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Posts Tagged ‘park and island railway’

When the town of Villeray was incorporated in 1896 it was mostly farmland.  By 1956 there was one left.

The agent of change in Villeray was the Park and Island Railway Company which operated  some tram lines in competition with the Montreal Street Railway Company.  The P and I had a line running up what is now Lajeunesse Street, pouring newly minted suburbanites into Villeray’s grid.  By the time it became a part of Montreal in 1905 it had a population of 800.  In the next 45 years it would explode.

The P and I was set up in 1885 to  “construire et de faire fonctionner des chemins de fer ou des tramways vers le Mont-Royal et diverses municipalités de l’île de Montréal, à partir de certains endroits de Montréal, afin de permettre aux familles de passer l’été à la campagne et aux chefs de famille de voir à leurs affaires en ville.”  Villeray was a sleepy little village at the time and not yet incorporated itself but in 1896 the P and I began construction on the line that would take the people of Montreal “à la campagne.”  It ran a block east of Berri.

But the Park and Island Railway Company, its fleet mostly destroyed by fire in June of 1896, never really got to it together.  They struggled along until  1911 when they were bought out by the Montreal Street Railway Company who would rip out the line east of Berri and place tracks along St. Denis instead, tracks plied by the (23) tram.  The space formerly taken by tracks east of Berri was converted into Rue Lajeunesse which, I suppose is why it’s so wide today.

By 1949 Villeray was hoppin’.

The increased population meant and increased need for schools, churches, baths and other institutions.  Most of the housing stock left in Villeray today is from this period or slightly earlier.

Julia and I wanted to try out and do a Hand to Mouth on the pupuseria Iris on Jarry so we decided to combine our love of stuffing our gullets with walking and taking pictures.  We started at our home in Parc-Ex and walked through Jarry Park but since we covered Jarry Park in our last Street Walking we’ll just start at the corner of Jarry and St. Laurent.

Right on the corner of Jarry and St. Laurent is Bellamine House.  I don’t really know anything about it except that it is or was some sort of religious structure.

In Montreal and on St. Dominique specifically, it’s always hockey season.

Villeray is flush with great alleys such as this one between St. Dominique and Casgrain.

That is one desolate goat.  As a matter of fact they all look pretty down.  WTF?

The church of St. Vincent Ferrer, serving Jarry Street since 1931.

Great sign?  You bet!  As we would soon see, Villeray is a cool sign goldmine.

You know what I really, really hate?  Those idiotic faux- balconies that grace the facades of so many condo developments today.  Does anyone out there have one of these dumbass looking things and like it?  Do they serve a purpose other than being exceedingly ugsome?

On St. Hubert we ran into this cat in a commercial window.  Mouser?  Perhaps.  Adorable?  Definitely.

And now we enter a lost world, a world painted by hand.  This stretch of St. Hubert between Jarry and Jean Talon is like stepping into a time machine and going back 30 years.  This kind of sign craftsmanship is on the way out, though some people are keeping the tradition alive.  Is there anything much cooler than hand-painted-on-glass storefronts?

Apparently this is also the Peruvian district that will probably be featured in a future Hand to Mouth.

Anyone ever been to Bar Stainless?

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