New Griffintown park will bear name of 18th century businesswoman Mary Griffin

In an effort to etch more female names into Montreal’s urban landscape, the city is set to name a new park in Griffintown after its de facto founder Mary Griffin.

Motion to rename lot set to be adopted at city council meeting Monday

The lot which will be turned in Mary Griffin Park is bordered by Dalhousie, Ottawa, Ann and William streets. (Google Maps)

In an effort to etch more women into Montreal's urban landscape, the city is set to name a new park in Griffintown after its de facto founder, Mary Griffin.  

The motion to rename a lot at the corner of Ann and Ottawa streets is slated to be adopted by City Council Monday.

According to the city, Mary Griffin's name was recommended as part of the Toponym'Elles project which works to promote women in Montreal's toponymy.

Toponym'Elles was first announced by the city in 2016 as part of Montreal's 375th anniversary.

The city stated at the time that women's names are only represented in six per cent of Montreal's toponymy, while male names are 50 per cent of it, and the rest are not gendered.

Who was Mary Griffin?

Griffin was married to a soap manufacturer and had an entrepreneurial spirit of her own.

She bought the land that now makes up Griffintown, then called Nazareth fief, from the unscrupulous business partner of its owner, Irish businessman and politician Thomas McCord, in 1792, according to the city of Montreal's website.

The park is one of three lots the city is redesigning in the area. (City of Montreal)

Griffin is responsible for dividing the land into different lots in 1804.

When McCord got home from abroad, a long legal battle ensued between himself, his business partner and Griffin. 

After almost a decade, McCord got his ownership rights back and cleared Griffin's name off any plans.

It was too late though — the name Griffintown stuck with locals.

"Despite her legal defeat, Mary Griffin has thus symbolically earned her place in Montreal toponymy," the city of Montreal's website states.

The new park is one of three new green space projects announced by the city this year.

The other two will be located at the corner of Saint-Thomas and Ottawa streets and the corner of Peel and Ottawa streets.