Visiting Montreal, Quebec: Dutch-Like Scenes Entering the Île de Montréal / Montreal Island at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue
Water seemingly defines the locality
Forming as it does part of the Archipel d'Hochelaga / Hochelaga Archipelago (see map, below), the Île de Montréal / Montreal Island gives rise, when approaching from various directions, to scenes reminiscent of The Netherlands.
This is particularly acute as one enters Île de Montréal / Montreal Island at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.
At this locality is the Lieu historique national du Canal-de-Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue / Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal National Historic Site (1). The Canal was created in 1843 and connects Lac Saint-Louis / Lake Saint Louis and Lac des Deux-Montagnes / Lake of Two Mountains. Today, most of the water traffic on the Canal is recreational.
Bridges link Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue with Île Perrot / Perrot Island. The Pont Galipeault / Galipeault Bridge dates from 1925 and carries Autoroute 20 linking Île de Montréal / Montreal Island with routes to its west; this bridge carries 19.7 vehicles per year.
Interestingly, despite the name Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue referring to the town to the east of the bridges to Île de Montréal / Montreal Island, Île Bellevue / Bellevue Island is closer to Île Perrot / Perrot Island and thus belongs to its municipality.
The Grand Tronc / Grand Trunk and Canadien Pacifique / Canadian Pacific companies both built rail bridges at Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue linking with Île Perrot / Perrot Island.
Visible from the road bridge are the Rapides de Sainte-Anne / Saint-Anne Rapids.
Many people are clearly content to think of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue as a place to travel through rather than to; this is undoubtedly a pity.
April 14, 2020
(1) See also (in French): https://www.pc.gc.ca/fr/lhn-nhs/qc/annedebellevue ; https://www.historicplaces.ca/en/rep-reg/place-lieu.aspx?id=7842
Some sourcing: Wikipedia
Also worth seeing
In Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue itself, visitor attractions include: its Hôtel de Ville is a Neoclassical building dating from 1860 and altered in 1907, with a prominent pediment; the Musée de l'aviation de Montréal / Montreal Aviation Museum; the Arboretum Morgan / Morgan Arboretum; Parc-nature de l'Anse-à-l'Orme / L'Anse-à-l'Orme Nature Park; the striking Edifice Herzberg / Herzberg Building of the Collège d’enseignement général et professionnel (Cégep) John Abbott College; its historical village has a number of fine properties: see: (in French: ) https://ville.sainte-anne-de-bellevue.qc.ca/fr/225/rue-sainte-anne-et-village-patrimonial ; (in English: ) https://ville.sainte-anne-de-bellevue.qc.ca/en/225/sainte-anne-street-and-historical-village).
The architectural and cultural attractions of Montreal are too numerous to mention here, but of special note, among many others, are the domed Bonsecours Market (Marché Bonsecours), dating from 1847, which was a venue used to house the Parliament of United Canada, prior to Confederation. The Notre-Dame Basilica (Basilique Notre-Dame de Montréal) was built mainly between 1824 and 1829; many Montrealers attend annual performances of Handel's 'Messiah' there. The Olympic Stadium (Stade Olympique) in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve district, used for the 1976 Olympics, has the the world's tallest inclined tower, at 175 metres.
Mont-Tremblant (distance: 133 kilometres), in the Laurentian Mountains (Laurentides) is ideal for scenic excursions, golf and skiing; its boutiques attract many shoppers.
How to get there: Air Canada flies to Montreal (Aéroport international Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau de Montréal) from Toronto-Pearson, and from New York-Newark and New York-La Guardia, with wide connections. A number of car rental companies offer service at Montreal-Trudeau airport. VIA Rail maintains regular services with Toronto and Windsor. You are advised to check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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