The sons of Philip and Alice carried on the piano business, and also ventured into politics.
Although the family no longer has a stake, the name survives as Layton Audio, a stereo store, and Jack Layton spoke proudly of his family’s entrepreneurial background in Montreal during this year’s election campaign.
But he quit in 1938 and later broke with the Union Nationale entirely when Duplessis opposed conscription during the Second World War.
An outgoing, upbeat man, he married Doris Steeves, a more reserved woman, later admired for her needlepoint.
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The night was, at least in his memory, “fabulous.” The kids who always hung out at the club mixed with those who were seeing it from the inside for the first time.
It casts him, of course, in a favourable light that presages his later political persona.
“I was scared, but I was upset because I thought they were judging these French kids.” The disgruntled grown-ups threatened to scupper the youth club.