Ernest Cousins - Zouave Dairy and Ernest Cousins Limited
Ernest Cousins founded his dairy business in 1889 at the age of 24, going door to door selling milk from a two wheeled cart. Lovell's of Montreal lists Ernest's occupation in 1892 as a milkman and later a dairyman. As a recognized dairyman in the community his routes flourished. The Imperial Ice Cream Shop opens up in 1907 and one year later Ernest becomes one of the shop's managers. In 1909, the combination of both an ever expanding series of milk routes and the success of the ice cream shop, allows him to open a small dairy of his own two doors down. Spring 1909, "Ernest Cousins - Zouave Dairy" opens up at 31 Montée du Zouave. Montée du Zouave was located on a side street east on St. Denis at Sherbrooke. Today the street is named Terrace St. Denis. Along with the Imperial Ice Cream Shop, Ernest would later acquire Wildgrove Limited, a company which sold butter and eggs (located on Colborne Ave), as well as several other small shops all in the downtown core. The company was incorporated May 31, 1915 as a limited company. The head office was located at 18 Montée du Zouave until 1922 and moved to 20 Montée du Zouave until 1925. The dairy itself stayed at 31 Montée du Zouave until 1925. The head office moved for the last time to 175 Colborne in 1926. It was in this year the company reorganized for a second time.
At a meeting held on June 12, 1931, Ernest Cousins Limited Board of Directors approved a resolution passed by the Board of Directors of Wildgrove Limited, to surrender its charter. The Provincial Treasurer accepted the charter of Wildgrove Limited and its business dissolved August 8, 1931. All of the assets and liabilities of Wildgrove Limited were taken over by EC Limited and incorporated in the accounts. The business would grow and by 1928 a new, much larger permanent home for the dairy would be built at the site of 175 Colborne Ave. One year later the dairy changes it's name from Ernest Cousin's - Zouave Dairy to simply Ernest Cousins Limited. The dairy would continue to expand and in 1936 would introduce the Blue Crest Dairy Products label. For a few years Blue Crest Dairy shoppes and ice cream parlors opened all over Montreal and the surrounding area selling butter, eggs, cheese, ice cream, buttermilk and related items. The family business would continue to operate until 1961. At this point, with the retirement of Ernest Sr. at the age of 96, and the need to up grade plant equipment the dairy was sold and moved to Bordens Co. Ltd at 3115 Cote de Liesse. Three years later Ernest Sr. died February 19th 1964 in his home at the age of 98. Ernest Cousins Limited was dissolved Sept 15, 1964.
Wildgrove Limited first appears in Lovell's Montreal in 1926 under "Dairymen-Cremiers". It is located at 69 Colborne Avenue. The next year David Robertson is noted being the President and Managing Director of Wildgrove Limited- Butter and Eggs. By 1928 Lovell's Montreal indicates that there has been a big change at Wildgrove Limited as E.A. Cousins is now the manager and the company is now located at 175 Colborne, the new home of Ernest Cousins Limited. By 1931 Ernest is listed as the President of Wildgrove Limited - 175 Colborne. August 8, 1931 all of the assets and liabilities of Wildgrove Limited were taken over by Ernest Cousins Limited and Wildgrove Limited's Charter was dissolved.
Independent Amusement Company - United Amusement Corporation Limited
In 1918 ( possibly earlier 1914?? ) Ernest A. Cousins was President of the Independant Amusement Company ( IAC) which operated two theaters in Montreal until about 1922.
George Ganetakos was the owner of an ice cream a parlor in Montreal. Sometimes to attract customers he would show movies on his parlor wall. The movies became more popular then the ice cream and with the backing of Ernest Cousins Limited (his ice cream supplier) he founded the (U.A.C.L) United Amusement Corporation Limited (1908) which Ernest would later become president of. Some of the major theaters which were opened include through out Quebec include The Regent, Papineau, Rialto, Rivoli, Seville and the York Downtown. Famous Players Canadian Corporation of Toronto purchased major shares the company in the 1930's. The majority ownership stayed in the hands of Montreal business men. Ernest A. Cousins was still listed as President of the United Amusement Corporation from 1921 to 1961. I have found newspaper articles referring to U.A.C.L. being active in the 1970's.
"United Amusements Corporation, Limited, was incorporated under the laws of the province of Quebec in 1924 to acquire the assets and undertakings of Independent Amusement, Limited, and United Amusements, Limited, which for several years had operated successfully a number of motion picture theatres in the City of Montreal. Famous Players Canadian Corporation, Limited, owned substantial equity in common shares of United Amusements, Limited. "
I still am looking for information to clarify dates and other information. Stay Tuned!! This will be a really interesting story!