Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Verdun Stadium (may as well plagerize Ken;s complete title too) lol

                             Verdun Stadium

Was built in the late 60′s. In the 1930′s Mayor Wilson vowed that there would never be private development on the Verdun Waterfront. People used to swim in the river and there were two main boat clubs, but the Polio scare of the late 50′s sent people away from the river.The Auditorium and Natatorium were built as public works projects that were heavily used and loved by the Verdun citizenry. The Stadium was a place for track and field and minor football leagues among other events. When I was growing up it was a field with perhaps 30 rows of wooden bleachers for fans. Verdun in the 50′s and 60′s was a sports crazy city with numerous leagues in all sports – it was common this time of year to see kids in hockey uniforms walking to outdoor rinks where leagues were busy and the general rinks were always packed. The new stadium seemed like a logical idea and it was home to the Montreal Beavers of the Continental Football League in 1966-67 – American football played in Montreal! In ’67 Alouettes placekicker, Gino Berretta, joined the Beavers as it’s well known local star. The League folded after that season and the Stadium remained as an open venue until it was demolished in the ’90′s and one section was sold for a dollar to Concordia where it now stands on the Loyola campus. This paved the way for the condo projects that now stand there, themselves a tale of greed and rule bending discussed elsewhere on this blog.
Here are a couple of black and white infrared shots taken in the mid 80′s.

18 comments:

Les F said...

Have a visit to Ken's site , although i'm sure many of you have already,as we've posted from here many times in the past,.but here were two photo's of the Stadium that I had not seen yet.
We played all around this area (I'm sure many of you did too)......
Check out Ken's blog here..... http://neath.wordpress.com/
I know we have several other shots from the staduium that we've posted over the years,(Guy has saved most of them too) perhaps he will share his album on the Stadium here too.
Cheers !! HF&RV

Les F said...



Steve Gladwish said...

Great shots of the stadium lots of memories from there.. one night the cops had to chase us out while they were rebuilding it....

Guy Billard said...



I have added the 2 new photos of the Verdun Stadium to my album no. 51 wich now has 9 photos. The best photo is the one showing the Auditorium in the background. Of course the original stadium with the football team is also a treasure. Notice the Model School in the background wich was the oldest school in Verdun wich was founded in 1895.
Guy

Guy

Les F said...

As Much as I like all the photos, this one certainly showcases the 'real wooden bleachers' that made the old Stadium the one most of us kids played on. I do remember when they were torn down & replaced with the concrete giants,which Btw: dwarfed the old Redtop on the boardwalk once they were brought in. In this photo you can see the Model School , the Cardinals Football Team, which was coached by Danny Barnoff's Uncle (Danny was one of our schoolmates,his family or Uncles family also owned or maybe still own the Bar-B-Barn) I remember this team from '1963,I have a crest which I will scan & post soon, showing the Cardinals as the Champions for 1963. (this photo dated Nov 62) so this is the team.
This photo was initally posted on the old MSN Verdun Connections site by Dflood ,he also was the person who posted the old car on Torchy Wharf,I will find that one again & post it too. Thanks Again for that input ,way back when, I know a lot of photos get saved with little mention if any of the original poster, but where we can let's give them credit,.......Much Appreciated Input.

-------Cheers !! HF&RV

Les F said...

Here is the other photo that Dflood posted(years back). I believe it is of his Dad's car on Torchy Wharf. Great old Verdun Picture, & Torchy Wharf was well know to many Verdun kids & a lot of old fishermen who atood there angling everyday......

...Cheers !! HF&RV
I've done a little checking & the car photo was not his Dad's ,so I will have to go back further in te archives for that one,.but the Football pick is his.....

Ken McLaughlin said...

Great shots! I played for the Vikings that year in a losing cause, lol. I can't remember the circumstances but it seems to me that a lot of games were actually played on the field at VCH that year, but can't remember why. This would be the Termite league, one stop below Pee Wee. I am sure D Flood would know the details. Danny Barnoff still is involved with the Bar B as far as I know.

Ken McLaughlin

pauline garneau said...

http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=pRWBApOjXDcC&dat=19320505&printsec=frontpage


When you click on the above address you have to go to page 7.
Les
This article in the Guardian from May 5, 1932 pages 7 Reads
BLACKBURN PARK IS NOW LARGE STADIUM
Grounds have been extended over 125 feet –High fence, is now being erected new stands built to hold 2000 spectators –To be officially opened Sunday 1932. Transforming Blackburn Park located on Hickson (and it just says Hickson) to Brown’s Stadiun. Plans to play a nine inning ball game guess that’s baseball plus soccer lacrosse and other sports..
Could that be the same place as the park you are talking about? No pictures...........Pauline

Les F said...

Hi Poly without researching it, it sounds like it may be what they refer to now as Therrien Park which covers about the right distance roughly Hickson area near the river to past the Aud,and the first Redtop -which was right at the opening for the Stadium. Thanks for the starting point, I will try to find out more.I never heard of Blackburn Park, but I wonder if it was named after a realtion of Brian Blackburn who used to woork in the Barry's Pogo/hotdog/Fries joint near Woodland ,.A very populat spot for lunch for both VHS & VCHS hungry students....... Cheers HF&RV

Les F said...

Seems a long way to go Ken from our neighbourhood,especially in the early 60's, However I guess you went wherever the team needed players ?? I also seem to remember you playing hockey with the Verdun Police Team ,that was the bigtime you got to play inside at the Aud,...hahahahaha
Cheers HF&RV
Ironic in a way, I wouldn't think of you being a team player with the police & I bet neither would they....................hahahahahah

Les F said...

Hey you might have something there Ken,.first search turned up this for McCord Museum
http://www.mccord-museum.qc.ca/en/keys/games/4

Guy Billard said...

The only reference in the McCord site of to the Queen's Park is a photo of Ucal-Henri Dandurand who was the founder and owner of the complex.
Guy

Guy Billard said...

The Brown Stadium was located at the corner of Hickson and Bannantyne. It was named after George Brown who was the owner of Brown Cartage wich was situated just across the street at 1000 Hickson. George Brown was also a Verdun City Councillor. Here are a few photos from one of my albums including a photo of one of the football teams that played at the stadium and wich I got from the Guardian. I was hoping to find a photo of the stadium but no luck, only abackground view as you can see on the photo. I am familiar with that area as I was brought in that section of Verdun in the 30s, 40s and 50s. I also took some photos of the building last winter and it is still there. I went in to chat with the present tenant and gave him a copy of an old photo wich really impressed him.
Guy

Les F said...

Looks to me like they were talking about a new Stadium for Verdun, that I believe would have been up near the river,.However as I read the story, there would also be another game being played at Brown Park . Two separate Parks ,with the article only mentionning that another game would be going on at the older Brown park ?? HF&RV

Les F said...

Ok this has absolutely nothing to do with this topic,otherthan the photo is credited to the Notman Photo Co. I wrote to McCord Museum years ago to point out this glaring mistake, the museum is saying that this building (car dealership) is on Bannatyne..........It Is NOT,...it is the building across the street from Grover's at 3rd ave & Wellington St...It is now some sort of a church ,but it was the Dominion Store in the 60's and according to Jimmy (Kungfu) an old member of ours,he lived across the street on the 3rd floor (which would be now above Grover's and he looked straight across the street at this old car dealership,.Plus as I pointed out to the museum,that there were No Streetcar Tracks on Bannatyne..........they said they would look in to it,..apprently they didn't.You cannot just go by a lovell's Directory,because as we've seen in the past Lovell's was a voluntary thing & not everyone played there game,also you can own a business & then move & noone changes the records, Car dealerships were along Bannatyne & ( I believe they still ahve some there) but this one is not. Ok mini-rant over................Yea hahahahahah

I have a recent photo somewhere of the present day church which is there today.Verdun-Lasalle Babtist Church
here is a Google link, check out the architecture in the whole building, look up ,way up ,as the friendly giant would advise.......lol

http://maps.google.ca/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=3900+wellington+st+verdun&aq=&sll=49.891235,-97.15369&sspn=17.284145,36.474609&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=3900+Rue+Wellington,+Verdun,+Communaut%C3%A9-Urbaine-de-Montr%C3%A9al,+Qu%C3%A9bec&ll=45.457271,-73.567543&spn=0,0.034161&z=15&layer=c&cbll=45.457401,-73.567506&panoid=vOTK6H6Q_Wz9mKiEHzbtdQ&cbp=12,82.34,,0,-16.36

Les F said...

Here is a neat vantage point with a view of Downtown ,& the mountain, but it directly overlooks the old Model School, & what was at one time the RedTop on the Boardwalk,as well as the entrance to the Stadium.......wow things have changed for sure. The old bleachers would have been right in the line of site......................................................thanks for the email,great photo

Cheers !! HF&RV

Maggie McKiernon said...

Interesting changes in Verdun!

Brian Ferstman said...

It doesn't seem that anyone has mentioned that Verdun Stadium (as we called it) was also home to the Sir George Williams University Georgians in the 1960's and early 1970's. I played for the team in 1969 and 1970, and remember it fairly well. We were in a conference with teams like Bishops (where Larry Smith was the star running back), RMC, U of M and a couple of others. At the time the stadium was in relatively good shape, with concrete bleachers on at least one side of the field, if not two. There was also a nearby park, which we could walk to from the stadium and where we sometimes practised. I used to ride from school to the stadium on my Yamaha 100 motorbike, a 20 minute ride. I never went back after my football days, and don't know how long Sir George played there, though it probably was no later than 1974, when the school merged with Loyala to form Concordia.

Brian Ferstman