Our History

Le Chaînon, an organization built out of determination together with solidarity

Founder Yvonne Maisonneuve was committed to a cause she believed to be just and important, namely women in distress. Loyal followers joined Yvonne’s cause to provide assistance as volunteers. These urban missionaries laid the groundwork for Le Chaînon, which today has become the primary shelter in Quebec for women in difficult situations. For over 80 years, caring people have contributed to its development.

 

1932
Yvonne Maisonneuve opens her first shelter for young women on Fairmount Street in Montréal.

1940
The shelter moves to 101, de la Gauchetière Street.

1946
A unit for mothers with children is added, a service that would be available for thirty-three years.

1947
Creation of a unit for young girls, which was in operation for twenty years.

1950
Institut Notre-Dame de la Protection is structured as an association where members working as urban missionaries are called “associates”.  

1971
Yvon Deschamps becomes our spokesperson. He publicly talks about Le Chaînon for thirty years.  

1974
The shelter is temporarily closed due to an expropriation.

1975
The shelter sets up on avenue de l’Esplanade in a building owned by the Saint-Sulpice Priests. A growing number of employees and volunteers join the ranks.

1978
“Association d’entraide Le Chaînon” name is adopted.

 1979
All shelter services are now focused on single women.

1980
Yvonne Maisonneuve passes away on Christmas Day.

1984
Reorganization of the service and places added for longer stays.

1987
Redesign of the shelter units and opening of the night shelter to accommodate twelve and three other emergency spots.

1993
Opening of the first Maison Yvonne-Maisonneuve with fourteen spots for older women who have stayed at Le Chaînon.

2000
A fire completely destroys Le Chaînon’s store (Le Coffre aux trésors). It reopens on September 13th at its current location on boulevard Saint-Laurent.

2003
Inauguration of the new Maison Yvonne-Maisonneuve, which is better adapted to resident needs.

2011
A major fundraising campaign enables Le Chaînon to take over ownership of the building it has occupied for 36 years.

2013
Celebration of Le Chaînon’s 80th anniversary, which is now the primary shelter resource in Quebec for women in difficulty. Maillon à maillon. Le Chaînon promotional campaign provides major visibility.

2014
Establishment of Le Chaînon Foundation dedicated exclusively to financially support Le Chaînon.

2015
The main house has a new look after an impressive building site.

2017
Inauguration of Yvonne-Maisonneuve Park.

2018
Le Chaînon is 85 years old.

2019
Le Chaînon celebrates its 86th birthday.