Walking, cycling and paddling
A good job brought Raymond Ferland to Old Lachine nine years ago. The manager of a cheese shop in the local public market works close to the three-bedroom apartment he rents with his spouse. “We’ve got a lovely patio six metres by six metres with a view on LakeSaint-Louis and we love to take advantage of it,” he enthuses.
The apartment is close to the popular LachineCanal recreational path—rated the third-best urban bike path by Time magazine in 2009—as well as to the paths in RenéLévesquePark. “When I feel like riding my bike, I can go all the way to Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue,” says Raymond Ferland.
“The LachineCanal is a huge plus for this community,” emphasizes Stéphanie Deslauriers, who moved to the area last year with her spouse and their son. “It’s a treat for the senses: the Canal with the city skyline in the background makes for a beautiful sight, you hear ducks splashing and quacking, and you smell the water,” she says. “It’s well managed and we take advantage of it every chance we get!”
An educational psychologist who works in Old Lachine, Stéphanie Deslauriers loves to jog along the Canal during the week. On weekends, she visits the Canal with her family: “We ride our bikes, have picnics. We’ll often get gelato on Saint-Joseph Boulevard and eat it at the water’s edge.”
Along with exceptional access to the water, Old Lachine features a wealth of parkland, including René-LévesquePark and Père-MarquettePark. Along the shores of LakeSaint-Louis you’ll find the Lachine Canoe Club and other recreational groups. And you can rent a variety of watercraft, including kayaks and pedal boats.
During the winter, the path along the Canal becomes a cross-country ski trail. There is so much here that appeals to outdoorsy types, and it’s all just 20 minutes from downtown by car or bus—or by the commuter train that begins operation in 2017.
Homes for every taste
The real estate offering in Old Lachine is remarkably diversified; there is something for every taste and budget. Along with lovingly restored architectural jewels, you’ll find small detached houses, as well as duplexes, triplexes and quadruplexes built in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The neighbourhood also boasts a number of recent additions, including townhouses and condominiums.
Some condo developments are small size buildings without an elevator, while others are multi-storey and chock-full of modern amenities.
For the history buff
Paul Racette Dorion, an urban-planning consultant, loves the community’s rich history. He indulges his passion by developing and leading guided walking and cycling tours of Old Lachine.
“The three entrances to the Canal that correspond with the three phases of the region’s development are all in Old Lachine,” explains Paul Racette Dorion. “Sainte Anne College is also something of a time capsule; you can trace the architectural history of this region by examining the annexes it added over time. The facilities of Dawes Brewery, founded in the early 1800s, are also here.”
Lachine is also home to Montreal’s oldest public market. Founded in 1845, Lachine Market has operated at its current site on Notre-Dame since 1866. Along with the famous cheese shop Fromagerie Atwater, the Market features a pastry shop and stalls selling locally grown, seasonal fruits and vegetables.
On the cultural scene, the recently renovated Saul Bellow Municipal Library takes centre stage.
“It’s a magnificent place,” says Stéphanie Deslauriers, who moved in the neighborhood just as the library was re-opening. “The architecture is beautiful, there are large rooms flooded with natural light, lots of quiet spaces, places designed for young people and there’s even a café where you can get a bite to eat. It’s a great place for families to relax. There are lots of French and English books and members take good care of them.” Since she started going to the library regularly, Stéphanie Deslauriers says she buys far fewer books.
Old Lachine hosts a street-theatre festival each year, and boasts fortifications dating back centuries, a concert hall, exhibition space, and a museum surrounded by modern outdoor sculptures and art installations.
In summary, this historic waterfront neighbourhood supports a lifestyle that blends nature and culture.
Exceptional water access
Newly renovated Saul Bellow Municipal Library
New and old residences below average Montreal prices