Skip to main content

A Will to Incorporate Meets with Systematic Refusal

Black and white photograph of a gravel road lined with plant and log buildings. On the right, signs “Paris Cafe” and

The Main Street of Roc-d’Or in 1937 (BAnQ Rouyn-Noranda, Canadian National fonds).

Already in the 1930s, Roc-d’Or squatters were trying to buy the lots on which sat their homes. They believed this would lead to a legal village. The requests are systematically rejected by the Government of Quebec and in turn increases its attempts to repress the town.  Far from giving up, the squatters present two more requests. One has 106 signatures supporting their demands.

Newspaper article entitled “Roc-d’Or”, some fifteen lines long.

Article from the newspaper La Frontière on the choice of the name of Roc-d’Or (La Frontière, January 20, 1938, p.4).

By the end of 1937 these constant refusals spur the creation of a Chamber of Commerce.  The Chamber supports the municipal incorporation of the village, by dividing lots and opening streets. The members organize a major clean-up showing the good-will of the inhabitants. The goal was to improve the general outlook of the community. All these measures amounted to nothing. In the spring of 1938, 152 homeowners received a notice to leave the premises and to “forestall any new construction, modification or enlargement of buildings at this location”.

Black and white photograph of a two-storey building covered with tar paper. The front has six windows and four doors. On the side, a “Drink Coca-Cola” advertisement. On the right, the Frontenac Hotel. On the left, a log cabin.

Building, the top floor of which served as a public hall, including for dancing, circa 1942 (BAnQ Québec, ministère de la Culture et des Communications fonds).

Two more requests to incorporate the village followed. One in August 1941 and another in June 1942. Both received the same categorical refusal as before.

Newspaper article entitled Roc-d’Or, subtitled Directors of the Chamber of Commerce and projects, and made up of a dozen lines.

A La Frontière article covering the election to the Chambre de commerce de Roc-d’Or (La Frontière, january 27, 1938, p.5).