The Silent Ghosts of Hochelaga Yards

Hochelaga Yards circa 1907, Atlas Pinsonneault

Hochelaga Yards circa 1907, Atlas Pinsonneault

With a crescent moon at my back, I decided that tonight’s dog walk would lead me to nowhere in the very south-east portion of Hochelaga.  The map above and a book I just took out of the library was the motivation for tonight’s dogwalk.  The book is titled “Du chemin du Roy à la rue Notre-Dame” which at first & second glance potentially appears to have some answers for me as to how Sainte-Marie grew eastwards into once-Hochelaga territory (i.e. the land between the Canadian Pacific Railway and Iberville).  The book takes a look at the growth along Notre-Dame St. over the years so it starts with early “Quebec Suburbs” (Faubourg Québec) history and moves out towards Maisonneuve and Mercier.

 I destined my walk towards what the book mentions as the Anglophone portion of Hochelaga (likely prior to the creation of the CPR lines in the 1870s) on a once-named “Marlborough St. » (today Alphonse D. Roy) and walked all the way around “Hochelaga Yards”. I started by heading down to De Rouen passed through the viaduct, down Moreau St. and turned right on Adam St. and found my way to old Marlborough St.  I found nothing but 60 or 70s built industrial company boxes, parked cars and fences but not one piece of history.  It was actually sad.  I continued south to St.Catherine to find myself in the middle of nowhere. Nothing spookey, no dark alleys.  Just well lit industrial nothingness and the crescent moon up high. I headed over the bridge that takes us over the most southern part of the CPR yards, and there I could see pretty much everything… the industrial part of Hochelaga, Longueil condo high-rises, La Ronde, les Tours Frontenac, downtown Montreal, Olympic Stadium and of course Hochelaga Yards itself (there’s a forest now where the Car Shop is placed in the 1907 map).  I headed back home up Bercy St. and just thought about how much has been lost to expropriation.  This is a large part of Montreal that has simply vanished and although I would consider it a wasteland, I was surprised to see how busy it was with night shift trucks and workers going in and out of the lots. I have never walked here at night so I had really no idea.

Time to start reading and touch base soon enough with my findings. Although I’m now wondering why they never named this area Hochelaga Yards as its kind of catchy and less confusing (i.e. is it Centre-Sud, Sainte-Marie or part of Hochelaga?)

Google Map of Hochelaga Yards/walk path

Google Map of Hochelaga Yards/walk path

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Une réponse à “The Silent Ghosts of Hochelaga Yards

  1. That’s pretty interesting. Have been around there many times on the bike. I wondered what had happened with all that land.

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