The roads of Upper Lachine

Despite its significance, the Lachine Road was often in poor, condition, even impossible. Between Montréal and Lachine, the shoreline was low and easily flooded when the ice melted in the spring. A second road was built, safe from flooding.The route was along Côte Saint-Pierre. It was named the Upper Lachine Road, as compared to the first road, which ran along the shore, and was called Lower Lachine Road.




In 1815, Joseph Bouchette described the area in the following words: “Between Coteau St-Pierre and the river, the land is so flat, particularly near the small Lac St-Pierre, so swampy, that we presume that it was once covered with water. We plan to build a canal at this location, to establish a direct link between the city and La Chine, and bypass the difficult crossing of the St-Louis rapids.” (Translation)

Upper Lachine Road, which was safe from flooding, was the shortest route between Montréal and Lachine and quickly became the main transportation route to the west. In 1805, it became the first toll road on the island, evidence of the importance of contacts between Montréal, Lachine and Upper Canada: “La Chine is the most important village on the entire island, since is its the centre for trade between the upper and lower province.” (Bouchette 1815) (Translation)