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An unsuccessful first attempt for Léo Papin

Photo of Léo Papin, smiling, in a suit and tie.

Léo Papin

In 1940, Léo, the youngest Papin boy, lives with his wife and their children in a lovely house on Sainte-Trinité street, at the heart of the town. Since his older brothers already hold all key positions in the family business, he decides to go into business with Léo Fortin and build a factory to manufacture shoes under the corporate name Leo’s Shoe.


With a focus on crafting children’s shoes, the factory settles between Lafayette Shoe Mfg. Co. Ltée and the Le Noblet-du-Plessis school, two blocks away from Jos. Papin Limitée, managed by his brother Joseph.

Picture showing the Leo’s shoe Reg’d plant. It is a two-storey, grey brick building. Behind it, we see the Lafayette plant with its water tower.

Leo’s shoe Reg’d

It is an unfortunate time to start a new business. The shoe industry is not exempt from rationing or confiscation of typical war goods. The leather and rubber supply needed to craft shoes is further complicated for factories that do not have contracts to make military boots. Such is the case for Leo’s Shoe, which is forced to cease operating, as Claire Papin explains.

Wartime (captions available in both FR and EN) – watch this video with the transcript (EN)