22. Boardwalk

In 1926, the City of Verdun built a boardwalk on top of its dike, near the St. Lawrence River. This boardwalk was a very popular place among Verdunites and other Montrealers. Many people came here to take advantage of the pleasures of this waterfront area.        

Due to its location along the St. Lawrence River, Verdun was often subject to flooding. During spring thaw, the water in the river from lac Saint-Louis penetrated into the ground and often tended to accumulate in the natural basin of the lowlands located at the far west of its territory. Verdun's municipal authorities decided to build a dike, which was subsequently raised and reinforced a number of times over the course of its history.

In 1926, the dike was strong and reliable. Verdun's City Council decided to build a boardwalk over the dike, providing Verdunites with a place to stroll and make the most of the waterfront area. At several places along this boardwalk, doors were installed so that the public could access the shoreline, where boat launch facilities were set up, including a 300-metre-high diving board and several docks for motor boats. Boating clubs, such as the Verdun Motor Boating Club, also located right near there. A number of Montrealers came to Verdun on weekends to stroll along this boardwalk.

During the 20th century, the boardwalk—which was paved with asphalt at the beginning of the forties, for a new look—then all but disappeared sometime between 1960 and 1970, with the development of the riverbanks. Today, traces of this boardwalk still exist along the waterfront area. Stone pillars along the walking trail in the parc de l’Honorable-George-O’Reilly serve as a reminder of the presence of this magnificent riverbank promenade.