The History of English Social Service in Montreal

This website is an initiative of the Batshaw Centres History Conservation Project, which is staffed by volunteers interested in promoting the history of Batshaw Youth and Family Centres, its founding agencies and other organizations serving the English-speaking population of Montreal, from the early days of protection and social services to the present.

Read More about the project

New and Featured Articles

See our photos, stories and history from almost 200 years of social services in the Montreal area.

Timeline of English Children's Social Service in Quebec

Social Service Timeline

A animated timeline of English Children's Social Service in Quebec going back to 1815.
See the timeline >>>

A video from 1922.

The Molson Chapel Bell

A video from 1922. The bell is raised at the Shawbridge Boys Farm.
The video on Youtube >>>

First Boys' Farm Annual Report

First Boys' Farm Annual Report

Recently pulled from the archives is the Boys' Farm and Training School annual report from 1910.
See it on the Shawbridge page >>>

The Boys Home of Montreal, Weredale House and Youth Horizons

Charles Alexander survived a shipwreck to become one of Montreal's leading philanthropists, and founder of the Boys' Home of Montreal on Mountain Street in 1870. The first admissions, says one report, were seven homeless newsboys who were rescued from the streets. By 1930, much larger quarters were needed. A campaign conducted by the Rotary Club of Montreal raised $289,000, and the new Home was built on Weredale Park which later became Weredale House and then Youth Horizons.

Read the history of Weredale House

Get Involved with our Website and join the Batshaw Alumni Association

Batshaw Alumni

Batshaw Alumni on Facebook

If you are a member of the Batshaw Alumni Association, consider joining the Batshaw Alumni Association Facebook Page.

Social Services logos

Help Us Expand the Website!

We need input with stories, photos, info and suggestions from our former employees. We would love to hear from you! Contact Us at any time!

Batshaw Alumni

Batshaw Alumni Association

If you are retired from Batshaw or about to retire, join the Batshaw Alumni Association to keep up on the latest news of your former colleagues.

Shawbridge Boys Farm in Photos

Originally conceived in 1899 by James R. Dick, Shawbridge Boys Farm was built in 1907 for the training of delinquent boys from the Montreal area. The farm was used to house orphans, juvenile criminals under the age of 18 who were sent there to serve time for charges such as robbery, assault, or theft. In the early years of Shawbridge Boys Farm, it was sponsored by The Rotary Club of Toronto and Montreal. As more sponsors came on board after The Rotary Club, many photos were taken in the early years of the Boys Farm.

See our collection of photos from the early years of Shawbridge

Your Memories, Your Stories, Your Photos

Do you have your own memories, stories and photos of English Social Services in Montreal? Whether you were associated with Batshaw, Catholic Community Services, Jewish Family Services, Mount St-Patrick, Shawbridge, Youth Horizons or Ville Marie, we want to hear from you!