Montreal: A Hot Stroll Through Sainte-Cunégonde


Yesterday, being perhaps the hottest day of the summer thus far, with high heat and humidity warnings in place, I foolishly decided to take a stroll. The parts of Montreal I passed through included St. Henri, Little Burgundy (I can’t get used to La Petite-Bourgogne … ), and Point St. Charles, known as The Point to locals.

Much of this area was once the Parish of Sainte-Cunégonde, according to the  Grand répertoire du patrimoine bâti de Montréal, July 4, 2011. It was originally part of the parish of Saint-Henri-des-Tanneries, it was set up as the village of Delisle in 1864, becoming Sainte-Cunégonde in 1876, and a town in 1884. The name derived from St. Cunigunde of Luxembourg, wife of St. Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor, a reference to the neighbouring parish.

Today the area is well gentrified with many condos built-up on streets once lined with working-class housing.

 

What was once the parish church of St. Cunegonde
What was once the parish church of Sainte-Cunégonde
Evidence of the district's musical heritage.
Evidence of the district’s musical heritage.
The railway was once the main employer of St. Cunegonde residents.
The railway was once the main employer of  residents of Sainte-Cunégonde
Parc St. Cunegonde
Parc Sainte-Cunégonde
Parc St. Cunegonde
Parc Sainte-Cunégonde

The neighbourhood is now a safe place to raise a family, yet in April of 1906 Sainte-Cunégonde was the scene of the horrific murder of five year old Edith May Ahern. The lengthy, and sensational, newspaper reports of the incident and trial from the Montreal Star newspaper can be found here. Interestingly the first report states ” Nothing so horrible in the nature of child murder has occurred in this vicinity since some four years ago when a Swede named Hansen killed a little boy near the railway track in Westmount for the sake of a few pennies”. I wrote about this tragic event last year – Local history: Childhood memories and murder.

 

From Montreal's The Gazette. April 5, 1906
From Montreal’s The Gazette. April 5, 1906

 

Me DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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