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.

9 Activities to Enjoy Winter in Dunany.

4 January 2018

There is never a dull moment in Dunany. Even in the winter!

If you happen to live here permanently or just come for week ends, have a look at this list of activities.

  1. The Dunany Ski Club begins it’s activities at Morin Heights on Friday January 12. Meet at the chalet between 9:30 and 10:00 and then for lunch around 12:15.
  2. This year, the Dunany Country Club is open to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
  3. And you can also walk the famous Dunany Trail.
  4. Feel like skating. The Wentworth Community Centre has a nice rink and a warm place to put your skates on.
  5. Go Curling in Lachute. There is a curl and dine January 12 at the Lachute curling club: Curling at 4:00 PM followed by a pot luck supper at 6:00.  All are welcome. It is a  time for new curlers to try out the game.  Contact Peggy Carroll at peg.carroll9@gmail
  6. Feel more like reading? Join the Readers group. Contact  lois.finch@mail.mcgill.ca
  7. Or more like knitting? To join the Knitters group contact Diana Glionna at diglionna@hotmail
  8. And if you are experienced and wish to exercise, join Vie Active Mondays and Thursdays at the Gore Community Centre (contact Mary Chuprun mary.chuprun@gmail.com.
  9. Finally, there is also Pilates Mondays and Fridays (10 AM) at the Wentworth Community Centre at 10 AM beginning January 15.
Happiness is in Dunany!

High Speed Internet soon available to Curran Road Residents.

13 December 2017

The MRC of Argenteuil recently published a map (pictured) showing where it would deploy it’s fibre cables to provide high speed internet to some communities not currently served in it’s northern areas.

It looked as though Dunany had been forgotten. So, I inquired.

Fortunately, it is the opposite.

I have learned that there are two projects in store for Dunany.

The first project is a fibre link from Wentworth’s Town Hall to the end of Curran Road. High Speed Internet should thus be available to Curran Road residents by the end of March 2018.

Good new indeed.

At present, residents of Clear, Black, Boyd and those of Neil Road on Curran, are served by Bell’s 5 Mbit DSL service. Not so for the 45 residents along Curran Road.

The cost of bringing the fibre link to the end of Curran Road is estimated at 132,000$. A grant from the FDT program of the Quebec Government has already been awarded.  According to Jason Morrison, the new mayor of Wentworth who kindly supplied me with the information for this Post, this Dunany project will serve as the pilot project for the larger 11M$ (3 year)  MRC project.

The work on the Curran Road project must therefore be completed before the end of March 2018 as it will be a trial run for  the non-profit that the MRC is setting up. It will help determine how deployment, billing and product service should best be done.

The second project would be a partnership between Wentworth and Gore to deploy the fibre link along Dunany road as far as Stephenson. Estimated cost: 125,000$.

This fibre optic link would make possible much higher internet speeds than the 5 Mbits currently provided by Bell with it’s DSL offering.  As some residents of Clear and Boyd lakes are in Lachute and Brownsburg Chatham, these municipalities will be asked to participate in the project.

The MRC project shown in the map was designed to cover those areas that are not currently serviced such as Louisa, Grace Park and Pine Hill, where the only way to access the internet is through a satellite service such as Xplornet. Since most Dunany residents have had access to High Speed Internet since November 2011, it does not appear on the map.

But we have certainly not been forgotten. We will be the first to benefit with the Curran Road project and that project will lead the way for the whole MRC initiative.

Yes, Mary, there is a Santa Claus!


Taras (Terry) Chuprun 1938-2017: a Truly Noble-Hearted Man.

5 November 2017

Terry Chuprun’s life came to an abrupt end the last week end of October when he suffered a massive brain hemorrhage. Most people in Dunany knew this generous man. They had either gone to his exercise classes, his dancing lessons, got a picture he had taken of them or a a woodworking piece he had crafted.

For Terry was all these things. A physical education teacher, an athlete (see black and white pictures below), a dancer, a photographer, a craftsman and most of all a great father and a caring husband.

He and Mary bought their Curran Lake cottage in 1996. It needed major renovations and Terry did most of them himself and crafted many accessories for the house. Wood crafting was one of his passions – he also loved poker and bridge – which produced all kinds of objects, from toys and puzzles to funeral urns.

Terry,  the physical education teacher was very active during the last decade giving Vie Active classes for the not-so-young every Monday and Thursday in two locations: either in Wentworth or Gore and in Lachute. This exceptional contribution to the quality of life of residents of Argenteuil was officially recognized by both the Wentworth Township and the MRC. His last class, which I attended, was on October 25.

Tara’s grand parents emigrated from Bukovina, an area that straddles Ukraine and Roumania and was raised as an Orthodox. He had deep affection for all things Ukrainian and duly celebrated every year the Orthodox Christmas (Sunday January 7 in 2018) with typical Ukrainian dishes.

When he suddenly collapsed on October 28, he was taken to l’hôpital d’Argenteuil in Lachute where they found he had a massive brain hemorrhage. He was later transferred to St-Jérôme as he was still breathing. His final gift to his peers was giving  away his organs which was done at Sacré-Cœur in Montreal. Today, a Canadian has a future thanks to the successful transplant of his lungs.

Needless to say, he would encourage all of us to sign our medicare card to make our organs available if fate would put us in a situation where organ giving was possible. If you do so, do share this information with those you love.

This post ends on a positive note. A lot is said and written about our so-called troubles health system. During this deeply emotional and traumatic event, his family only found professionalism and constant empathy from all those involved in the three hospitals: doctors, nurses and support staff. Same goes for the 911 people  and paramedics who took him promptly to the hospital.

Again, the funeral service will be held Saturday, November 11 at 2 PM at the Lachute Presbyterian Church, 463 rue Principale. Family will receive condolences at the church from noon to the time of service. Follow this link to view the orbituary.


PS. Click on the pictures to enlarge.


Getting Ready for Spring: Fish Stocking on Boyd and Curran.

9 October 2017

It is beautiful in Dunany, even when it rains!

Which was the case on Monday noon October 9 when the trout from La Pisciculture Mont-Tremblant were delivered to stock Boyd and Curran Lakes. About 750 trout, both Speckled and Rainbow, to be shared between the two lakes.

The first batch of trout was delivered by Jim Amstrong’s place (above with a helpful neighbour). Then on to Curran. This is home for Rod Armstrong,  Dunany’s Chief Fisherman and the person in charge of  the lake stocking program for the DCA.

The association has been sponsoring this program for many years not only for the enjoyment of fishermen but also because it is a good indicator of the quality of the water in our lakes. To survive and to thrive, trout need cool, clear and well oxygenated water.


Protecting your Home: a Guide for the Wise Dunanyite.

2 October 2017

Few things are as  emotionally disturbing as coming back from a holiday, tired and happy to be back, and finding your home has been broken into. Not that we have to be especially fearful in Dunany. There have been only two reported incidents as of October 2nd and only one was judged sufficiently important to be reported to the police.

Nonetheless, we live in a sparsely populated area, many houses are isolated and, as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Last month, the Township of Wentworth called upon Marie-Josée Gervais of the SQ in Argenteuil to talk home invasion and ways to prevent them. June Parker, our liaison with the SQ was in attendants as well as a few Dunany residents. I came out of the meeting with two messages.

  1. Never hesitate to report a break-in to the police. They do want to know. Also, Neighbourhood Watch is also of great value as it provides vital information to the police when they investigate an incident.
  2. The more barriers to your home or garage the better. Invaders focus on easy preys.

That being said here a short list of those actions you can or should take to secure your home.

Alarm systems. A definite yes. You don’t have to spend a ton of money, some are very reasonably priced. If you need help to choose a supplier, call or write to Sheryl Jackson-Caron and she will guide you. Make sure you have plenty of stickers indicating that your home is protected with an  alarm system.

Lights. Spots with motion detectors as well as lights inside the house with timers are also an excellent and inexpensive deterrent.

Cameras. That is up to you. It is nice to have. If you do not opt to install cameras get a sign that says you do and make it very visible. Robbers and vandals will be dumbfounded!

Our mouths. Avoid talking about your travel plans with a friend while waiting in line at the supermarket. You never know who might be listening in. And if you have a public Facebook account discretion about your plans is essential.

If you are a cottager and only come to Dunany during the summer months, a few other precautions might be in order like snow clearing your driveway and having a local visiting your place on a regular basis.

Finally, I have added, for your perusal, the advice that the SQ is distributing.

Do not hesitate to add your ideas and suggestions in the comments section.


Why were so Dunany Folks really Happy on September 10?

12 September 2017

Sure, weather is great. But there is more, lots more.

More than seventy of them were celebrating the opening of the new Dunany Trail.

Look at Maurice with his huge smile and big scissors. He has just cut the ribbon making this beautiful trail accessible to our community.

A Glorious Trail as Cynthia Scott aptly described it.

There was so much enthusiasm for this Dunany Community Association (DCA) project that the little jar on the picnic table overflowed with contributions totalling no less than 695$. And that could grow as some of you might want to make this number grow.

There are tons of people to thank for this and I will try not to forget any. First and foremost, there is Robert Percy. It was his idea, his project and he managed it like a pro. Bravo Robert.

But he could not have made it alone. Big Pine Fish and Game Club was on board but  he also needed the collaboration of the other land owner, especially Simon Octeau and the Dunany Country Club. They were early buyers and they deserve a good hand.

For the actual work on the trail, he was very ably seconded by Maurice and Stan Roy.

And then, there was the BBQ team with Maryse, Rick Latt, Jane Pilon, Margo MacGillivery, Scott Moffat, Lynn Palmer and once again Maurice Pilon. Thanks also go to Bruce MacLeod who took charge of transportation.

Jason Morrison, mayor of Wentworth, joined this happy crowd with his son. Two Dunany residents, Bill Gauley and Maurice Pilon, will join his team for the November 5 elections.

And now, for en encore, watch this wonderful minute and a half video from my favourite camera team John Parsons and Jennifer Gruner.

That’s Dunany.

DCA has New President with Clear Priorities.

7 August 2017

As most of you know, he is Stan Roy of Curran Lake. Stan is a long time resident of Dunany and has worked tirelessly  to improve life in Dunany, notably at the Dunany Country Club. More recently, he was part of Robert Percy’s trio who did the new Dunany Trail from the Church to the Golf course (Hole no 4).

At the end of the AGM, Stan said he had two priorities: road safety, especially on roads under Wentworth’s jurisdiction and trails. There are many trails for walking and cross country skying in Dunany, he said, but they do not connect. His goal is to structure this and thus make the trails more accessible to residents.

Following are highlights of topics from the AGM that I have not covered in previous Posts such as Lake Results, Invasive Plants and Beavers:

  • The new Dunany Trail will have signage before the end of August and will be officially inaugurated on Saturday September 9th (now moved to Sunday the 10th) with a BBQ on the trail.
  • A new loon platform will be installed on Curran lake. David Glionna will manage the project under the assistance of a biologist from Développement Ornitologique Argenteuil.
  • An inventory of aquatic plants on Currran lake is being done in early August by Sheryl Jackson Caron and a group of volunteers under the guidance of a biologist from the Conseil Régional de l’Environnement des Laurentides. The exercise was done successfully on Clear Lake last year and will be done next year on Boyd Lake with Bonnie Swaine leading the project.
  • There is a new book box corner of Neil and Dunany Road. Proposals for a third one should be directed to Lois Finch.
  • We do not know of any break ins on properties protected by an alarm system. If you own an unprotected cottage in Dunany and wish to secure it get in touch with Sheryl Jackson Caron. She has a list of suppliers, some of them very reasonably priced.

Finally, two Dunany residents will seek to be elected councillors in two Wentworth seats at the next municipal elections which will be held on Sunday November 5.  They are Bill Gauley of Boyd Lake and Maurice Pilon of Black Lake.

There are fewer than a thousand registered electors in Wentworth so every vote is very important.

And don’t forget that you can vote by mail.


Dunany at it’s Best! Just Click and Listen!

24 July 2017

If you missed the 2017 Dunany Music Fest, this is your opportunity to catch up a bit.

The Music Fest held Saturday July  22,  under a bright sky, had a solid program with a great line up of  Dunany musicians: the Wynn Family, The Hays, John Parsons, John Wilson & Scott Ritchie, the Golden Boys Unplugged, Mark Ware & Sue Smith, the Lakefield Brewing Company, Mountain Steam and the Glee Club.

John Parsons has provided me with a very lovely video featuring the Glee Club and suggested I share it with all of you.

Your wish is now fulfilled, John.

Protect your Lake from Eurasian Watermilfoil: wash all boats!

9 July 2017

This exotic and very invasive plant –   Eurasian Watermilfoil – has already spoiled more than 40 lakes in the Laurentians alone. Fortunately, there is none in Argenteuil. None in our lakes.

We absolutely want to keep it that way because once a lake is contaminated, little can be done to restore it.

I have raised his issue before but I am writing again about it because it is now our biggest threat!

So, this summer, make sure that the boats brought in by renters and friends – and yours if it is used in a foreign lake – are thoroughly washed before they navigate your lake.

Same applies to paddles, fishing gear, electric motors.

Here is how to proceed.

Follow these four steps: inspect – drain – clean – dry

Inspection is the most important. If you look carefully, you will probably locate exotic plants or molluscs. Drain to make sure the is no leftover water at the bottom of your kayak, for example. Clean with fresh water and a bit of bleach. Finally, let dry in the sun for a few days.

All this should evidently be done at a good distance from the lake.

If you wish to know more about this plant, this Guide (in English) should prove very helpful.  eurasian-water-milfoil-guide


Lake Results are finally in. Results are very good. But…

2 July 2017

Some of you might have wondered why I did not publish the lake results last spring as I have done in the previous years. Answer is simple: I did not get them till the end of June. Why?

The lab at the Environment Department hit a snag last summer. The equipment measuring the phosphorus content broke down. By the time it was replaced, the third water samples were out of date. The rest is bureaucratic snafu!

If you look at the charts carefully, you will notice an asterisk * leading to a comment that the results of the last sampling had to be taken aside because they  just don’t make sense.

Look at this 2016 Black Lake chart as an example. Click to enlarge it. The first and second phosphorus readings are 2.5 and 2.0 micro grams per litre. Excellent numbers. The third one is 0.6. Implausible!

The third column on the chart is dissolved organic carbon. This measures water coloration, in Black, it is evidently higher than in other lakes. Hence it’s name.

I have been told by the RSVL Team in Quebec City that we can really trust the first two numbers as well as those of the previous years. And now the lab has new equipment to measure phosphorus.

Let us have a look at another chart. That of Curran Lake (below).

Again, very good numbers here 1.5 and 3.0 , except for the third one (1.) that was rejected. The spread is not enormous. I saw the chart of a lake (Manitou) where it went from 1.4 to 6.9! You will also notice that transparency is much higher than in Black. Transparency champion is always Clear. Evidently!

We have ten years of data and there is great value in numbers. We have enough data to establish trends and ours is in the right direction.

You will find all the charts – 2016 and multiyear – here.

This year, we will be taking water samples in late July and August.

But remember: lakes are our main asset. Let them deteriorate  and our properties could lose half of their value. That is why we insist that municipalities make sure all septic systems are in order, make sure that shoreline protection bands are there to prevent nutrients from reaching the lake. That is why we ban pesticides and fertilizers close to the lake. That is also why we insist that you wash your boats to prevent the arrival of invasive and exotic plants and molluscs that can literally kill a lake.

Sorry about the sermon! I know you will forgive me.


Will the Beavers Find their Favorite Food on your Shoreline?

15 June 2017

This is my spring beaver report. I will answer the question at the end of this Post.

As of last weekend, there were beavers on every lake except Boyd, usually the beavers favourite lake. A miracle of sort. Touch wood!

But they have been active in the other lakes, especially on Curran where they never stop building a dam in the outlet. Our trapper hopes to have the problem solved by the end of June.

A colony has also taken residence on Black but no damage has been reported yet. Again, more work for our trapper.

Finally, I saw a couple on Clear a few weeks ago and they have feasted again on my shoreline where their favourite food is still abundant. This year they decided to gulp a really pretty dappled willow. The lady did not appreciate at all!

The beavers favourite food is definitely alder.

Here is what it looks like on my shoreline.

If they cannot  it find it, they will eat birch, cherry trees, poplar, willow, aspen and cottonwood.

One piece of advice. If you have valuable trees on your shoreline it would be a good idea to protect them. Here is an illustration as to how to do it. The 2×2 inch mesh should be about four feet high. And leave room for the tree to grow.

We will always have beavers in and around our lakes. Our trapper cannot be everywhere. All we can do is control the beaver population and prevent serious damage to our assets.

And do not be afraid of them, they are herbivores. Don’t even eat fish!


Lots of Activities for you in Dunany this Summer.

13 June 2017

If you wish to meet old friends, make new ones and really enjoy this coming summer, look no further. Just read this line up of activities put together by our own Chief Volunteer Organizer (CVO), Lois Finch of Black Lake.

She has prepared a summary chart of the whole summer program which you will find here. DCA Seasonal activities_2017

  • The Bike Club – now the Dunany Chippers Bike Club – has a full program. If those happy and joyful folks don’t convince you to join, nothing will.  Look for details here.
  • Then there is  SPANK (Superior Paddlers and Notorious Kayakers) now in seventh season. This year, we will be doing our four lakes beginning with Black on July 7. See full schedule here. Events will be listed on the continuously updated Calendar, directly to your right on the Home Page. Details will be posted here.
  • The Dunany Studio Artists who, I suppose, you all know, is already at work. Dates of their upcoming late August Show and Sale are also on the Calender. Details on this page.
  • The Glee Club is another dynamic initiative. More information is available here. First rehearsal in on Monday July 3 at St.Paul’s Church at 3 PM.
  • And then, there is the Walking Club every Monday, Thursday and Saturday. All you need to know is here.
  • If you enjoy gardening, go this page and contact the organizer.
  • This list would be incomplete without Men’s Cribbage. Look for details here. If you are not one of them but want to play or prefer Scrabble, join Claudette Hay, Wednesday evenings at 7:30 PM.
  • And finally, there is the Vie Active program with Taras and Mary Chuprun (450 562 9297). Fun (sometimes hilarious!) exercise classes are held every Monday and Thursday at 10 AM at the Wentworth Community Center.

Have a great summer!

A Cozy Nesting Platform for our Loons on Black Lake.

4 June 2017

We all love the common loons and their very unique cry on our lakes even when it is heard in the middle of the night!

Listen if you wish!

As far as I know, there is only one nest in Dunany. It is on Curran. So, when we were approached by Développement ornitologique Argenteuil who proposed to install a nesting platform on one of the other three lakes, I said sure.

By the way, this NGO is strongly supported by the MRC – which pays for the platform – and the Townships of Wentworth and Gore.

Black Lake was chosen because it has a large inhabited area – so-called Frenchies bay – where loons can reproduce away from their natural predators (that includes us). By the way, loons lay their eggs in June.

Here I want to thank Maurice Pilon who happily volunteered to help install the platform and will handle the maintenance, including the removal in the fall and the re-installation once the ice is gone. The man with him in the pictures that illustrate this Post taken on June 1 is Martin Picard, the biologist who runs the DOA.

Let us hope some loons will like this new home.

As for us, if you wish to have a look at it, look from afar, use binoculars. Getting close to the platform will scare away the loons and defeat our purpose.


Michel Caron, pharmacist, craftsman, will long be remembered in Dunany.

26 May 2017

Michel Caron passed away peacefully on May 23 at l’hôpital d’Argenteuil de Lachute. He was 87.

He has left an indelible mark on Dunany, and especially it’s little Church: St. Paul’s.

A pharmacist and pharmacologist by trade, Michel was also a superior craftsman. In 2009 he co-managed with Robert Percy the exhaustive renovation of the church and made a very personal contribution: the windows. He crafted each of the six windows in the church. His contribution was recognized by the MRC (Ordre d’Argenteuil), the Wentworth Township and,  evidently, St. Paul’s.

Like many of you, I have known Michel for many years and to me he was the perfect gentlemen. I found out he worked as a young pharmacist at la Phramacie Demers in Quebec City very close to where I lived. Years later he worked as a pharmacologist at Ayerst, McKenna, Harrison (later Wyeth and now Pfizer)  in Montreal with my uncle Roger Gaudry. It is a small world indeed.


Funeral will be held Saturday June 3 at Église Sainte-Anastasie, 174 Bethany Street in Lachute at 10:30

Family will receive condolences from 9:30-10:30.

A lunch reception will follow the service in the church basement.


Meet the Winners of the “Dunany Black Fly Open”.

22 May 2017

The Dunany Black Fly Open is how our friend Maurice Pilon described last Sunday’s Pray and Play tournament, the fundraiser for St. Paul’s Church. Believe me, the Black Fly Open  is a totally appropriate name for the venue as there were certainly millions of black flies on the Dunany Country Club golf course last Sunday May 21.

Our 2016 winners, Chairman and lay reader  are all smiles and really happy because this picture was taken inside the church! Most of you will have recognized Cathy Leslie, Caroline Roy, Ross Leslie and Judy Hammond . They are seen here with our beloved Wendy Crooks and this year’s Honorary Chairman, Scott Pearce, mayor of Gore and Prefect of the MRC d’Argenteuil.

The champions of the 2017 event will be honoured  next year but you can already congratulate them. They are a trio: Barbara Armstrong, Angie McLeod and Maureen Cameron.

This year again, there were many returning sponsors whose support for St Paul’s has been steadfast over the last 5 years. Gourmet Baron, Cathy’s Kitchen, Hadleys Christmas Trees, Gym Max, Cantons de Gore and Wentworth, Marks and Sons, Mackimmie Funeral Home, Big Pine Fish and Game Club, FBL accountants, The Gloven’s and IGA Lachute who once again donated and prepared the lunch of burgers and hot dogs. Great thanks to them for a solid contribution to St. Paul’s.

But the person who deserves the greatest thanks is Robert Percy.

Without his commitment, his dedication and boundless energy this event, which is now in Dunany’s DNA, would just not happen.

Three cheers to you Robert!


An inventory of aquatic plants on Clear lake: all’s clear!

19 March 2017

When the MRC launched its program to identify invasive and indigenous plants in the lakes of  Argenteuil, I raised my hand and proposed to include Clear lake. The 56 page interesting report drafted by the CRE Laurentides (Environment Council)  has just been made available and if you wish to practice your French, you will find it here.

The inventory was done in 25 lakes – including such lakes as  Louisa, Bixley, and Hugues –  and, thank God, no exotic or invasive plants were found in the lakes surveyed. This is comforting but we should not forget that 40 lakes in Laurentians have to deal with Eurasian Watermilfoil, an extremely invasive plant that can destroy a lake. Also, there is some of it in a couple of landing stages on the Ottawa River in Brownsburg-Chatham. So we must be very vigilant!

Back to Clear lake. Thirteen varieties of plants were found, according to the report. In all the 25 lakes, the count is between 9 and 32. Which is to say there are not that many.

Clair carte herbier

The verdict of the biologist who directed our work was non equivocal: dam nice lake! If you look carefully at the map, your will find that the plants are concentrated in five bays around the lake.

I have prepared for you a page with pictures and names of the plants that you will find here.

Any questions?

PS. I have twelve pictures, not 13, because I think there is some confusion around the many varieties of Pondweed. There are so many varieties. Like Heinz products!


Dunany now has a Community Book Exchange

14 August 2016

It is all in this little box, corner of Boyd and Dunany Dunany Road.

Even though they are a recent (2009) idea, there are now more than 10 000 of those Little Free Libraries or Free Book Exchanges around the world, according to Wikipedia. The idea is simple: you put a book in, you take one out. In other words, it is a way to share books with one another.

The Dunany project initiator is Lois Finch who proposed the idea to the DCA and got Wentworth Council to approve it and provide the necessary permit. The box itself was crafted by John Wilson.

As you can see, there are already many books in the box.

Book Box

The rest is up to you, members of the Dunany Community. Especially those who live here year long.

Put a book in, take one out!



A new and Interesting Map of the Dunany Watershed and it’s Wetlands: have a look!

12 May 2016

This map is a section of a larger one of the Wetlands of the Laurentians produced by Ducks Unlimited, the world’s largest private, non-profit, waterfowl and wetland conservation organization,  and Abrinord, the organization responsible for the management of the North River Watershed.

Wikipedia defines a wetland as a land area that is saturated with water, either permanently or seasonally, such that it takes on the characteristics of a distinct ecosystem. Wetlands play a number of roles in the environment, principally water purification, flood control, carbon sink and shoreline stability.

Wetlands are also considered the most biologically diverse of all ecosystems, serving as home to a wide range of plant and animal life.

Bassin versant de Dunany et ses mielieux humidesThe map is only available in French. Key words in the legend are marécage, marais (Swamp), Tourbière (Bog), eau peu profonde (shallow water) .

It was produced though 3-D imagery. It is quite precise. For example, there are small bogs with trees (tourbière boisée) on and close to  my property and they are clearly shown.

I am sharing this information with you as the health of our lakes is inseparable from the preservation of our wetlands as they play vital functions such as water filtration, water storage, biological productivity, and provide habitat for wildlife.

To view the full map, just click on this link.


Where was Dunany 13,000 Years Ago?

15 February 2016

Underwater, my friends.

The de-glaciation process had recently begun and given birth to the Sea of Champlain which was a temporary inlet of the Atlantic Ocean, created by the retreating glaciers during the close of the last ice age. This sea of saltwater was born about 13 000 years ago when the glacier began melting. It slowly shrank allowing the rebounding continent to slowly rise above sea level.  The sea was home to crustaceans, seals, walrus and belugas whose fossils were found in the Lower Laurentians.

Mer de Champlain. 6_Extension_Champlain

In 2001, the skeleton of of a 10 700 year old beluga was found in Saint-Félix-de-Valois, 118 kilometers east of Dunany. It was the best preserved of the 21 specimens found to date. Interestingly, it proved to be morphologically identical to the belugas found today in the St-Lawrence River. The vegetation found around the shores of this salted inland sea was pretty similar to the tundra now found in Northern Quebec.

Lake Lampsilis (known today as Lac St-Pierre, east of Montreal) is the name given to the body of fresh water that was left after the sea of Champlain had retreated. The sea lasted from about 13 000 years ago to about 10 000 years ago and shrank continuously during that period. The actual shoreline of the St-Lawrence took today’s shape about 8 000 years ago.

The melting of all this ice – about two kilometers thick – removed a lot of weight permitting the earth’s crust to slowly lift.  That is how the Laurentians and their thousands of lakes were created. If you wish to see how this evolved over time, have a look at this simulation.

As you can see, our geological history is pretty recent considering that humans were living in Europe more than half a million years ago!

Sources: Biodôme de Montréal, Wikipedia

A Report on the Beaver Situation in Dunany.

16 October 2015

The hot topic in Dunany these days is beavers!

Beavers on Curran! Beavers on Clear! Beavers on Boyd! This is not surprising since this is their most active time of the year. Beavers are getting ready for the winter. So they cut trees and build huts. Late this summer, they were especially active on Clear where they cut alder on my shoreline to bring it on the other side of the lake. The action is now on Curran where they have developed a fondness for birch tress.


I can report that our trapper Marcel Gauthier has been very active recently on these three lakes and captured a good half dozen of them. But there are still a few left and the goal is to have all of our four lakes beaver free by November 1. There were some beavers on Back but they showed up early this summer and the problem was solved. He will also remove the new dam on Boyd in the coming days.

By the way, you should know that our trapper respects Quebec’s laws and regulations scrupulously.

Many of you have had the opportunity to meet with him and he has asked me to thank you all for your collaboration. This is essential because he wants to be absolutely sure that you know what is going on and that no dogs or cats get hurt in the capture process.

By the way, chicken wire can be useful to protect valuable trees on your  shoreline. If you chose this method, use the 1 sq. inch type.

If you have specific questions you can continue to write or phone me.

Majestic Loon on Black Lake. Watch closely!

8 September 2015

Many of you chose the loon when we held the contest to select the emblematic bird of Dunany. The Pine Warbler won but the loon, which came in second, certainly has a special place in our lives as we see and hear this bird – albeit sometimes loudly in the middle of the night – all though the nice season.

This video was shot by John Parsons on Black Lake and he has agreed to share it with you so you can run int when you are away from Dunany and have the winter blues!



Thank you John.



Inside Black Lake: have a look!

26 August 2015

If you have attended our latest AGMs you have often heard talk about the Purple Bladderwort (Utricularia Purpurea) in Black Lake. It is a carnivorous plant found in many places in the Eastern part of North America, but only in a very few lakes in the Laurentians. When abundant it can be bothersome but it is otherwise harmless.

This 2,5  minute underwater video was done in the far east section of Black Lake last summer. The author is none other than Dr. Richard Carignan, Quebec’s foremost lake expert. He is also an active member of the GRIL (Group for Interuniversity Research in Limnology and Aquatic Environment)

He has identified in French the plants seen in the video. I am providing you here with the appropriate English names. First, in order of appearance, is  la (Vallisnérie américaine, (Vallisneria Americana),  Brasénie de Schreber,  (Schreber Watershield), Potamot à large feuilles, (Large-Leaved Pondweed)  then lots of Purple Bladderwort. Finally,  a composite of the latter, plus vallisnérie américaine (Tapegrass) and some potamot émergé (Ribbonleaf Pondweed). All of these plants, except the Purple Bladderwort, are common in all our lakes.


We do not know how long the Bladderwort  has been living in Black lake. Certainly decades. Maybe centuries. Our expert Richard Carignan, professor at University of Montreal and Quebec’s foremost lake expert, does not recommend any action at this time. But he will follow its evolution with us and advise accordingly.



The First Dunany Triathlon: an Event to Remember

7 August 2015

The weather was good; spirits were high and the results were impressive. Fifty-four participants competed in the first ever Dunany Triathlon, supported by a host of volunteers. Thanks to the Burks, especially Dianne, who put their hearths into this and made it such a great success.

Dunany Triathlon 2015

The day began with a swim across Curran Lake, followed by a cycle up “The Glen” and finished with a run around the lake. Participants challenged themselves with the “Try a Tri” or “Sprint” distances or their own personal goal. The day ended with a BBQ to celebrate not only our athletic achievements but also the fund raising effort towards building a school in Ethiopia.

As Dianne wrote, we built up ourselves through this community event, we also helped transform another community – creating new opportunities for 400 students!

The Dunany Triathlon – Swim, Bike, Run – Build a School!

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.