Préfontaine Street Area

A Stroll up Préfontaine Street

Sainte-Agathe has no shortage of beautiful homes, in a variety of architectural styles. Along Préfontaine Street, you will notice many of them feature solariums. These structures recall the period when tuberculosis patients treated at the Sainte-Agathe Sanatorium* would continue their recovery in these houses, used as rest homes.

These covered rooms, called “cure porches,” were south-facing, which allowed patients to benefit from the sun’s warmth in winter as well as the fresh air of the great outdoors, believed to help cure the disease. There are no solariums facing north.

The presence of all those sick patients in public spaces prompted the municipal authorities to enact rules that, although they may bring a smile to your face today when you watch the accompanying video, were probably quite effective in preventing contagion.

Passing by, note the more modern annex to the rear of the CLSC (Pavillon Grignon), which was Sainte-Agathe’s first hospital (see Point 3 – Hôpital de la Providence).

*Optional detour to the former sanatorium
(Point 11, away from the main walking tour, a 1-kilometre return trip)
To get to the sanatorium from Préfontaine Street, walk half a kilometre north on Saint-Vincent Street.

Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, place de santé (in French, 37 sec.)

Source photo: Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, une ville, des histoires; a film by Guy Fradette, 2013


The Cyrille Guindon Store

112-114 Saint-Vincent Street
……….

Built soon after 1900 for Cyrille Guindon, this two-storey structure originally sported a parapet decorated with a pediment and was remarkable for its many Italianate decorative elements. The post office was located here in the early 1910s. Guindon, a wood merchant, sold the building to shopkeeper Rodrigue Touchette in 1930.

Owned subsequently by the family of Antonio Touchette, the building was occupied by a variety of businesses: hatter (a must for the new bourgeoisie), butcher, print shop, hair salon, radio and television repair, children’s clothing, fabric, art supplies, and a picture framing service. It is now home to a restaurant.

Despite the disappearance of the pedimented parapet and wooden balcony, the building still boasts many attractive characteristics.

PHOTO
At right, the Cyrille Guindon store around 1925.

The Josephat Raymond Plumbing Store

109 Saint-Vincent Street
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Completed in the late 1940s, this building exemplifies the Streamline Moderne trend in architecture, which took its cues from industrial design of the 1930s and ‘40s. Fairly unique in Sainte-Agathe, the look was probably inspired by Aline Lortie’s frequent visits to the United States around the time her husband, Josephat Raymond, decided to modernize his electrical appliance and bathroom fixtures store.

Josephat Raymond (1896-1979) was born in Saint-Jérôme. After marrying Aline Lortie in 1915, he moved to Sainte-Agathe and started work as a master plumber. This high-profile entrepreneur’s customer list included every hotel in the area. His store had 45 employees during its most productive years, and provided training for many plumbers who went on to start their own businesses in the region. After Josephat’s death, his children took over the family business. It eventually closed in the late 1990s.

Though renovated as office space, the building has retained its original appearance. Still visible at the rear is the long shed, with its no less distinctive and well-preserved design, where Josephat had his workshop for years.

The Joseph Villeneuve House

12-14 Préfontaine Street East
……….

Shopkeeper Joseph Amyot, called Villeneuve, and his wife Donalda Giroux purchased Lot 104 from Amable Godon, one of the original settlers of Sainte-Agathe, in 1901. Soon after, they had a large wooden house built, featuring a gallery and a cruciform roof.

The architecture is that of bourgeois homes of the early 20th century. The gallery and balcony were glassed in later, in the style of the cure porches popularized by Dr. Edward Livingston Trudeau in Saranac Lake, New York, and that are found in many locations around Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts. These sunny porches weren’t designed to be warm, but to allow convalescing tuberculosis patients to rest in the cool, dry air. Many homeowners rented rooms to recovering patients.

The two cities were eventually twinned, and municipal authorities and citizens of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts and Saranac Lake retain close ties to this day.

PHOTOS
(1) The house in the early 20th century, before the gallery and balcony were glassed in.
(2) The house today.
Latour Family Collection.

The “Gibeault” House

13 Préfontaine Street East
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Little is known about this lovely home built in the Tudor style, a few examples of which can still be found in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts.

It is assumed to have been built and lived in by lawyer Gaston Gibeault, who also ran his firm out of the house in the 1930s.

Gibeault is known, among other things, for presiding over the founding of the Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts chamber of commerce (today known as the Chambre de commerce du Grand Sainte-Agathe).



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