Armand Courville
Montreal Mafia
    Armand Courville, born  in  the  early  1910s, was  a  well  known wreslter  around  Montreal  in  his  younger  years. He gave lessons to aspiring young men from  the  Saint Paul Club in Ville Emard. One of his students was Vic Cotroni, a young  Italian  immigrant  who  would later become one of Canada's most legendary criminal figures.

     Courville  and Cotroni  became fast friends  and, in 1942, the  two bought
Le Café Royal, a  popular  downtown  night  club. They  also allegedly rented  a  nearby  apartment, where  they  set up  a  lucrative gambling den. Courville  also reportedly opened  another gambling den at the cornor of St. Catherine  and  Amherst streets, this time with Joe Tremblay.

     Two years later, Courville  and Cotroni opened the
Faisan Doré, a night club that became popular for politicians, lawyers, and judges.

     As the years passed and Vic Cotroni emerged  as the  Montreal Mafia's leader, Courville remained one of his most trusted  associates  and  held  more influence with  the  mob  boss than  most Italian mobsters. Cotroni even became godfather to Courville's son Vincent.

     In the 1970s, Courville became  a  prime target of  the Quebec Police Commission's  inquiry  into organized crime. Courville, the committee claimed, was an influential associate of the Montreal Mafia and involved in gambling dens, clubs, and restaurants.

     Courville was summoned to testify before the committee. On the stand, he denied being affiliated with the  Mafia, and said  that he  had only heard of  its existance through books  and
The Godfather hit  movie. "If  the  Mafia exists in  Montreal," Courville testified, "it's  probably  like  the  Knights of Columbus."

     The commission  also looked into the  activities of
Reggio Foods, a company in which Courville, Vic Cotroni, and Paolo Violi own 88% of  the shares. The company was the city's number one  meat distributor to restaurants and pizzerias, and the offices, according to the committee, were often used as  a  meeting place by the three  reputed  mobsters  and  their  associates. The company's meat, the inquiry  alleged, was unsuitable for human consumption.

Reggio Foods closed  its  doors  in 1976 because  of  the  allegations brought up by  the  Quebec Police Commission. Courville, Cotroni, and Violi sold the building, equipment, and recipes for  a total of $140,000.

     Courville  died  on February 1, 1991, at  the  age  of  79. Approximately 100 people  attended the ceremony  at
Saint-Viateur church in Saint-Henri. According to  a  La Presse article, several  elderly organized crime figures, both local  and  from Ontario, paid their lasts respects  at the  funeral parlor days earlier. Courville had been considered "inactive" by the government for several years.