Mayor Francois-Xavier Décarie


Francois-Xavier Décarie was a farmer who settled on lands in the village of Côte Saint-Luc. He is a direct descendant of Jean Décarie, who established himself in Montreal in 1650. The Décarie family has long been associated with early farming in Montreal. They went on to become extremely successful landowners and farmers, several acquiring land across the width of the island.  They were particularly known for their melons which were exported all across Canada.

Francois-Xavier Décarie was born on July 23, 1858 in Côte Saint-Luc, in the parish of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. He is of the 7th generation of Décarie living in Montreal. His father was Benjamin Décarie, a farmer and City Councillor in NDG in the late 1850s-60s, and his mother Catherine Laurent. He received his education at Collège de St-Laurent. He began his career as a market gardener at the age of 18, and excelled in his occupation until the age of 54, when he retired. An enlightened and devoted citizen, he has always been interested in the public cause. Thriving in Côte Saint-Luc, he became commissioner of schools in 1897, president of the school board in 1908, village Councilor from July 1903 to January 1909 and finally the Mayor of Côte Saint-Luc in January 1909. (Archives de la Ville de Montreal, P136-S1-D006). Francois-Xavier Décarie was Mayor from January 9, 1909 to May 6, 1912. He was the 3rd mayor of Côte Saint-Luc and a member of its first City Council.

In February 1881, he married Mathilda Trudeau, from Saint-Hubert, who passed away. In October 1897, he married Lucy Decary, daughter of Benjamin Decary of Dorval. He had two kids from his first marriage, Mary C. Décarie and Francois B. Décarie. Marie C. Décarie was the wife of Anatole Décarie, inspector of the income tax department of Montreal. Francois B. Décarie owned the firm Campell-Decarie Ltd.  The Décarie farm was located in the eastern part of Côte Saint-Luc, but Francois-Xavier Décarie lived at 873 Chemin de la Côte St-Antoine, in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

Some of his accomplishments include: church warden of the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Church in 1915 during the restoration of the church and the inauguration of the organs; benefactor of the monastery of Précieux-Sang, of the Hospital of the Incurables and the University of Montréal; member and president of the society of St-Jean-Baptiste; honorary member of the choir of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce (Archives de la Ville de Montreal, P136-S1-D006).

Francois-Xavier Décarie passed away on December 16, 1931 at the age of 74 in his residence at 5455 Côte Saint-Antoine Road. His funeral was held in the Parish of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.

At the time of his death, the Montreal Daily Star wrote: “A remarkable man in many ways. He exercised a wonderful influence as old warden of NDG. He was prosperous, but shared his prosperity. […] A patriarchal gentleman. It was something to him the very joy of living. And it was his aim at all time to make people happy. He lived for just that. And his many activities brought him many friends with whom it was a real pleasure to meet, even in the hour of his death” (Archives de la Ville de Montreal, P136-S1-D006).

From: Côte Saint-Luc Archives, Archives de la Ville de Montreal