Just past the northern end of St. Charles Road, one senses an immediate change in the nature of the homes lining Boulevard Gouin. From new and suburban, standing amidst large suburban lots, they become smaller and reflective of a 19th century style, crowded together on small city lots. One has entered the old village of Ste. Geneviève, the only original town along the north coast of the West Island.
As with most rural Quebec towns, the steeple of the old, stone church is the beacon of the centre of town.
|Ste. Geneviève: Historic & Majestic Church|
|Ste. Geneviève: Collège Gerald Godin-Construction|
When I rode by in 1999, I saw the old being grafted onto the new, as the stone-walled seminary of earlier years was being tranformed into the new, French-language CEGEP of the West Island: Collège Gerald Godin. When I returned in 2003, all was completed
|Ste. Geneviève: Collège Gerald Godin||Collège Gerald Godin (Closeup)|
|Ste. Geneviève: Collège Gerald Godin - Modern|
|Ste. Geneviève: Collège Gerald Godin - Traditional|
I was surprised to discover, though, something that I had never imagined. Behind the Cegep is a trail leading past an old stone tower dating, no doubt, from colonial times. The trail goes on to lead to a small island out in the river, where one has a great view of the bridge to Ile Bizard.
|Ste. Geneviève: Historic Colonial Tower
behind Collège Gerald Godin
|Ste. Geneviève: Ile Bizard Bridge from Riverside Park|
Just east of the college, rustic Boulevard Gouin comes out at a new, modern intersection with the road leading over the bridge. Just inland one can see Pierrefonds Boulevard. At many places Ste. Geneviève is only a couple of blocks wide. It is completely surrounded by Pierrefonds (which was once the parishof Ste. Geneviève, as opposed to the town)
|Ste. Geneviève: Boulevard from Ile Bizard at Boul Gouin
Boul. Pierrefonds in Distance
Ste. Geneviève is unique on the West Island. For one thing, it is the only place where one can find the two remaining trailer courts!
|Ste. Geneviève: Plebian Sights on the West Island
Imagine Trailer Courts (2 of them!)
As one leaves Ste. Geneviève along Gouin, one heads along a short stretch by the open water, just before crossing St. John's Road and setting across the neck of the Pierrefonds Peninsula.
|Welcome/Goodbye to Ste. Geneviève||Pierrefonds: Ile Bizard Bridge from Waterfront Park
along Boul Gouin