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.

Team Pilon honored at St.Paul’s Fifth Pray and Play Tournement

22 May 2016

The Pilon Family – Jennifer, Marc, Maurice and Jane – were honoured on Sunday May 22 at St.Paul’s as the winners of last year’s Pray and Play Tournament.

Lay Reader, Hugh Mitchell, had lead the Service and complimented the residents of Dunany for their community spirit and their support to their three institutions : the Dunany Country Club, the Dunany Community Association and St.Paul’s Church.

Michel Caron who made such an important contribution to the restoration of the church chaired the event.

Pray&Play 2016 Famille Pilon

Suzanne Albert, owner of the IGA in Lachute once again sponsored a lunch of hamburgers, hot dogs and non-alcoholic beverages.  A long list of sponsors are supporting the Pray & Play tournament: Gym Max, Pilon & St-Jacques, Marks & Sons, Les Arbres de Noël Hadley, Canton de Gore, Canton de Wentworth, Pierrette Gloven, Le Baron Gourmet, Cathy’s Kitchen, Big Pine Fish & Game Club and Howard Cleary.

And I almost forgot. This year’s winning team members are: Ross Leslie, Cathy Leslie, Caroline Roy and Judy Hammond. Congratulations to all.

And kudos to Robert Percy who makes this event possible.

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.


Clear Lake is now Ice Free. The winners are…

26 April 2016

Early  in April, I asked you to guess when Clear Lake would be ice free.

Response was very good. Answers (31) covered a wide range from April 15 to May 5. The correct answer is April 26

Today, Tuesday April 26, the lake is finally ice free.

Two residents guessed it right: Wendy Crooks and Dianne Vanstone.

Note: In a previous edition, I forgot to name Dianne Vanstone. My mistake. My apologies.

Lac Clair fin PM 24 avril 2016

This is what the lake looked like mid afternoon on Sunday April 24. A few hours later, this ice was gone but, on Monday morning, a long strip of ice was still present on the south shore of the lake in it’s eastern section. It disappeared the next day, April 26, the date the lake became ice free.

But a question remains: did Wendy get help from above?


The Life and Times of Dunany Road last Winter.

12 April 2016

Those of you who live in Dunany year round know how awful Dunany Road was this winter!

For those lucky enough to live in towns or are basking in the sun south of here, this is what we are talking about: late snow clearing, slippery roads (limited sanding) and, worse, dangerous ice bumps and ruts.

True, Dunany Road is in pretty bad shape. Look!

Dunany Road 2016

When some of us got really fed up with this situation I called the office of our local MNA. They told me that the only way to get the MTQ moving was to register complaints. So complaints they got. My short email generated almost 60 complaints. The secretary who retrieved them was stunned. She told some of people she had never seen such a tsunami!

Then I went after the MTQ.

Here is what I learned. The contractor, from Brownsburg-Chatham, has just completed the second year of his three year contract. The MTQ is unhappy with his performance and will give him an ear full. But not unhappy enough to break the contract. Since it’s snow plows are not equipped with GPS, monitoring performance is anecdotal.

This contractor is really busy. He does the 327, the 329 and sections of highway 50. I have heard many complaints about the very poor maintenance of the 329 to Morin Heights.

The MTQ also tells me that finding a contractor in rural areas such as ours – in the old times our road was Rural Road 6 – is a challenge. Sometimes, they get no bid or just one. Since the MTQ often referred to the contract I asked for a copy. Since they would not give it to me I file a Freedom of Information request to the department.

Bottom line: since Dunany Road is just one piece of a larger contract: there are also the 327, 329 and 50 – we seem to be stuck with this contractor for another year. Hopefully,  the MTQ will monitor the winter road maintenance much more closely next winter and ensure decent service on our road. Anyway, we will be watching.

Finally, I asked the MTQ when they planned to resurface our road. I was told – and I quote – C’est dans la planification!

The 2016 road projects are to be announced soon. Stay tuned.


PS. Would you believe that the snow plow had to be pulled out of the ditch on Dunany Road at least once.


Our Lakes: It Was a Very Good Year…

11 March 2016

When I first read our 2015 Reports from the Volunteer Lake-Monitoring Program (VLMP) – yes they now have an English name and page – the lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s wonderful classic It Was a Very Good Year came to my mind. Listen to the first few bars if you wish!

The weather last summer was OK and our numbers are there to prove it. Clarity is much better. Phosphorus count (micrograms per litre) is way lower. 3.5 on Black, 3,9 on Boyd, 2.9 on Clear and 3.1 on Curran. Thus, all of our lake are in the oligotrophic*   category.

Reflexions on Curran , Lois Gamble

Reflexions on Curran , Lois Gamble

Do take a minute to have a look at the Reports.** There are two of them for each lake . One  – the sa-su –  give you the 2015 results. The other one – pcp – is the multiyear chart; definitely the most interesting as you can see the trend.

These numbers are very good but – there is always a but – they have limitations as we only take three samples each summer at a depth of one meter, always at the deepest spot of the lake as per the official protocol.

That being said, we now have 10 full years of data that show almost continuous improvement in the quality of our water, we can have more confidence in the reliability our our data.

Bottom line: you all deserve congratulations for good lakeside behavior. Keep it up: make sure your septic system is in good working  order and regularly cleaned.

Continuously reinforce your shoreline protection band. Do not use pesticides and fertilizers anywhere near the lake and make sure your property is well drained to limit runoff.

On Twitter, our hashtag*** would be #vigilance4Dunanylakes

Finally, we wish to thank our dedicated collaborators on each lake. John Parsons on Black, Rick Havill on Boyd, François Côté on Clear and Sheryl Jacksom-Caron on Curran. This year, Jim and Lois Finch will take over on Black. Thanks John for all you have done during all these years.

* An oligotrophic lake is characterized by a low accumulation of dissolved nutrient salts, supporting but a sparse growth of algae and other organisms, and having a high oxygen content owing to the low organic content.

** The Reports are only available in French at this time. Numbers are different from last year’s but not the text which you can read in English in 2014 Lake Reports..

***A hashtag is a type of label or metadata tag used on social network and micro blogging services which makes it easier for users to find a message.



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

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

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.