Griffintown is historically an old working class neighbourhood of Irish immigrants and their descendants, which is now experiencing huge condo and highrise projects and gentrification. The name of Griffintown comes from Mary Griffin, who obtained the land and sub-divided it in early 1800’s. Griffintown lies within Notre Dame Street to the north, the Lachine Canal to the south, the Bonaventure Expressway to the east and the old St. Gabriel lock to the west. Many of the old factories of the late 19th and early 20th century are still standing.
We began our walk from the north, starting at Chaboillez Square (built in 1813)at the corner of St. Jacques and Peel Streets. The old Dow Planetarium is located here. Walk south to Notre Dame Street and head east, you will see the Rodier Building (built in 1875) at 932 Notre Dame Street West. Walk south on Rue de L’Inspecteur to William Street and then head west. At 1015 William Street is the original Lowney chocolate factory (built in 1905). As you continue past the Lowney building, you will see the original Dow Brewery (built in 1920’s). From the Dow Brewery you can walk south on Peel or Young Street to Ottawa Street and see the Fire Station No. 3 (built 1913) at 1139 Ottawa Street.
Continue to Murray Street and walk north to the corner of William Street. This is the corner where the ghost of Mary Gallagher appears every 7 years in search of her head after her murder in 1879 (read more about her here). Continue west to Rue de la Montagne and at the corner of Rue du Seminaire is the Kander Building (built 1896), a triangle building with an inlaid stone saying Lachine Rapids. Continue to walk south on de la Montagne (or previously known as Mountain Street) and on the east side you will encounter row houses dating from 1875. Immediately at the end of the row houses is Maison Keegan, believed to be the oldest house in Griffintown (built 1820 or 1830).
On the west side is St. Ann’s Park, where the original St. Ann’s Church stood. The church was built in 1854 and was demolished in 1970. You can still see the remnants of its foundation and stone in the park. Continue back and walk up and down the streets of Ottawa, Eleanore, Murray, Young, Shannon and Ann. At 1220-1226 Ottawa Street is the old Horse Palace, a stable that dates back to 1860. As you come to the corner of Ottawa and Dalhousie Streets is the New City Gas building (built 1861). Much more to see at the Peel Bassin and the Lachine Canal if you wish.
We did this walk on Sunday July 21, 2019 between 10am and 12:30pm
Old Dow Planetarium in Chaboillez Square
Notre-Dame Street West
Rodier Building, built in 1875
Original Lowney chocolate factory, built in 1905
William Street, at corner of Shannon Street
Original Dow Brewery (built 1920’s)
Young Street (old buildings)
Fire Station No.3 (built 1913)
Murray Street (looking north)
Murray Street (looking south from William)
Eleanor Street (old buildings)
Eleanor Street (looking north)
Kander building (built in 1896)
Kander building (with the Lachine Rapids sign)
Rue de la Montagne (looking south)
Row houses on Rue de la Montagne (built 1875)
Maison Keegan (built 1820-1830)
St. Ann’s Park
St. Ann’s Church (early 1900’s)
St. Ann’s Church (early 1960’s)
Corner of Ann and Wellington Streets
Corner of Ann and Ottawa Streets
New City Gas (built 1861)
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