 88)



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Parc Lafontaine (Parc Logan)



1904 1920

1903

It was in 1903, when Montreal was redivided into 18 districts, that the old “Saint-Jacques North district” was first designated as the “La Fontaine neighbourhood”. This 230-acre area was bounded by Saint-Denis, de Montigny (renamed de Maisonneuve), and de la Visitation streets and the old city limits (near the existing Rachel street). Merchants, professionals and businessmen were drawn to the neighbourhood by the fresh air of the nearby countryside.

At the turn of the 20th century, many more institutional buildings and monuments were erected, such as the former Montreal Library, the old Palestre nationale and Hippolyte La Fontaine School. The monuments to Dollard des Ormeaux and Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine were inaugurated in prestigious La Fontaine Park.

Between 1890 and 1910, the face of Sherbrooke Street East was gradually transformed by magnificent, richly furnished homes. Emblems of the rising francophone upper middle class, they belonged to businessmen, lawyers, bankers, doctors and other notables. Some houses were built of Montreal greystone, while others were more modestly dressed in brick. Often, less wealthy owners occupied the ground floor and rented out the upper storeys.

Because the City required the builders to set back the buildings from the street, they compensated for the lost space by building exterior staircases, which have become a hallmark of Montreal architecture. These new dwellings gave substance to the neighbourhood and defined its character.

Image : HM_ARC_000093

Montréal, Le Parc Lafontaine (Lafontaine Park)

8.7 cm
13.8 cm


1903

It was in 1903, when Montreal was redivided into 18 districts, that the old “Saint-Jacques North district” was first designated as the “La Fontaine neighbourhood”. This 230-acre area was bounded by Saint-Denis, de Montigny (renamed de Maisonneuve), and de la Visitation streets and the old city limits (near the existing Rachel street). Merchants, professionals and businessmen were drawn to the neighbourhood by the fresh air of the nearby countryside.

At the turn of the 20th century, many more institutional buildings and monuments were erected, such as the former Montreal Library, the old Palestre nationale and Hippolyte La Fontaine School. The monuments to Dollard des Ormeaux and Louis-Hippolyte La Fontaine were inaugurated in prestigious La Fontaine Park.

Between 1890 and 1910, the face of Sherbrooke Street East was gradually transformed by magnificent, richly furnished homes. Emblems of the rising francophone upper middle class, they belonged to businessmen, lawyers, bankers, doctors and other notables. Some houses were built of Montreal greystone, while others were more modestly dressed in brick. Often, less wealthy owners occupied the ground floor and rented out the upper storeys.

Because the City required the builders to set back the buildings from the street, they compensated for the lost space by building exterior staircases, which have become a hallmark of Montreal architecture. These new dwellings gave substance to the neighbourhood and defined its character.

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“Atlas of the City and Vicinity in four volumes : volume 1" / Chas E. Goad Co. - 1913, plate 44
1913


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In Lafontaine Park
About 1913
8.6 cm
13.7 cm
© Collection Dinu Bumbaru, © Héritage Montréal


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Montréal, Lafontaine Park, the Hot houses

8.8 cm
13.5 cm
© Collection Dinu Bumbaru, © Héritage Montréal


1921 1932

The official boundaries of the La Fontaine district were significantly reduced in 1921, down to about 195 acres. The portion south of Sherbrooke Street was reallocated, and new boundaries were set by Papineau Street to the east and Rachel Street to the north, while Saint-Denis was maintained. These modifications followed a trend toward greater population density in the neighbourhood.

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"Lafontaine ward"



The official boundaries of the La Fontaine district were significantly reduced in 1921, down to about 195 acres. The portion south of Sherbrooke Street was reallocated, and new boundaries were set by Papineau Street to the east and Rachel Street to the north, while Saint-Denis was maintained. These modifications followed a trend toward greater population density in the neighbourhood.

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"L'hôpital Notre-Dame, rue Sherbrooke Est, et le tunnel pour les piétons, qui débouche sur le Parc Lafontaine" ("La Presse", 31 décembre 1932)

18.5 cm
25 cm


1933 1945

1933-1945

Recession

The Great Crash of 1929 brought an end to residential construction in the neighbourhood. The single-family dwellings were adapted to the needs of a new population of more modest means. The lodgings were denser, and families huddled together to counter exorbitant rent increases. Rich homeowners abandoned La Fontaine for Outremont. The La Fontaine district took on a new appearance.

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La Fontaine Lumineuse au Parc Lafontaine/The Illuminated Fountain, Lafontaine Park

8.5 cm
13.6 cm


1933-1945

Recession

The Great Crash of 1929 brought an end to residential construction in the neighbourhood. The single-family dwellings were adapted to the needs of a new population of more modest means. The lodgings were denser, and families huddled together to counter exorbitant rent increases. Rich homeowners abandoned La Fontaine for Outremont. The La Fontaine district took on a new appearance.

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The Illuminated fountain, La Fontaine Park

8.7 cm
13.7 cm


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Centre Calixa Lavallée



1946 1975

1945-1975

City Living

Until the 1970s, the landscape of the La Fontaine district was bleak. Homeowners did not have the means to renovate and tenants did not have the incentive; some moved to the suburbs. High-rises sprang up around La Fontaine Park. Highway projects are developed leading, in the 1950's, to the opening of Berri street.

Still, in the mid-1950s, La Fontaine Park became home to municipal projects for the enjoyment of Montreal families: the open-air Théâtre de Verdure, and the unforgettable Jardin des Merveilles

Image : HM_ARC_001028

Théâtre de verdure



1945-1975

City Living

Until the 1970s, the landscape of the La Fontaine district was bleak. Homeowners did not have the means to renovate and tenants did not have the incentive; some moved to the suburbs. High-rises sprang up around La Fontaine Park. Highway projects are developed leading, in the 1950's, to the opening of Berri street.

Still, in the mid-1950s, La Fontaine Park became home to municipal projects for the enjoyment of Montreal families: the open-air Théâtre de Verdure, and the unforgettable Jardin des Merveilles

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Parc La Fontaine, Jardin des merveilles - Conditions existantes - démolition des équip. et infra.

80.5 cm
102.5 cm


Image : HM_ARC_000140

Parc La fontaine - jardin des merveilles - enclos du petit éléphant - détails

70 cm
115.5 cm


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La Poulette Grise, Garden of Wonders, Lafontaine Park

8.7 cm
13.7 cm
© Collection Dinu Bumbaru, © Héritage Montréal


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Ancien pavillon d'entrée du Jardin des merveilles, Parc La Fontaine

2.3 cm
3.5 cm


Image : HM_ARC_001202

"200 000 personnes prévues au Jardin des Merveilles" ("Guide du Nord", vol. XXX, no 19, jeudi 14 mai 1964, p. 3)

38.5 cm
28.5 cm


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Parc Lafontaine, Rues Amherst et Rachel

20.2 cm
25.2 cm


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Édicule de la station Sherbrooke



1976 2006

Since 1975

The start of a new era …

Officially, the designation “La Fontaine neighbourhood” no longer exists. The redefinition of the district boundaries, which made it a part of the Plateau Mont-Royal district (and today of the borough of the same name), coincided with a return to the inner city, which has given the neighbourhood a new air of prosperity: luxuriously renovated houses, cultural vitality and renewed commercial activity. The area still has a few surprises left in it!

Image : HM_ARC_001107

Le théâtre de Verdure en été



Since 1975

The start of a new era …

Officially, the designation “La Fontaine neighbourhood” no longer exists. The redefinition of the district boundaries, which made it a part of the Plateau Mont-Royal district (and today of the borough of the same name), coincided with a return to the inner city, which has given the neighbourhood a new air of prosperity: luxuriously renovated houses, cultural vitality and renewed commercial activity. The area still has a few surprises left in it!

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Bassin du lac au Parc La Fontaine

2.3 cm
3.5 cm


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École primaire supérieure Le Plateau