I set out to revisit for the second time the South Shore Littoral bike trail that I had first pioneered two Summers earlier. I called it my Zig-Zag ride, for I rode west to Ville Saint-Pierre, to catch teh Lachine Canal Bike Trail; then east along the Canal to Atwater and the Champlain Bridge; then west again, along the Seaway Causeway to Sainte-Catherine; and finally east once more, along the shoreline as far as Longueuil's Port de Plaisance. Along the way, I could close the last gap in my discovery of bike trails along the South Shore shoreline, from the Saint-Lambert Locks crossing east to the Longueuil marina. I returned home along the eastern side of the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, even though I had to walk the bike along the narrow sidewalk. See the original notes for this bike ride.
I left at 10:00 and was back home at 19:00, which represented about 6 hours cycling, and a bit more than two hours' worth of stops. During this time, I cycled about 75km, for an average speed of about 12km/hr. (See the Detailed Ride Summaries below.
Two new composite descriptions include portions of this ride: Along the South Shore Littoral Trail and Crossing the Jacques Cartier Bridge.
It was the Victoria Day weekend and I was hankering for a day-long bike ride. I was nervous about my ankles, and wanted to see how they would perform after riding all day. Friday afternoon had been beautiful, but we had dance class that evening. I had wanted to go on Saturday, but when I got up early for that purpose, the sky was dark and foreboding. I went back to sleep. Later, the afternoon turned bright and sunny, and I felt cheated. Sunday morning, when I awoke at 06:00 and 07:00, it was raining and the streets were wet. By 08:00, the streets were dry, though it remained overcast. I decided I was going to go, no matter what. We got up and had breakfast and I set out just shy of 10:00. I was porting my rain poncho and wearing all my gear: jeans, sweater, windbreaker, etc. I had to make but one quick stop at church, to pick up the day's programme so that I could update the web page. Everyone knew, then, that I would not be attending that day.
I set off west along the DeMaisonneuve Bike Path, heading for the Ville St. Pierre interaction with the Lachine Canal. This was my first swing west, to go east. By the time I got to the end of the DM Trail, at the park at Coffee Street, I already had to doff the heavy sweater. The overcast sky was thinning and the sun promised to come out.
|Trains at Ville St. Pierre Overpass|
|Looking West||Looking East|
I descended to the Canal without incident, except for a stop to take some photos at the rail overpass, and to re-load my film. I arrived at the red caboose at 10:32.
From there, the plan was to swung back east, to follow the Lachine Canal bike path as far as Atwater. It had been some time since I had cycled this section of the canal. I beat to windward in the strong headwind in my next-to-easiest gear. (Anytime I would be going east that day, I would have a strong headwind. I imagine the storm centre must have been to the south.)
|Canal east of Vile St. Pierre|
|Canal Approaching Notre Dame 'Halte'|
I arrived at the Cote Saint Paul bridge at 10:56. The whole area of the trail had been re-groomed. The familiar double red cabooses that had been there for more than 20 years were now gone! I spent 5 minutes or so looking around and taking pictures before proceeding onward, past the Cote St. Paul locks. I was surprised to see a boat locking through! I did not realize the canal had opened so early in the season. I arrived at the Atwater footbridge at 11:15. According to the signs, I had come 7km since joining the Canal at Ville Saint-Pierre.
|Cote St. Paul Bridge - New Configuration|
|Looking West: Red Cabooses are Gone!||Looking East: Approaching Cote St. Paul Bridge|
|Looking East from new Cote St. Paul Intersection|
|New Condos at St. Henri Footbridge||New Condos looking East to Atwater Market|
I left the Canal and headed over in the direction of Nun's Island. On the way through Point Saint Charles, I saw a tiny, little house on a double end-of-the-block lot, and it was for sale. I am sure condos will soon replace it!
|Lonely House for Sale in Point St. Charles|
I passed under the rail and road underpass into Verdun, and swung into the parking lot of Verdun Windor and Door in order to catch the little 'mini-trail' Alas, I found it blocked off. It has once run behind the business, which has now extended itself to gobble up the trail. I rode along the normal way and then swung over at the end of May Street (Now met by a new street from the west) to the other end of the trail. (I was not sure if any of the trail would remain) I rode along the two block length to the end, to see if it might not come out somewhere else. I did not. The end was totally blocked off. My Mini-trail adventure lasted from 11:20-11:30.
|Dead End to Mini-Bikepath|
|Taken in 1999/Seen Again in 2003|
|Along the "Mini" Trail||Looking East at Closed Path|
|Looking West along Trail
Behind Verdun Windows & Doors:
|Coming out in the Parking Lot|
I stopped into Chez Momo at the corner of Wellington and bought myself a bottle of water for $1.09. I noticed a brand new Maxi store had been built across from the Canadian Tire. It was now 11:33. I found the familiar path to Nun's Island, across the end of the former river outlet and through the bush alongside the highway until coming to the bridge. I took the most direct route across the Island, coming to the fire station and the entrance to the Ice Bridge at 11:50.
|Old River Outlet|
The sun was out in force and the sky totally blue as I set out across the Ice Bridge. It took me ten minutes to reach the Levee Junction at the far side. From there, at 12:00, I called Sheryl.
|Champlain Bridge from Icebridge|
I set out westward (12:05) towards the Cote Ste. Cathering locks. I was once more heading west in order to go east, for my plan was to return eastward along the South Shore trail. The wind was behind me as I rode, so I was able to make some good time, although I made a few stops along the way. At 12:15 I was at mile marker 6. There was the monument I had seem before, but this time I decided to get a photo: "Point Jean-Pierre Favreau' Died here 30 September 1978"
|View Along Seaway Levee (Looking East towards Bridge)||Garter Snack along Seaway Levee|
|Halte along Seaway Levee|
|View West Towards La Prarie|
|West Towards La Prarie - With Boat|
|Skyline from Seaway Levee on way to Ste. Catherine|
I continued on, reaching the Cote Ste. Catherine locks at 12:55, having travelled 10km according to the signs.
|Ste. Catherine Locks|
|Rapids at Ste. Catherine - Composite|
|[See West Photo]||[See East Photo]|
|Dam at Ste. Catherine locks|
|Ship Approaching Locks|
|Ship Passing Locks -1|
|Ship Passing Locks -2||Ship Passing Locks -3||Ship Passing Locks -4|
|Ship Passing Locks -5||Ship Passing Locks -6|
I settled into the small Casse-Croute over on the mainland for lunch at 13:00. I had the least expensive special, for two steamies, fried, and a diet pepsi for $5.00 with tax. I had lunch from 13:00 to 13:40 as I sat on the shaded terrace and looked out over the area. I watched this old timer with his new electric bike (the second I would see that day.). I saw the bridge at the locks go up, and the cars waiting in line. When I was done eating, I saw that the bridge was still up and so decided to ride back on up the hill to the locks to see what was coming through. I was treated to the passage of a large, ocean freighter: The Balticland. Surprisingly, it was of British registry, hailing from London. One does not usually see any but flags of convenience on these big ships. I spent from 13:20 to 13:40 watching the ship. Thus, it was 13:40 when I set out eastward along the South Shore trail.
|Casse-Croute at Locks|
The Path through Ste. Catherine was a reserved lane on the river side of the road. For most of the way, it was right along the channel. I only left it at one point, to follow Rue du fleuve a short distance.
This portion of the ride is also covered in the new composite on the South Shore Littoral Trail: Part I.
|Trail along Marie-Victorin - By Waterfront|
I was at the bridge to Candiac at 13:50. Actually, the last block before the bridge had been the tiny riverfront footprint of Delson, but it was unmarked. Just inside town, the trail left the road and entered 'Parc de la Promenade'. I stopped at the washrooom kiosk where - and this is the only place I've ever seenn it - AIR is provided for cyclists. Alas, it did not work.
|Ship On Its Way|
|Trail along Marie-Victorin|
Once past the park, the trail resumed being a protected lane on the river side of the highway. The river was now a full property length away. A few of these narrow, long properties held old-time motels. There was one old farm lot remaining, but it was up for sale. The other side of the road was lined with factories, most notably a Cascades Paper Mill ('tissue' division).
|Lonely Farm for Sale: Marie Victorin|
At 14:00, I came to the end of another bridge and the end of Candiac. A bit further along the road was the sign for La Prarie.
Soon after coming into La Prarie, the road, Marie-Victorin, turned away from the river, crossing underneath the main highway, which it met at that point. The bike trail was now a protected lane heading inland along Salaberry. At Houde, it turned to the left, for a short curve before reaching Desjardins, along which it headed east for a number of blocks. All around was fresh suburbia, with single cottages amidst postage stamp properties with well-groomed front lawns and driveways.
At Longtin, the trail headed to the left again, running down the one-block cul-de-sac until it entered its own right-of-way in parkland alongside the highway. This was all new, for on my last visit, the trail had turned inland to Desjardins just past the old town. Riding through the parkland alongside the highway for several blocks was very nice.
At I arrived at the old town of Laprarie, by the old flood wall, I noticed that much had changed. The old tunnel under the highway, out to the river, was now gone. In its place will be a new footbridge, still under construction. I reached Old La Prarie at 14:25. Bells were ringing in the old church.
|Approaching Old La Prairie|
|Marie-Victorin: Levee - Seaway - Ship - Skyline|
|Plaque at La Prarie: Original Railroad Terminus|
The First Railway in Canada connected La Prairie to St. John.
Begun in 1835, it was completed in 1837
|La Prairie: New Footbridge|
|La Prairie: Along Floodwall|
|Church at La Prairie|
I swung around the corner of the old seawall and followed the trail along the lake, lined on the far side with new condos. I kept overtaking a couple of girls walking along, and then stopping for photos. I am sure that after I had overtaken them several times, they thought I was hitting on them. A ways along, a trail cut off to the side and into the bush. It was the link with Brossard. It crossed the few hundred feet remaining of marsh around the river. Ahead of me, on the far side of the river, was another wall of condos, those of Brossard. Upon crossing the footbridge over the river and coming into a small, groomed park, I was officially in Brossard. I stopped at a picnic table atop a mound to change film and get some photos of the river. Just as I was leaving, I had to make a special ten-minute stop at the main park kiosk, a stop for which I had to unpack the sensitive gear on my bike. Altogether, it was 14:50 by the time I was once again on my way.
|La Prairie: Corner of Floodwall|
|La Prairie: View Along Artificial Lake||La Prairie: Bike Path Alongside Artificial Lake|
|La Prairie to Brossard:
Bike Path Cuts Through Marsh
|Approaching Brossard Line|
This portion of the ride is also covered in the new composite on the South Shore Littoral Trail: Part II.
|Brossard: River Looking South||Brossard: River Looking North & Footbridge|
The Trail left the riverside park and entered the wall of condos via a park-like trail under the power lines. This continued for several blocks, until coming out at a major crossing boulevard. At the far side, bike trails led both ahead and "to the water". I have no idea where the inland bike trails go, I followed the one that led alongside the boulevard in a protected right-of-way. Soon I was crossing under the highway and was back at the water. There was a huge park. On my way out several years ago, I had tried to nose my way along the shoreline of this park, coming to a dead end (Not realizing that a river barred the way.). Now I just pointed my bicycle eastward and followed the trail up and out of the park, where it became a protected lane alongside the frontage road of the freeway.
Just at the exit of the park, I stopped to take a photo and my film jammed. I carefully unspooled it, camera to my ear, and re-loaded it to frame 5. I hope it turns out. As it was 15:00, I phoned Sheryl to keep her abreast of my progress.
|Brossard: Waterfront Park|
I rode in along the frontage road, in the protected lane. Towards the river, I could see cyclist along Boul. St. Laurent, amidst the high rises, and I realized I should have gone that way. In my account of the 2001 ride along this way, the map is in error, for is shows me riding alongside the water on this stretch; the text is correct. I followed the same path then and today. The ride along the road was not the most interesting. Past the high rises, there were still one or two tired motels, stretching off in their narrow lots towards the river. I am sure these will soon be gone too.
I stopped in at the house of the pastor of my church. He was working out back on his deck, with his son. I stayed and chatted with him for ten minutes (15:20-15:30) before proceeding onward.
|Brossard: Along the 132|
|View Downriver from Champlain Bridge|
|Brossard: Path Around the Champlain Bridge Ramp|
Soon past Toulouse, the Trail swung back out to run alongside the river underneath the Champlain Bridge. I was now heading east of where I had been four hours earlier. The riverfront ride continued as far as the St. Lambert Yacht Club, where I was shunted inland and back underneath the highway. It was 15:40 when I crossed back under the highway. The trail led inland a block or so, and then turned left onto Riverside Avenue, along which it continued in a protected right-of-way until Riverside, like the top of a triangle, came back out at the highway. The Trail now led alongside the landward side of the highway, at the foot of the embankment, and alongside Riverside Drive. I came to and passed the bike turnoff for the St. Lambert Locks and Montreal. Past this, I was on new trail, which I had never cycled before.
|Greenfield Park: Approaching Marina||St. Lambert: Along Riverside Street|
|Greenfield Park: Back to the 132||Greenfield Park: Along the 132|
It came to the Victoria Rail Bridge overpass at 15:50. I saw a road leading up the embankment to the junction, one without any fences or signs, so I rode up and took some pictures (15:50-16:00). There were no trains, but I caught sight of a ship heading upriver throught the St. Lambert locks.
|St. Lambert Rail Junction: View South||St. Lambert Rail Junction: View North to Bridge|
|St. Lambert Rail Junction: Detour Track from Bridge|
|St. Lambert Rail Monument|
Tablet commemorating the centenary of the 1st Railway line in Canada, the Champlain & St. Lawrence Railroad, in operation July 21st, 1836, and extended to this site in January, 1852
-Erected July 21st, 1936
I came to Notre Dame, soon after passing the monument to the extension of the LaPrarie Railway in 1856 (The original monument, for 1836, was at La Prarie). Notre Dame brought the bike trail back out under the highway to a boardwalk on the river side, just below the locks. I believe I may have been in Longueuil at that point. The trail led right along the river, outside the highway.
|At Notre Dame Street: Longueuil Trail Eastward|
|At Notre Dame: View West to St. Lambert Locks|
|Longeueil Trail Approaches Jacques Cartier Bridge|
This portion of the ride is also covered in the new composite on the South Shore Littoral Trail: Part III.
|Mouth of the Seaway from Jacques Cartier Pier|
|Channel West from Jacques Cartier Pier|
|Montreal Harbourfront -2|
I crossed under the Jacques Cartier Bridge at 16:15, stopping for five minutes for a photo. Then there was a long open stretch along the river, totally cut off from the major development on the inland side of the highway. I finally came out at a junction, 1.5km from the Port de Plaisance. Since Port de Plaisance had been one of my destinations, for a photo shot, I continued eastward along the access road. I passed by the Longueuil Yacht Club, a private marina, and then came to Port de Plaisance. It was 16:30. I would hang around the marina until 16:45. People were waiting for the ferry to the Old Port, which had only started operating the day before, on a once-an-hour weekend schedule. The next, and last one, would have been at 17:00.
|Longueuil: Port de Plaisance - Ferry Dock||Port de Plaisance - Ferry Ticket Office|
|Longueuil: Port de Plaisance|
|Montreal Harbourfront -3|
|Longueuil: Port de Plaisance - Ferry Dock & Entrance|
|Longueuil: Port de Plaisance - Clubhouse|
I rode over to the clubhouse, to cross the highway via the elevated footbridge. I had hoped there would be an elevator, but alas there was only what I call the 'Longueuil Stairway", steep stairs with a 45 degree 'walkway' for the bike. A kind gentleman helped me push the heavy, loaded bike up the two flights. There was an elevator on the far side. Go figure!
|Longueuil: Crossing the 132|
|Church in old Longueuil|
I rode back west towards the Bridge on Boul. St. Charles through old Longueuil. At the bridge, I had some time finding the approach to the east side sidewalk. When I got there, I found that it was closed to cyclists, for being only about three feet wide. I walked my bike most of the way across, for I wanted the photos. It was 17:00 when I got to the bridge and 17:50 when I came off the far end.
This portion of the ride is also covered in the new composite on Crossing the Jacques-Cartier Bridge.
|Jacques Cartier East: Bridge Approach|
|Jacques Cartier East: Longueuil Metro Complex|
|Jacques Cartier East: Longueuil Bike Trail|
|Jacques Cartier East: Narrow Sidewalk|
|Jacques Cartier East: Seaway Entrance|
|Jacques Cartier East: Distant Mountains|
|Jacques Cartier East: Very End of Seaway Levee (Ile Notre Dame)|
|Jacques Cartier East: Old Metro Express Bridge|
|Jacques Cartier East: Longueuil Shore|
|Jacques Cartier East: La Ronde||Jacques Cartier East: Longueuil Complex|
|Jacques Cartier East: La Ronde|
|Jacques Cartier East: La Ronde|
|Jacques Cartier East: La Ronde|
|Jacques Cartier East: View South Along Bridge|
|Jacques Cartier East: La Ronde|
|Jacques Cartier East: Montreal Shoreline & Park|
|Jacques Cartier East: Pied du Courant|
|Jacques Cartier East: La Ronde & Bridge|
|Jacques Cartier East: La Ronde & Downriver|
|Jacques Cartier East: Montreal Harbour|
|Jacques Cartier East: Park|
|Jacques Cartier East: Harbour Rails & Park|
|Jacques Cartier East: End of Ste. Helene's Island|
|Jacques Cartier East: Pied du Courant|
|Jacques Cartier East: Notre Dame East|
|Jacques Cartier East: Réné Levesque East|
|Jacques Cartier East: De Lorimier & Vacant Lots|
|Jacques Cartier East: Ste. Catherine East|
|Jacques Cartier East: DeMaisonneuve East|
|Jacques Cartier East: Gas Station at DM & DeLorimier|
|The gas station, in its incarnation of the day, has historical significance for me, as it was here that, in 1971, my friend Steven's car died after travelling all the way from the Mid-West to Montreal. It had reached its destination!|
|Jacques Cartier East: View up Eastern Sidewalk|
|About Town: Molson's Brewery from DM|
I rode home via DeMaisonneuve and Cote St. Antoine, stopping only downtown to get a few 'About Town' shots. I was home at 18:50.
|About Town: Lot Behind Simpson's||About Town: Ben's Delicatessen|
|About Town: Lot Behind Simpson's
(Soon to Go!)
|About Town: Buildings along Drummond|
|About Town: Old Norris Bulding, Now YCMA|
|About Town: Old Station 10|
Using the Map Wheel
|Home to Canal at Ville Saint Pierre|| |
|Ville Saint Pierre to Atwater|| |
|Atwater to Levee Junction|| |
|Levee Junction to Sainte Catherine Locks|
|Sainte Catherine Locks to Longueuil Marina|
|Longueuil Marina home via Jacques Cartier Bridge|
I left at 10:00 and was back home at 19:00, which represented about 6 hours cycling, and a bit more than two hours' worth of stops.
|10:00-10.32||Home to VSP||~25||5|
|10:32-10:56||VSP to Cote St. Paul||~20||5|
|11:00-11:15||Cote St Paul to Atwater||~15||0||7km/35min ~ 12km/hr|
|11:15-11:50||Atwater to Ice Bridge||~20||15|
|11:50-12:00||Ice Bridge||~10||0||8km/30min ~ 16km/hr|
|12:05-12:55||Seaway Levee Trail||~50||0||12km/50min ~ 14.5km/hr|
|13:40-14:25||Ste. Cath to La Prarie||~40||5|
|14:25-14:50||La Prairie to Brossard||~ 5||20|
|14:50-16:00||Brossard line to Victoria Rail||~45||25|
|16:00=16:30||Victoria Rail to Port de Plais.||~30||0||28km/120min ~14km/hr|
|16:30-16:45||Port de Plaisance||0||15|
|16:45-18:50||Plaisance to Home via JC Bridge||~120||15||16km/120min ~8km/hr (some walking)|
|Riding Time:||380 min. or 6h20 (380/60=6.3)|
|Rest Time:||145 min or 2:20 (145/60=2.4)|
|76/6.3 hrs = ~ 12km hr, with at least 20 min of walking|