DCB/DBC Mobile beta


New Biographies

Minor Corrections

Biography of the Day

JURY, ALFRED FREDMAN – Volume XIV (1911-1920)

d. 28 Sept. 1916 in Liverpool, England


Responsible Government

Sir John A. Macdonald

From the Red River Settlement to Manitoba (1812–70)

Sir Wilfrid Laurier

Sir George-Étienne Cartier


The Fenians

Women in the DCB/DBC

The Charlottetown and Quebec Conferences of 1864

Introductory Essays of the DCB/DBC

The Acadians

For Educators

The War of 1812 

Canada’s Wartime Prime Ministers

The First World War

LEFEBVRE, dit Laciseraye, MICHEL, master-mason, land-surveyor and builder; born at Trois-Rivières in 1654, son of Pierre Lefebvre and of Jeanne Aunois; married Catherine Trottier of Champlain on 3 Nov. 1683, and had eight children; buried at Trois-Rivières 21 Oct. 1708.

Presumably this typical artisan-builder followed the normal practice of his kind and day, travelling about the colony to work on various buildings as opportunity afforded; occasionally too he surveyed land in the vicinity of Trois-Rivières. His only recorded activity as an artisan, however, is on the second parish church of Trois-Rivières in 1682–83, and on the first parish church of Lachine in 1702–3. A contract for the Trois-Rivières church exists, made between the Recollets under whose aegis it was built, and René Pelletier, carpenter; and there is also a notation in the greffe of Severin Ameau giving Lefebvre the task of sheathing the building with boards and shingles for which the parish council gave him 350 livres plus the materials. Lefebvre being also a master-mason, it is reasonable to assume that he was responsible for the exterior appearance of the Trois-Rivières church. It has vanished without trace, but presumably it was similar to the one Lefebvre built at Lachine, whose appearance (aside from the bell-tower, rebuilt in 1718) is known from a drawing made before its demolition in 1869 (reproduced as Plate xxix in Alan Gowans’ Church architecture in New France).

It would be an error, however, to imagine that Lefebvre was its architect in any modern sense. Lefebvre represented the traditional “form transmitting” folk builder, as contrasted with the modem idea of a “form-giving” architect. He incorporated in his architecture proportions and structure inherited through apprenticeship from a collective folk tradition (presumably that of Normandy, since his father came from Rouen) rather than any expression of personal taste or aesthetic ideas.

Alan Gowans

A. Roy, Inv. greffes not., XI, 120, 121, 135, 224. É.-Z. Massicotte, “Les arpenteurs de Montréal,” BRH, XXV (1919), 223. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, I, 365; VI, 263. Désiré Girouard, Lake StLouis, old and new, and Cavelier de La Salle (Montréal, 1893), 45ff. Alan Gowans, Church architecture in New France (Toronto, 1955), 90, 131. Jouve, Les Franciscains et le Canada: aux Trois-Rivières, 32–34.

General Bibliography

Cite This Article

Alan Gowans, “LEFEBVRE, Laciseraye, MICHEL,” in Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2, University of Toronto/Université Laval, 2003–, accessed September 28, 2023, http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/lefebvre_michel_2E.html.

The citation above shows the format for footnotes and endnotes according to the Chicago manual of style (16th edition). Information to be used in other citation formats:

Permalink:   http://www.biographi.ca/en/bio/lefebvre_michel_2E.html
Author of Article:   Alan Gowans
Title of Article:   LEFEBVRE, Laciseraye, MICHEL
Publication Name:   Dictionary of Canadian Biography, vol. 2
Publisher:   University of Toronto/Université Laval
Year of publication:   1969
Year of revision:   1982
Access Date:   September 28, 2023