Thursday, November 01, 2007

Weredale Home

Hi Marty, in answer to your intrepid investigative reporter Normand Simard,the following is as much info as I have been able to gather about Weredale House."The Home" began life on Mountain Street as the Boy's Home of Montreal. It was relocated to a new building on Weredale Park(corner of Atwater and Dorchester) and was renamed Weredale House.

The major supporters of the project were the Rotary Clubs of Montreal and Westmount and was under the umbrellla of the Welfare Federation of Montreal. In later years it was also supported by the "Red Feather" fund(the precursor of the United Way). In 1935 the two rotary clubs mentioned above bought 260 acres of land on Lac L'Achigan near St Hippolyte in the Laurentians which served as a summer camp for the residents of the home.

We would go there for the full summer.When Weredale House was disbanded the building became part of the City of Montreal's social services department and the camp was turned over to Youth Horizons Montreal as a camp for special needs children and continues as such to this day. One fact I discovered when doing some of my research was that the Head man (Mr Vernon McAdam) who was in charge when Jim and I were there was the CEO of Weredale for 50 yrs and he was also for much of that time Executive-Director of The Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada.
After all that the best I can do to answer Norm's question is that the name of "The Home" derived from the Crescent on which it was located and the name Weredale itself originated in county Durham England.

Norm's photo showed the front of the buiilding so I thought I would send you a photo of the back. This team represented Weredale in games against Unity Boys Club, The McKay institute for the deaf and various other similar institutions around Montreal. Yes that was our ball field we are standing on. It was asphalt, had a baseball diamond painted on it and doubled as an outdoor rink in the winter and had a 20 foot high fence opposite the building to prevent any of the residents or projectiles from accidentally straying onto the railroad tracks which ran alongside the property.

Finally,lest some may get the wrong impression from Norm's allusion to us being located in Westmount ,while we did attend Westmount Schools, Weredale was located in what was referred to as Lower Westmount. Westmount's boundary to the East was Atwater and St Antoine to the south.

The residents entrance to the building was by a set of stairs attached to a high wall on Atwater just by the railroad overpass(we were rarely ever permitted to enter by the main door as pictured in Norm's photo) and one block North of St Antoine,which was also the boundary for St Henri. Far ,far from "The Boulevard " Westmount Ave, Grosvenor Ave, Selwyn House and Miss Edgar's and Miss Cramp's (both private schools)

Thanks John

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