Skip to main content

Village life between the mills and the Church of the Visitation

Here are a few testimonials of people remembering life in the village of Sault-au-Récollet between 1900 and 1950. These are audio recordings from the Cité historia Fonds of the Société d’histoire d’Ahuntsic-Cartierville Collection.

In 1900, the village school, in the centre, looked like a large brick house with a mansard roof and dormer windows. On its left, a group of boys with their teacher. On its right, a wooden fence.

A group of school children in front of the second school in the village, circa 1900. The Gabrielite Brothers gave instruction there.


Mrs. Gagnon talks about the girls’ education, around 1910:

“At the Sacred Heart School, you had one schoolyard for the older girls and one for the younger ones; you had students coming in from as far as Rivière-des-Prairies, Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, they’d cross over on the ferry… Pont-Viau, Bordeaux, Ahuntsic, the Sault, Saint-Paul-de-la-Croix. When the Sault was annexed by the city, the school board bought schools so we could go in our own parish.”

Many boys and a few men are sitting by the front window of Jeff Geoffrion’s restaurant. Standing to their left, four men and a woman seem to make up the entire staff. There is a lit marquee in front of the entrance.

A group of children and adults on the sidewalk in front of Jeff Geoffrion’s restaurant and pool hall on Gouin East, facing Du Pont Street.


Paul Desjardins relates things his mother told him:

“… She said that at the end of Du Pont Street, at the intersection of Gouin Boulevard, right across, I’m guessing south, there was a convenience store, and that’s where the parents of Bernard Geoffrion, who played hockey for the Montreal Canadiens, used to live. My mother remembered that, when she was young, there was an outdoor skating rink where he would play hockey and shoot pucks at the side of the store. And then there was Mr. Beaudoin, that was the drugstore, a very small one if I remember correctly. It was so small that you couldn’t fit more than 4 people at the time. More than that and you had to wait outside.”

A newspaper clipping from the Journal de Montréal showing two photos of tennis players wearing skates on a rink. The upper one is taken closer, alongside the net. Daniel Danis, who was one of the club’s administrators, appears on the second photo, a general view, with the La Visitation school in the background.

A newspaper clipping from the Montréal-Matin showing two photos of tennis players wearing skates on a rink near the La Visitation school. Daniel Danis, one of the club’s administrators appears in the photograph.


 Daniel Danis describes an unusual winter sport:

“We would play tennis there. Even in the wintertime. We would make an ice rink. But the ball wouldn’t bounce on the ice, it would roll. So you had to hit it before it touched the ground. It sure was a lot of fun in the Sault.”