Picture yourself living in the working class Irish neighbourhood of Pointe-St-Charles in 1871, and the closest elementary school is over a 30 minute walk away in Griffintown. What to do? In 1871, over 272 citizens petitioned the Protestant School board to build a school that would accommodate over 500 children from the Point. Plenty of discussions and petitioning ensued, and five years later, Point St. Charles school was opened on Favard Street at the corner of Ste-Madeline . The school was renamed Riverside school in 1886.
Postcard. Collection BANQ.
Riverside school was enlarged in 1894 and 1907, to accommodate a growing population. Although the school was the centre of the community, the school had to be closed several times because of fire in 1927 and 1949.
Insurance plan of the area, 1940. Collection BANQ.
Due to dwindling enrolments in the 1970s, the school was closed in 1978, just two years after its centenary. Local citizens from the Pointe-St-Charles Intervention Group (PSCIG), wanted to save the building and turn it into cooperative housing in the early 1980s. In October 1982, the PSCIG was outbid by the City of Montreal for the building and land. The building was demolished, and transformed into Parc des Cheminots.
City bid imperils Point homes plan. (1982, October 7). The Montreal Gazette. p. A3. Retrieved from: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=Fr8DH2VBP9sC&dat=19821007&printsec=frontpage.
Damaged School Reopens Shortly; Six Buildings Under Construction. (1949, December 22). The Montreal Gazette. p.13. Retrieved from http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=Fr8DH2VBP9sC&dat=19491222&printsec=frontpage
Protestant board shuts more schools. (1978, March 16). The Montreal Gazette. p.2. Retrieved from March 16, 1978. Montreal Gazette. p.2.Retrieved from: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=Fr8DH2VBP9sC&dat=19780316&printsec=frontpage.
Riverside School Not All Destroyed. (1927, March 2). The Montreal Gazette. p.4. Retrieved from http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=Fr8DH2VBP9sC&dat=19270302&printsec=frontpage.
I welcome any comments about this blog post, especially if anyone has memories of Riverside School.