If buildings could speak… - A historical and architectural tour of Vaudreuil-Dorion

 

HARWOOD BOULEVARD

Booth in the Carré-Dorion Park. © Bernard Bourbonnais – Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, 2017.
Former Saint-Jean-Baptiste Church and presbytery (145 Harwood Boulevard). © Bernard Bourbonnais – Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, 2017.
Caisse Desjardins of Vaudreuil-Soulanges. The plans of the 1964 building are signed by architect André Marchand (170 Harwood Boulevard). © Bernard Bourbonnais – Musée régional de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, 2017.
Taschereau Bridge (left) connecting Île Perrot to Dorion, inaugurated in 1925. © Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, 10571.
Harwood Boulevard around 1955, seen from the Taschereau Bridge. © Centre d’archives de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Centenaire de Dorion Fund, M01b11,17.
Branch of National Bank of Canada in Dorion, September 1, 1959 (182 Harwood Boulevard). © Collection patrimoniale Banque Nationale, BCN 431.
Aerial view of Harwood Boulevard in direction of Île Perrot in 1966. © Centre d’archives de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Centenaire de Dorion Fund, M01b18,9.
Harwood Boulevard, corner Saint-Charles in 1966 (before construction of the viaducts). © Centre d’archives de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Centenaire de Dorion Fund, M01b18,9.
Harwood Boulevard in 1991. © Yvon Latreille - Centre d’archives de Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Centenaire de Dorion Fund, M01b,1.47.
Proposed changes to the chemin de Lotbinière and its access to Harwood Boulevard. © City of Vaudreuil-Dorion, 2015.

Interesting places nearby

Because of Ottawa River’s Quinchien rapids, located between the Vaudreuil Seigneury and that of Île Perrot, this sector of the City of Vaudreuil-Dorion has undergone a particular and unique development. Originally dedicated to agriculture, the Pointe de Quinchien was home to the manor house of the Chartier de Lotbinière family from 1765, a watermill in 1768 and a locked canal in 18161. However, the Grand Trunk Railway construction between 1854-1856 that linked Montréal to Toronto and the arrival of the first vacationers some 15 years later, led to the creation of a new village core (Vaudreuil-Station), which was officially named Dorion on December 30, 1890. In 1925, the landscape was further modified with the inauguration of the Taschereau Bridge linking Île Perrot to the Pointe de Quinchien. The influx of vehicles passing by encouraged the emergence of businesses, hotels, and restaurants along Harwood Avenue (Harwood Boulevard), which also joins Highway 17 between Montréal and Ottawa. In the 1960s, influenced by urban planner Jean-Claude LaHaye (1923-1999), Harwood Boulevard took on the appearance we know today (four-lane commercial strip model)2. In 2014-2015, a project to enhance Harwood Boulevard was launched in order to allow future redevelopment and to improve its quality and accessibility to its population3.