At the southeast end of Lasalle station there is a set of stairs that leads to a little park just to the side of the bridge on Lasalle Boulevard.
In the park is the remains of a church – reminds me of Saint Ann’s in Griffintown.
On the bike path on the south side of Lasalle boulevard there is a plaque on the first pillar. I have zapped this image a bit but it is still hard to read – it’s not easy to read when you are right there.
Basically your big name blogroll for CPR, but what is interesting is that the construction of the bridge began in March 1886 and was completed in July, 1887! That’s like 16 months. Granted, they didn’t have to worry about clearing the Seaway in the 1880’s, but still that is 16 months to build a bridge that is standing and functional 123 years later! It seems pretty clear to me that steel and stone are much superior products over concrete.
The river comes through tough enough, this is west of the Lachine Rapids.
To get back we waited on Lasalle boulevard and took the 110 bus back to Angrignon. It is a long zig zagging route that goes on forever. It wasn’t that bad being early Saturday evening, but I really can’t imagine doing that everyday during rush hour.
One of the things a visitor learns about Lasalle is that it easy to lose your sense of direction. Not only does the Aqueduc run straight through it, but the city’s road patterns were designed with traffic calming in mind making it a terrible city for pedestrians and public transportation. And Lasalle with it’s combination of residential and industrial zones has main streets that get very jammed during peak hours.
The Lasalle Loop sits there with about 80% or more of it’s rail pulled, but there is plenty of space. It runs just about through the middle of the most densely populated areas of Lasalle. It has a train station at one end and a Metro station at the other end. It seems like a very obvious place for a light rail/tram system that could get people to Angrignon quickly and allow for a greater efficiency of local buses.
If you have been watching the situation on the island in recent years you will know that there simply is not a coherent plan for the future with so many transportation projects close to approval that seem to be at direct odds with each other, it gets a little scary. But the Lasalle Loop is just sitting there waiting to be restored and the only right of way issue would be to rework it into Angrignon without destroying half the park. It would serve Lasalle immensely well, save a fortune in building costs, encourage sustainable transit, and actually save a significant portion of Montreal’s railroad heritage, something the city has been shamefully unconcerned with in recent decades.
The Lasalle Loop would work.
Before we got on the bus to go home we walked a few blocks west of the bridge to take a look at the Lasalle windmill of city logo fame.
Another nice restoration job. And an old story to finish off. I grew up in Verdun and the story we knew about the windmill was that it had been a fort in the battles with the Iroquois. That was easy to believe because in those days our history books still were slanting history in such a way that the need for such forts to protect us all from the vicious Iroquois who had committed a massacre in Lachine was deemed essential.
The windmill stood there as just a stone conical tower for as long as most people could remember which probably in part allowed the fort legend to grow (we used to picture soldiers shooting out those little windows). I still find it a bit weird, and in some ways disappointing, to think of it as a windmill. Thus spake the Don Quixote of Turcot Yards (wink!).