Maison Saint-Gabriel today
Purchase of Maison Saint-Gabriel in 1668

In 1668, Marguerite Bourgeoys purchased Maison Saint-Gabriel for 1258 livres tournois.

How much is that sum worth today?

A.  $2,000

B.  $20,000

C.  $160,000

For the answer ...

Answer :

It is almost impossible to determine the exact value of a 17th-century livre in today’s currency. This evaluation is related to the cost of living. If this question were asked in the 1950s, the answer would be $2,000 and today it would no doubt be $160,000. The answer depends on the time, cost of living and salaries. At the end of the 17th century, a foreman or a tradesman earned 300 livres per year.

The monetary unit circulating in the colony was the livre, which was sub-divided into sols and deniers. Until 1717, the money used in New France was worth 75% of that used in France. Following that, the value of the two currencies became equivalent.

1 livre = 20 sous

1 sou = 12 deniers