My Montreal: Beaconsfield & Other Quebec Curios

Beaconsfield's community and cultural centre, Centennial Hall. Photo credit: P199/Wikimedia Commons. Beaconsfield's community and cultural centre, Centennial Hall. Photo credit: P199/Wikimedia Commons.

Beaconsfield, not to be confused with the British version, is part of the “West Island” comprised of mostly English speaking Montrealers. A quasi-independent municipality since the demerger (yet still belonging to the administrative agglomeration of Montreal), the town has a whopping 70% of its residents using English as their spoken language at home, with 54% of its people having English as their mother tongue.

The town’s shores are along Lac Saint-Louis, which flows outwards towards the Saint Lawrence, and the town plans accordingly, including three boat ramps for its citizens to access the lake. The lake’s name goes back to as far as the seventeenth century; it takes its name, according to legend, from a man, Louis, who drowned in the Lachine Rapids. Where the Saint part came from is unknown, although it was probably those Jesuits.

Another large landmark is Angell Woods, a large green space of 210 acres divided between private property holders and others, including the City of Montreal. The wooded area is special as it contains rare fauna seen in the area including the black maple and the Northern hackberry trees. According to the city’s website, the woods contains 15 species of plants whose status is vulnerable. It is a great area to explore Montreal’s flora and fauna as well, including birds of prey.

Beaconsfield was named after Benjamin Disraeli, the Earl of Beaconsfield. Disraeli, a British politician who sparred with and kept switching places with William Gladstone for the seat of Prime Minister, lived in the 19th century.

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