Cinematic Experience: A Day in Glenn Ford’s Hometown


Kristina from Speakeasy and Ruth from Silver Screening are now hosting the O Canada Blogathon. Being Canadian myself (from Montreal, Quebec), I couldn’t say no to that! All participants are writing about Canadian movies, movies that take place in Canada, actors born in Canada, etc. On my side, I’ve decided to write something different from what I usually write. How about taking a trip with me to Sainte-Christine d’Auvergne, a small village where Glenn Ford spent the eight first years of his life.


Glenn Ford, technically, was born in Jeffrey Hale Hospital in Quebec City, but his family lived in Sainte-Christine d’Auvergne. His father, Rowland Ford, was the director of a railway company and the first mayor of the city.  When I discovered Glenn had spent his early childhood in this village in the region of Portneuf, I had to go. Because it’s not very far from the village where my countryside house is (Saint-Stanislas-deChamplain). So, I talked about it with my parent and, about a year ago, on December 31st, 2015, we decided to pay a visit to this place.

Translation: Ste-Christine d’Auvergne believes in joy!
Saint-Stanislas is between Shawinigan and Saint-Tite, just to give you an idea

I have to admit, I’ve only seen one Glenn Ford’s film (Gilda). So, I’m not too familiar with his acting, but I’ve read a very interesting article about him in a Photoplay Magazine. Anyway, visiting a classic actor’s hometown, whatever if you know him or not, is always thrilling.


I remember it was a very cold day. After 40 minutes or so, our car arrives in the village. We continue to ride, look at the houses, trying to guess which one could be Glenn Ford’s one. It doesn’t take us long to arrive at the end of the village. Pretty, but, I swear: Sainte-Christine d’Auvergne is the smallest village I’ve ever seen! Ok, maybe not as small as Soda City (Saboteur, Hitchcock), but still. Of course, Glenn Ford lived there at the end of the 10’s and begining of the 20s, so people who knew them are probably rare in this village. And his name is not written on a door.

Me in the village

As there is no library or office where we can have information, we decide to go to the presbytery (or maybe was it a house next to it?). A very nice lady answers. My parents, very proud of themselves introduced us by saying “We’re doing a historical research!” and we ask her if she knows by coincidence where Glenn Ford’s house was. She knows the name, calling him “Mr. Ford”, but can’t say where was his house. We then have the idea to ask her where the oldest people in the village lives. Luckily, it’s the house just across the street. But, no chance: there’s no one there! We’re almost ready to go back home, but we see a man and decide to ask him for some information. We then learn that there are other houses in the village, a little further, next to the Chute-Ford electric Central. That’s it! That’s the place where we have to go! We’re really lucky we met this man.

The old woman’s house: the green one

So we go, park the car, go out (it’s freeeeeeezing outside!) and we first stop at the central. Nothing very interesting to see, but since it was a Ford thing, it grabbed our curiosity!

Me next to the central (I needed sunglasses…)
The central
The river, next to the electric central

We then decide to ask someone which one of the houses could have been Glenn Ford’s one (there aren’t many, about four).  We arrive in a part of the village where there are some new modern cottages. A man is outside. Unfortunately, he can’t tell because he doesn’t know the village very well. He’s not from the place, you know.

Finally, we decide to ask information from someone living in one of those big old houses next to the central. An old man and his wife answer us and invite us to come inside (people are so friendly in those small villages!). We explain to them what we are looking for. They show us a pamphlet about the city with a picture of Glenn Ford in it. We talk a little, they are very nice. They can’t say which house was Glenn Ford’s one, but it certainly was one of them, that’s a 100 % sure.


A hypothesis says that this could have been the house. Of course, it originally didn’t look like this!

The conclusion to this story: We never knew exactly which house was Glenn Ford’s one, but we certainly saw it, that’s for sure. And it was a magnificent journey! And what a great activity for New Year’s Eve! 😀

Me in the village, again… A cold but sunny day: look at the blue sky!

Now I have to see more Glenn Ford’s movies…

A big thank you to Kristina and Ruth for hosting this blogathon! Here are the links to the other entries:

Day One

Day Two

Day Three

Day Four

Day Five

Annex - Ford, Glenn_02

20 thoughts on “Cinematic Experience: A Day in Glenn Ford’s Hometown

  1. This was fascinating – it almost reads like a mystery novel. Loved it!

    Thanks for including this in the O Canada blogathon. I don’t know much about Glenn Ford’s life – let alone his early life in Canada – so it was interesting to see the town where he grew up. Looks like a beautiful area!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Since you were nice enough to share your adventurous time in Glenn Ford’s hometown, I would like to recommend some Glenn Ford movies you might enjoy: “The Big Heat” (film-noir), “3:10 to Yuma” (western), “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father” (family comedy), “Dear Heart” (romantic comedy-drama), “Experiment in Terror” (thriller) and “The Sheepman” (comedy-western).

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  3. good investigative work, Virginie. I think I told you my grandfather was born in St. Agath, Canada. Also you might want to check out Glenn Ford in frank Capra’s A Pocketful of miracles”-.

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  4. You really ought to see more of Glenn Ford’s films! He was a very fine actor and I think you would love his films. I’d especially recommend 3:10 to Yuma, The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, and The Blackboard Jungle. Anyway, you did a great a job with this post! Very fine research. If I ever visit Canada, I’ll have to visit Sainte-Christine d’Auvergne!

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  5. Great mystery tour! I would love to visit and hope to some day soon (tho I’ll wait until the snow melts;^) ; I worked on getting Glenn nominated for an Order of Canada (unsuccessfully) back a dozen years ago, visited and had dinner with his son at their house, but didn’t get to spend any time with Glenn. I believe the cemetery in the area is where his grandparents are interred and his parents (although he may have had their remains moved to California)… But from what I hear, the area does not really mark any historical places or elements that celebrate this famous son of Portneuf. Thanks again for the fun tour!

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  6. Hi Virginie – what a wonderful article! I love these kinds of tours, and i did one myself when i took the family to Santa Rosa, California a few years back, visiting some of the places where Joseph Cotten harrassed Theresa Wright under Alfred HItchcock’s direction. I found this interesting blog post from a Portneuf local who toured the cemetary there — of interest to us Glenn Ford fans:

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  7. i live 5 minutes from where mrs ford pregnant with glenn was in a house fire on PALAIS HILL 58 cote u palais its still there. in 1949 i was born at jeffrey hales hospital where glenn was born, it is now condos and 15 minutes from my home. im also very near the photo studio in quebec where mr. ford was photographed at 3 years old. im so proud

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