Bike Rides about Town:
Along the Lachine Canal
Composite View


Roger Kenner
Montreal, Qc,
Canada 2003

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West to: [Wellington Basin]

Lachine Canal: Composite View: Harbour End

[Early Views] [1999: Before Construction] [2000: In Construction] [2001: In Construction] [2002: Post Construction]

[Many items have been suppressed in this Lite Version]


Early Views

In the early years of the Lachine Canal Bike Path, the route did not go through the Old Port, as this latter was still closed off. A park path was groomed along the south side of Rue des Communes, along the Harbour Wall, which was later replaced by an open steel fence. At Mill Street, the trail took off across the open field which had once been the Canal, for the harbour end of the Canal had been filled in following the construction of the Metro in the 1960s, and the Canal itself ended just west of the Bonaventure Expressway, at what was left of the Wellington Basin.

During the decade of the 1980s, the Old Port would be opened up gradually to bike traffic, the Canal would be dug out once again to just west of the new Harbour Locks, and a vehicle bridge would be built over the Canal at Mill Street. East of Mill Street, one could follow the Bike Trail up along the new Canal, although the marked trail still went to the outside of the wall. The official entrance to the Old Port was at McGill Street. At Mill Street there was a fairly dangerous crossing. Then the Trail continued along Rue des Communes, in a marked lane just outside an old stone wall which marked the edge of the Canal. At the Bonaventure Expressway, Rue des Communes came to an end. The Bike Trail led into the dark, under the expressway, a paved ribbon across the bed of loose stones extending in either direction. Coming out into the light on the other side, the Trail took a sharp turn to the left, any forward movement being blocked by a chain link fence with a grass covered knoll behind it.

The next improvement came some years later, as the banks of the Canal were further groomed. A detour passed just underneath the bridge, alonside the canal lock, to come out on the other side and rejoin Rue des Communes. It was a tight, blind curve and one had to take it very slowly and carefully.

It remained thus, until the re-opening of the Wellington Basin in 2001.

1999

Click to enlarge
(Taken in 1999)
Tugboat

It's a sunny day in 1999, and I am returning from a ride to the Boucherville Islands, where I had met up with Sheryl, who was on a field trip. Each succeeding year, the area around the Harbour Locks was further groomed. Things changed so slowly, that I hardly noticed. The placement of this tugbout in the basin between the first and second harbour locks was new enough that it did catch my notice.

Note the bridge in the upper right of the photo. The trail led to the left and swung under the bridge before returning to the right and meeting Rue des communes.


2000

Click to enlarge
(Taken in 2000)
Tugboat at rest'Historic' Grain Elevators

 

2001

Click to enlarge
(Taken on June 10 - 2001 Canal Ride)
Old Port: Looking East along newly groomed Route

Much had changed by 2001. The digging out of the Wellington Basin closed the old approach along Rue des communes. An entirely new path was groomed along the grassy slopes to the south of the Canal, between it and the backs of the businesses along Mill Street.


Click to enlarge
(Taken on June 10 - 2001 Canal Ride)
Old Port: Canal emptied behind Harbour Locks

It was rare to see all the water emptied out of the Canal. Note the new, temporary, bicycle bridge over the locks. The old way, around beneath the car bridge remains open.


Click to enlarge
(Taken on June 10 - 2001 Canal Ride)
Old Port: Canal emptied behind Harbour Locks
 

Click to enlarge
(Taken on June 10 - 2001 Canal Ride)
Old Port: Looking West from Bridge
 

Click to enlarge
(Taken on June 10 - 2001 Canal Ride)
Old Port: Looking East from Bridge
 

Click to enlarge
(Taken on June 10 - 2001 Canal Ride)
The David McAllisterFamous Tugboat cast in cement
 

Click to enlarge
(Taken on June 10 - 2001 Canal Ride)
Old Port: Setting up for the Flower Show
 

Click to enlarge
(Taken on June 10 - 2001 Canal Ride)
Old Port: Water intakes (hidden normally)
 

2002

Things were much changed by the time the Canal re-opened. The temporary path had now also been closed. Bike traffic was routed over the bridge with the cars. An 'unnoficial' path was tolerated, following the gravel road alonside the grain elevators and crossing on the railway bridge below the locks.

Click to enlarge
(Taken July 2002)
Boats in the LocksHarbour Locks: The New Approach
 

Click to enlarge
(Taken July 2002)
Looking Upstream at the Locks
 

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Prepared by Roger Kenner
January; February, 2003; Lite Version: January, 2004