In 1603, Samuel de Champlain led an expedition, having been given the mission of examining the St. Lawrence River, in order to evaluate the most suitable location to set up an establishment. In the month of July, he found himself, just like his predecessor, confronted by the rapids, which he described as a real torrent of water overflowing with such raging streams and a "strange foaming".
Champlain was very impressed with the rapids and so he hastened to stress the foolhardiness of the voyager that would dare to venture out on the islands.
In 1611, a sad anecdote would prove him right: Louis, one of his companions, for whom history remembered only his first name, set out with two Indian guides, Outetoucos and Savignon, to Île aux Hérons to hunt birds. Upon their return from their successful adventure, the three men—aboard a very full, small boat—recklessly headed into the rapids. The boat overturned and only Savignon came back safe and sound.
After that disastrous journey, Champlain went to the scene of the tragedy to find the bodies of the victims. He found the "dreadful place" and was amazed that his companions had such poor judgement as to try and cross such a "horrifying" site. According to legend, Sault Saint-Louis, which is what those infamous rapids would later be called, was named after Louis' tragic fate.