The Lasalle Loop, Part One

On Saturday I walked the Lasalle Loop with Avrom Shtern and Andrew Dawson. Some of you may recall our exploration of The Doney Spur two years ago here, here, here, here, and here, so we were very much overdue for this trek.

The LaSalle Loop
As industry began to move into the newly incorporated town of LaSalle, an area still poorly served by mass transit, CP decided to built another line in the area, which came to be known as the ‘LaSalle Loop’. Built in the 1920s, it cut across the open countryside from Highlands to the Montreal streetcar terminus at the end of Allard Street, and thence down along the outside of the Montreal city line to join the South Branch at ‘Power Junction’, just east of the LaSalle Coke Plant. Trains then headed eastward along the South Branch as far as Church Street in Cote St. Paul. Although built primarily for freight, passengers were carried on through the end of World War II.”

And Andrew wrote that, “according to Michael Leduc’s “Montreal Island Railway Stations CP & Constituent Companies”, the LaSalle Loop line opened in August of 1922. Passenger service on the line was from 1922 to 1935, though during WWII it was reinstated. Trains ran from Highlands(today LaSalle) to Cote St.Paul on the South Bank Branch. The passenger equipment used would have been self propelled. Much like this battery car below or a gas-electric.
Here is a map of the part of the Lasalle Loop that runs from roughly the Angrigon Metro to the Saint Lawrence Bridge.

We met at the Angrignon Metro.

And started off exploring a tract of land east of there where the Lasalle Loop once ran.

Lasalle might be one of the most intense garden communities on the island as we found out on this trip. And, like this stretch of Ville Emard, most of it is not visible from the streets.

Obelisk near Allard and Irwin which is roughly where the Lasalle Loop passenger trains would have hooked up with the Montreal tram system (#36 bus route today).

The foundation of one of the factories recently torn down – Loblaw’s roof in background.

We began our march to the river along here. This building is a garage for Metro cars. The Lasalle Loop actually ran along the private property to the right.

We checked out the development alongside the park. Talk about there goes your view!

No back yards (there is a tricky short cut to the park, but not for the physically challenged or the elderly)

That green hill on the horizon is actually one of the largest PCB dumps in Quebec.

Metro garage from west end.

Just not sure about building car culture so close to a Metro Station.

At least the sidewalks in the project seem wide enough to serve pedestrians and cyclists.

And here, at the northwest corner of Angrignon Park, we begin along the actual right of way of the Lasalle Loop.

Stay tuned for Part 2!

4 responses to “The Lasalle Loop, Part One

  1. The “car culture so close to the metro” comment is sort of a little out of line, considering that the Lasalle loop area is less than a mile from the 20.

    The metro is really good if you are heading downtown, but as more and more people work in areas other than downtown, the public transit system fails to meet their needs. For those people who work at the airport, or in St Laurent, or perhaps at the port of Montreal would tell you, there are not going to trade a 15 minute car ride for an hour to two hours on public transit just to be nice.

    I live in one of the buildings in your photos, and I will say without a doubt that plenty of residents use the metro on a daily basis. However, poor planning by the city means that the access paths through the park are not lit at night. During the winter months, that means that people are walking home from work in the dark, through a park that has significant visible vandalism and graffiti. That isn’t very encouraging.

    Then again, for all the green in Mr Tremblay’s mind, there is plenty of stupidity, such as having a large parking area attached to the metro station, and then charging $5 a day for parking there. With a $70 or so bus pass and over a $100 a month in parking fees for your average downtown worker, I suspect they would be just saying “screw it” and looking for pay parking downtown.

    Good luck on your wandering. Don’t forget about the rail section along the canal on the Lasalle side. Plenty of changes down there as well.

  2. I used to run on the section from the old Labatt Brewery to Shevchenko and beyond and it was wonderful and more importantly, car free!

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