Visiting Pointe-des-Cascades, Québec: The Confluence of Two Great Rivers; Anchors Recalling Maritime Links
At Pointe-des-Cascades, Québec, occurs the confluence of two great rivers of North America: the St Lawrence and the Ottawa. The Canal Soulanges also ends here.
In the village itself, close to a lock in the Canal Soulanges, is a park — known as Parc Saint-Pierre — which displays many ships' anchors, emphasizing the strong maritime ties of the locality.
One of the anchors on display was obtained from a dredging exercise in waters off nearby Beauharnois in the 1980s; this item was clearly from a German vessel, since the dreaded symbol of a swastika is discernible on it. At first it was assumed that this heavy item came from a vessel such as a World War Two German submarine. During the Battle of the St Lawrence (a general term used for action involving German submarines in the St Lawrence River and Gulf of St Lawrence in World War Two), Allied shipping was attacked; and it is known also that German submarines landed agents on the shores of Quebec and New Brunswick.
However, informed opinion now holds that the German anchor on display at Pointe-des-Cascades does not date from World War Two, but rather is pre-War; and is not associated with a military vessel but instead a merchant ship.
A old lighthouse dominates Parc Saint-Pierre.
Close to the confluence of the rivers is parkland with paths among trees: a very peaceful setting. (This Park is closed between 11PM and 7AM.)
Pointe-des-Cascades is located in the Municipalité Régionale de Comté / Regional County Municipality of Vaudreuil-Soulanges.
Also worth seeing
Coteau-du-Lac (distance: 17.7 kilometres); military canal fortifications and remains, dating from the 18th century, form a Lieu historique national du Canada / National Historic Site of Canada.
Montréal (distance: 49.3 kilometres) 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 world's tallest inclined tower, at 175 metres.
How to get there: Pointe-des-Cascades may be reached via Routes 20 and 338 from Montréal. 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. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
Other of my hubpages may also be of interest
- Visiting Mount Royal: Commanding Views of Montreal, Quebec
From Mount Royal — and particularly from the Belvedere — may be obtained fine vistas of a great North American city on the St. Lawrence River.
- Visiting Longueuil's Saint-Antoine-de-Padoue Co-Cathedral, Québec: A Study in Gothic Verticality
With a profusion of typically Gothic features such as pinnacles and arches, Longueuil's Co-Cathedral has been a very conspicuous landmark since the late 19th century.