Montreal planner Frederick Gage Todd, who designed Leaside’s layout, exerted a strong influence over the naming of some of Leaside’s streets.
One example is Rolland Road, named after Quebec’s Jean-Damien Rolland, born 1841, whose father founded Rolland Paper Mills in St. Jerome on the North River north of Montreal in 1882. The Rolland Paper Company was one of the oldest paper manufacturers in Canada and won a number of prizes for its superfine linen paper. In fact, in 1885, Rolland’s fine linen writing paper won a gold medal at Antwerp, Belgium, and in 1893, the Rolland line took the highest award at the Chicago World’s Fair in Chicago.
Earlier, Jean-Damien Rolland formed a partnership with his father, Jean-Baptiste, to found a company called J.-B. Rolland et Fils. He later took over the mills as president before entering politics, first as a member of the town council of Hochelaga and later mayor, before serving on Montreal City Council and finally as part of the Legislative Council of Quebec.
Jean-Damien Rolland died in 1912 and is buried in Montreal in the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery. In 1928, the Royal Securities Corporation bought out the paper manufacturers. But the Rolland name lives on in Leaside, a reminder of the proud history of this Quebec company.
Jeanne Hopkins spent most of her life in the historic Henry Farm community of North York. She realized her passion for local history in the Canadiana department of the North York Public Library, where she worked for 27 years. She is the author of many articles and five books of local history.