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Verdun, Quebec (Canada)

Last modified: 2017-05-11 by rob raeside
Keywords: verdun | quebec | castle | maple leaf |
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[Verdun flag] image by Ivan Sache, 1 April 2017

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The City

The former municipality of Verdun (66,158 inhabitants in 2011; 983 ha) was incorporated in 2002 to the town of Montreal, forming one of its boroughs (arrondissements).

Verdun was in the 17th century the site of the fortress of Ville-Marie, where the population could take shelter during the Iroquois raids. The place was known as Côtes des Argoulets, named for a famous band of French harquebushers. On 26 December 1671, the Order of Saint-Sulpice granted a domain of 320 arpents to Zacharie Dupuis, one of the first military pioneers in Quebec. He named the domain Verdun, most probably for his French birth town, Saverdun. The municipality of Verdun was established in 1875, separating from the parish of Notre-Dame de Montréal.

The Saint-Paul Island was granted on 28 January 1664 to three French notables of Ville-Marie (Montreal); Jacques Le Ber, lord of Saint-Paul and Senneville, Claude Robutel de Saint-André, lord of La Noue, and Jean de la vigne. The latter sold his part of the island in 1668 to Marie Le Ber, who sold it soon to her brother, Jacques Le Ber. In 1676, the island was divided into two domaines, Saint-Paul and Lanoue. The Notre-Dame congregation, founded by Marguerite Bourgeoys, purchased in 1706 the domain of Lanoue, and, after the English conquest, the remaining part of the island, which was known as the Sister's Island.

Abandoned by the sisters in 1956, the island was acquired in 1958 by the Quebec Home and Mortgage Corporation Ltd, while the charter of the town of Verdun was amended, stating that the island was part of the town. Until the middle of the 1960s, the island remained a place of farming, served by a ferry until the erection of the Champlain bridge in 1962. The same year, the architect Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969) built a 15-storey tower on the island.,95703662&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL - Montreal municipal website
Ivan Sache, 1 April 2017

The Flag

I took a photo of this flag in 1999 in a Montreal Urban Community building. Beaudoin reports a version without the city name.
Reference: François Beaudoin, Symboles de la Communauté urbaine de Montréal, Vexilla Belgica, 1982.
Luc Baronian, 9 May 2005

The arms of Verdun feature a field gules and a castle or, taken from the arms of the French town of Saverdun. The two towers of the castle represent the French-speaking and English-speaking components of the population of the town. The castle also evokes the fort once built on the site of the town. The raised portcullis, leaving free access to the castle is a symbol of welcome to the visitors. The maple leaf surmounts the castle and is placed in the middle of the chief, highlighting the pride of Verdun to be a big Canadian town and its commitment to place patriotism and national interests above local interests, and above ethnic, linguistic or religious specificity. The base argent supporting the castle is charged with a fess wavy azure symbolizing the location of Verdun on river Saint-Laurent and the famous promenade lining the river. The Latin motto "E Viribus Duorum" (By the Forces of Both) emphasizes the joint effort of the French-speaking and English-speaking communities to develop the town.,96325657&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL - Montreal municipal website

The municipality of Saverdun (4,358 inhabitants in 2014; 6,147 ha) is located south of Toulouse. The municipal arms are "Gules a castle or", as shown in the Armorial Général - Armorial Général
Ivan Sache, 1 April 2017