Olivier Génier

Northeastern Ontario

Born in Saint-Anicet, Quebec, Génier settled in Northern Ontario in 1909. With his wife, he took possession of lots north of Cochrane and cleared the land for what would later become the village of Genier, in the North of the province. After the typhoid fever outbreak in 1915 and the great fire that devastated Northern Ontario in 1916, he started his own farm business.

In 1919, the newly inaugurated village church was named Notre-Dame-des-Oliviers in his honour. A full-time farmer in the 1930’s, he provided support to other farmers, primarily to five of his sons. As a member of the Board of directors of the Cochrane Agricultural Society, he worked closely with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture’s agronomy assistant, Bill Montcalm. In 1940, with his son Ernest, he successfully established a potato co-operative – the Cochrane Farmer’s Co-op. His progeny describe him as a pioneer, a talented organizer, a tireless contractor, and a visionary man who was faithful to his ideals.