The former church at Saint-Lin, prior to 1888.
© Collection du presbytère de la paroisse
The second child of Carolus Laurier and Marcelle Martineau, Wilfrid
Laurier was born in Saint-Lin (today called Laurentides) on November 20,
1841. He grew up in a family where politics was a staple of talk and debate.
His father, an educated man having liberal ideas, enjoyed a certain degree
of prestige about town. In addition to being a farmer and surveyor, he also
occupied such sought-after positions as mayor, justice of the peace, militia
lieutenant and school board member.
At the age of 11, Wilfrid left home to study in New Glasgow,
a neighbouring town largely inhabited by immigrants from the British Isles.
Over the next two years, he had the opportunity of familiarizing himself
with the mentality, language and culture of English-speakers. It was a formative
experience that later proved invaluable to him upon being elected the first
French Canadian Prime Minister of Canada.