Sophie Lamarche and Véronique Lapointe are offering a history lesson on the homes of Westmount.
The architectural consultants have co-authored Westmount: Historical colouring book, which features 35 iconic homes in one of Canada’s richest cities. Each home has a description of the architectural style of the house as well as a brief history of some of the original occupants.
The book is designed to be interactive, allowing children to colour the pages of the homes while offering a short history lesson about the physical structures and the first owners.
“We discovered that every single story was so fascinating that we had to share it with the public,” Sophie Lamarche, co-author, told Global News.
The idea came to Lamarche during the pandemic as the former Westmount resident would walk the neighbourhood and appreciate the heritage value of the homes.
She decided with her former university colleague, Véronique Lapointe, that the homes and the people who first lived there should be documented. The two had to access old public records and newspaper archives to find accurate information.
They decided to make the book interactive so all age groups could enjoy the work of art.
“They can read, they can colour, they can talk with the grandparents that maybe have already lived in this neighbourhood,” Lapointe said.
Auguste Palhories, 11, already has his hands on the book and has coloured in at least one house. The book is acting as a blueprint for the aspiring architect.
“I coloured it in and then maybe if we walk around we can try and find the house and see if the colours I used were right,” he told Global News.
His mother considers the book an instrument for learning.
“Everyone can find their little piece in this book, whether it’s for the informational aspect or to spend your time colouring with your kids,” Susan Homa told Global News.
Lamarche and Lapointe said in doing their research, they came across a rich history of Westmount’s homes and some of its original owners.
“Each individual had a crazy story,” Lamarche said.
The co-authors are hoping the book will be added to some school curriculums or be used as an educational resource.
“It’s a good way to learn about architectural heritage,” Lapointe said.
The two architectural consultants now have their sights set on publishing a similar book about the historic homes in the Plateau and the people who first lived in them.