Pierrefonds is a former city on the Island of Montreal. It was amalgamated into the City of Montreal, Quebec, Canada on January 1, 2002. Located along the Rivière des Prairies, it is part of the borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro. Population (2001): 54,963
The history of Pierrefonds goes back to the eighteenth century, and is intimately linked to that of Sainte-Geneviève, which was composed at the time of Pierrefonds, L'Île-Bizard, Sainte-Geneviève, Roxboro and Dollard-des-Ormeaux.
In 1904, following several previous divisions, the Town of Sainte-Geneviève was split into two new villages: Sainte-Geneviève and Sainte-Geneviève de Pierrefonds. This was the first appearance of the name Pierrefonds. At the heart of the conflict leading to the separation was famous notary Joseph-Adolphe Chauret, who, in 1902, had a "seigniorial" residence built for himself reminiscent of the community of Pierrefonds in France’s Department of Oise. He named his thatched home "Château Pierrefonds", apparently providing the name for the future city.
Curiously, in 1935, the two villages of Sainte-Geneviève and Sainte-Geneviève de Pierrefonds merged once again into a single village called Sainte-Geneviève. The name Pierrefonds disappeared, resurfacing on December 18, 1958, when the rest of the territory of the old parish became the City of Pierrefonds.
One of the leading figures who brought about the 1904 split was a famous (or infamous), fiery notary named Joseph-Adolphe Chauret. Always in the limelight, this colourful fellow was praised by some and criticized by others. His reputation remains controversial to this day, mostly because of his stormy and ostentatious lifestyle.
Inspired by an engraving of the feudal Castle of Pierrefonds in Oise, France, in 1902 Chauret built a turreted, gabled residence with the inscription Château Pierrefonds on two of its socles. The building only somewhat resembled the much heralded fortress Chauret finally visited in 1911 when he journeyed in Europe. At a time when few people travelled abroad, his trip aroused considerable curiosity among local residents – so much so that crowds greeted him upon his return to Canada.
The name Pierrefonds therefore can be traced to Chauret’s residence.
"Where you at right now?"
"I'm chillin' in Pierrefonds, on that Rock Bottom tip."
Oh and dog, they don't call it Roxboro for nothing!