A Canadian Family

Genealogy & Vintage Postcards

Growing Up In Ville Lasalle, Quebec (1950s/60s)

This vintage black and white postcard of the Mercier Bridge Cabins (Villa du Pont Mercier), first caught my eye because I grew up in the Montreal suburb of Ville Lasalle – and because of the odd telephone number (ELwood 0148) in the top right hand corner.

LasalleCabins

My family moved to Ville Lasalle in the late 1950s. It was still relatively undeveloped. There was no Lasalle Hospital, Civic Centre or high school! As a matter of fact it was a few years before the first big department stores opened. It was quite an adjustment for us to leave a third floor walkup in a French-speaking, Catholic neighbourhood of Verdun and settle down in a modern little bungalow in the predominantly English-speaking, Protestant neighbourhood of Riverside Park but many young families were making the move because it seemed to be a great place to raise children!Rotary

One of the first things my parents did when we first arrived was to teach me and my sister our new telephone number – Dominic6 – 7025. The prefix made it easier for us to remember the number and it also instantly told you where someone lived. I remember that my friends in Verdun had the prefix POntiac. The prefix was always a word based on two letters of the rotary dial – in my case DO stood for the numbers 36.I found a great online resource about heritage telephone numbers and in a section called Montreal telephone exchange geography it says that DOminic was in use from 1959 until the early sixties. The ELwood prefix on the postcard was used between1925 and 1958. Today I live in Chateauguay so out of curiosity I also checked out our original prefix. It turns out it was OXford – so now I know why Chateauguay has a taxi-cab company called Oxford!

Nowadays telephone numbers – like so much else – have changed. First, the letter prefixes are no longer used. Second, the numerical 3-digit number no longer refers only to a specific geographical area. And third, we now have to dial an extra 3-digit regional number in front of our traditional 7 digit number.

In the case of telephone numbers, more modern is not necessarily better!

 

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Comments From Readers

Several readers have mentioned in the comment boxes below that they remember the the old telephone numbers with prefixes – which tells me that this must have been a North America wide coding system – and a few actually remembered their prefix:

Sheila (A Postcard A Day)

ROpley 3656 was our number for 20 years. During that time it changed twice – the Ropley part was changed to 77 and shared by other villages. It’s uniqueness had gone, so the area code came in without a murmur on my part

AnitaNH (Collage & Life)

Happy PPF from New Hampshire! My grandmother was born in Quebec and moved to Salem, Mass. I still remember her phone number: PIoneer-4-4758. Thanks for bringing back memories.

Viridian (Viridian’s Postcard Blog)

I barely remember the letter prefixes but my mom does. The NYC TV station commercials sometimes gave the company’s phone # as MUrray Hill X-XXXX. If you like Glenn Miller’s songs, then you know one – PEnnsylvania 6-5000!”

Related Posts:

In Living Memory: The Twentieth Century

Vintage Postcards of Quebec

Bridges Over The St-Lawrence River(1): Honore Mercier Bridge, Quebec

Further Reading:

La Salle (Quebec, Canada) — Britannica Online Encyclopedia

October 27, 2009 - Posted by | . |

41 Comments »

  1. I’ve never been good at remembering phone numbers. I can remember my childhood phone number but not the one where I later lived for 25 years.

    Comment by postcardy | October 29, 2009 | Reply

  2. I can still remember my childhood phone number…and I wish we still used the letter prefixes. Sigh

    Comment by chrizztine | October 29, 2009 | Reply

  3. Ropley 3656 was our number for 20 years. During that time it changed twice – the Ropley part was changed to 77 and shared by other villages. It’s uniqueness had gone, so the area code came in without a murmur on my part.

    Comment by Sheila | October 30, 2009 | Reply

  4. Happy PPF from New Hampshire! My grandmother was born in Quebec and moved to Salem, Mass. I still remember her phone number: PIoneer-4-4758. Thanks for bringing back memories.

    Comment by AnitaNH | October 30, 2009 | Reply

  5. I remember the old telephone numbers and being on a party line! Everyone had a different ring — sometimes!!!!!

    Comment by Snap | October 30, 2009 | Reply

  6. I barely remember the letter prefixes but my mom does. The NYC TV station commercials sometimes gave the company’s phone # as MUrray Hill X-XXXX.

    If you like Glenn Miller’s songs, then you know one – PEnnsylvania 6-5000!

    Comment by Viridian | October 30, 2009 | Reply

  7. How amazing to hear how different things once were, and how things have changed. I remember party lines, but not letters in the phone numbers. Amazing! Thank you for sharing this history. I enjoyed every word.

    Comment by Beth | October 31, 2009 | Reply

  8. Wow–that is a VERY interesting postcard. I loved the story behind it, too. Thank you for sharing! Happy PFF,

    Comment by Beth | November 13, 2009 | Reply

  9. elwood 2704 dominic62425 oxford 691 0306 lasalle to mercier. and still there now.
    looking for info for lasalle drive in on lasalle blve. on the water front circa 1958.

    The owners were the Lapierres. I even think he was in city politics in Lasalle. Any idea of where abouts for now, i would love to hear from them. I remember one son was Marcel. He was born in the 1940’s. so anyone who gives a hoot about this, help, I need answers.

    Love lasalle – was there when Murphy’s General Store was where Steinberg used to be, now a Sammy store.

    was there when first gas explosion on jean milot mid 1950’s and sister was on bergevin 2nd explosion where many died.

    Husband and son used to work at Labatts where as a child, I went apple picking .i could go on forever…

    My father in law was president went it went to co-op

    Answered privately

    Comment by SUZANNE LACROIX | January 6, 2011 | Reply

  10. as for the mercier bridge, my grandfather built the first one that went through the stone tunnel( caughnawaga, now khanawake) that you see going towards the right off ramp towards chateauguay.
    THE STREET LIGHTS AT THE BINGO HALL USED TO BE A CURVE WITH A STOP SIGN. MANY ACCIDENTS THERE.TOO MANY MEMORIES. I’VE NOTICED THESE POSTS ARE DATED 2 YEARS AGO!!!
    HELLO PEOPLE , LET’S KEEP THIS GOING

    Answered privately

    Comment by SUZANNE LACROIX | January 6, 2011 | Reply

  11. I lived in Lasalle heights when the gaz explosion happened, I lived at 404 Des Oblats,apt 2 my phone number was Dominic (365-2399. My parent moved us there because
    she had 4 children and like Suzanne said it was a great place for famalies, I used to go to Cecil Newman School.I saw the exits to the Mercier Brige being blased to get to the bridge and walked along the tops of the sides Lasalle is so built up now and I still remember what it was like back then.

    Comment by Elaine Byers | August 31, 2012 | Reply

    • I grew up in Ville LaSalle during the 50’s and 60’s. I remember the MonMart on Champlain near Bishop power going up. The 1st shopping center. BBQ chickens Friday nights for 99 cents. Get a ticket stand in line and get your chicken at Steinbergs. Then the Miracle Mart across the street. The best smoked meat was on Lasalle Blvd. Everything was bush after 9th avenue. 1st Dairy Queen on Lafleur near labatts. Great memories.Bronx Park elementary School. The movie theatre on corner or 8th and..??

      Comment by Gail | January 24, 2013 | Reply

      • Theatre was at the corner of 7th and Central

        Comment by 'Lesley Ford | September 29, 2014 | Reply

  12. Just one correction to the story: Verdun in the ’50’s was an English speaking neighborhood and Lasalle was mixed…I grew up in Lasalle from 1951 and it was definitely considered more French speaking than Verdun.

    Comment by Eileen macfarlane | January 19, 2013 | Reply

  13. Moved to 37avenue attended verdun high school.loved the area.great neighbours the scotts who eventually moved to calgary.moved to florida then to vancouver as did most of my family.riverside park was a great place to grow up.when my youngest son was filming in montreal he visited old street and house looks much the same.

    Comment by l stewart | January 21, 2013 | Reply

    • i lived on 37th the scotts were our neighbours as well then moved to 4oth until 2010

      Comment by jimmy | February 21, 2017 | Reply

  14. Elaine Byers – I, too, went to Bronx Park Elementary, and spent my weekly allowance of fifty cents at the movie theatre every saturday… thirty-five cents for the admission, ten cents for a bag of chips and a 5 cent chocolate bar. we moved away, north to Deux Montagnes a couple of months before my twelfth birthday. I often wonder whatever happened to some of my classmates…

    Comment by Mahara Sinclaire | May 15, 2013 | Reply

    • I also went to that school

      Comment by 'Lesley Ford | September 29, 2014 | Reply

    • I too attended Bronx Park (kindergarten to grade 7) (1966 to 1972)
      Watched many movies at that theater on Saturday afternoons.
      There was a store directly across from Bronx Park (Kerwees?) that I remeber well as I would load up on candy to eat at recess. Lived at 4th and Broadway then 14th Ave. and finally Bonnier St.
      I have lived in Ontario since 1974.

      Cheers Russ Berrouard

      Comment by RT Berrouard | December 4, 2014 | Reply

  15. Anne Humphries…I lived on 7th avenue right beside the movie theater. I went to Bronx Park School and later Verdun High School. My ex husband Robert Todasco lived on Lacharite and many of my friends today still live in Lasalle. I live curently on 9th ave near Champlain. Lasalle have sure changed over the years but is still the best place to live……

    Comment by Anne Humphries-Todasco | May 19, 2013 | Reply

    • I believe I lived just a few doors down the street from you and we played together occasionally

      Comment by 'Lesley Ford | September 29, 2014 | Reply

  16. Lived on 8th Ave near Central in the middle 50’s 55 to 56. Went to Bronx Park and to the Movie theater. Nothing but fields after 9th Ave in those days. Moved to Rosemere in 56.

    Comment by Ken Phillips | June 23, 2013 | Reply

    • Lived on 2nd (2 places) and 6th and went to Bronx Park from ’53 to ’59 then Verdun High. Remember the 9th avenue “beach” on the river. I actually landed on this page because I was looking for the name of the movie theatre.

      Comment by Dorry Rice | May 21, 2015 | Reply

    • I lived on LaSalle Blvd between 6th and 7th until June 57…

      Comment by richerj2017 | February 23, 2017 | Reply

  17. Alan Dougall

    I went to Bronk Park. Left Canada for Scotland 1955. Lived at 356 Fourth Ave. My grandmother lived on Eight Ave. it was woods after that. We had a holiday home on Goat Island where we spent most of the summer.

    Comment by Alan Dougall | October 14, 2013 | Reply

  18. There’s more than one Facebook Page about LaSalle.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/2545765378/

    There’s one for LaSalle Heights as well, and there could be one or two more I’m not aware of.

    Comment by Eva Thomas | March 11, 2014 | Reply

  19. i lived at 57 willibroad
    Verdun
    quebec my name is Robert maskell my e mail is mask9627@gmail.com I went to lasalle rd school
    anyone remember me text me thanks

    Comment by robert maskell | October 7, 2014 | Reply

  20. I first lived in Verdun, but soon afterwards, my parents moved to LaSalle Heights, then we moved to 8th Ave. I attended Bronx Park from 1963-1965. We then moved to Boucherville to be closer to where my father worked, but returned to LaSalle from time to time to visit friends. Great memories

    Comment by David Asselin | June 20, 2015 | Reply

    • Ours was a Dominic number, too, but I can’t remember it. They were still using some “name” prefixes when we moved to Brossard in 1963 because our number was ORchard ? -1325. POntiac was the prefix in Crawford Park.

      I went to Bronx Park from 1953-1959, then Verdun High.

      Comment by Dorry Rice | June 25, 2015 | Reply

  21. Ohhh by the way, our phone number was DO6-3868

    Comment by David Asselin | June 20, 2015 | Reply

  22. My family moved to Belec Street behind Sylvestre St in December 1965,next to that was only a bowling Alley and the MonMart. The surrounding area was totally undeveloped, fields, and I had to walk in the cold winter over the aqueduct and up Bishop Power to 8th and Broadway to take the 58 and transfer to get to Verdun High each day. Very cold in those wet woolly winter clothes when the snow fell. There was a Miracle Mart, Greenberg’s and Steinberg’s as well as a Pic Nic restaurant with stools along the aisle of the mall. back then la Verendrye was only2 lanes wide. I watched Shevshenko be bulldozed in and we later moved to Serre when the duplexes there were just built on one side of the street and Robert was the cross street.

    Comment by S Best | October 2, 2015 | Reply

    • Hi, If you lived on serre street, you must remember Olympic mini golf on shevshenko. it opened around 1971. around the same time the area got built up. I still have pictures of the mini golf with the duplexes on serre in the background, taken around 1975.

      Comment by Randall | January 3, 2016 | Reply

  23. I lived on 1st Ave from 1947 to 1957, & over the years on 2nd Ave, 9th Ave, Broadway & Champlain. Our phone # in the 50’s with a party line was TRenmore 9959. I also went to Bronx Park School & then Verdun High. Does anyone have any school pictures from Bronx Park School from 1947 to 1952. Would love to see them. I loved our Principal Miss Mabe. My sister still lives in LaSalle. I have lived in Toronto since 1975.

    Comment by Eileen Rutherford | October 5, 2015 | Reply

  24. Hi!
    I am looking for any information on a Miss K (or C) Goldthorpe . She would have travelled from Liverpool in late October of 1965. Her address was 25 Orchard St Lasalle Quebec. Thank you so much!!!

    Comment by Samantha | February 20, 2016 | Reply

  25. Interesting find; my name is Jacques Richer, I lived on LaSalle BLVD, between 6th and 7th avenues. We moved to LaSalle from Verdun in 1949 and I graduated high school at Ecole Secondaire LaSalle (then on 8th Ave.) in 1957. My family moved to Hamilton right after my graduation and I joined the RCAF.
    I returned to LaSalle, as did my family in 1960. In 1961 I moved to a new apartment on 37th Ave – bordering the golf course and stayed until ~1968 and then moved on.
    I now live in Northern Alberta during the summers and in Yuma, AZ over the winter.
    Should anyone want to contact me, my email is richerJ@live.ca.

    Comment by Jacques Richer | April 15, 2016 | Reply

    • lived on 37th ave went to verdun then to 40th ave

      Comment by jimmy | February 21, 2017 | Reply

  26. where was the golf course locate does anyone remember

    Comment by sylvain st-denis | May 23, 2016 | Reply

    • The golf course was on LaSalle Blvd. at the point in the river where it was near the rapids and the waves churned up. My high
      school friend’s wedding reception was held there in the mid60s

      Comment by Dorry Rice | May 24, 2016 | Reply

      • Yep, my wedding reception was at the golf course in ’62, Salcony’s band played at the reception.

        Comment by Jacques Richer | May 26, 2016 | Reply

    • The golf course was located with it’s property located between LaSalle Blvd. and the aqueduct (boulevard de la Verendye) it was between ~31th avenue and what would now be ~16th Ave.

      Comment by Jacques Richer | May 24, 2016 | Reply

      • I thought I would list some of the friends I ‘hung around’ with from ’59 – ’62;
        Joey Jotkus
        Conrad Rigby
        Jackie Higgins
        Ron Higgins
        Omer Lauzon
        Norman Robitaille
        Gerry Boudreau
        Albinus ?

        Elaine Woronosky (spelling)
        Denise Nadon
        Barbara Barton
        Anita Lindroos
        Sandra Lane
        Bernice Didich
        Rosemary Talenko

        A lot more but names escape me right now.

        Comment by richerj2017 | February 23, 2017 | Reply


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