The Larouche Pharmacy
164 Eddy Street
Romuald Picard opened this pharmacy in 1918, five years after another pharmacy at 159 Bridge (Eddy) Street. Medicines were then kept on glass shelves behind the counter. The pharmacopoeia of the period consisted as much of various herbs, roots and spruce gums as chemicals, which the pharmacist concocted on the premises.
The Picards had 11 children, nine of whom survived. Three of them became pharmacists in turn. Jean-Paul and Bernard took over the family business in the 1950s, and their trail-blazing sister Giliane was one of the first women pharmacists in Quebec. She had to obtain her license in Ontario, however, because pharmaceutical training was not offered to women in Quebec at the time.
When Roger Larouche bought the business in 1988, he found an establishment that had barely changed since its inception. He appreciated the quality of the personal relations long established by the Picard family. "Here, in this part of the city, the relationships between people have not changed. People know each other and have conversations on the street. I fell in love with that community spirit and have managed to fit in," he told a journalist from Hull newspaper Le Régional during the 85th anniversary of the pharmacy in November 1998. While preserving these traditional human relations, Larouche and his wife, France Robitaille, also a pharmacist, have modelled their practice on a new approach to pharmaceutical care, which not only specifies the nature of a medication, but also verifies its effects on the customer.
The pharmacist Larouche was one of the main instigators of the renewal of Vieux-Hull (Old Hull). In 1993, he became involved in two groups to revitalize the city centre, the Corporation de revitalisation du centre-ville and the Regroupement du secteur Eddy, and became president of both. During his mandate, he did not skimp in his efforts to improve the appearance of Eddy Street and the Promenade du Portage and, at the same time, to improve the living conditions of residents and businesses.