Beyond the book

The Shawbridge Boys Farm (AKA the Shawbridge Youth Centre), just north of Montreal Quebec, has been reforming children for more than a hundred years. Thousands of stories can be collected from the children, adults, and seniors who have lived on “The Farm”.  The farm was built in 1908 by influential Montreal businessmen.  It is a private institution.  It was originally used as a training school for underprivileged, wayward, or orphaned boys.  It was, and still is, a youth detention centre in the Laurentians mountains, 75 kms north of Montreal.  Until the early 1990's it was an eight hundred acre farm with train tracks to the east and highway 117 to the west.  Ville Marie Social Services, Shawbridge Youth Centre and a number of other Quebec Health and social service networks amalgamated into Batshaw Youth and Family Services in the early 1990's.  At that time, 780 acres were sold off leaving the original Farm sitting on 20 acres.  In 1983-1986, there were seven boys units/cottages: five open, two locked and two girls units/cottages: one open and one locked.  There were between ten and thirteen kids in each unit.

Slave to the Farm Book


SHAWBRIDGE: Stories From The Farm Gala

You’re invite to a very special event: SHAWBRIDGE: Stories From The Farm. It will be held in Montreal at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Dorval on September 28th 2017. Guest speakers include Director/Producer Cathy Scorsese from the movie SHAWBRIDGE already in pre-production, Best Selling Author of Solomon’s Will, The Duchess Of Cyprus and Zoo, Arleen Solomon Rotchin, Writer/Producer Jason Shanski, and retired Doctor of Social Work Eli Teram, formerly of Wilfrid Laurier University. Doors will open at 7 pm. with a canapé menu and live entertainment from River City Junction.


A private filming booth will be set up to video any former clients, staff, family or friends of the hundred and ten year old institution. I’ll be using the film from this event to produce a short documentary about Shawbridge. I myself am a former client of the Farm, and have been collecting stories about the institution for over a decade. I’ll be bringing all those stories together in one place, and it would be an honor if you joined in the conversation.


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Dedicated to the memory of Michele Thibault, Tina Poux, Christina Cain, and Tiffany Mackenzie, the four young girls who lost their lives in the Le Village fire on January 19, 1990.

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