Thursday, 23 February 2017

Canada 150 - Old Macdonald Had a Farm

During our country's 150th anniversary celebration of confederation I will write posts titled Canada 150 with a link to a publication or website I find that may help you tell the story of your Canadian ancestors.
Click on the Canada 150 label on the right or at the bottom to see all the posts.

Today I have for you...

Old Macdonald had  a farm.... 

...Old William Christopher Macdonald that is, who planned and funded Macdonald College on the west island of Montreal.

When it opened its doors in 1907, 110 years ago, Macdonald College was one of the most modern agricultural colleges in the world, and the largest in Canada.

It was not just a teaching farm, but was often opened to the community.  I remember my Mom going there in the fall to pick a bushel of fresh apples to make her famous, prize-winning apple pies.  The Girl Guides and Boy Scouts did orienteering on the grounds of the college.  The public can have a guided tour of the farm during the summer. 

With spring hopefully looming in the not too distant future, mosey on down to the Morgan Arboretum for their annual sugaring off. I remember the first time my parents took us for maple taffy on snow and when we got home we had our Dad tap the only sugar maple on our property.  Of course it takes more than one tree to get enough sap to make maple syrup hahaha. 

William Macdonald didn't stop with the college, he also funded an elementary and a high school, both of which I attended. I also worked at the college coffee shop for a time when I was in high school. 

Relevant Links

The Macdonald Farm Journal, 1952-1968

Clan Macdonald Yearbooks, 1932-2000

Macdonald College Magazine, 1910-1932

The Macdonald Journal, 1940-1952

The Dram (Macdonald College Newspaper)

What's in the Archives


  1. One of my very favorite places to hang out.

    Because I have just great childhood memories of when we lived on the farm considered Morgan Arboretum for sugaring off as our next ramble but the entrance fee is a bit pricey to take a family so we are looking at Quinn's Farm in Ile Perrot... Not quite the same experience but still fun for children.

  2. I grew up at the stock farm from 1949 - 1969, best childhood anyone could have. We were about a dozen families who lived on the farm. We were cut off from the main college by RR tracks and HWY 2-20, so we were a community on our own. Everyone new everyone, and all the kids played together. I was blessed to grow up there.

    1. So did you know Cathern above who also lived on the farm for a time?

  3. Going to High School on the campus was wonderful!


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