Quebec Wanderings: Lancaster to Pointe-Claire, Quebec…

October 1, 2014

There is a gas station, store and Denny’s on the north side of 401 at Lancaster, Ontario. One stop shopping.  This time they didn’t have any good Canadian T-shirts for me to buy, grrrr….  I did ask for help in checking the oil in my rental car and they had an attendant.  It was good.

The Truck Stop in Lancaster

The Truck Stop in Lancaster

On my last trip I had planned to go into Montreal but I was too tired and decided instead to concentrate on Glengarry and visit as many of the churches and cemeteries as I could.  So I cancelled my reservations in Quebec and found the Monte Carlo Motel on Hwy 2 in Cornwall and luckily they had a room.  So I stayed there for one night and was able to tour around the Glengarry area before I headed back to Ottawa to return the car and fly home.

I had dinner one of the evenings at the Blue Anchor Bar and Grill and this big ship came chugging by.  They don’t mess around for it was gone in about 20 minutes.

Big Tanker on the St. Lawrence

Big Tanker on the St. Lawrence

View from the Blue Anchor Bar & Grill

View from the Blue Anchor Bar & Grill

This time I was determined to make it to Quebec and Montreal.  So on Sunday, September 21 I headed to Pointe-Claire, Quebec.  After breakfast at the Denny’s I filled up the tank with gas and I headed east on Hwy 2 and immediately ran into a barricade.  I then had to find the detour which took me to the south side of 401 and the Service Road.  I followed that out and was back on Hwy 2 soon.  It was not great traveling weather as you can see from the photo below.

Morning on the St. Lawrence

Morning on the St. Lawrence at the Monte Carlo

I entered Quebec and the sign changed from Hwy 2 to Hwy 338.  I passed through several towns Les Coteaux and Coteau-du-Lac.  The name of the road changed to Chemin du Canal. It is called the Soulange Canal which flows along this area. It is very straight and it was raining as I drove by.

I was soon in Pointe-des-Cascades and I wandered around that little town for a while.  People were out walking their dogs or should I say…le chien.  I saw this cat, la chat, running across this park and it looked like it was pursuing the man and his dog.  Cats do like to go for walks too, my Puffer often followed me.

The road curves north at Pointe-des-Cascades and I found a little side road that took me where I could take pictures of the Ottawa River (Outaouais).  This is where the Ottawa meets the St. Lawrence. There were many lovely homes along this road.  It was very dark, dreary and rainy.

The Ottawa River off of Hwy 338

The Ottawa River off of Hwy 338 – Quebec

Hwy 338 took me up to Hwy 20 and I crossed over the Outaouais River to Perrot Island. Sainte-Anne de Bellevue came up very quick and I turned off to follow the Chemin Lakeshore road.

What a kick! This was a small two lane road that stopped about every 2 blocks (Arret) with a stop sign.  There were houses and some where like little castles, small green parks and views of the St. Lawrence or Lac St. Louis, small towns areas like Baie d’Urte. I kept following this road till it brought me to Beaconsfield.  The road from there became the Beaconsfield Blvd.  I stopped to get some supplies and found this wonderful cream for my coffee.  It was labeled in French so I had to figure out if it was whipping cream by the little drawings on it and I picked the other offer.

A glimpse of the St. Lawrence River

A glimpse of the St. Lawrence River

Unfortunately, I ran into another barricade and had to do a detour which took me around restaurants like the Ye Old Orchard that I had wanted to visit.  The detour finally brought me back to Blvd. St. Jean.  This is where I needed to turn north and head for the Comfort Inn.  Boy was I was really early.  The clock said 11:30 am much earlier than I had anticipated I would get there but then the weather was so bad I didn’t stop to take more photos.

I continued up Blvd. St. Jean and it changed from two lanes to four lanes and things got real busy.  I turned on Holiday St. into the Comfort Inn parking lot just below Hwy 40 near Blvd. Hymus.  The room was ready so I settled in and did the laundry and worked on my blog posts and rested. The next day would be a big day at the Quebec Family History Society and then I would drive into Montreal.

Remember to breath kiddo…yeah I was a little intimidated.  Here is the view from my hotel window.  I had fun watching the traffic and the day end and then checking the street in the wee hours to see it empty.

The area around the Comfort Inn in Pointe-Claire, Quebec

The area around the Comfort Inn in Pointe-Claire, Quebec


Monday, May 21, 2012: A Tour of The Upper Ottawa, First Pembroke’s Marina

May 27, 2012

The time had come for me to visit the locations and towns that I had been first introduced to by my Aunt Miriam’s notes back in about 1986.  It was not until 1999 that I finally started the search for my family history.  I started with the McDonald’s in all its various spellings.

The goal for May 21st was to tour Renfrew County, Ontario and Pontiac County, Quebec.  It was Victoria Day in Canada so a lot of places would be closed.  It was sunny and muggy.

These two counties share the Ottawa River.  Renfrew is on the western side and Pontiac is on the eastern.  Here are the tourism websites for these two counties and they are very different in approach and information.  You are going to have to dig to find what you want on these websites.

http://www.bonjourquebec.com/qc-en/outaouais0.html

http://www.ottawavalley.travel/

I headed up Hwy 17 and took a detour onto to Sutherland Road.  I was curious about the McDonald Burying Grounds.  There is not much there according to online sources, probably about 4 stones left.  I didn’t find it.  Well I was to learn it was on the western side of Hwy 17 up Sutherland road to the hill so don’t turn right if you are heading toward Pembroke.

One of the volunteers at the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group is working to clean it up of the poison ivy and to get a memorial plaque and stone placed there.  There is a McDonald family buried there but they are Presbyterian not Roman Catholic something to keep in mind when you are researching.  They are Scottish not Irish origin another factor. In preparing for this trip I learned that a great many Irish came to this area and that includes Irish McDonnells. If you want to learn more about this cemetery contact the Upper Ottawa Valley Genealogical Group for information. (See side bar link to the right under Ontario links.

I was not going to dither in Pembroke long because I had a lot of ground to cover.  I would be back later in the week. I took the Greenwood Road into Pembroke so I could get a feel for the city.

The Ottawa River & Allumette Island in the distance

Albert Street is in the heart of the town and I turned right toward the river.  They have a park and a marina at this location.  It was my first introduction to the Ottawa River.  I had only caught glimpses of it as I drove up Hwy 17.

Off in the distance was Allumette Island.  According to my Aunt Miriam, Ronald her father and my grandfather grew up there.  So this was going to be great to finally see this island.

Pembroke’s Marina end of Albert Street

The Marina’s rock jetty and Allumette Island

Looking back towards Pembroke


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