Location in 1663 of our Ancestors’ Lands in Montréal
The above map shows the tracts of land granted to settlers in and around Montréal
by 1663, with those of our ancestors highlighted. As can be seen, the typical plot
was long and narrow, and it consisted of around thirty acres. The settlers’ first
task was to clear the land of trees, which was arduous work. A man could typically
clear no more than 1.5 acres in a year, so many seasons passed before even half of
the land could be planted.
This map and the one below are reproduced from the excellent study by Marcel Trudel,
Montréal, la formation d’une societé, 1642-1663, published in 1976. His meticulous
research permits us to find the exact location of our ancestors’ lands in downtown
Montréal today. The map covers an area about five miles in length, with the center
very close to today’s Place Royale and Pointe-à-Callière (marked “cimetière” on this
map), in the heart of historic old Montréal. The total population in 1663 was 596.
This map presents a detailed segment of the center of the preceding map. It shows
the part of Montréal that was then designated as the village proper (“réservé pour
la ville”), about one mile in length. The plots granted to our ancestors have been