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The Carrière House
85 Victoria Street

Carrière House

The land on which the Carrière house was built had passed from Philemon Wright to his son Ruggles, and then to his granddaughter, Hannah Wright-Currier. In 1879, she sold the butcher Honoré Labelle a small lot in the Lower Village of Hull, which became the City of Hull in 1875.

In 1881, Labelle resold the land to the storekeeper Calixte Lebrun dit Laforêt, who ceded it to Basile Carrière on February 27, 1886. As the property was well located, right opposite the public market, Carrière also bought part of an adjoining lot that same year. On June 5, 1888, a fire, started by Alderman George Marston, who had tossed his cigar while going up to the town hall, located above the market, destroyed its buildings and seven blocks of houses. Carrière immediately bought the other half of the lot and built this house with a mansard roof and dormer windows in the Second Empire style, which was very fashionable in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. There he established both his hardware store and his place of residence.

In 1893, he was the leader of a group of Hull merchants opposed to the construction of an interprovincial bridge, as they feared its effect on local business. This was probably what encouraged him to found Hull's first Chamber of Commerce in 1895. As commissioner and then chairman of Hull's school board, he oversaw the reconstruction of almost all the schools in the city after the fire of 1900. He represented his district on the Hull City Council from January 1901 to April 1902. His many title deeds and transactions indicate a man who was very comfortable financially.

Basile Carrière, born in Sainte-Scholastique around 1851, married Adéline Filteau who was three years his elder. They had three children: Edgar, Jeanne and Maria. Edgar, who became a partner in the family business around 1904, married Lorenza Bisson. They too had three children, but their son Basile died at the age of three, on February 12, 1915. Seven days later, Edgar himself died in turn. The grandmother, Adéline, left a sum of $8,000 for the education of the two remaining children, indicating how much the family valued education at a time when it was necessary to pay for schooling. It was a considerable sum. The Carrière house was then valued at $7,300.

Both daughters of Basile and Adéline married neighbours. In 1913, Jeanne won the heart of Lionel-A. Gendron, who lived across the street, and Maria married Jean-Dosithée Chéné, a civil engineer. Basile Carrière died on March 5, 1917. His wife Adéline, died eight months later, on November 22, after a long illness.

A family friend recalled that the famous pianist Arthur Rubenstein was a friend of Basile Carrière and that he visited the Carrière home on Victoria Street. The anecdote gives a certain cachet to this family, and definitely indicates that it belonged to the city's middle class.

In 1915, Carrière rented his hardware store to J. Lapointe. In 1920, his daughters rented the house to the Bank of Montreal, which installed its second Hull branch there. The bank manager, Robert L. Curphey, lived upstairs. During the 1920s, a garage and its petrol pumps shared the first floor with the J. Patry Pharmacy. There were now three apartments upstairs.

When Lucien Laverdure and his wife, Claire Lamotte, bought the house in March 1941, the Ritz Sandwich Shop occupied the ground floor and three tenants lived upstairs. One apartment was empty. Laverdure lived in one of the apartments until around 1958. Laverdure, born in Hull on March 30, 1899, was one of the seven children of Moyse Laverdure and Marie Louise Eugénie Filteau, and the nephew of Adéline Filteau-Carrière. He was secretary-treasurer of the Hull school board for many years. He died in the Sacré-cœur Hospital on January 13, 1970.

On October 7, 1963, Laverdure sold the house, divided into apartments, to an electrician, Édouard Schryer. He lived there until 1975, when the MACPAT Services Corporation, whose head office was in Ottawa, bought the building as an office rental property.

Since then, the beautiful stone house with the mansard roof has become a landmark in the district surrounding the Canadian Museum of Civilization. Together with the Gendron House on the opposite corner, the Carrière House marks the entrance to the historic district.