Walk # 9

“After a day’s walk everything has twice its usual value.” — George Macauley Trevelyan

Starting Point: Dollard and Newman in Lasalle.

Bus let me off here.

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Headed south on Dollard and the first thing I see is this car dealership which was located on Verdun Avenue for decades. All condos there now (in Verdun).

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Dollard is a strip mall stretch, some doing okay, some not so good.

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Busy.

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Some kinky architecture. Centre Medical Nazareth.

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One assumes these street divider things looked attractive at the time they were installed.

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Fire station.

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Not so busy.

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Looking west at a former rail line called the Lasalle Loop. You can read about the time I walked the Lasalle Loop with Andrew Dawson and Avrom Shtern here.

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Looking east.

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Delivery entrance to a water filtration plant.

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Library coming up on the right.

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Sculpture in front by Claude Lamarche.

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Looking west at Parc Felix Leclerc.

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Looking west crossing the Aqueduc.

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Looking east.

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Lasalle General is just west of the bridge on the south side.

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I decided to follow the bike path along the south side of the Aqueduc.

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This is what the neighborhood looks like, that relentless Lasalle duplex.

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Curving up ahead.

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Public garden coming up on the right.

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Looks good.

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One of the largest and most aesthetically pleasing gardens of this kind I have seen yet.

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Excellent shady stretch coming up.

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Nice, but the greenery is dense enough through here to make me wonder if they get a lot of bugs?

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And the nettted-in dining space in this back yard kind of says they do!

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Nearing the end of the Aqueduc.

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Coming out on to Lasalle Boulevard we are at the spot once referred to as “Four Towers” though it looks like the modified building only has two towers and the rest of the site is under construction.

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Heading east on Lasalle there is this excursion outfit.

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The power lines continued across the Saint Lawrence.

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The view east of the dock.

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Plaque reads, “In Memory of the Founding Commodore, 1965, Joe Ouellette.”

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Public launch site.

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Those apartments were in bad shape in the 90’s, good to see them revitalized.

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And a small improv right on the shoreline.

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Not that far across along here.

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There are some nice old houses along this stretch.

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I like that there is a little pedestrian trail that runs parallel to the bike path.

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Green space with Hydro tower.

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Legendary restaurant still going strong.

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Fire station that became a police station.

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Interesting place to live, too bad about that tree in the back being cut down.

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And this is as close as it is going to get between the road and the river.

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Fancy looking property east of 63rd avenue.

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There are two of these little bridges that make the bike path possible through this thin strip between the road and the river.

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And on the north side of Lasalle we start seeing the beginning of the McMansion Wannabes.

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It looks lovely in a little corner of the shore like this but the river is starting to pick up speed.

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The thin stretch ends and I see a gazebo where I will take a break.

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The view east.

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Contrasted with the north side of the road.

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Kind of amazes me how quickly this has become a big park.

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Spotted these people going down to the river with these boards so I moved in to investigate.

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And it turns out there is some kind(s) of shoot the rapids operation going on…

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These two guys “hover” in that spot while directing others.

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They hold you as if waiting for the right wave and then let you go. When being held people attempted to stand on their boards but in the 10 minutes I was watching not one of 6 or 7 managed to go even a few feet without falling off. Think I will pass.

Public sculpture.

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It’s as if that is a big block of ice and a chunk is sliding off in the spring.

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Another one.

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Walked in on the Greek Community of Lasalle Festival.

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Tons of food.

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Pretty good turnout.

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Parc des Rapides. It was once a hydro dam than ran from the shore to a thin island. It was in ruins when I was a kid and a very dangerous place to explore, which we did anyway. They turned it into an amazing park, perfect for supporting the multitudes of wild life that hangs out around here.

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The old dam is under this road.

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It’s quite beautiful with some awesome views along here.

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Contrasted by the old/new architectural styles across the street.

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Looks like more public sculpture being installed.

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Now in Verdun. Not a great view but the house in the background was long considered the biggest house in Verdun and legend had it that there was a bowling alley in the basement. And it has a Bixi stand in front today.

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Can’t resist taking more shots of the view.

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A long and winding road.

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Slowly leaving the rapids behind.

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Public Sculpture by Germain Bergeron.

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The Nivard de Saint Dizier House.

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On this site there is a plaza with intersecting paths one of which leads you to a lookout on the river.

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Was here in the early spring on a dark and rainy night, nature gives you full value along here.

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Just to the east of the old house is this site of a recent archaeological dig.

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I love how you see a few random bleachers on the Verdun waterfront.  Watching a bush grow, YAY!!

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I have yet to shoot a few hoops here (note to self).

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Take the bridge over a little creek and walk to Verdun’s summer “Dance Floor.”

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The night is young but plenty of people are kicking it off.

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That floor is usually packed every time I have come by.

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The dance floor is surrounded by this little wetland type moat. It’s pretty cool.

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Walking along the old boardwalk, which really was made of boards at one time. The Verdun waterfront is mainly landfill beyond the line those pillars form. The river used to be just down from there.

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The Natatorium. Free all summer, this year anyway. This is one of those great public works projects from the second world war era that has continued to serve the community very well over many generations.

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And across the street is this place.

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But you have to walk in to see any signage. The Douglas Hospital. Grew up hearing just about every joke imaginable about mental illness and I have to confess that there was a time when I was young that I would not have dared walk through here by myself. Things have changed.

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It’s a massive space and there are some small houses such as this scattered about the south east quadrant.

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This is roughly the middle third on the south side.

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I recently watched a couple of episodes of a series called Detectorists and what do I see on the other side of the field?

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The main buildings coming in to view.

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It’s an impressive field. I have seen cricket played here and the Highland Games have been staged on this ground.

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Douglas Memorial Hall, 1936.

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There is an interesting mix of architectural styles here, as if you can trace the development of the hospital through it’s buildings.

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These glass block windows were once popular, particularly with institutions, but today we insist upon seeing outside, maintaining a connection to the “natural” world.

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Part of the legendary tunnel system that connects some of the buildings.

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Looking north east.

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Ok, I agree, I seem to be developing a thing for gazebos. Not necessarily a bad thing.

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And one last look before reaching Champlain boulevard.

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And across Champlain lies the Cow Bridge, so named quite literally for when cattle were brought across the Aqueduc from one grazing field to another. I believe the Douglas grounds were at least partially a functioning farm in the early decades.

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Looking east along the bike path with Champlain.

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Crossing the Cow Bridge (the old one of which may have been demolished)looking west.

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And up ahead across La Verendrye is Angrignon Park.

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One of the largest city parks on the island, it has many walking trails and is a very pleasant escape from the roar of the city.

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A long lake traverses diagonally through the center of the park.

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I would also guess that this park is host to many of the largest picnics in the city every year. I used to live nearby and always enjoyed walking through on the weekends and seeing so many people having a great time.

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At the north end are these two towers built around 2002. This is a seniors residence but it did pave the way for tons of new condo buildings in that area and across on des Trinitaires.

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Approaching Angrignon Metro in the north east section of the park.

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The last little stretch, and done!

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I am constantly surprised how these walks end up seeming like they were really three or four walks, but I am guessing that is because of the diversity of places I stroll through. These walks are not focused on just one neighborhood, or even one borough, and that suits me fine. I love this city and appreciate what a broad variety of places it offers to the casual and the hardcore walker. Until next time, says the ol’ photoflanneur!

Walk #9 Map

 

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