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Lot 374, Westmount Collection (C642)

1875-1960. - 5 cm of textual records (65 documents).

Administrative History - Biographical Sketch:

This property has belonged to some major figures in Canadian history, such as Luther H. Holton, an entrepreneur who played a leading role in the marine shipping and railway industries as well as in banking and real estate. Holton also served as Minister of Finance in the government of the United Province of Canada in 1863-1864 and subsequently lent his support to the plans for a Canadian Confederation. The collection also includes a will of Mr. Holton in which he leaves the property to his wife. Souart Crescent, located next to the property, has become Holton Avenue. The official date of the name change was July 10, 1928.The property was later purchased by William Owen, Conservative senator from 1896 to 1917 (whose will is also in the donated collection). It subsequently belonged to Montreal brewer Joseph Gibson, shoe store owner Napoléon Tetrault and merchant Herbert T. Shaw. In 1928 it was purchased by Allan Bronfman, whose brother Samuel was the founder of Seagrams. At the time, the Bronfmans appear to have been involved in a number of real estate transactions for properties in Montreal, including some in Westmount, selling them and buying them back for the token sum of $1.

Scope and Content:

This collection concerns lot number 374, a huge piece of property located in the eastern part of the city of Westmount, bounded to the south by Sherbrooke Street, to the north by Belvedere Boulevard and to the east by the property of the Montreal Seminary. More specifically, the collection pertains to subdivisions 374-66 and 374-67 of the lot. These two pieces of land were located on Belvedere Boulevard. Also included in the collection is information about the various owners of the two subdivisions.

The collection consists primarily of legal documents, including deeds of sale, search certificates for lots 374-66 and 374-67, loans, agreements, appointments of executors of wills, repudiations, declarations of transfers of ownership, mortgage bonds, discharges and terms of payment. The collection also includes the wills of Luther Holton, William Owens and Joseph Gibson. Lastly, there is a property tax receipt from the City of Westmount (1935) as well as correspondence between Allan Bronfman and various lawyers and notaries regarding his property and the deeds thereto.