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History of NDG Notre Dame de Grace, NDG, or our Lady of Grace is a Montreal suburb located in the west-end located in the Côte-des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough. The Décarie family was granted this land on November 18th, 1650, and they cleared it as preparation for farming. Most of NDG’s settlers found themselves a fruitful career in agriculture, as the soil and climate were perfect for harvesting apples and melon.

As the population grew, so did the Roman Catholic community. The town purchased land from Eustache Prud’homme in 1849, and then established a church that was finished in 1853. In the 1860’s the Roman Catholic Church executed a significant amount of power over NDG citizens. In 1867, the province passed a mandate allowing the parish to control the town in three sections. This resulted in the segregation of NDG on December 28, 1876. The three sub-towns were called St. Pierre, St. Luc and Notre Dame. In 1877, NDG welcomed their first mayor, Jérémie-Daniel -Décarie. The following year, NDG instituted their first horse-ride tram line to facilitate travel for the growing population. In 1894, electric streetcars became the new mode of transportation.

The NDG village officially became a town on March 9, 1906 when its population doubled to 1,854. The Kensington Land Development Company sold land to the town, enabling it to expand geographically on both its east and west sides, and north towards Mount Royal. In order to adapt to the growing population’s needs, NDG borrowed $400,000 to install a sewage and water supply system. The development of streetcar lines in 1907 also added to NDG’s growing debt, which totalled at $1.4 million by 1910.

NDG also appointed their first police and fire chief, Léon Bélec, in 1910, as crime became a growing issue in the community. The 1920’s also saw a proliferation of schools. West Hill was the first high school *(&* After World War II, NDG experienced an influx of Jews. The Shaare Zion Congregation was the first synagogue located on the corner of Clairmont and Sherbrooke. When it was destroyed by a fire, the congregation relocated to Cote Saint Luc Road on September 7, 1941.

Today NDG is primarily composed of middle-class working citizens. Thirty-two percent of its population is francophone, while the other sixty-eight percent is English-speaking. On Somerled Avenue, there is also a substantial Afro-Caribbean community. NDG as a whole is also a very suitable town for young professionals, given its lively, bohemian, multicultural atmosphere.

In the late 1980’s, NDG experienced an economic downturn. Thankfully, wealthy young people living in the Plateau grew tired of their old living space and brought some of their culture to NDG. With this new influx of citizens (and income), the community saw prosperity that it had never seen before.

The Monkland Village, a street beginning at Décarie and stretching down to Cavendish features sophisticated boutiques, restaurants and nightclubs. Most of NDG’s nightlife is concentrated into this “town within the town,” attracting citizens from all areas of Montreal. During the summer, the street is also closed off and reserved for pedestrians so that artists can showcase and sell their work, and street vendors can sell summer’s favourite snacks.

Portrait of NDG There are currently 30,102 people living in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, a town lead by City Councillor Peter McQueen.

The town is composed of 21% youth, and 13% seniors. Each household has an average of 2.1 occupants, filling the 13, 975 homes built in the district. Homes with one occupant represent 39% of the population.

Thirty-six per cent of NDG-ers speak French, while 54% speak English, and 9% speak other languages. Half of NDG’s population is Roman Catholic, 17% do not belong to any religion, and 9% are Jews.

Twenty-seven per cent of NDG’s population is an immigrant. Nineteen per cent of these people immigrated to Montreal between the years 1996-2001. Italy represents 9% of these immigrants, France accounts for 7%, and 6% come from the United States.

Fifty-five per cent of NDG citizens hold a university degree, while 11% have not even received a high school diploma.

NDG’s average personal income is $61,849, which is higher than most districts in Montreal.


February 3, 2011. Issue #3- NDG.

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