Saint-Laurent also owes a great deal to Alexis Nihon, an inventor and businessman who, with his vitality and character contributed to the territory's development and the economic vigour of Montréal and its surrounding area. Born in Belgium in 1902 and having emigrated to Canada at the age of 18, he knew very early in his life how to put his knowledge to the test. Among his inventions was one for a new manufacturing process for flat glass panels, and the invention of the tubeless tire.
The opening in 1940 of the Compagnie industrielle du verre limitée (Industrial Glass Works Company Limited), which was based on Ouimet street in Saint-Laurent, was also to his credit. In fact, Mr. Nihon pioneered the glass industry in Canada. He was one of the only industrial leaders in the country to manufacture glass during wartime.
Later, the sale of his plant allowed him to gather the capital he needed to invest in real estate. Alexis Nihon worked as owner and landlord for buildings and land in Montréal's western suburbs.
Corporation Alexis Nihon (today Alexis Nihon REIT) was founded in 1946. It grew to become one of the biggest private real estate companies in Canada. The company specializes in the development, administration and management of prestigious offices, shopping centres, industrial parks and residential complexes.
Saint-Laurent named one of its boulevards in memory of Alexis Nihon.1
Alexis Nihon's photos are a courtesy of Alexis Nihon REIT.