My Montreal: Lachine & Other Quebec Curios

One of Lachine's historical trading posts. This particular building is now a cultural heritage site. Photo source: Adqproductions/Wikimedia Commons One of Lachine's historical trading posts. This particular building is now a cultural heritage site. Photo source: Adqproductions/Wikimedia Commons

It is said that the town’s name came from a joke of the explorer La Salle looking for China one fine day in 1669. When he didn’t make it to Asia, the people mocked him and called him and his band of explorer “chinois” (Chinese people) and that the land he found was “la Chine” (China).

Lachine had some sad events in its history, including the Lachine massacre, in which 1500 Mohawk warriors who were allied with the British attacked the settlement and killed at least twenty-four people. On a side note, history has never really decided on the amount of people who died during the massacre: deaths go up to two hundred people in other sources. Yet all in all, Lachine, a place with over forty-one thousand inhabitants, are happy to call Lachine their home. Lachine also an important transportation area on the island, with the 20, a train station, and the Lachine Canal all being situated in the borough. Places to visit of note are the historical trading posts located around the Lachine Canal; since Lachine was close to the St. Lawrence River, it was one of the very important trading hubs that would help stir up the budding North American economy. However, Lachine is also protected by its own set of guardians: the Lachine rapids, which, until the construction of the Lachine Canal, offered a dangerous trip ashore requiring prospective visitors to carry their boat towards land.

As of 2011, Lachine has a significant African-American population as well as a growing Chinese population (no connotation with the name significance, one assumes). Its immigrants come from diverse countries, with Philippines and Algeria being at the helm of the immigration in Lachine, though China and the Philippines lead the way in the total immigrant population established in the city. Most people in Lachine can speak both English and French at a reasonably healthy rate of 60%, with 60% of its population speaking French at home. While still west of the Main, Lachine is one of many of predominantly French parts of the Island of Montreal.

The borough’s neighbours include Dorval to the west and Lasalle to the east. Its federal electoral district is Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Lachine, while provincially, it is Marquette.

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