RENAUD, dit Cannard, PIERRE, master mason and contractor; baptized 3 Oct. 1699 at Saint-Charles-de-Charlesbourg Charlesbourg, Que.), son of Michel Renaud, dit Cannard, and Marie-Renée Réaume; buried there on 15 June 1774.
Pierre Renaud, dit Cannard, belonged to the second generation of masons trained in New France, a generation marked off from their predecessors by their ability to adapt their technique to the resources of the country and its climate. In the 18th century the building industry was scarcely flourishing in the city of Quebec and consequently could not support a large number of big contractors; the construction of the important secular and monastic buildings had been completed. Such were the times in which Renaud, dit Cannard, and his fellow masons Jean-Baptiste Boucher, dit Belleville, and Jacques and Girard-Guillaume* Deguise, dit Flamand, were active.
Renaud, dit Cannard, began his career as a building contractor after his marriage with Marie Gariépy on 21 Feb. 1729 at L’Ange-Gardien. His best-known work is the second church at Cap-Santé, one of the most imposing churches of New France. An immense, twin-towered, stone structure, it was begun in 1754. Apparently the plans of the church had been drawn by Jean-Baptiste Maillou*, dit Desmoulins, with whom Renaud is thought to have apprenticed. Its dimensions and ostentation stemmed from a rivalry which existed at the time among the parishes. When the year 1763 began, the church was still not finished, and on 17 May Renaud agreed to let the parish priest, Joseph Fillion, continue the work as he saw fit. The construction workers had been drawn away from their building site by the Seven Years’ War, which had necessitated, among other things, the building of Fort Jacques-Cartier at the mouth of the river of the same name. At the time that work resumed the price of a toise of masonry had apparently risen sharply, and Renaud was not interested in continuing construction on the terms laid down in the contract.
In the realm of domestic architecture, the principal work of Renaud, dit Cannard, was clearly the house that he erected in 1752 for merchant Jean-Baptiste Chevalier near the Quebec shipyards. Built of stone, it had three storeys and originally opened on the Rue du Cul-de-Sac. Today it is attached to two adjoining buildings, and the whole structure is known as the Maison Chevalier. The masonry for Renaud’s building was done at the rate of “25 livres per running toise, with two bonuses thrown in besides.”
Renaud’s activities after the conquest are unknown. No notarized contract for masonry has yet been turned up, but there may have been private agreements. When he died in 1774, the contractor left his heirs three pieces of land in the city of Quebec, where he had lived for some years, in addition to property at Gros-Pin (Charlesbourg) on which there was only a wooden house of 25 feet by 18 with an extension measuring 20 by 12 feet. Under the French régime not all master masons could afford the luxury of a stone house.
ANQ-Q, État civil, Catholiques, Saint-Charles-Borromée (Charlesbourg), 15 juin 1774; Greffe de Gilbert Boucault de Godefus, 20 mars 1752; Greffe d’André Genest, 18 juill. 1774; Greffe de Joseph Jacob, 15 févr. 1729. Archives paroissiales, Saint-Charles-Borromée (Charlesbourg), Registre des baptêmes, mariages et sépultures, 3 oct. 1699. IBC, Centre de documentation, Fonds Morisset, Dossier Pierre Renaud, dit Cannard. Tanguay, Dictionnaire, VI, 515, 542. F.-X. Gatien et al., Histoire du Cap-Santé (Québec, 1955), 64–65. A. W. Gowans, Church architecture in New France, 87–88, 154; Looking at architecture in Canada (Toronto, 1958), 51–52. Raymonde Landry Gauthier, “L’architecture civile et conventuelle à Québec, 1680–1726” (thèse de ma, université Laval, Québec, 1976). Gérard Morisset, Le Cap-Santé, ses églises et son trésor (Québec, 1944), 22–23., Jean Bruchési, “De la maison Soulard à l’hôtel Chevalier,” Cahiers des Dix, 20 (1955), 91–92.