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.

These Dunany Folks are Hardy Skiers. Look!

8 January 2016

This picture was shot by Robert Percy on Friday January 8 at the Morin Heights Ski station.

Little more than two weeks have elapsed since the golf season ended on Christmas day. Our hardy Dunany skiers have begun a new season of fun, exercise and friendship.

They hope to repeat this every Friday morning, weather permitting.



Click on the picture to enlarge to full screen.

If you are around, join this happy group.



Is this the last game of the season? No, was on December 25!

14 December 2015

No, it was not to be. But still…

It was  Saturday December 12. Weather is nice. Grass is still green. How about a game of golf?

For John Parsons the call proved to be irresistible. This is his first (bad knee) and last game of the season. Watch!

Film courtesy of Jennifer Gruner.

Georges-Hébert Germain, journalist, author, columnist, passionate about Dunany, dies age 71

15 November 2015

Dunany has just lost one it’s most famous residents.

Georges-Hébert Germain bought the Wilson house on Clear lake about thirty years ago. Those of us who live in the eastern section of the lake knew him well. I am one of them as my house faces his on the other side of the lake.

I remember a beautiful summer day, not long after our arrival in Dunany 19 years ago.  France and I swam to his dock to introduce ourselves. Georges-Hébert and his wife Francine Chaloult invited us inside for a visit of that beautiful house that he loved so much.

Georges-Hébert Germain

Georges-Hébert Germain

Georges-Hébert often attended the DCA’s Annual General Meetings. He was very involved in the fund raising campaigns of la Fondation de l ‘hôpital d’Argenteuil.

Last year, he was made chevalier de l’Ordre du mérite du Québec. When I looked at the group picture in the newspapers I could not find him. Cancer – brain cancer in this case – had totally transformed him.

If you wish to know more about this fine gentlemen, follow this link (en français)

We will miss you, Georges-Hébert.

To Francine, his daughter Rafaële and the whole family the DCA offers it’s deepest condolences.



Geraldine Carpenter Palmer (1919-2015): a Great Lady!

30 October 2015

Dunany has lost a great lady!

Geraldine Carpenter Palmer – Gerry for those who knew her – passed away peacefully in Ottawa last week at age 96.

At 18, Gerry emigrated from England to Montreal where she taught herself photography, opened a Studio (bottom left) and became a full time news photographer. She was the only female photographer to be officially accredited to photograph both the first and second Quebec conferences in 1943 and 1944 (see picture with MacKenzie King, Roosevelt and Churchill below)) where the allies planned the freeing of Europe.

She also photographed Katherine Hepburn (top right) who was pitching War Bonds. She took the picture of Clear Lake covered with black ice in 1997.Geraldine Palmer Montage

She married Edward Henry (Peter) Palmer, a Mechanical Engineer (McGill), in 1953  and the following year bought a cottage on Clear Lake in Dunany. She said as soon as they drove up the road she knew it was the one – it had a huge “English Country Garden” – she didn’t need to go into the house! They sold their home in Montreal West and moved to the country permanently in 1966, a place and community that they both loved and would enjoy together for the next 50 years.

Peter and Geraldine Palmer

Peter and Geraldine Palmer

Gerry was an active gardener. As the children grew up, she took up golf and curling, sports Peter enjoyed. She was Ladies’ President of the local Dunany Country Club for 4 years, and a significant force in the Laurentian Interclub. She got a hole in one at the age of 79 and was embarrassed because she used her driver! In curling, she went to the Provincial Championships.

The Palmers have made an enormous contribution to the development of our great community through the Dunany Community Association of which Peter was the president from 1971 to 1973 and the Dunany Country Club which is now presided by their daughter Lynn.

I am sure the whole community joins me in offering it’s most sincere condolences to Lynn, Tom, Robin, Peter and the whole family. A celebration of her life will be held next summer in Dunany.

In her remembrance, donations to the Dunany Country Club – Centennial Fund would be appreciated. You can make them electronically by clicking here or  by check to Dunany Country Club, c/o Diana Minty, 2053 DunanyRoad, Wentworth, QC J8H 0B5


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!

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

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.



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

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

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.





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.