At the western tip of Montreal Island, Ste. Anne de Bellevue occupies a historically strategic position. This is the junction of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence Rivers, which made it an important location during the fur trade. The rapids here, which necessitated the portaging of canoes, continue to prevent small craft from sailing or powering through. So the Ste. Anne locks (Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Canal Historic Site) allow pleasure craft to move from the St. Lawrence River/Lake St. Louis on their way to the Lake of Two Mountains.
In addition to being architecturally interesting thanks to its housing stock that dates back a century or two . . . or three, Ste. Anne de Bellevue is a college town. Macdonald College—which houses McGill University’s Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences—dates to 1907. And John Abbott College, a CEGEP that shares Mac’s campus, opened its doors in 1971. As a result, the town, which has undergone a startling amount of gentrification in the past few decades, has a delightful laid-back college-town vibe.
Ste. Anne de Bellevue fast facts:
English: Macdonald High School.
Français: École Primaire du Bout de l’Isle.
Recreation and Leisure: Library, community centre, outdoor skating rinks, outdoor municipal swimming pool.
Outdoor Activities: Zoo Ecomuseum, Morgan Arboretum.
Houses of Worship: Union United Church, St. George’s Anglican Church, Église de Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.