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Alberta's Francophone Heritage
Background, People, Culture, Heritage Community Foundation, Albertasource and Alberta Lottery Fund

 

Francophone Edukit

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René Le Marchand
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West Canadian
Collieries

René Le Marchand

The Piquette Affair

Stanislas La Rue

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Known in Edmonton for the apartment building (now also a high-rise condominium), René Le Marchand was a French investor who made a fortune in Edmonton’s land boom at the beginning of the 20th century. Born in the department of Sarthe, near Le Mans, it was his brother, Alphonse, an Oblate missionary, who told him of the business opportunities of Edmonton. Using his own funds and those of financial backers from his hometown, he became a millionaire, and invested some of his money in the construction of a Parisian style luxury apartment with an unobstructed view of the Saskatchewan River, complete with central heating, electric lighting and an elevator, such as had not yet been seen in Edmonton in 1909.

A valet in Paris, it is said that he financed his initial trip to Canada with the sale of the straight razors which his eccentric master insisted receive only one use. It is also said, in certain privy circles, that he never repaid his French investors, and that they were still trying to recoup them from his estate in the 1980s. He died in 1921.

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