Thursday, October 24, 2013

Canada Summer 2013: Atwater Market and Lachine Canal


August 11, 2013 -- On another spectacular sunny summer day in Montreal I rode Bixi bike share to the Atwater Market in the Saint-Henri area. The market opened in 1933 and to this day is bustling with farmer stalls selling local and imported produce as well as three cheese stores, a wine store, a fish store and nine butchers.

The Art Deco building is undergoing an extensive renovation that started in April, including a restoration of the historic clock tower. 

Here are pictures of Atwater Market:



Atwater Market is located right near Lachine Canal. which passes through the southeastern part of the Island of Montreal. The canal runs 1.4 kilometers from the Old Port of Montreal to Lake Saint-Louis. The canal was historically an industrial area that was very busy and very polluted. Recently however, the water has been cleaned up and new development has sprung up along the canal as well as two bike paths on either side. Instead of factories, the canal is now busy with bikers and boaters.

The canal initially had seven locks, but since 1848 it has had five locks:  Lachine, Côte-Saint-Paul, Saint-Gabriel and 2 locks at Old Port of Montreal. I biked to one of the locks where I got to see the water levels being raised so a couple of boats could pass through. Here is a Lachine Canal lock in action as the gate opens for a boat:



Next I saw one of the strangest sights. A man actually floating down the canal on a bicycle. I had to do a double take at first. But there he was. I have learned since then that water biking on an inflatable raft is actually starting to become a popular activity. As the French say -- C'est la vie.

Biking along the canal towards the Old Port reveals scenic views of the downtown skyline and the iconic Farine Five Roses sign atop the Ogilvie Flour Mill.

Here are more pictures of Lachine Canal:



Here is video biking along the Lachine Canal:



And here is video of that guy water biking down the middle of the canal: