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History of Beaconsfield

The name Beaconsfield was first used in 1876 by John Henry Menzies as the name of his vineyard (farm 31), in honour of his friend the renowned politician and novelist, Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield and Prime Minister of England (1874-1880).

Beaconsfield became a familiar appellation for the surrounding area and organizations:  the Train Station (1879), the Golf Club (1902) and the area around St. Charles known as Village of Beaconsfield (c1905).

Beaconsfield” was accepted by its first Mayor Joseph Léonide Perron and its Council becoming the municipal name when it was incorporated on June 4th, 1910.

But, long before that name was used, the territory had been occupied since the 17th Century when fur trading was the economic basis for the settlement of Canada.

When the Sulpicians became the “Seigneurs” and sole owners of the Island of Montreal in 1663, they endeavoured an urban plan to belt the Island. Grants of land in the 17th century were allocated to established merchants, gentry and soldiers of the Carignan-Salières Regiments under the “Régime seigneurial” by the “Coutume de Paris”.

 

A first establishment west of Ville-Marie was Lachine followed by another known as “Mission St-Louis” in 1685 that encompassed the area between Lachine and Senneville. Concessions were allotted along Lake St. Louis. The first concession granted on the present territory of Beaconsfield was in 1678 to Jean Guenet who named it Beau Repaire (Beaurepaire). During the Iroquois attacks which lead to the Lachine Massacre (1689), the inhabitants took refuge at Ville-Marie. Following the “Peace Treaty” of 1701 between the French and the Amerindians, the farms were again being cultivated and hamlets expanded into the village of Ste-Anne-du-Bout-de-l’Isle and Pointe-Claire. Part of the Paroisse de Saint-Joachim de la Pointe Claire became Beaconsfield in 1910.

 

From pioneer settlement, Beaconsfield evolved into a favourite summer resort in the 19th century to an elite suburban residential heaven after World War II.

 

In 2002, Beaconsfield was merged with Baie d’Urfé into an administrative borough of Montréal. However, in 2006, these two municipalities separated from Montréal to become two independent cities in the Montréal Agglomeration.