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November 9th, 2012:

Edifice De La Sauvegarde Cie D’Assurance Vie – Dupuy-Ferguson – Place Jacques Cartier – Montréal, CA

© Frank H. Jump

In the nineteenth century, French Canadian businesses that offer life insurance were mutual. These companies do not have shareholders, they belong to the policyholders. Founded in 1902, The Backup is the first company life insurance share capital under the control of French Canadians. Under the impetus of economic nationalism, William Narcisse Ducharme gathered around this project a team of politicians and businessmen, including Henri Bourassa, federal politician and future founder of Duty, Hormidas Laporte, Mayor of Montreal from 1904 to 1906 and President of the Provincial Bank, Senator Raoul Dandurand and Narcissus Pérodeau, later Lieutenant Governor of Quebec. Safeguard in 1914 moved into a new building at 150 Notre-Dame, she holds up in 1976. 

In 1915, it is the fifth financial institution private French-Canadian behind the three chartered banks and Mount Royal Insurance Company against fire. But it is far behind the major companies in Quebec mutual aid: the Society of French-Canadian artisans, St. Joseph Unions and the National Alliance. Safeguard growth will be slow but steady. In 1962, the family sold its controlling interest Ducharme movement Caisses populaires Desjardins. From 1965 to 1978, the Maison des arts Safeguard house built in 1811, adjacent to the headquarters, will be dedicated to the dissemination of the arts. – Old Montréal

© Frank H. Jump


Seed companies played an increasingly important in Quebec in the mid 19th century. Before 1850,  farmers produced their own seed. The importation of new plant species included the United States and Europe (France, England, Netherlands …) which made you gradually put aside traditional varieties. Many of these companies became successful and brought exotic new flavors and diversity to farmers but also for families who often had a [household] garden. As they were an important link in the introduction and evolution of tastes [and variety], we thought it was relevant to paint a picture of them: Dupuy & Ferguson.  – Gardens of Yesteryear

At 38 Place Jacques-Cartier, the grain trade commanded  a notable presence with Dupuy & Ferguson, importers of grains, who occupied the premises from 1888 until 1964.  – Old Montréal