The Gleaner

Celebrating 160 years: A brief history of The Gleaner

September 18, 1863 – The first Gleaner is published. The first edition of The Canadian Gleaner is dated September 18, but it is in fact printed at 3:15 a.m. on September 19, and is off the press by 8 a.m. By October, the paper has 400 subscribers and is delivered every Friday.

1870 – The Canadian Gleaner changes publication day from Friday to Thursday.

June 24, 1906 – The first typesetting machine is installed. The Canadian Gleaner obtains a slug-casting machine known as a “typograph,” which represents a “remarkable advancement for a rural weekly newspaper in those days.” Soon after comes the purchase of a two-revolution cylinder press.

January 25, 1912 – The Canadian Gleaner becomes the Huntingdon Gleaner. Robert Sellar, who founded the The Canadian Gleaner, serves as editor of the newspaper until his death in 1919. He is assisted by his two oldest sons. Leslie Sellar is editor until his death in 1922, when the role is taken on by R. Watson Sellar.

December, 1922 – Another new typesetting machine is installed, and it is determined that the Huntingdon Gleaner would no longer use “plate-filler copy.” It becomes an “all home print paper crammed full of local news.”

June, 1924 – A large cylinder press is added. The new press, along with the electrical installations, costs $3,000. The press improves the appearance of the finished printed product.

1924 – R Watson Sellar leaves the Huntingdon Gleaner for a position in Ottawa. Sellar’s youngest son, Adam, who was already a partner, takes over control of the newspaper. R. Watson goes on to become the auditor general of Canada.

1929 – The day of publication changes from Thursday to Wednesday.

1932 – The Huntingdon Gleaner becomes an independent newspaper. It acquires the Ormstown Bulletin, a Conservative newspaper, while the Gleaner is unabashedly Liberal. It is decided at this time that it would be better to be independent.

1937 – The Huntingdon Gleaner begins publishing La Gazette de Valleyfield, a French weekly newspaper.

1939 – A new printing plant is constructed. With this additional capacity, The Huntingdon Gleaner Inc. launches a second French weekly newspaper, Le Courrier.

1957 – The Huntingdon Gleaner becomes known simply as “The Gleaner.”

1961 – For the first time in 98 years The Gleaner changes ownership outside of the Sellar family, when Keith Howden takes over the reins as owner and manager of the newspaper.

1963 – The Gleaner publishes a 122-page special edition to commemorate its centenary edition.



1964 – French content is introduced as a small section in the weekly.

1971 – The first self-contained French section is introduced following the acquisition of La Gazette, a French-language newspaper based in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield.

1976 – Roger Daoust and Claude Pilon take over as co-owners. Daoust had been advertising manager for over 20 years and had served as vice president of the newspaper for twelve years.

1985 – The Gleaner becomes part of a chain. The newspaper is bought by Michel Auclair and becomes part of Les Hebdos Montérégiens, a chain pf papers from across the Montérégie region.

1986 – The Gleaner changes headquarters, moving from the office and printing plant on Chateauguay Street in Huntingdon to the O’Connor Building at the centre of town.

1993 – The Gleaner adds a French-language section called La Source.

2013 – The Gleaner, along with 16 other newspapers belonging to Les Hebdos Montérégiens, is purchased by Quebecor Media, one of the country’s largest media empires. Later that same year, The Gleaner is sold to printing giant TC Transcontinental Media.

2014 – TC Transcontinental Media announces the closure of the Huntingdon offices of The Gleaner. The newspaper continues to be published, but as a significantly reduced insert included in the Valleyfield-based French weekly, Le Journal Saint-François.

August 2017 – The Gleaner changes hands once more when it is sold along with six other South Shore newspapers to Gravité Média.

November 2018 – A group of over 50 interested individuals from the Chateauguay Valley meet to discuss the future of The Gleaner, after the owner of Gravité Média reached out to the community to see if there was any interest in acquiring The Gleaner.

2019 – The non-profit organization Chateauguay Valley Community Information Services is created as the community-based publisher of the “new” Gleaner.

June 2019 – The Gleaner is relaunched with a souvenir print version and a new website. This is followed by monthly editions published by a dynamic crew of volunteers.

January 2020 – The Gleaner officially returns to regular publication as a biweekly newspaper thanks to tremendous community support and an exceptionally dedicated team. It continues in the tradition of true local journalism to bring quality content to residents of the Chateauguay Valley as “their” newspaper.

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