Google News Archives & Parc Mederic-Martin

Well I just discovered, a few days ago, that Google news has archives.  

Elliot dans le Parc Médéric-Martin (en mars 2009)

Well I just discovered, a few days ago, that Google news has archives.  This is an extraordinary help with my research since I really would not have time to go to the library and start going through films of newspapers.  So it was a pleasant surprise to test out the Google news archives with its easy search functionality. 

At the same time today, I just got my first wireless router so rather than spend hours away in the computer room doing research by myself, here I am with my wife on the couch, blogging away while she reads a book.  It’s a nice change that makes research more enjoyable.

So I started googling “St-Eusèbe” (the name I originally found around this neighbourhood when I started this blog) and found out there was indeed a ward with this name back in the 30s.  Looks like it stretched from De Lorimier to Wurtèle St. at one point in time.  It probably also headed a bit north above Sherbrooke St.  As I kept googling, I found early info on Parc Mederic-Martin which is my local park where I participate in the local residents’ committee which is working towards revitalizing the space (and more specifically, the north section which has been untouched since 1960). 

By piecing a few Montreal Gazette articles and my pamphlet book (On se retrouve au parc), here is what I was able to piece together in under an hour:  The park land (between Ontario to the south, Hochelaga to the north, Gascon to the east and Du Havre to the west) itself was an exchange in February 1933 between the city and the Canadian National Realties.  The value of this exchange was approx. $95K.  In 1937, the park was given a children’s wading pool, a playground and the ground was leveled but the space still looked more like an empty lot than anything else.  The park was named after Montreal Mayor Médéric Martin in 1953.  During the same decade, citizens got together to pressure the government to invest in the park.  In 1958, a major investment $150,000 worth of investment was proposed at City Council (I am unsure if it was fully approved or not) which helped pay the way to the park we see today on the North end (a French-style garden park that was made for relaxation).  Work finally began in the 1960s which included a fountain (that has been removed) helped design what we see today but sadly it appears that there hasn’t been much maintenance since that time.  Anyhow, I definitely have more research to do but it was nice to find this right at my finger tips!

Sources: On se retrouve au parc (Eric Giroux), Montreal Gazette (Feb.14, 1933; July 24, 1958; Sept.16, 1960; July 31, 1971)

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