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Home / Montreal / Montreal Then & Now / First School in Dorval

First School in Dorval


By: Dick Nieuwendyk – mtltimes.ca


About 1850, a small wooden building with a bell-tower was built, which became the first village school in Dorval, located on what is today 484 Lakeshore Rd.


Victoria Stores ca 1936 (built in 1914 on the foundations of the 1880 Village School)
Victoria Stores ca 1936 (built in 1914 on the foundations of the 1880 Village School)

In this building, on Wednesday August 3, 1892 at 10 a.m.  the citizens of  Dorval were requested to be present at a general meeting.


Earlier that year a request was made to the provincial Legislature in Quebec City for the incorporation of the Village of Dorval. The general meeting was for the purpose of nominating a mayor and councillors. The president  of the election also requested that the first session of the newly elected council was to be held at the Dorval schoolhouse on Monday, August 15 at 8 p.m.

On August 10, 1892,  William deM. Marler, notary and justice of the peace took the oath of Mayor Désiré Girouard and six councillors. (Note: Mr. W. deM Marler was briefly Mayor of Dorval from 1899 to 1900). Council meetings were held in the school building until 1910.


Restaurant Bellissimo - 2014 (Photo: Dick Nieuwendyk)
Restaurant Bellissimo – 2014 (Photo: Dick Nieuwendyk)

Since 1895 a smallpox epidemy raged Montreal and surrounding villages. Dorval became a leader in preventing the spreading of the disease by being one of the first villages to provide vaccination. In 1901, all school children were vaccinated in the Village school.


In 1912, due to the increase of students, the old schoolhouse became too small and closed.

First Schoolhouse - ca 1910
First Schoolhouse – ca 1910

The students moved into the new St. Joseph School on rue La Présentation. The old schoolhouse was demolished and replaced, on the same foundation, by a grocery store in 1920, known as the “Victoria Store”, a family business, ran by Gustave Racine until 1946, when it was sold to Gérard Turcotte. Mr Turcotte ran the store until 1990, when property went up for rent. In 1996, after renovations, the building re-opened as the Café des Petits Délices for a number of

years. In 2002 the owners renamed it the Bistro/Bar Bellissimo, which became – and still is – a fine-dining Italian establishment in Dorval.


The building is located at 484 Lakeshore Rd in Dorval
Source: Dorval Historical Society / André Duval -Dorval 300 years of history

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