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Sainte-Anne-De-Bellevue, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Updated on May 26, 2015
Beacon
Beacon

Summer in the City

Imagine My Surprise!

The first time I visited Ste-Anne-De-Bellevue was entirely by accident. Of course I had been there a couple times to see a live band at the Que Sera Bar and Restaurant and the Brasserie Bellevue, before they burned down. But I had never been there during the day, or even outside at night. I never even realized there was so much water outside. So all I saw was the inside of a club and a couple of great bands. You didn't have to any buy tickets. You just had to be there. It was amazing.

Main Street Ste-Anne

Main Street Ste-Anne
Main Street Ste-Anne
Private residence
Private residence

Lakeshore Road to Ste-Anne

An Amazing Discovery

I've lived on the east side of the island of Montreal all my life. One day I left Le Vieux Montral, after a mid summer stroll through the quaint cobblestone streets, and headed west. All along the Lakeshore Road I checked out the fabulous mansions that face the Saint Lawrence Seaway, for miles and miles. Then I came upon the marinas and restaurants of Ste-Anne.

Small Town in a Big City

Marina Lakeshore Road
Marina Lakeshore Road

Montreal is the second-largest city in Canada and the largest city in the province of Quebec. Living in a city with a population of two million you sometimes forget that it’s an island; that there’s water all around ~so coming upon the marinas with sailboats and yachts and club houses and parks was a treat.

Residences
Residences

Change of Scenery

Upon entering the town of Ste-Anne I could tell right away that this was an old community. In fact it is the second oldest community in Montreal's West Island. And before it was founded as a parish in 1703 it was frequented by Algonquin and Iroquois peoples. Sometimes the parish closed and its registers moved to nearby Lachine due to the treat from the Iroquois

Ste-Anne Canal
Ste-Anne Canal

The Canal

The Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal, a National Historic Site of Canada, links Lake Saint-Louis and Lake of Two Mountains at the mouth of the Ottawa River. The canal was an integral part of the Montreal-Ottawa-Kingston inland shipping route from its opening in 1843, but now it is essentially used for pleasure boating.

Opening the First Lock

Ste-Anne canal locks
Ste-Anne canal locks

All Photos & Text in this Lens Carol Houle 2013. All Right Reserved

Yacht Going in Between the Locks

The depth of the canal is impressive when viewed from above.
The depth of the canal is impressive when viewed from above.
Docking ramp
Docking ramp

The Boardwalk

There's plenty of free parking spaces between bar and grill restaurants along the riverside main street. The grand wooden boardwalk is long, straddling the two lakes. Yachts and other watercraft anchor on both sides of the canal as mooring ramps line the boardwalk. The vessels' captains and guests can easily disembark and go into any establishment for meals and refreshments.

Soaking Up The Sun

Even the coast guard dock their ship for lunch and slurpees on one of many picnic tables and benches along the promenade.
Even the coast guard dock their ship for lunch and slurpees on one of many picnic tables and benches along the promenade.

Resto Bar - On The Boardwalk

Notice that the windows facing the lake and canal are all French-style patio doors which can be opened on warm days.
Notice that the windows facing the lake and canal are all French-style patio doors which can be opened on warm days.

Annie's Resto Pub

Many terraces are open-air with either parasols or awnings to provide shade from the hot sun.
Many terraces are open-air with either parasols or awnings to provide shade from the hot sun.

Dundee's Resto Bar - Definitely One Of My Favs.

Dundees Main street view. The Smoked Meat Platter with a cold Canadian Molson Export.
Dundees Main street view. The Smoked Meat Platter with a cold Canadian Molson Export.
Sailboat in the canal
Sailboat in the canal

The Boats

Sailboat in the Locks

In Ste-Anne the boats and people alone are enough to make your day. I love the variety, from Sea-Doos, tiny fishing boats to sailboats, yachts and grand speedboats.

What is a lock? A lock is a chamber between two gates ~used for raising and lowering boats between waterways that are on different levels. It's like going uphill or downhill with your boat.

Speedster - Between the locks

Speed boat in the Ste-Anne locks
Speed boat in the Ste-Anne locks
Condos with a private marina
Condos with a private marina

Bellevue Island View from the Boardwalk

I had an ice cream cone and watched the Sea-Doos zipping and bobbing on the lake, admiring the gorgeous view of the Bellevue Island with its condominiums. On the south shore of the lake are fabulous single dwelling homes.

Train bridge
Train bridge

Points of Interest

A Commuter Train Crossing the Seaway

The bridge for highway 20 and a commuter train crosses over atop the lake and canal linking other communities, and nearby is the Galipeault bridge which links Ste-Anne to Ile Perrot (a small island community). Ste-Anne also boasts the Sainte-Anne Veterans' Hospital (1917), the Morgan Arborium and three nature parks. It is also home to John Abbott College and McGill University's Macdonald Campus: including the Marshall Radar Observatory and two square kilometers of farmland.

Ste-Anne's chapel
Ste-Anne's chapel

Bellevue Means Picturesque

The rich history and flavor of this close-knit community is everywhere. From the ghosts of ancient fiefdoms (1672) bordering Lake of Two Mountains and Lake Saint-Louis to the first post office (1835). Sainte Anne's Chapel (1719) so named for her for allegedly saving a parish priest stranded in a snowstorm.

Town Hall

The town hall (1907) used to house the post office, a fire station and a police station with jail cells.
The town hall (1907) used to house the post office, a fire station and a police station with jail cells.

Walk Beyond the Locks - To Lake of Two Mountains

Toward Lake of Two Mountains. Those big rock boulders on the right were used for the big ships of bygone days. In the distance is the bridge off Montreal West Island.
Toward Lake of Two Mountains. Those big rock boulders on the right were used for the big ships of bygone days. In the distance is the bridge off Montreal West Island.

Marina - SkiWakeSurf

Skiwakesurf marina
Skiwakesurf marina

Like a Mini Vacation

At night, walking or boating from the SkiWakeSurf marina back to the boardwalk, a thousand colored lights illuminate the bridges, the canal, and the boardwalk. The many outdoor terraces are crowded with a happy faces enjoying drinks, good food and music. It's pretty magical: Being there is like being on Vacation.

One of Many Paths between the Boardwalk and the Main Street

Lane to the main street
Lane to the main street

Looking Toward the Canal - from Lake Of Two Mountains

On the right (in this photo) is the SkiWakeSurf Marina (developed in 2008)
On the right (in this photo) is the SkiWakeSurf Marina (developed in 2008)

Going Down to the Mooring Ramp

Stairs from the mooring ramp
Stairs from the mooring ramp

Concrete Walkway & Mooring Ramp

At the opposite side of the locks. It just goes on and on.
At the opposite side of the locks. It just goes on and on.

Tree-Lined Median Toward the Boardwalk - No Wake Zone

No wake zone
No wake zone

All Photos & Text in this Lens Carol Houle 2013. All Right Reserved

Cover of the novel: The Missing
Cover of the novel: The Missing

My Inspiration for a Romantic Chapter

The Missing

Sainte-Anne-De-Bellevue and a yacht cruise of Lake of Two Mountains inspired a romantic chapter in my novel "The Missing". It takes you to the town as it is today, just minutes from downtown Montreal. Take a stroll on the boardwalk, have a succulent dinner at Dundee's bar and grill, then glide across the Lake of Two Mountains into the sunset. The mayhem is centered around Shaun Suthern, a 'hostage rescuer' Parkour specialist, his family trials, and his 'tiny dancer', Laura, a dancer instructor at the Suthern Club.The long-suffered slaves of human trafficking find their hero in Shaun Suthern. Laura discovers that Shaun is a difficult lover to have and hold.

Related hub The Missing

Mini Excerpt from The Missing

Their yacht slowly pulled out of the marina and headed for Lake of Two Mountains. The name referred to the two highest peaks of Mont Oka, near Oka, facing the lake on its northern shore, Calvaire Mountain and Saint-Joseph-du-Lac Hill. After several minutes their pilot sped up a little and they passed under the Île aux Tourtes Bridge linking the island of Montreal and Île aux Tourtes. The water was endless and the light blue sky was strewn with heavy cotton ball clouds reflecting in the water.

When Laura struggled with trying to hold her hair down Shaun produced a brown satin ribbon from his pocket. She was captivated. She shifted her position to see what he would do and he immediately caught and tamed the soft mass between his fingers. She was moonstruck as she felt him weave the ribbon through the length of her hair and fasten it. When she reached for a strawberry he dipped one into the chocolate sauce and fed it to her. He finally had to go back to the lounge to get them some napkins.

Bike Ramp to the Bridge - A Work of Art

It was under construction when I took this photo yet people were already using it.
It was under construction when I took this photo yet people were already using it.

Garlic Festival August 24, 2013 - each year...make a date

The Garlic Festival 2014

At the end of the boardwalk, beneath white tents, vendors offer every kind and size of garlic bulbs. I saw a large bulb with 4 cloves, and smaller ones with 6 or 8. The colors vary and the stems also vary from papery stalks to ramrod straight (bamboo). I even saw black garlic!

People tasted garlic-induced food ~from pulled pork tortillas to muffins, cookies and other dreamy delights.

Saturdays in Ste-Anne is the fresh produce-market day, so people came and picked up fresh greens, tomatoes, apples, dried flowers and fresh garlic. Apparently when garlic is so fresh it can be kept for up to six months.

Walking on the main street we checked the menus of each resto-bar on the strip; the main special that day ~steaming bowls of mussels. They also had lobster, and every kind of fast food you can imagine.

On the boardwalk was an arts and craft exhibition consisting of over a dozen tents displaying handmade jewelry, handbags and other things.

It’s free to park your watercraft in the canal so it’s no wonder it’s crowded. Yachts big and small are double and triple parked. There may be a wait in the locks due to traffic. Everyone is just having fun down there.

See the following photos: The difference between my previous photos taken on a week day, then these taken Saturday, August 23, 2014

Double Parked Yachts

Double-parked yachts on a busy weekend in Ste-Anne de Bellevue
Double-parked yachts on a busy weekend in Ste-Anne de Bellevue

Sun-Dappled Craft Market

Between the Restaurants and the boardwalk, near the canal
Between the Restaurants and the boardwalk, near the canal

Sunshine, People & Boats

Click thumbnail to view full-size

© 2013 Carol Houle

Wouldn't you like to spend 4 hours at this port? - With or Without Your Ship? You just kinda did.

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    • Carol Houle profile image
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      Carol Houle 4 years ago from Montreal

      @Dave Lynch: Thanks. It's a small borough with a canal and bridges at the southwest end of the island city of Montreal. A city of 2 million people; that's what makes it (and other such boroughs) so cool. Within minutes of the downtown crunch, you are sipping refreshments and relaxing on a waterfront terrace. Or on your boat.

    • Dave Lynch profile image

      David Edward Lynch 4 years ago from Port Elizabeth, South Africa

      Thanks for showing us around this island Port in Canada!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      It definitely looks like a town that would be fun to visit on a warm summer day. Your photos are beautiful. The colours are so vivid. You've done this picturesque little town a real service, as anyone reading this would definitely want to add it to their list of places to visit.