Dunany

Dunany

DunanyThis Web site is sponsored by The Dunany Community Association (DCA), created in 1963, for all who share an interest in Dunany and the DCA objective of "conserving the environment, values and quality of life in our Community".

Dunany, is a "little piece of paradise", just over an hour drive northwest of Montreal in Canada's Laurentian Mountains, 10 km north of Lachute, Quebec.

The DCA is a community based organization, with a volunteer Board of Directors, which is made up of people who reside in proximity to the Dunany Country Club and its surrounding lakes; Clear, Boyd, Black and Curran.

Here is your activity program for this coming summer

20 May 2015

At our last AGM, the assembly adopted a new set of by-laws with an enhanced mission statement. The DCA main goal is still to protect, maintain and enhance the quality of its environment, notably the quality of the water in its four lake, but also supports the development of community spirit by enabling social and cultural activities.

The Board thus mandated Lois Finch to coordinate these initiatives and to integrate them into a comprehensive activity program. This is the summary of activities she has put together. Click on this link and you will find it at the bottom of that page.

Following is a quick tour of this program. For each activity I have built a specific page where you will find the detailed information.

Here we go!

 

 

Dunany Studio Artists: meet every Thursday, 1:00 to 4:00, at the Wentworth Community Centre. Contact Revilla Sauvé or Annabelle Wood. Full details here.

 

 

 

Bike Club: Friday in June, Tuesday July August. 8:30 to noon. Contact Louis Finch. Full details here.

 

Garden Club: Program to be announced soon. More info here. Contact Carol Hanna Wight.

 

 

 Glee Club: Meet Mondays from 3:30 to 5:30 PM at St.Paul’s. Full details here. Contact Cathy Leslie.

 

 

 

 Men’s Cribbage:  Meet every Wednesday from 7:15 to 10 PM at the Dunany Country Club.

Details here. Contact James Cameron.

 

 

 

 

Scrabble/Cribbage: Meet Monday from 7:30 to 10 PM at the Country Club. Consult activity chart here for details. Contact Claudette Hay.

 

S.P.A.N.K. All events are listed on the calender on the right side of this page. Full details here. Contacts Robert Percy or Ev Wood.

 

Walking Club: Morning walks on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Details here. Contact Annabelle Wood      .

 

Have a healthy and happy summer.

St. Paul’s latest Pray and Play draws biggest crowd ever.

19 May 2015

There were almost 70 residents in our little church on Sunday May 17.

Last year’s trophy was awarded to the Lavoie family by this year’s Chairman John Cleary. Here he is with David, Sue, Anthony and Suzanne, our 2014 champions.Pray and Play 2015

This year’s winners were the Pilon family: Maurice (DCA Past President), Jane and their two sons Marc and Philippe. Congratulations.

This event was also made possible through the generous contribution of our numerous sponsors: St-Jacques & Pilon (Benoit St-Jacques), Henry Marks (Glen Nobes), Cathy’s Kitchen (Cathy Riviere), Baron Gourmet (Sue Lavoie), IGA Lachute (Suzanne Albert), Cristini (John Feola), Big Pine Fish & Game Club (Robert Percy), Hadley’s Christmas Tree Farm (Richard Hadley), Décor d’Eau (Sylvain Charron), McKimmie Funeral Home (Rick McKimmie), Gym Max (Marc Olivier Labelle).

Once again, Suzanne Lambert, owner of IGA Lachute sponsored the lunch of hamburgers and hotdogs cooked on the first tee at the Dunany Country Club. Thank you all: players and church supporters and especially Robert Percy who made all this possible.

How old is the Metal Bridge on Dunany Road?

21 April 2015

Well, a bit more than 100 years. Actually, it was built in 1912-13.

It was then called Copeland’s Bridge, replacing an 1835  wooden bridge called Powers Bridge. The plans for the metal bridge were drafted by the Quebec Department of Public Works in February 1912 and signed by its Chief Engineer,  Louis A. Vallée. The steel structure was built by the Dominion Bridge Company in Lachine , a renowned bridge builders in Quebec responsible for large projects such as the Mercier Bridge over the St. Lawrence. It was originally painted black.

15-04-20 - 1.jpg

15-04-20 - 1.jpg

This picture was shot from the north. Date and author are unknown.

In 1983, the Commission de Toponymie du Québec, the organization charged with naming places and structures officially designated it as Pont Noir. I had never heard this before doing my search for this story!

The first bridge on this site, named Power’s Bridge,  was built in 1835 so that Irish settlers could reach their assigned lots in Gore and in Wentworth and bring their wood to the mill in Lachute. In 1885, a major flood destroyed this wooden bridge and it was replaced with another wooden structure the following year. But in 1903-04, this new structure was declared unsafe and later closed.

The current bridge is in good shape and is regularly inspected (I have seen them at work) by the Department of Transport.

Long live the Pont Noir!

2014 RSVL Lake Reports are in: see what gives?

8 March 2015

Lakes are somewhat like quality wines. There are some good years and some not so good. A sunny season with minimal rain will produce excellent results, sometimes exceptional wines. For our lakes, the first three years of this decade were exceptional. Low phosphorus count, little chlorophyll, great clarity. Overall weather was just fabulous.

Not so in 2014. It rained, no, it poured during most of the summer. There was so much run off that lake levels reached historic highs. That run off brought lots of nutrients to our lakes. Consequently, chlorophyll levels were higher, phosphorus levels were much  higher than the previous years and clarity was dismal.

Cartes bathymetriques 20141.jpg

Cartes bathymetriques 20141.jpg

To view the charts, click on this link. There are two for each lake. The first one (sa_su) is the 2014 chart, the second one (pcp) is the multiyear

These results are no cause for alarm because they are the same for all four lakes and we know that they are the consequence of natural events like exceptional rainfalls. But they certainly remind us to be very vigilant and this is why we continue to subscribe to the whole RSVL Program. They also show how delicate this environment is and demonstrates the importance of preventive measures such as strong protection bands around our lakes. The cumulative effect of nature and negligence on our part could have devastating effects.

Finally, big thanks are due to our four lake volunteers who collect water samples and measure clarity throughout the summer months: John Parsons on Black, Rick Havill on Boyd, François Côté on Clear and Sheryl Jackson-Caron on Curran.

I have illustrated this post with our latest bathymetric maps. They are very useful for the management of our lakes program. Our thanks to the Conseil régional de l’environnement des Laurentides of which we are members and Dr. Richard Carignan and his team from the University of Montréal. To enlarge the maps, just click on them.

Who first developped Argenteuil? The French? The British? The Americans?

12 January 2015

The man charged with this mission was Charles-Joseph d’Ailleboust des Museaux owner of a Burgundy castle in Argenteuil-sur-Armaçon,  a bodyguard and nephew of Louis XIV, king of France. In 1680, he was awarded the Seigniory of Argenteuil, a territory of 54 000 acres located between the Ottawa and North Rivers which he was supposed to develop. He never set foot there. His son Pierre bought it from him in 1697 but it is his wife Marie-Louise who built the first Seigniorial manor. By 1740, only five French families inhabited the territory.

Early in that century, the French had allied with the local tribes: Algonquinians, Micmacs, Hurons, most of whom were gradually exterminated by the ferocious Mohawks. Peace only came to New France after the French and their allied indian tribes signed La Grande Paix de Montreal with the Mohawks in 1701.Seigneurie2

Bottom line: it wasn’t the French.

The Seigniory changed hands many times until it’s purchase in 1793  by Major Patrick Murray, a commander of Fort Detroit and then by James Murray in 1803 and then again by Sir John Johnson who encouraged the American Loyalists to move in. Thus Massachusetts citizens, mostly of Scottish descent, loyal to the defeated British in the United States began development in St. Andrews where they built the first paper mill in Canada. Then came Carillon and Lachute.

The Americans were followed by immigrants from the UK , mostly Scottish and, later, Irish. They became the nucleus of development in the Seigniory of Argenteuil. In 1854, the Province of Quebec, officially abolished the Seigniorial Regime and replaced it with counties.

So, the real developers were Americans.

The Seigniory is long gone but the Comte d’Argenteuil is alive and well in France. He name is Alain Chebroux an he hosts an excellent web site (in English, if you please) that you might want to look it if you want to know more. Needless to say, he is my main source of information.


 

 

 

 

An Activity Report from our President

21 November 2014

Dear Residents of Dunany
The change of the four seasons, which we have the pleasure of enjoying, is a real positive to living in this place called ‘Dunany’. Summer and fall have faded away and the test of the winter months is at our door. The last six months have been good ones for our community.
Our lakes continue to produce good numbers that indicate we are all doing our part in protecting them. No fertilizer on lawns, shoreline protection bands of ten metres, inspection and regular cleaning of septic systems and boat washing are items that required our attention. All of these items must be carried out by each one of us and with vigilance for us to continue to enjoy the clean water in our lakes.
High water levels have been a concern in some of our lakes this year. The Boyd lake level was caused by a beaver dam which has been removed. Clear lake is experiencing high levels also which has required the opening of the control gate for five to eight days at a time. The higher level on Black lake this year seems to have helped the Bladderwort situation.
Beavers have been seen on all four lakes with numerous calls being received by Board Members. Please keep calling as you have a sighting or evidence of beaver activity and we will do our best to take some action. Once again, the municipalities will not get involved unless infrastructure is being obstructed or damaged.photo-3.JPG

We have, as reported by Jacques on the Website, taken some time to look at the subject of beaver control with cost effectiveness and efficiency. Beavers that we have in our lakes are coming from other areas so we are trying to remove them also. As of the writing of this report, since we have hired Marcel Gauthier, our official beaver trapper, we have removed 7 animals. He will be setting traps on all four lakes but always with the posting of a sign indicating his activity. Please be on your guard near the water’s edge with concern always for your dogs. A leash is a wise thing in the fall during the hunting season and until the lakes freeze over.
Speed on our roads is always a problem but the Sûreté du Québec will not set any speed traps. If you get the licence plate number of someone who is speeding or driving dangerously, take the time to report it to either the Sûreté du Québec or to one of your Board Members.
We have had some success with MacDougall Road as the municipality of Brownsburg Chatham has been carrying work to improve the road. We have been told, subject to winter conditions that by the end of November, a new crushed stone surface should be in place for the winter months.
The Boyd Lake Road is still under study with the Township of Wentworth working with the stake holders to have a workable solution. This is a very dangerous corner in our community. We are hopeful that a solution will be in the works by the spring of next year.

The activities within the community continue to be enjoyed and supported with a strong participation. The artists are still meeting regularly and are always planning their next art study getaway. They are a very talented group. Scrabble and Cribbage night has slowed down but the few that are not down south are still getting together. The ski club will once again be meeting on Fridays at Morin Heights. The regulars are eager to go. The challenge at Morin Heights seems to be more about getting ski boots on than skiing the hills themselves but the fun of getting together can’t be beat.
Fishing should be pretty good again next year as we have continued to support a stocking program of our lakes. We are grateful to Past President Rod Armstrong and his helpers for their interest in carrying out this program.
St. Paul’s Church will have two Christmas Services. One at 4 o’clock and one at 8 o’clock and the road to the cemetery will be open. This is a magical moment and a time for families and friends to reflect.
Security problems have been very few. House alarm systems coupled with the vigilance of your neighbours and the neighborhood watch seems to be our best line of defense. It is important that we report any and all break-ins and/or suspicious activity to the Sûreté du Québec. With fewer incidents we will receive fewer regular patrols from the SQ. I was informed last year that in the Wentworth area there was only one report filed with the Sûreté du Québec. June Parker remains the contact person for the SQ.
We were called upon to support our neighbour in Lachute, Centre d’Entraide d ‘Argenteuil. This is the food bank in Lachute that experienced a devastating fire to their premises in the fall. Residents of the community and your Association answered the call for funds. Some of the S.P.A.N.K. money was donated which was added to the funds given by the DCA that helped the food bank get back on its feet as quickly as possible. The residents of Dunany have always contributed in a generous way. The Christmas Fund basket supports 45 families and is led by Don and Rose Manconi. This year, from the service at St Paul’s in November, there was a pickup truck of imperishable food donated along with $220. The residents have also been asked to donate to the Argenteuil Hospital Fund. With a target of $100,000, our community has donated $81,000 in pledges and donations as of November 10th. Hopefully, those that have not contributed yet will help us reach the target of $100,000 by Christmas time.
Two of our honoured residents at our 50th anniversary were Terry and Mary Chuprun. This has come to the attention of the rest of the people in Argenteuil as Terry and Mary Chuprun have been recognized as two people who never stop giving of themselves and are being further recognized by the MRC and the Township of Wentworth. Congratulations to both them once again!
The Dunany Golf Club has had another great year. The newsletter from the President, Lynn Palmer, indicated there are opportunities to join. If you are a resident of Dunany and not a member of the Club, this might be a great time to join and participate in activities of the Club besides playing golf. This golf course is an exceptional asset to have in the middle of our community. We should all do what we can to support it.
We also wish to thank Past President Dr Maurice Pilon and his better half Jane for offering flu vaccinations to the community. Over thirty residents took advantage of this protection. Merci Jane and Maurice.
In closing, payment of annual dues can now be done electronically (Thank you Jacques and France). If you have taken care of it, thank you and otherwise we would appreciate you dealing with this matter. Our community is well above average in its control of its environment, activities, participation and spirit of which you all should be proud. From your Board of Directors, we wish you a Merry Christmas and continued health and enjoyment in the New Year.
Yours sincerely,
Robert W. Percy
President

Stocking Curran and Black with Rainbow Trout

20 October 2014

About 400 rainbow trout –  large fish, 13-14 inches long – were added to both Curran and Black lakes last Wednesday October 15.

Rick and France at KDP 2014 + SPANK Boyd 2014.jpg

Stocking Curran and Black

The fish were provided by the Pisciculture Mont-Tremblant. Rod Armstrong and David Glionna, pictured above, selected them for these lakes as they do not seem to have any speckled trout left and are more robust and too large to be  swallowed by the small mouth bass population. Give them a year or two and they should do a fine meal for fou

Limit your catches to a strict minimum in 2015. These trout will be active in the lakes for the next four to six years.

A plan to control our beaver population

14 October 2014

Beaver activity has been reported on every one of our four lakes this summer if this last season deserves the name.

It is thus time to have a look at the whole picture and develop a plan to limit ad hoc interventions to a minimum. To do this, it has been decided to hire a professional trapper already tasked to do this for local municipalities. His name is Marcel Gauthier, a fully licensed trapper with 38 years of experience who lives close-by in Lachute. This is a picture of his truck.

DSC_3395.JPG

 

Marcel already works for Wentworth and Browsburg-Chatham. More specifically, he has drawn a map of the beaver population in Wentworth (still work in progress )that you can view by clicking here. As you may be aware, governments limit their beaver interventions to public infrastructures and dangerous situations. Controlling beaver activity on lakes is ours to manage.

Last Sunday, Robert Percy and I took him for a tour of our lakes. We met many of the residents close to the areas where beaver activity has been reported. Over the coming weeks, Marcel will canoe on each lake to complete his assessment. He will also go to lake McKnight which, we suspect, is a fertile breeding ground. We already know, for example, that Boyd is a priority.

Basically, we want to know how many beavers there are in our watershed, what is the mix (females, young, etc…), where they breed and determine where we have excess populations. Since the trapping season opens on October 25 this is the time to do it. The goal here is to be in prevention mode and limit punctual interventions to a minimum. Where traps are to be used, locals will be informed and signs will be put up (we assume beavers, even the intelligent ones can’t read).

However, if you have beaver issues, please call Robert or I. We will work very closely with Marcel Gauthier.

 

The 2014 AGM: as if you had been there…

14 July 2014

For those of you who could not attend the last AGM (July 13), these are the highlights of the meeting.

  • By-Laws. The proposed new set of by-laws was unanimously adopted.
  • Beavers. Population control will require a more significant investment.
  • Roads. There is hope for MacDougall Road, measurements and costs estimates are being done by Brownsburg-Chatham. Touch wood! A new and more secure entrance to Boyd road is being planned and Wentworth has a 250 000$ budget to execute. Municipality is also pressing MTQ to install guardrails on critical curves of Dunany Road.
    IMG_0917-1.JPG

    Rainbow on Black Lake July 27, 2014 John Parsons

  • Lakes. Seven years of data show they are in good shape but we have not analyzed the periphyton (moss on rocks a few inches underwater) where early signs of deterioration would give early warning signals of deterioration. Make sure your premises are well drained, prevent run-off and reinforce your shoreline protection band.
  • Purple Bladderwort on Black. Richard Carignan, Quebec’s foremost lake specialist, will evaluate the situation in August.
  • Emerald Ash Borer. Buy your firewood locally to avoid importing the beast in our area.
  • Boat washing. You should always do so after an errand to a foreign lake. Start with a good visual inspection, wash with 2% Javel solution or leave boat in plain sunlight for five days. Invasive plants are a critical threat.
  • Activities and participation. Association encourages development of numerous social activities such as SPANK, Artists, walking club… etc  and helps to promote them with our communications tools.
  • Fish stocking. The plan for 2014 is to stock Boyd and Black with speckled trout whose presence is a good barometer of a healthy lake.
  • Security. We are blessed in Dunany. No significant incident to report.
  • Communications. Keep informing the DCA of changes in email addresses as, from now on, communications will go through the Internet including (soon) invoices and payments. Those still not on the Internet will however still receive snail mail and be able to pays their dues with checks.
  • Membership. 90% paid their dues in 2013.
  • Financial results. The 50th Anniversary Gala made a tiny profit. Clear Lake Fish Fund contributed 655$ which boosted the surplus to 1 815$.
  • Fees for 2015. Assembly voted unanimously to increase them to 40$.
  • DCA Board. John Riviere is our new Vice-President and Lois Finch has joined the Board.

 

Memo to cottagers: an ounce of prevention is worth…

30 September 2013

Well, as you know,  a pound of cure!

Thanksgiving is less than a couple of weeks away and many of you will be closing in for the winter months. During the last season, there have been some regrettable incidents like burglaries and vandalism. A couple of cottage owners even had the content of their oil tanks stolen. We asked the SQ if there was some kind of organised group doing this. They searched but could not find any. So they must be isolated incidents.

Securité Illustration 09-13

To protect your cottage while you are away during the winter months, we strongly suggest that you have someone check your property regularly. It can be a neighbour who is a permanent resident or someone who will do it for a small fee. Contact Sheryl Caron, June Parker or myself if you need specific information.

By the way, many insurance companies do require that your property be regularly visited as part of the contract. If in doubt, check with them.

Finally, if you see a suspicious car, take down the license plate and alert one of the contacts on the Neighbourhood Watch List. Remember we are the eyes and ears of the police!

DCA celebrates 50 Years, its pionneers and volunteers

25 July 2013

No less than  160 persons attended the great DCA Gala Dinner on July 20th. It was a roaring success. MC Maurice Pilon was as witty as a stand-up comic and made this event an evening to remember. Look at the smiles on this picture. Here is our new President Robert Percy with the evening’s Honoris Meritas recipients: Taras and Mary Chuprun, Jim Armstrong, Revilla Sauvé and Maurice.

Présidents et Honoris Meritas 2013

 

The event was attended by the Mayors of Wentworth -Ed Kasprzyk –  and Gore – Scott Pearce – as well as the Executive Director of the MRC d’Argenteuil, Marc Carrièere. An important presence was also that of Jill Marshall, daughter of the DCA’s first president, Wels Marshall.

Since the AGM was held at the same time, the proposed Board, led by Robert Percy, was voted in unanimously.

Lots of pictures were taken during the event. You will find them under a new tab, right under Pictures of Dunany. Click on one of the pictures then  use the arrows at the bottom to go to the next picture. If you are viewing this with an iPad, just swipe your way through.

Enjoy!.

Photo credits go to Hannah Azaria, Angela Macleod, June Parker and I (Jacques Pigeon) who  also edited them.

Yes, there are coyotes in Dunany!

1 December 2012

Proof: the animal on the left is an eastern coyote probably tracking the scent of a deer or looking for a small rodent.

Eastern coyotes are a hybrid of western coyotes and wolves. They are primarily nocturnal animals and usually wary of humans and avoid people whenever possible.

These animals were photographed recently in the private forest adjacent to the golf course using a hidden camera.

Pictures courtesy of Simon Octeau

The other interesting animal is a Pekan, a large dark brown North American arboreal carnivorous mammal, a name of Algonquian origin. It is a solitary animal, difficult to observe, a predator who will even go after porcupines!

The bird, as many of you will know, is a Pileated woodpecker.

The Emerald Ash Borer: how to prevent it’s arrival in Dunany.

30 July 2012

There were questions asked at last  AGM, held on Sunday July 22, 2012, about the Emerald ash Borer (Agrilius planipennis). It is an insect that attacks and kills all species of ash, except mountain ash which is not a true ash. This is what it looks like:

Emerald Ash Borer – Agrilus planipennis

It has reached the City of Montreal which has deployed a major initiative to save the trees that have already been  infected and, more importantly, to prevent its spread. You will find links on the topic in the links section of this Web site.

Duncan Campbell has kindly provided me with information and advice I am here sharing with you. The advice is simple and straightforward: do not  transport firewood from one area to another as this is a prime method of propagating the insect.  There are areas of Quebec now where no wood can come in or out to stop the propagation.  Unfortunately, many of our residents bring wood from their home to their cottage or vice versa.

Firewood from unknown provenance could have been infected prior to its felling. It is another reason why a permit is required from the municipality to cut a tree – not just a cash grab, as some would think – but an inspection of the tree as to why it is dead or dying can be part of a prevention program.

At the AGM, someone said to  burn the trees and branches. This is not an acceptable method of eliminating the bug (plus it adds pollution). Trees have to be cut and chipped up to eliminate the chance that the larvae will propagate.

Bottom line: the best way to prevent the bug’s arrival in Dunany is to buy your firewood locally.

 

Lakeside resident destroys shoreline. Municipality sues. Read what the Quebec Superior Court decides.

1 March 2012

This is a first in Québec. A property owner by lac Ouareau, in Lanaudière – near St-Donat – built a large house on a lake-front lot and decided to clean cut and level his shoreline even though the municipality, Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci (pop: 1100), had previously informed him of its 1996 by-law forbidding such action in the 10-15 meter lake protection band. The by-law is basically the same as Argenteuil’s.

Lac Ouareau

The municipality sued, won and even got the defendant to pay its legal costs (30,000$) . Moreover, the owner of the mansion – the property is valued at 1,090,800.00 dollars- will have to restore the shoreline along the plans drafted by consultants hired by the municipality. If he fails to do so, the deciding judge from the Superior Court, Justice  Steve J. Remnitz, authorizes the municipality to do the work and bill the owner as if it were a tax bill.

The municipality of Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci has worked hard in the past years to improve the quality of the water of its lake which has had many blue-green algae episodes in the past years, including 2010. For example, it has planted more than 1000 trees on its shoreline every year.

In his decision, justice Reimnitz took into account the fact that the municipality of Notre-Dame-de-la-Merci has a population of only 1100, a tight 2.6M$ budget and can hardly afford these legal costs. Now, that should be of great interest to our local mayors and councillors who are often hesitant to sue residents who do not respect their by-laws, especially the wealthy ones.

If you want to read Justice Reimnitz’s decision (in French) click on this sentence.