Bike Rides about Town:
Along the Lachine Canal
Composite View


Roger Kenner
Montreal, Qc,
Canada 2002

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Lachine Canal: Composite View: Cote St. Paul

[Early Days] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002]
[Many items have been suppressed in this Lite Version]


Early Days

All that I remember from the early days of riding along this section of the Bike Trail was a seemingly unbroken wall of old factories along the opposite shore. The Trail ran along a narrow band of the south bank, until is suddenly opened out into a larger space where it went alongside St. Patrick. At this point a big signs stated that the land was part of the park system of the City of Montreal rather than that of the federal canal.

The footbridge shown was not built until the early 1990s, though it is clear that plans were in the works early on. Rail yards lined the south bank until the late 1980s, when they were replaced by a wood lot. Just west of the St. Remi Tunnel is shown a small building. The Trail curved around this building as it regained the shoreline, in what has always been one of the most dangerous blind curves along the way.


Although there was a trail heading east from the Locks a short way, I never explored in that direction. Typically I would cross the Canal at the Locks. Often I would stop and enjoy the park and picnic tables set up on the centre island. It was here that Alex cracked his head in 1993.

From here, the official trail descended the embankment to leave those heading west to ride half a block along Cote St. Paul Road. It was also here that I would catch and leave the trail, riding the other way along Cote St. Paul, to eventually climb the hill on St. Jacques towards home.

Once or twice I continued along the south bank, but the cross-over at the Cote St. Paul Bridge was not typically friendly. In later years, the old rail path (now gravel) was left open along the north bank, and people began to unnoficially (for signs said it was private property) continue along that way.

At the entrance to the long stretch along the north bank, west of the Bridge, was a major 'halte', consisting of two railway cabooses. At times there have been casse-croutes and bike repair stations opened there.

The map below, from a much later period, shows things pretty much unchanged. Of note is that the footbridge west of the Locks still had not been built. The Trail extends, however, as far as the future location of the park.

1999

West of the CN Bridge, the Trail runs along the south bank. In these later photos, the hedge which use to line the right-hand side of the trail is gone. The large, vacant lot shown a bit further on was once a railward, and then a wood lot. Today it has, once more, been transformed. .

Click to enlarge (Taken on April 25 - 1999 Canal Ride)
West from Railway Bridge through Cote St. Paul
New footbridge visibile in distance
Cote St. Paul looking East towards Atwater
 

Click to enlarge (Taken on April 25 - 1999 Canal Ride)
Cote St. Paul looking West towards Locks & Turcotte
 

Click to enlarge (Taken on April 25 - 1999 Canal Ride)
Crane Industries Building in Cote St. Paul

It was here at Crane Industries that Bernie and I picked up the 8 boards from Reggie, who was working at cleaning out the building, and began our long trek westward towards Walkley Street in NDG. This expanse of grass was 'city property', according to the signs.


Click to enlarge (Taken on April 25 - 1999 Canal Ride)
Cote St. Paul looking West towards Locks & Turcotte
 

I never gave the St. Remi Tunnel much thought during all the years I cycled right over it. (I have cycled through it once, back in 1974, on my way to the evening with Cynthia, my fling at the time.) I took the 1999 picture by fluke. It was later that same year that passage over the footbridge became possible, and I took the latter picture, following my new route.

Click to enlarge (Taken on April 25 - 1999 Canal Ride/Taken on subsequent 1999 Ride)
Over the St. Remi TunnelSt. Remi Tunnel
 

Click to enlarge (Taken on April 25 - 1999 Canal Ride)
Locks at Cote St. Paul
Construction already underway
 

Click to enlarge (Taken on April 25 - 1999 Canal Ride)
Construction at Cote St. Paul Locks
 

It was us this ramp that I accessed the Canal Trail from home, for rides east, during all the years that I lived in the west end of town.

Click to enlarge (Taken on April 25 - 1999 Canal Ride)
Old Access Ramp to Cote St. Paul Locks
Closed for Construction
 

I seldom came this way, crossing most of the time at the Locks and proceeding along the north bank.

Click to enlarge (Taken on April 25 - 1999 Canal Ride)
Trail approaching Turcotte on South Bank
 

Click to enlarge (Taken on April 25 - 1999 Canal Ride)
East along Canal from Cote St. Paul Bridge
 

2000

I passed by the Cote St. Paul Locks again the following year, to see how work had progressed. There was new concrete everywhere, but the complex was still not open. One could not cross there.

Click to enlarge (Taken on May 22 - 2002 River/Canal Ride)
Cote St. Paul Locks: New Spillway
 

I had heard that the Cote St. Paul bridge was to be replaced, so I felt I should get a picture of it as it was. I've subequently learned that this is only half of the original swing bridge. The south embankment is really the original central island onto which the bridge swung. The south channel has been filled in.

Click to enlarge (Taken on May 22 - 2002 River/Canal Ride)
The Bridge at Cote St. Paul
 

2001

During the Summer of 2001, they had an exhibition of 'floating art works' along the Canal reach below the Cote St. Paul Locks. This photo is just west of the CN Bridge and in the background is the 'Merchant's Manufacturing Complex.

Click to enlarge (Taken on Sept 3 - 2001 South Shore Ride)
Cote St. Paul: River-Art
East of Cote St. Paul Locks
 

2002

The New Cote St. Paul Locks

In early Spring of 2002, I paid a visit to the new Cote St. Paul Locks, to see how they had turned out. They were to open in just a month or so.

Click to enlarge (Taken April 2002)
Long View, from Cote St. Paul Locks
 

Click to enlarge (Taken April 2002)
Looking Upstream
 

Click to enlarge (Taken April 2002)
The Lock Basin
 

Click to enlarge (Taken April 2002)
Looking Downstream
 

Historic Factory at St. Remi Tunnel/Cote St. Paul

It was only when I started accessing the Canal via the St. Remi Tunnel entrance that I began to notice the historic 'Canada Malting' factory. Most notable were the grain elevators clad with ceramic tiles. I decided I should take some pictures of this landmark before it vanished or was converted into condos.

Click to enlarge (Taken April 2002)
Interesting ArchitectureGlazed Tiles on Silos
 

The Old Cote St. Paul Bridge

I went back to the old bridge and was pleased to find that it was still there, and would not be taken down. They were in the process of raising it, so boats could pass underneath.

Click to enlarge (Taken April 2002)
View from Upstream
 

Click to enlarge (Taken April 2002)
Raising the Bridge
 

The New Cote St. Paul Bridge

The new bridge was nearly completed. Cyclist were permitted to path through during the entire construction phase.

Click to enlarge (Taken April 2002)
Opening Soon
 

Click to Enlarge (Taken on March, 2003 Ride)
New Monk Street Bridge


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Prepared by Roger Kenner
January, February, March 2003