Visiting the Pont Arthur-Sauvé: A Modern Bridge at an Historically Redolent Crossing Near Saint-Eustache, Quebec
There and then and now
This substantial engineering achievement is 480.5 metres long and 18.8 metres wide (1). Completed in 2010, it serves as a crossing for 24,000 vehicles per day and replaces previous bridges at the same location.
Previous bridges at the site of the current structure existed were built 1849 and 1948.
Conveying QC Route 148, this road bridge's geographical linkages exist at various levels. It links the city of Laval with Saint-Eustache (2). It links the Laval and Laurentides regions. It links the Île-Jesus with the northern bank of the Mille-Îles River. And it crosses the northern geographical limit of the Hochelaga Archipelago, of which the Île-Jesus forms part.
Executed in steel and reinforced concrete, the Bridge is named for a member of the locally prominent Sauvé political family.
Some readers familiar with Quebec will recall that in 1959 Paul Sauvé (1907-1960), a lawyer by profession, succeeded veteran leader Maurice Duplessis (1890-1959) as Premier of Quebec (3).
However, it is interesting that the Bridge itself is named not for Premier Paul Sauvé but for his father Arthur Sauvé (1874-1944). A journalist by profession, Arthur Sauvé variously served as a deputy in both the Quebec and Federal (or Dominion) Parliaments, as leader of the opposition in the Quebec Parliament, as a Federal minister, and as a Senator.
Saint-Eustache is situated in Municipalité régionale de comté de Deux-Montagnes / Deux-Montagnes Regional County Municipality, Quebec.
October 29, 2019
(1) See also (in French) : https://fr.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pont_Arthur-Sauv%C3%A9
(2) Saint-Eustache notably has a striking Neoclassical church frontage which is often photographed; it was the scene in 1837 of an historic battle between Lower Canadian Patriots on the one side and British military forces and Orangist militias on the other. The Maison Chénier-Sauvé in Saint-Eustache is an historic building with a commemorative plaque.
(3) Paul Sauvé's Premiership of Quebec was brief, being cut short by his death in office in early 1960. Paul Sauvé is honoured in the name of a park which exists on the northern bank of the Mille-Îles river at Saint-Eustache, on which the northern end of the Bridge rests.
Some sourcing: Wikipedia
Also worth seeing
In Saint-Eustache itself, other noted structures include the Church of Saint-Eustache, a monument to the Patriotes, the Neo-Classical Mairie, the Manoir Globensky, the Moulin Légaré, and various others.
Saint-Lin-Larentides, (distances: 41.7 kilometres) has a museum commemorating the birthplace of Canada's first Francophone Prime Minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier; the Byzantine-styled stone Eglise de Saint-Lin-Laurentides dates from 1887-1890.
The architectural and cultural attractions of Montreal (distance: 36.7 kilometres) 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. Fine views from Mount Royal (Mont Royal) may be obtained at St. Joseph's Oratory (Oratoire Saint-Joseph) and the Belvedere (Belvédère). 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.
How to get there: Air Canada flies to Montreal (Aéroport international Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau de Montréal; distance from Saint-Eustache: 26.1 kilometres) 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; road access is possible via QC-13/QC-QC-344 or QC-148. 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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