Place:Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension, Montréal TE, Québec, Canada

Alt namesVilleray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extensionsource: from redirect
Saint-Michelsource: settlement in borough
Saint-Michel-de-Lavalsource: original name for above
Parc-Extensionsource: settlement in borough
Villeraysource: settlement in borough
Coordinates45.533°N 73.6°W
Located inMontréal TE, Québec, Canada     (2002 - )
Also located inÎle-de-Montréal, Québec, Canada     ( - 2002)
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension is a borough (arrondissement) in the City of Montréal, Québec. It has a land area of 16.5 square kilometres (6.4 sq mi) and its population was 142,222 according to the 2011 Canadian Census.

The borough of Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension was created on January 1, 2002, following the municipal reorganization of Montreal. The borough includes the neighbourhoods of Villeray, Saint-Michel, and Parc-Extension.

Located in north-central Montreal, the pipe-shaped borough is bordered by Ahuntsic-Cartierville to the northwest, Montréal-Nord to the northeast, Saint-Léonard to the east, Rosemont—La Petite-Patrie to the southeast, Outremont to the southwest, and Le Plateau-Mont-Royal to the west.

Saint-Michel is the easternmost neighbourhood of the borough, Parc Extension is the westernmost neighbourhood and Villeray is in the centre.



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

Until the late nineteenth century, the area that today comprises the borough of Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension was predominately rural and dotted with farms. The inauguration of the Canadian Pacific Railway in 1878 and the arrival of electric streetcars in 1892 permitted the growth of Villeray. It was also in this era that the Italian immigrant community chose the neighbourhood as their preferred location.

In the early twentieth century, Park Extension became industrialized, and a dozen quarries opened leading to the economic development of the area. Beginning in the 1940s, the exploitation of the Miron and Francon quarries attracted workers to Saint Michel and Park Extension.

Construction of the Metropolitan Expressway was completed in 1959. It cut the area in two, but also attracted multiple industries, which opened along the expressway. In less than twenty years, the population of Saint Michel increased from 6,000 to 68,000 inhabitants.

Jobs derived from competing industries along with the efficient transportation infrastructure resulted in strong demographic growth. The growth of the manufacturing sector, notably the textile industry, were incentives for new immigrants to settle in the borough.

The borough of Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension was created on January 1, 2002, following the municipal reorganization of Montreal. The borough includes three neighbourhoods that were part of Montreal before the reorganization: Villeray, Saint-Michel, and Park Extension. The Saint-Michel neighbourhood was formerly an independent city known as Saint-Michel-de-Laval which was annexed to Montreal in 1968. Villeray was once also an autonomous municipality but has been part of the city of Montreal since 1905. Parc Extension left the parish of Saint-Laurent to join the city of Montreal in 1910.

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 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 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 and (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 Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension. 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.