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.

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!

2015 AGM: DCA Celebrates Rod Armstrong and introduces President John Riviere

14 July 2015

Your association is alive and kicking. Witness those pictures taken at the July 12 AGM attended by more than 70 residents on that beautiful hot and sunny day.

Lakes are in good shape. Fish are jumping. Beavers are under control. And our main road needs improvements. Big time. Working on it!

So we had reason to celebrate. Center stage was reserved to Rod Armstrong.

2015 AGM.jpg

2015 AGM.jpg

Rod Armstrong does appreciate the plaque he received from president Robert Percy.  The Armstrong family certainly shares his sentiment and newly elected president John Riviere cannot hide his love for Dunany. Click on any of the pictures on the above montage to blow them up.

In 2013 we cerebrated Jim. Now it was time to recognize the great contribution that Rod has made to the Dunany Community both at the Golf Club and the DCA. Rod sat on the latter’s board for many years and was at it’s helm when an algae bloom developed at Clear Lake. On that occasion, he showed leadership and determination. About a quarter of the septic systems proved to be seriously deficient  then (1999) and Rod led the group that got he situation corrected. Now the lake is in great shape. We owe you a lot,  Rod. You really deserve this honour.

If you wish to learn more about DCA activities and programs just click on the appropriate tab in the Activities menu. Following is a quick update on a couple of key topics.


Our Lakes. Climate is changing; we are getting more rain. Shoreline protection bands thus need to be strong to filter nutrients before they reach the lakes. The cleaning of septic systems is also critical. Consider using services of companies such as Sani Nord who only take away the solids and put back the liquids containing the bacteria that decompose what you send to the tank. We are also keeping a close watch on the Purple Bladderwort on Black Lake with the collaboration of Dr. Richard Carignan of the University of Montreal.

Beavers. Our new trapper – Marcel Gauthier – estimates there are about 25 beavers in our area. He has a handle on the situation on all four lakes and is taking the necessary steps to prevent damage to our properties.


Finally, the DCA Board is happy to greet Bonnie Swaine, of Boyd Lake, as a new member of the DCA Board.

Welcome Bonnie and thanks to France Jobin who is leaving the Board but will still continue to manage the membership file with passion.

And when you have a free moment visit your new Bulletin Board.


Dunany now has an Emblematic Bird: it is…

9 June 2015

The Pine Warbler.


Paruline des pins lachute 4 juin 2005 (5).jpg



But it was a close race. The Red-Breasted Nuthatch was a close second, followed by the Hermit Thrush. The Loon, the Black Throated Blue Warbler, the White-Throated Sparrow, the Black-Capped Chickadee and the Hummingbird also made the list.

Now I wish to thank you all for your participation. This Post has set a record. Also thanks to Sylvie Robert who made this possible and was so quick to respond to your queries.



President Percy’s Report to the Dunany Community

29 May 2015

Dear Dunany residents,

The change in seasons is always appreciated but I find the pace of change comes too fast as there is so much to enjoy and appreciate in our community.Disque secchi
Top of the list is information about our lakes. The annual results, available on Jacques Pigeon’s posting, continue to be good. For more information, read his analysis of the results here. As residents, we seem to be working in unison to the goal of looking after our number one asset, our lakes. Let us stay vigilant and stick with our good practices well described in the Living in Dunany Poster.
Castor BeaverBeavers are still high on our list of concerns. We have had good results with our new trapper, Marcel Gauthier. To date, I have not heard of a beaver being spotted on our lakes. Please take the time to let us know when and where beavers are seen. This will remain an ongoing file as we share the habitat with these animals.
We have an active community with a golf course which other communities only dream about. We are fortunate our forefathers and mothers had the vision, means and willingness to act. This asset is priceless and deserves the support of all Dunany Community residents, players or not. Then there are the other activities. Artists, walkers, birders, SPANKERs, gardeners, bikers, quilters, singers, scrabblers… just to name a few.
Lois Finch, Board Member of DCA has accepted to be the point person for the participation in these activities. A summary of all the activities is posted on the web site giving times and locations of the different events. So, take advantage of the friendship and the exercise for it is good for the body and soul.
Web pages have been created for each of these activities and they will be continuously updated. In the same spirit, I am also pleased to announce the creation of a Bulletin Board on the DCA Web site where you can post items for sale or to give away. You create your own ad (with pictures) update it or kill it. See it as a permanent Dunany garage sale. Try it soon.
brook-troutFishing on our lakes this spring was active and productive according to reports received. The stocking program has been successful and will be continued. Thanks to Past President and great angler Rod Armstrong for his knowledge and input. The anglers who met as the ice disappeared, have made a donation to the cost of stocking. Your community thanks you.
Forest fires become a major concern as the bush dries out. There has already been one forest fire on the Dunany Road and two others in Gore. I cannot stress enough to be vigilant and to pay attention to the Township’s signs indicating the level of forest fire hazards. Be safe, not sorry! Eliminate the temptation of a weekend fire in front of your home! You will be making the countryside safer and your neighbour will appreciate.
Insytallation septiqueSome of your board members have recently met with the mayors of the four municipalities and shared with them our interest and concerns. Septic systems regulations and inspections was discussed. We were informed by Scott Pearce, Mayor of Gore that they are planning a pilot project in Gore and hopefully including Wentworth as well, for the regular cleaning of septic systems. This project would have the municipality owning their own vehicle and equipment. The residents would pay an annual fee, added to their property taxes. The great advantage of this project would be to combine tank cleaning and inspection thus ensuring that all systems are in good shape.
The Dunany Road under the responsibility of the Quebec Ministry of Transport – St-Jérôme – division, most likely will not be resurfaced for the next three to five years. We are still hopeful that the MTQ will install the guardrails Guardrail needed ch. Dunany - Curranwhere requested. We and the municipalities have been acknowledged and have been told that when budget are available the guardrails will be installed. We have also requested the speed on the Dunany road be better monitored. This is a problem with no easy solution as the Dunany Road is a provincial road controlled by the MTQ from Quebec City. We were pleased to see the issue of MacDougall Road remedied.
There have been few Security problems. There were a few break-ins in neighbouring communities with the results that the ‘bad guys’ were caught. Continue to be on the watch as the Neighbourhood Watch works and makes for a stronger community.
The annual meeting of the DCA will be on Sunday July 12th 2015, at 9am. The annual DCA fees of $40 can now be paid on line (click here to pay) thanks to the good work of Jacques Pigeon. Please take advantage of this as it greatly reduces the need for extra administrative work from your volunteer board members.
In closing, this is my last letter as President of the DCA. I have very much enjoyed working with my fellow board members in doing my bit to secure the quality of life that we so much enjoy within our community. Past President Doug Percy was right when he said to me ‘Dunany is a little bit of heaven on earth’.

Best regards,

Robert Percy

Here is your activity program for the 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 details can be found 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 Albert, 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.





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.



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.


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.


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

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.