Place:Pointe-Claire, Île-de-Montréal, Québec, Canada

Watchers
NamePointe-Claire
Alt namesSaint-Joachim-de-la-Pointe-Clairesource: original name of municipality
Pointe Clairesource: anglicization
TypeCity municipality
Coordinates45.45°N 73.833°W
Located inÎle-de-Montréal, Québec, Canada     ( - 2002)
Also located inMontréal TE, Québec, Canada     (2002 - 2006)
Île-de-Montréal, Québec, Canada     (2006 - )
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog


the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Pointe-Claire is an independent city and a suburb of Montreal on the Island of Montreal in Québec, Canada. Pointe-Claire is largely residential in character, but is also the site of a lot of economic activity, such as retail, light manufacturing, various corporate offices, and a hospital.

It covers a land area of 18.88 km2 (7.29 sq mi) with a population of 31,380 in the Canadian census of 2016. Point-Claire has a shoreline along Lac Saint-Louis on the south side of Ile de Montreal. It is bounded on the north by the neighbourhood of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, on the east by the borough of Dorval, on the south by Lac Saint-Louis, and on the west by the towns of Kirkland and Beaconsfield.

From 2002-2006 there were municipal reorganizations across the province, which included a reorganization of Montreal, Pointe-Claire was merged into Montreal and became a borough. However, after political changes (Quebec general election, 2003 and the Quebec municipal referendums, 2004) it was re-constituted as an independent city in 2006, along with a number of other boroughs.

Contents

History

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Pointe-Claire was first described by Nicolas Perrot in his account of 1669, and the name Pointe-Claire appeared on a map as early as 1686. Although Samuel de Champlain canoed through the area in 1613, he reported no village or dwelling visible. The toponym Pointe-Claire refers to the peninsula, or point, where the windmill, convent, and the Saint-Joachim de Pointe-Claire Church are sited. The point extends into Lake Saint-Louis and has a clear view of its surroundings.

The first grant of land under the seigneurial system was in 1684 to Pierre Cabassier, for a lot just east of Pointe Charlebois. Under the seigneurial system, the Sulpicians had to build a mill for the colonists, who in turn had to grind their grain there at a set fee.

In 1707, after the Great Peace of Montreal was signed in 1701, the Chemin du Roy (now Lakeshore Road) from Dorval to the western tip of Montreal Island was opened having been ordered by intendant Jacques Raudot,[1] and the parish was subdivided in three côtes: St. Rémy (present-day Boulevard-des-Sources), St. Jean and St. Charles. Between côtes St. Rémy and St. Charles lay 33 lots (numbered 145 to 177). These were generally three arpents wide by 20 or 30 deep. Up to this time Pointe-Claire had only been accessible by boat.

In 1713 the seminary formed a parish on the land that now includes Pointe-Claire and much of the West Island, and in 1714 a church was built at the point, at the site of the present-day church. Up to that time the area was served by an itinerant missionary priest. Initially the church was called Sain-Francois-de-Sales, but it was renamed six months later to Saint-Joachim de la pointe claire. The church and presbytery, both built of stone, formed a fort about two arpents (7000 m²) in area, surrounded by stakes. The construction was ordered by Governor Beauharnois our of fear of the Iroquois. The point was used as a stopover by voyageurs en route for the back country.[1]

In 1728-9 the first lots were granted, near the fort, to a blacksmith and to a carpenter. By 1765 there were 783 residents, 74 lots owned by 35 individuals, and 19 houses, some built of stone, but most of wood.[1]

In 1854 the municipality of Saint-Joachim-de-la-Pointe-Claire was defined, and the name eventually shortened to Pointe-Claire.[2]

The Grand Trunk Railway built a line in 1855, linking Pointe-Claire to Montreal. This brought people, and with them property development in an area that up to then had been largely agricultural. It also improved the welfare of farmers by providing a ready market for their goods. Suburban development began in 1893 when Otto Frederick Lilly acquired land spanning Boulevard Saint Jean. He used his influence with the Canadian Pacific Railway to have a station added to the line at the end of Cedar avenue, which he also paved from there down to Lakeshore Road. Both sides of Cedar Avenue were built up by 1920. Provincial highway number 2 (now Autoroute 20) was built alongside the railway in 1940, following expropriation of property. This led to a move of the much of the town from the south to the north of the highway, namely the town hall, recreation centre, police station, and fire station.[3]

After the British North America Act of 1867 Pointe-Claire was included in the new federal riding of Jacques Cartier. In the election of the 7th of August, the men (suffrage did not extend to women until 1940) of Pointe-Claire elected the Conservative Guillaume Gamelin Gaucher.

In 1900 a major fire destroyed much of village. It was discovered in an uninhabited building around 02:00 on the morning of 22 May. The wind caused the fire to spread to surrounding houses. The only water supply was from village wells or carried in buckets from the river. A small two-wheeled hose reel and hand pump was the only village fire protection. Locals failed to put out the fire and asked for help from Montreal. Equipment was sent by train but did not arrive in time to help. The worst of the damage was on the rue de l'église. In all about 30 buildings were destroyed, including the post office, the town hall, and the residences of about 200 people.

From 2002-2006 there were municipal reorganizations across the province, which included a reorganization of Montreal, Pointe-Claire was merged into Montreal and became a borough. However, after political changes (Quebec general election, 2003 and the Quebec municipal referendums, 2004) it was re-constituted as an independent city in 2006, along with a number of other boroughs.

Research Tips

Maps and Gazetteers

  • The Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) website contains several series of maps of Montreal made at different dates (starting in the 1600s) as well as some of other parts of Quebec. The 1879 series for the Ile de Montreal includes maps of the towns and villages present on the island at that time and includes the ownership of land in the less populated areas. Most of the text in the collection is in French, but the index is a mixture of French and English depending on the language of the original cartographer. The Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) website also has other textual collections of interest to the genealogist.
  • Official Transport Quebec Road Map. From a province-wide map showing the administrative regions you can click to an overview of a region. Responding to the "cliquez" on this map brings up a standard road-map of the area which will blow up to readable magnification. The whole website is in French, but the only words you need are "cliquez" and the name of the administrative region.
  • Commission de toponymie Quebec--Quebec's data bank of official Québec place names, commonly known as "TOPOS sur le Web". The website is in French and paragraphs can be translated with Google Translate.

French names for places

Because French is the one official language of Québec, WeRelate employs the French names for places within the province. Many placenames will be similar to their counterparts in English, with the addition of accents and hyphens between the words. The words "Saint" and "Sainte" should be spelled out in full. Placenames should be made up of four parts: the community (or parish, or township, or canton), the historic county, Québec, Canada. You may find placenames red-linked unless you follow these conventions.

Local government structure

The Province of Québec was made up of counties and territories. Counties in Québec were established gradually as the land was settled by Europeans. Each county included communities with some form of local governement (often church-based). Territories referred to the undeveloped sections under the control of the government in charge of the whole province at the time. The communities included townships and/or cantons, depending on the English/French makeup of the county concerned, and also included ecclesiastical parishes with somewhat different boundaries which could overlap with local townships or cantons. Ecclesiastical parish registers have been retained and are available to view (online through Ancestry). Since the 1980s many small townships and parishes are merging into larger "municipalities", often with the same name as one of their components.

Beginning in 1979 the historic counties of Québec were replaced by administrative regions and regional county municipalities (abbreviated as RCM in English and MRC in French). Regional county municipalities are a supra-local type of regional municipality, and act as the local municipality in unorganized territories within their borders. (An unorganized area or unorganized territory is any geographic region in Canada that does not form part of a municipality or Indian reserve. There is a list in Wikipedia.) There are also 18 equivalent territories (TEs) which are not considered to be RCMs. These are mostly large cities with their suburbs, but include 4 very large geographical areas where the population is sparse.

The administrative regions (above the RCMs in the hierarchy) are illustrated on a map in Wikipedia. The regions are used to organize the delivery of provincial government services and there are conferences of elected officers in each region. The regions existed before the change from historic counties to regional county municipalities.

The above description is based on various articles in Wikipedia including one titled Types of municipalities in Quebec

NOTE: WeRelate refers to Québec communities as being within their historic counties because this is the description which will be found in historical documents. FamilySearch and Quebec GenWeb follow the same procedure. However, it is always wise to know the current RCM as well in order to track these documents down in local repositories and also to describe events which have taken place since 1980.

Because the former or historic counties and the modern regional county municipalities can have the same names but may cover a slightly different geographical area, the placenames for Regional County Municipalities or "Territories Equivalent to regional county municipalities" are distinguished by including the abbreviation "RCM" or "TE" following the name.

Historic counties (which were taken out of use in about 1982) were made up of townships or cantons. The two words are equivalent in English and French. Eventually all the Québec cantons in WeRelate will be described as townships. Many townships disappeared before 1980 with the growth of urbanization.

If the word parish is used, this is the local ecclesiastical parish of the Roman Catholic Church. Parish boundaries and township or canton boundaries were not always the same.

The WeRelate standard form for expressing a place in Québec is township/canton/parish, historic county, Québec, Canada,
or local municipality, administrative region, Québec, Canada for places established after the changes of the 1980s.

Censuses

Censuses were taken throughout the 19th century in Quebec (or in Lower Canada or Canada West before 1867). Surprisingly most of them have been archived and have been placed online free of charge by the Government of Canada (both microfilmed images and transcriptions). All can be searched by name or browsed by electoral district. The contents vary. Those of 1825, 1831 and 1841 record only the householders by name, but remaining members of each household were counted by sex and by age range. From 1851 through 1911 each individual was named and described separately. The amount of information increased throughout the century, and in 1891 people were asked for their birthdate and the year of immigration to Canada. Unfortunately, enumerators were required only to record the birthplace province or country (if an immigrant). Specific birthplaces have to be discovered elsewhere.

The links below are to the introductory page for the specific census year. It is wise to read through this page first to see what will be provided on a specific census, and what will be lacking. Links to the records follow from these pages.

The 1921 census is available through Ancestry.ca and is also free of charge.

Other Sources

  • FamilySearch Wiki Information for the province and for indivdiual counties, and places within counties.
  • The Drouin Collection: explaining its history and purpose in a FamilySearch Wiki article
  • The Drouin Collection provided by Ancestry.com and Ancestry.ca (pay websites).
  • Genealogy Quebec in French, the website of the Drouin Institute. (also a pay website) with more databases than are on Ancestry.
  • Quebec GenWeb (English version--for the most part)
  • The Quebec Familiy History Society is the largest English-language genealogical society in Quebec. Most of their services are members only, but their Bulletin Board has useful tips for everyone. These may change from time to time.
  • La Mémoire du Québec online. Édition 2017. "Le dictionnaire des noms propres du Québec." In other words, an up-to-date gazetteer of places in Québec organized as a wiki. Each entry is a timeline.
  • Eastern Townships of Quebec Connector. A blogpost with links to many websites dealing with Quebec genealogy, particularly for those who don't speak French well. All parts of Quebec are mentioned.
  • Google "translate French to English" for those words and phrases you can't quite remember from schooldays.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Pointe-Claire, Quebec. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.