Saturday, 11 September 2010

Saturday Photo: Alfred Joyce's Garden 100 Years Ago

A few weeks ago I featured Parc Joyce in the Saturday Photo, a lovely little park in Outremont. At the time I said I'd have more about the property which the garden suburb acquired in 1926.

Now I've dug out a photo of what it looked like seen from the south about the turn of the 20th century It appeared in the Autumn 1991 number of a classy publication, called Continuité put out by the Conseil des monuments et sites du Québec. The original apparently is in the archives of the McCord Museum.

The house itself was built about 1830 by John Clarke, a fur trader who liked Italian villas. When Alfred Joyce acquired the property in 1883, he added a number of new wings and transformed it along Elizabethan lines. He lived in it until his death in 1931: members of his family still live on a smaller house on the property, apparently having the right to remain there under the terms of acquistion.

Rue Ainslie leads toward the property from Côte Sainte Catherine on the south, but I'm not sure if it was cut through at the time the picture above was taken. The one below I took a few weeks ago from the point where Ainslie makes a dog-leg to curve around the park. The building on the left is the club house for the tennis courts which take up part of the park now: it's got fake half-timbering in the Elizabethan style and probably was one of Joyce's follies.

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