Bonheur d'occasion - Gabrielle Roy (p. 1)

The Tin Flute - Gabrielle Roy

(N.B. - photos with a blue border can be enlarged by clicking on them.)

La Société historique de Saint-Henri a preparé un site pour Industrie Canada avec plusieurs photos historique du quartier : Bonheur d'occasion (SHSH)
Voir aussi le site du Société historique de Saint-Henri.

My fascination with the history of the Lachine Canal led me to read this novel set in the Montreal suburb of St-Henril. The canal was at the center of life and work in St-Henri and St-Henri was one of the most important of the municipalities along the canal.

After having read The Tin Flute I spent an afternoon (March 8, 2005) visiting and photographing the streets and buildings mentioned in the book, Gabrielle Roy was detailed in her descriptions of St-Henri and obviously her research was meticulous, everything is where it should be.

The Bonaventure Train Station which is the scene of the last chapter of the book no longer exists, and the railway track from Place St-Henri to where the station was has been remove, but the right of way still exists behind the buildings that front on St-Jacques to the north and Notre-Dame to the south. The second flat of the Lacasse family was beside this track a block east of Place St-Henri.

Notre-Dame street, the commercial thoroughfare, is a sad site today, many closed stores and rundown buildings, but the area is changing, many streets such as St-Ambroise, Rose-de-Lima and Workman are lined with condos where the old buildings have been torn down, or where factories have been converted.

The Société historique de Saint-Henri propared a site for Industry Canada with several historic photos of the area: Bonheur d'occasion (SHSH).
See also the SHSH's own site at Société historique de Saint-Henri

La rue Beaudoin, où vivait la famille Lacasse au début du livre.

Beaudoin Street, where the Lacasse family lived at the beginning of the book.
Place St-Henri (vue vers l'est) - la voie ferée passait à droite de la caserne des pompiers.
Place St-Henri looking east, the firestation with the old railway right of way to its right
La maison de Jean Levesque, rue St-Ambroise.
Jean Levesque's house on St, Ambroise Street. La rue du Couvent au passage à niveau - la famille Lacasse a déménagé ici. Couvent Street at the railway crossing, the Lacasse family's second flat was here, facing the tracks.
Le cinéma Cartier, sur la rue Notre-Dame, à l'est de la Place St-Henri. The Cartier movie house on Notre-Dame just east of Place St-Henri. La rue Workman, où Rose-Anna a vu les pires logements. Workman Street, the place where Rose-Anna saw the worst of housing.