Papineau

People

WITTENBERG

Stanley Wittenberg sent me this interesting account - October, 2009 My father was Irving Wittenberg. He was born 1905 in England and immigrated as an infant with his family to Montreal that same year. He grew up on Chabot Street in the Papineau area. Unfortunately he died in 1962 when I was 11 Ĺ so I never had a chance to get any detail stories of his growing up there. He and his family owned several dress stores on rue St. Hubert between St. Zotique and Beaubien. The family had 8 kids, Irving,Moe,Bennie,Sammy,Meyer,Bessie, Yetta,Anna. I havenít lived in Montreal since 1972 and had very little contact with any of them after Irving died. I do know that his father( my paternal grandfather who died in1919 when Irving was 14) was apparently one of the founders and past presidents of one of the shuls.I have no verification of this,just what I was told. Prehaps others remember more about them. Iíll try to find some pictures to upload. I believe I have one of him boxing with a friend. Boxing was apparently a big sport in the community at the time. As a kid I spent a lot of time in the family store on St. Hubert & St. Zotique and I remember that Irving was very ďat homeĒ in the area,more so than in Cote Des Neiges where we lived. I was always fascinated with the upbringing my father had there and would like to know more. Unlike St.Urbain street where my mother( nee Savitsky) was raised very few seem to know about Papineau.I went with my sister today to visit the old stores on St. Hubert between St. Zotique & Belanger. According to my sister the Wittenberg family moved from Chabot street to St. Hubert and Belanger( 3 doors down from the now TD bank) in 1938 when they opened their first Real store,La Maison Diana where the family lived upstairs and operated a dress store below. In 1940 my father opened Chez Sandra at the corner of St. Zotique & St. Hubert next to the now BMO bank. In 1942 they opened a third store in the middle of that bloc, Chez Carole. Your father sounds like an amazing individual. Yes my father always wore a dark suit,crisp white shirt and a tie:as well as a Fedora when outside.Your father absolutely remembers him. That block of St. Hubert was the place to be in the1940's, 1950's and 60's . I visited the street today with my sister and time has not been kind to the area. With the exception of a Reitmans, a Classy formal wear and La Roi du Smoked Meat restaurant, not a single establishment remains today. They are all run down storefronts selling cheap discount goods and offering all types of services including a tatoo & piercing parlor. My father would have been apalled. Even the Lido restaurant corner of St. Hubert & St. Zotique is gone. It was a classy restaurant with a distinctive round window if your dad remembers.
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