Neighbourhood Old Lachine

History

1535 1660

1535-1660

Aboriginal territory

Attracted by the fresh-water fauna in the rapids, the Saint-Pierre River, and little Lake Saint-Pierre, the Amerindians frequented this territory. The river and the lake were located near the present-day site of Highway 20 and the Turcot Interchange.

1661 1810

1661-1810

One of the oldest pioneer villages in Canada

In 1660, blocked by the Sault-Saint-Louis rapids, the Europeans founded Fort Rémy where the LaSalle borough is now located. In 1667, René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, was granted part of this land by the Sulpicians, owners of the island, to establish a trading post and found a village: Côte Saint-Sulpice. Part of this seigniory eventually became Lachine.

In 1676, an immense parish, Saints-Anges-de-Lachine, was created, stretching from Verdun to Pointe Claire; in 1721, the territory was divided into smaller parishes.

To defend themselves from the Iroquois, the colonists built new forts, including Fort Cuillerier, Fort Rolland (1670), and Fort de la Présentation (1668). Because of its enviable location (a portage for trappers and explorers between Montreal and points further west) and competition linked to the fur trade, Old Lachine was the scene of many confrontations between the colonists and the Amerindians. The Great Peace of Montreal, a treaty signed in 1701, eased these tensions. Aside from a few trading posts, including the Leber-Lemoyne House, the territory was basically agricultural until the beginning of the 18th century.

Sulpicians François de Salignac Fénelon (1670) and Dollier de Casson (1680) spearheaded the first plans to dig the canal, but money was lacking to carry out the project.

Image : HM_ARC_001867

Big John and party shooting the Lachine rapids

8.8 cm
13.8 cm
© Fonds Dinu Bumbaru, © Héritage Montréal


1661-1810

One of the oldest pioneer villages in Canada

In 1660, blocked by the Sault-Saint-Louis rapids, the Europeans founded Fort Rémy where the LaSalle borough is now located. In 1667, René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, was granted part of this land by the Sulpicians, owners of the island, to establish a trading post and found a village: Côte Saint-Sulpice. Part of this seigniory eventually became Lachine.

In 1676, an immense parish, Saints-Anges-de-Lachine, was created, stretching from Verdun to Pointe Claire; in 1721, the territory was divided into smaller parishes.

To defend themselves from the Iroquois, the colonists built new forts, including Fort Cuillerier, Fort Rolland (1670), and Fort de la Présentation (1668). Because of its enviable location (a portage for trappers and explorers between Montreal and points further west) and competition linked to the fur trade, Old Lachine was the scene of many confrontations between the colonists and the Amerindians. The Great Peace of Montreal, a treaty signed in 1701, eased these tensions. Aside from a few trading posts, including the Leber-Lemoyne House, the territory was basically agricultural until the beginning of the 18th century.

Sulpicians François de Salignac Fénelon (1670) and Dollier de Casson (1680) spearheaded the first plans to dig the canal, but money was lacking to carry out the project.

Image : HM_ARC_003849

Lachine Rapids and Rapid King boat

9 cm
14 cm
© Dinu Bumbaru, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_005103

The Hudson Bay Co. old store in Lachine

© Library and Archives Canada, Vieux manoirs, vieilles maisons / PA-036773, © Héritage Montréal


1811 1847

1811-1847

Urban development spurred by a brewery

After Montreal fell to the British, the King's Post was established between 1775 and 1814. The English and Scottish invested more money in the town. Opened in 1811, the Dawes brewery, the first company founded in Old Lachine, oriented urban development. Farmland was used to grow hops and barley, and the brewery became the area's major employer. During this same period, the Hudson Bay Company established a warehouse for furs and other merchandise.

The growing needs of trade and water transportation lead to the digging of the Lachine Canal between 1821 and 1825. It was inaugurated in 1826 and gradually extended throughout the century, stimulating the creation of a village core at its inlet and attracting immigrants. These included Irish Catholics and members of various other ethno-cultural groups.

Two Anglo-Protestant churches were founded around 1830: the St. Stephen's Anglican Church in 1831 and the St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in 1832. In about 1865, the Saints-Anges-de-Lachine Catholic Church, formerly located in present-day LaSalle, was built on Saint Joseph Boulevard.

The oldest land transportation routes include the Lower Lachine Road or Chemin de la Côte Verdun (now LaSalle Boulevard), which served as a portage, Lachine Road or Chemin de la Côte-Saint-Paul (now Saint Patrick Street), and Upper Lachine Road or Chemin de la Côte Saint-Pierre (now Saint-Jacques Street) .

Image : HM_ARC_005163

The old lock at Lachine

© Library and Archives Canada /C-113716 , © Héritage Montréal


1811-1847

Urban development spurred by a brewery

After Montreal fell to the British, the King's Post was established between 1775 and 1814. The English and Scottish invested more money in the town. Opened in 1811, the Dawes brewery, the first company founded in Old Lachine, oriented urban development. Farmland was used to grow hops and barley, and the brewery became the area's major employer. During this same period, the Hudson Bay Company established a warehouse for furs and other merchandise.

The growing needs of trade and water transportation lead to the digging of the Lachine Canal between 1821 and 1825. It was inaugurated in 1826 and gradually extended throughout the century, stimulating the creation of a village core at its inlet and attracting immigrants. These included Irish Catholics and members of various other ethno-cultural groups.

Two Anglo-Protestant churches were founded around 1830: the St. Stephen's Anglican Church in 1831 and the St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in 1832. In about 1865, the Saints-Anges-de-Lachine Catholic Church, formerly located in present-day LaSalle, was built on Saint Joseph Boulevard.

The oldest land transportation routes include the Lower Lachine Road or Chemin de la Côte Verdun (now LaSalle Boulevard), which served as a portage, Lachine Road or Chemin de la Côte-Saint-Paul (now Saint Patrick Street), and Upper Lachine Road or Chemin de la Côte Saint-Pierre (now Saint-Jacques Street) .

Image : HM_ARC_004292

Cooperage, Dawes Brewery, Lachine
Circa 1920
20 cm
25 cm
© McCord Museum, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_002191

Saint-Stephen's Anglican Church

14.5 cm
22.2 cm
© Anglican Diocese of Montreal, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_004449

Église des Saints Anges Gardiens (Lachine), facade

©Fondation du patrimoine religieux du Québec, ©Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_001943

On the Lower Lachine Road

8.6 cm
13.5 cm
© Dinu Bumbaru, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_005373

Fleming's Wind Mill, Lasalle
1820
8.4 cm
11.4 cm
© Ville Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, © Héritage Montréal


1848 1870

1848-1870

In the second half of the 19th century, following the development of the Montreal and Lachine Railroad in 1847, the neighbourhood rapidly became more industrialized. Lachine Village was founded the following year, its geographical boundaries corresponding to today's Old Lachine. Merchants, craftsmen, and inn keepers set up shop, and new residential sectors provided housing to workers. Rich Anglophone families bought up large tracts of land. In 1852, the Montreal & New York Railroad established a new terminal west of the brewery.

At that time, Lachine was composed of three distinct districts, linked by the King's Highway: a dense working class area grew up around the brewery and the Montreal & New York railroad terminal; in the centre, near the first inlet to the canal and the Montreal and Lachine railroad terminal was the home base for salaried employees and government officials; and the west end, near the 1845 locks and thus called Lachine Locks, was occupied by specialized tradesmen and professionals. With the arrival of the Sisters of Sainte Anne in 1861, a new Catholic institutional core was created.

Image : HM_ARC_003628

Lachine locks

© Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, © Héritage Montréal


1848-1870

In the second half of the 19th century, following the development of the Montreal and Lachine Railroad in 1847, the neighbourhood rapidly became more industrialized. Lachine Village was founded the following year, its geographical boundaries corresponding to today's Old Lachine. Merchants, craftsmen, and inn keepers set up shop, and new residential sectors provided housing to workers. Rich Anglophone families bought up large tracts of land. In 1852, the Montreal & New York Railroad established a new terminal west of the brewery.

At that time, Lachine was composed of three distinct districts, linked by the King's Highway: a dense working class area grew up around the brewery and the Montreal & New York railroad terminal; in the centre, near the first inlet to the canal and the Montreal and Lachine railroad terminal was the home base for salaried employees and government officials; and the west end, near the 1845 locks and thus called Lachine Locks, was occupied by specialized tradesmen and professionals. With the arrival of the Sisters of Sainte Anne in 1861, a new Catholic institutional core was created.

Image : HM_ARC_003626

Part of the old canal (Lachine)

© Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, © Héritage Montréal


1871 1920

1871-1920

A new municipality

Lachine was incorporated in 1872. It then underwent a period of unprecedented economic, industrial, and population growth that, over the next forty-four years, transformed its landscape through the addition of electricity, water and sewer services, public transit, and a new town hall.

During the 1880s, industrial giants such as Dominion Bridge and Dominion Wire moved into this sector. Residential sectors were developed tying industrial production to neighbourhood life. Like a small industrial city, Old Lachine was composed of streets in a grid pattern, back lanes, and small wood, brick, and stone multi-family residential buildings. Charming homes were built on Saint-Joseph Boulevard for merchants, worthies, professionals, and other officials. In 1889, the Grand Trunk Railway extended its line across western Lachine, adding new stations supporting the development of the suburbs and the construction of opulent homes on the shores of Lake Saint-Louis.

In 1912, the town of Somerlea, which was founded in 1895 following the arrival of the Montreal Park & Island tramway, composed primarily of cottages, chalets, magnificent homes, and recreational facilities, was annexed to Lachine. That same year, the town's east end separated to form the municipality of LaSalle.

Image : HM_ARC_005243

Atlas of the City and Island of Montreal, Parish Lachine
1879
45 cm
36 cm
© Dinu Bumbaru, © Héritage Montréal


1871-1920

A new municipality

Lachine was incorporated in 1872. It then underwent a period of unprecedented economic, industrial, and population growth that, over the next forty-four years, transformed its landscape through the addition of electricity, water and sewer services, public transit, and a new town hall.

During the 1880s, industrial giants such as Dominion Bridge and Dominion Wire moved into this sector. Residential sectors were developed tying industrial production to neighbourhood life. Like a small industrial city, Old Lachine was composed of streets in a grid pattern, back lanes, and small wood, brick, and stone multi-family residential buildings. Charming homes were built on Saint-Joseph Boulevard for merchants, worthies, professionals, and other officials. In 1889, the Grand Trunk Railway extended its line across western Lachine, adding new stations supporting the development of the suburbs and the construction of opulent homes on the shores of Lake Saint-Louis.

In 1912, the town of Somerlea, which was founded in 1895 following the arrival of the Montreal Park & Island tramway, composed primarily of cottages, chalets, magnificent homes, and recreational facilities, was annexed to Lachine. That same year, the town's east end separated to form the municipality of LaSalle.

Image : HM_ARC_005228

Atlas of the City and Island of Montreal Canada, Incorporated Ville de Lachine
1879
45 cm
72 cm
© Dinu Bumbaru, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_005128

Dominion Bridge, exterior view of main workshop, south end
Circa 1880
© Library and Archives Canada, Alexander Henderson / PA-117224, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_005100

Bird-eye view, Lachine and the Dominion Bridge site

© Library and Archives Canada, McCarthy Aero Services Ltd. / PA-30760, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_004291

Lachine Canal and St. Joseph Street, Lachine, QC, about 1910
Circa 1910
9 cm
14.1 cm
© McCord Museum, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_003573

Town of Lachine (St-Joseph street)

© Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Albums de rues E.-Z. Massicotte – MAS 2-196-c, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_003513

Tramway 2002 from the Montreal Tramways Company on the 92 route (Lachine extension)
1951
25 cm
20 cm
© Exporail (# 51-207), © Héritage Montréal


1921 1976

1921-1976

Lachine in transition

Old Lachine entered a second phase of expansion marked by residential and commercial development. In the 1920s and 1930s, the main business artery moved from Saint-Joseph Boulevard to Notre-Dame Street. Shortly thereafter, the area surrounding the northern railroad tracks acquired a residential character. During World War II, civilian firms became defence companies.

In the 1950s, the manufacturing industry played a key economic role and, despite the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, the population of Old Lachine continued to grow until 1970, taking advantage of the means of accessing property and the high quality of life for families in the north and west ends. The emergence of this new middle class was reflected in the city's architecture. However, with the closing of the Lachine Canal in 1970 and the decline of the manufacturing sector, people began to leave the area between 1971 and 1976 in search of new jobs and new neighbourhoods.

Image : HM_ARC_001941

Notre Dame Street, Lachine

8.6 cm
13.4 cm
© Dinu Bumbaru, © Héritage Montréal


1921-1976

Lachine in transition

Old Lachine entered a second phase of expansion marked by residential and commercial development. In the 1920s and 1930s, the main business artery moved from Saint-Joseph Boulevard to Notre-Dame Street. Shortly thereafter, the area surrounding the northern railroad tracks acquired a residential character. During World War II, civilian firms became defence companies.

In the 1950s, the manufacturing industry played a key economic role and, despite the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in 1959, the population of Old Lachine continued to grow until 1970, taking advantage of the means of accessing property and the high quality of life for families in the north and west ends. The emergence of this new middle class was reflected in the city's architecture. However, with the closing of the Lachine Canal in 1970 and the decline of the manufacturing sector, people began to leave the area between 1971 and 1976 in search of new jobs and new neighbourhoods.

Image : HM_ARC_004168

Ad for the Dominion Bridge Company, published in the Book of Montreal

© Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_005403

Houses on Lasalle Road, Lachine

19.7 cm
13.3 cm
© Ville de Montréal. Gestion des documents et archives (G-241/vol.1), © Héritage Montréal


1977 2008

1977-2008

A recreational and tourism canal in a revitalized neighbourhood

In 1975, seeing the slowdown of the neighbourhood, government authorities proposed a master plan for improving its quality of life, community services, transportation, and housing. There was no doubt about the significance of the area, its incomparable geographic location, its history, and its architecture. In 1980, with the cooperation of Quebec's department of cultural affairs (Ministère des Affaires culturelles), a detailed inventory of Old Lachine's cultural property was done, and the gradual revitalization of the neighbourhood was launched.

In 1997, the federal government announced the redevelopment of the canal. In 2002, when Lachine merged with Montreal, the re-opening of the canal - this time for recreational purposes - attracted crowds of people wishing to take advantage of the redevelopment of about 13 kilometres and the recreational opportunities this afforded: biking, cross-country skiing, hiking, and more. At the crossroads of major travel arteries - an airport, highways, and railroads - Old Lachine has been given a new lease on life with its redeveloped shores, its marina, and René-Lévesque Park.

Image : HM_ARC_004938

Condominiums on the Lachine canal

© Parks Canada, Lachine Canal NHSC, © Héritage Montréal


1977-2008

A recreational and tourism canal in a revitalized neighbourhood

In 1975, seeing the slowdown of the neighbourhood, government authorities proposed a master plan for improving its quality of life, community services, transportation, and housing. There was no doubt about the significance of the area, its incomparable geographic location, its history, and its architecture. In 1980, with the cooperation of Quebec's department of cultural affairs (Ministère des Affaires culturelles), a detailed inventory of Old Lachine's cultural property was done, and the gradual revitalization of the neighbourhood was launched.

In 1997, the federal government announced the redevelopment of the canal. In 2002, when Lachine merged with Montreal, the re-opening of the canal - this time for recreational purposes - attracted crowds of people wishing to take advantage of the redevelopment of about 13 kilometres and the recreational opportunities this afforded: biking, cross-country skiing, hiking, and more. At the crossroads of major travel arteries - an airport, highways, and railroads - Old Lachine has been given a new lease on life with its redeveloped shores, its marina, and René-Lévesque Park.

Image : HM_ARC_002666

Aerial view of René-Lévesque Park

© Ville de Montréal, SDCQMVDE, Direction des grands parcs et de la nature en ville (DM5 #123 534), © Héritage Montréal


Image : HM_ARC_004824

Bird-eye view of the Lachine canal

© Société du Vieux-Port de Montréal Inc. © Héritage Montréal