The coat of arms of Baie-D'Urfé

The seal of the town was until 1960 a maple leaf surrounded by the words "THE TOWN OF BAIE D'URFE, incorporated 1911". The original seal can be seen in the photo below. Note that the Canadian flag with the maple leaf did not exist yet in 1911 and there is no relation between this seal and the flag.

Seal of the town of Baie-D'Urfé before 1960, diameter: 47mm (1 7/8 inch)
Baie-D’Urfé coat of arms since Feb. 2, 1960

Mayor Thomas R. Lee, who was very much interested in the history of the town, wanted a town crest that reflects its history. Experts in the field of heraldry were consulted. The following design has no further explanation associated with it but it seems to have been the resulting design proposal.

Proposed coat of arms design, source: collection at the Fritz

Louis Carrier of St-Anne-de-Bellevue, curator of the Chateau Ramezay in Montreal, and a friend of Thomas Lee pointed out to Tommy that the silver cup belonging to François d'Urfé was at the museum of the Notre-Dame church on Place d'Armes. When Thomas Lee went to see it, he asked to handle it. He turned the cup over and he knew he had found the coat of arms. The engraved drawing showed the D'Urfé family shield, surmounted by the crown of a marquis and surrounded by a wreath of thorns.

Louis Carrier becomes currator of the Cauteau Ramezay, The Gazette, Oct. 18, 1954
Thomas Lee at the museum of the Notre-Dame church, source: brochure for the 1961 celebrations
François d’Urfé’s silver cup with the coat of arms engraved at the bottom. The mark of the silversmith can be seen to the center right: Denis Patu of Paris, France, source: brochure for the 1961 celebrations.
François d’Urfé’s silver gobelet, photo from 2010, made by Denis Patu between 1684 and 1685, outer diameter: 8.3cm, height: 9.3cm, material: pure silver, source:
The bottom of François d’Urfé’s silver gobelet with his coat of arms, source:

Thomas Lee asked R. M. Buckham to produce the final art work. Robert (Bob) Buckham and Thomas Lee must have known each other, probably either because of their time at the Royal Canadian Air Force or because Thomas Lee, working as public relations officer at the Canadian Banker's Association, would have been a customer of Bob Buckham.

Robert M. Buckham became quite famous early on in his career not only because of his excellent drawings and paintings but also because of the drawings he produced while a prisoner of war at the Stalag Luft III camp in Germany during the second world war. At the camp he forged also travel permits and helped 76 fellow officers to escape. All documents were hand drawn.

In the 1960s he was senior art director of the "Cockfield, Brown and Company" advertising agency in Montreal. He lived since 1954 at 15 Apple Hill in Baie-D'Urfé, moved with his family for a short time to St-Anne de Bellevue and moved in Feb. 1964 back to Baie-D'Urfé into a new house at 292 Lorraine Drive. His wife Marion Louise (born McLaren) was for a few years the secretary of the Baie-D'Urfé Citizens Association. They had two children, Scott and Christine. Marion died on Nov. 10, 1972. Following his wife's death, Robert Marshall Buckham moved to Vancouver, where he married Nancy Bruneau. Robert Marshall Buckham died December 30, 2003 in Vancouver, at the age of 85.

Note that the book "Baie d'Urfé 1686-1986" contains a small typo. It attributes the Baie-D'Urfé coat of arms drawing to R. S. Buckham instead of R. M. Buckham.

The new crest, which has been approved by the Garter King of Arms, was adopted by the town during the council meeting on Tuesday, February 2, 1960.

Robert M. Buckham senior art director-manager of Cockfield, Brown and Co., The Gazette, Oct. 14, 1961
Robert M. Buckham joins the David Catton Advertising Agency, The Gazette, Mar. 22, 1974
Robert M. Buckham joins the David Catton Advertising Agency, The Province (Vancouver newspaper), Jun 5, 1974
The first home of the Buckham family in Baie-D’Urfe, 15 Apple Hill Road, built: 1954
Ginnie Says, introduction of new neighbors in the N&V by Virginia Higman, N&V March 1954
The second house of the Buckham family in Baie-D’Urfe, 292 Lorraine Drive, built: 1964
Thomas Lee now supervisor of public relations at the Royal Trust, formerly public relations officer with the Canadian Banker's Association, The National Post, Oct. 28, 1961
Original drawing of the Baie-D’Urfé coat of arms by Robert M. Buckham
The town council, meeting at town hall in 1960, photo: News and Views, May 1960, from left to right: Councilor Johnstone, Mayor Lee, councilors Gale, Pritchard, Boyle and Campbell

The different elements and colors of the coat of arms have a meaning: Thomas Lee explained those details himself in a News & Views column called "A place in history" in the September 1972 issue of News and Views.

Description of the coat of arms, News and Views article by Thomas Lee, September 1972, click to read
Baie-D’Urfé sign with the town's coat of arms
Baie-D’Urfé flag
Baie-D’Urfé flag
The old wooden BDYC club burgee, hand painted, it used to hang over the club house, photo: Michel Poisson, Sep. 2020

Three generations of street signs

The first Baie-D'Urfe street signs where installed before the creation of the official coat of arms. Most of them were installed in the 1950s and 1960s. They were made from steel painted in black and white. They were 1 1/2 inch thick and hollow inside to save on weight. Never the less they were extremely heavy and durable. Some people have kept those signs and you can see them below. A second generation of signs was made from aluminum with letters in blue on a white background and the coat of arms was printed next to the street name. This second generation of signs was phased out in 2018. The third and current generation of street signs are also made from aluminum. They are blue with letters in white. The coat of arms is shown above the street name.

First generation steet sign, photo: July 2011
First generation steet sign, photo: March 2021
Second generation steet sign, phased out in 2018, photo: March 2021
Second generation steet sign, phased out in 2018, photo: March 2021
Second generation steet signs available to all interested residents, N&V May 2018
Third generation steet sign, Linden Road, photo: March 2021
Third generation steet sign, Hawthorne Drive, photo: March 2021

This page contains some material copyrighted by third parties but all other content is free and available under the creative commons Attribution License (CC BY 4.0).

Guido Socher,

->back to "A HISTORY OF THE TOWN OF BAIE-D'URFE, 1977 edition"
-> go the index