The Pioneers Series: The First Ones
Article from Le Groupe Maurice's magazine « L'Innovateur », October 2018 #2
These are the company’s pioneers, the first people to work at, live in, or invest in Le Groupe Maurice, one-of-a-kind visionaries for 20 years now. They were only too happy to share their memories of Le Groupe Maurice’s tentative beginnings and how it became the success it is today.
The First Ones
They were the very first to move into Les Résidences du Marché, Le Groupe Maurice’s first residential complex, which opened its doors in Sainte-Thérèse in September 2000. The Innovator met with the three matriarchs to hear their unique take on the company’s humble beginnings and a whole lot of reminiscing.
Ladies, what made you decide to move into Les Résidences du Marché?
Madelaine Mayrand: My husband had problems with his legs. So, our sons suggested we move into a residence, specifically Les Résidences du Marché, because it was close to where they lived. We left Montréal to come live here, because there was nothing nearby. I wasn’t ready to move, but I liked it from the moment I got here. We thought we were living in a hotel! We had everything we could imagine.
Marie-Rose Lapierre: When my husband passed away, I didn’t want to live alone anymore. I went to the sales office, but I didn’t want to reserve an apartment without seeing it first. So, I waited until the residence was built before signing my lease. I rented the last apartment on the third floor.
Yvette Pilon: My husband got sick and couldn’t take care of our house anymore. We visited a lot of residences. We toured them all and didn’t like any of them. Then, one day, my son told me about an ad by a man who was building a new residence in Sainte-Thérèse It was Mr. Maurice! So, we came to see it. It wasn’t like any of the other places. The residence still wasn’t built yet, but the way they described it, with all the services that were included, they convinced us. And, I really liked the friendly atmosphere. I’ve always thought it was nice here. We signed our lease based on the plans. I remember seeing you that day, Mrs. Mayrand. We reserved our apartment at the same time!
What’s changed at the residence since you first arrived?
Mayrand: The services, like the THÉIA terminal, for example. We have a lot more activities to choose from, and the security systems in our apartments are much better. The building has also changed tremendously. It was built in three phases. When we got here, phase one still wasn’t complete. There was no carpeting in the hallways and no ramps, and they were still short a front door. The floors were only varnished the day before we moved in! Only one other resident was there before us. We were the second tenants at Les Résidences du Marché. Mr. Maurice even slept in the apartment next to ours! Can you imagine that? I’m sure that wouldn’t happen today! (laughs) Since then, I’ve referred a bunch of people here: both my sisters, my sister-in-law, and my daughter-in-law’s mother. My son even lived at Boréa, in Blainville.
M.-R. Lapierre: It’s true, we saw all this being built.
Mayrand: Do you remember the little office on the first floor? It’s the janitor’s room now, but it was the nurse’s office at the time. It was so tiny! Of course, there were less people at the residence back then, but it was nothing like the medical wing we have today. There’s a lot more staff now.
Pilon: That seems like so long ago now! The dining room was also very small back then.
Mayrand: The first morning after moving in, we went down to the dining room for breakfast. The chef greeted us in his snazzy hat, looking very sharp. But there was hardly anyone there, not even ten residents! They soon realized that people preferred to eat their lunch and supper in the dining room, but not breakfast. So, brunches were organized only on weekends. The residence adapted to our needs. We grew together.
If you had to do it over again, would you still choose Les Résidences du Marché?
M.-R. Lapierre: Yes. I enjoy living here. I visited other residences, but I didn’t like them. They weren’t nearly as inviting.
Mayrand: I’ve never asked myself that question. I feel at home here. And the staff are so generous. People who come from other residences notice it right away. They often tell us, “Everyone has such beautiful smiles here.”
Pilon: We do, in any case! We always have beautiful smiles. (laughs)
“The residence adapted to our needs. We grew together. ”
MADELEINE MAYRAND – Resident of Le Groupe Maurice
What’s your secret to living a long life?
Mayrand: Since my husband died, I drink a little glass of red wine with cheese and soda crackers every afternoon around 4 p.m. But the most important thing is to keep busy. I do a lot of volunteering.
M.-R. Lapierre: Yes, staying busy is important. I also did volunteer work for a long time.
Pilon: I just take life as it comes. I have health problems, but they’ve never stopped me. There are ups and downs in life. That’s just how it goes.
Do you realize that you’re the three pioneers of Le Groupe Maurice? You’re true originals!
Pilon: That’s true. We’ve met so many people here!
M.-R. Lapierre: The only thing is, we can’t remember their names anymore! (laughs)
What are your hopes for the future?
M.-R. Lapierre: My daughters live in Mont-Tremblant, and they always tell me they’ll move in here with me when they’re too old to live at home anymore. They’d better hurry up! (laughs)
Mayrand: I just want to keep living day by day and stay active. We actually played bingo for years.
Pilon: Yes. Now, we play cards. You’ll always find us together whenever it’s time for fun.