Centennial Hall Fast Facts
- It was the residence of J. Léonide Perron, the first mayor of Beaconsfield.
- It was sold in 1940 to Léo Dandurand, co-owner of The Montreal Canadiens Hockey Club and restaurateur.
- It was sold in 1953 to the Sisters of the Good Shepherds and the residence became a Youth Protection School for Girls.
- It was purchased by the City of Beaconsfield on January 12, 1965 for $190,000 to accommodate both its Administrative and Technical Services. In 1968, when City Hall moved to its present location, the building was renamed Centennial Hall to commemorate Canada's Centennial Year, 196,7 and was designated it a Cultural Centre.
Sources: Pg. 72-73 Beaconsfield and Beaurepaire book, www.beaconsfield.ca
Written and researched by M. Purvis
13 Thomson Point, the Oldest House in Beaconsfield
On May 18, 1678 a land grant was received by Jean Guenet. At the time the land was referred to as ‘La pointe de Beaurepaire’, but today we know it best as Thomson Point. Ninety-one years later on April 4, 1769, Amable Curot, described as a ‘bourgeois voyageur’, gained control of the Guenet farm and proceeded to build a large house measuring 65 feet by 38 feet probably incorporating foundations laid down by Guenet around 1701.
These foundations still exist today underneath 13 Thomson Point making it the oldest house in Beaconsfield. The basement walls are up to 3 feet thick in places and contain three tapered openings called meurtrières in the south face. These could have been used to defend the building against attackers and indicate the building had probably been a fortified trading post at one time. Previous owners tell of having found a skeleton and shackles in a part of the basement that might have been used as a prison.
The house also boasts magnificent roof supports in the attic, major floor beams placed side by side as in the Château Ramezay in Montreal and a central fireplace — all indications of its age.
Throughout the years the house has had many owners. The Reford family owned it from 1891 to 1907 and the present owner, Barbara Barclay tells of finding some old gardening gloves which might have been worn by Elsie Reford herself. If you are fortunate enough to visit the house today you will find a home that reflects the eclectic interests of the present owner. As the President of the Beaurepaire-Beaconsfield Historical Society Barbara Barclay ensures that the history of 13 Thomson Point is respected and preserved.
So the next time you take a walk to Thomson Point remember to take a good look at number 13, and if you are observant you might just see someone, or something, looking back!
Sources: Beaconsfield and Beaurepaire by R. Baird and G. Hall;
Discover Beaurepaire-Beaconsfield produced by the Beaurepaire-Beaconsfield Historical Society; West Island Chronicle article by Alex Leduc October 27, 2008
Researched and written by J. Clark