An expanding town

See how two neighbourhoods grew up around the train station.

From village to city: go forward in the time line and observe the area’s development.
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The territory’s development through the centuries

1673

The Rivière du Loup seigneury

The first inhabitants settled on the shores of the Rivière du Loup’s mouth, at La Pointe and around the inlet.

The manor houses of the seigniorial domain

The Rivière du Loup was at the centre of a river network used by the Amerindians. From the beginning of the 17th century onward, missionaries arrived for the purpose of evangelizing the Native population.

A natural meeting point, the site was ideal for fur trading.

In 1673, the Rivière du Loup seigneury was granted to Charles Aubert de la Chesnaye, who operated a fur-trading post.

The first four manor houses of the seigniorial domain were built at the foot of Côte Saint-Jacques on the west bank of the river.

 Map of the seigniory of Rivière-du-Loup in 1766

Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, map by John Collins, 1766, copied by Fred Wyss in 1820, P600, S4, SS2, D579.

Charles Aubert de la Chesnaye

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, Charles Aubert de la Chesnaye, bl0001.

The first two flour mills

The domain’s first two flour mills were built on the river’s east bank.

Ruins of the first flour mills

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Jean-Baptiste Dupuis, jbd159.

The chapel at Pointe-à-la-Grue

In 1766, there were some fifteen houses on the St. Lawrence shore, between the Trois-Ruisseaux inlet and the mouth of the Rivière du Loup to the east. Built on the inlet, the seigniorial domain consisted of the manor house and the flour mill.

On La Pointe, a few buildings were situated on the inlet side. Frequented by Europeans for more than a century, this peninsula likely held the first residences around the trading post and the mission.

At a site known as La Pointe-à-la-Grue, the first chapel was built in 1792 for the missionaries and for some thirty-five families who had settled in the territory.

Two decades later, after high tides had flooded it several times and after the re-routing of the road that crossed through the seigniorial domain, the chapel was abandoned.

Map of the seigniory of Rivière-du-Loup in 1766

Source: Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, map by John Collins, 1766, copied by Fred Wyss in 1820, P600, S4, SS2, D579.

The Chemin du Roy

In 1798, the Chemin du Roy was laid out along the rocky edge of the first coastal terrace level, giving a wide berth to the flood-prone land near the river. This road is now ue Fraser.

The second chapel

In 1812, the second chapel for the Rivière du Loup mission was built. This one was close to the Chemin du Roy, on the rocky ledge overlooking the marshy plain.

After forty years, this chapel was also abandoned, as the distance between it and the village on the Rivière du Loup was considered too great. A roadside cross still indicates the site.

Drawing of the second chapel of Saint-Patrice-de-Rivière-du-Loup

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, bl0035.

1850

The village

The development of the seigniorial domain led to the founding of Fraserville in 1850.

View of the Rivière du Loup inlet by Henry Hugh Manvers Percy, painted between 1838 and 1840.

view of the loop of the River du Loup by Henry Hugh Manvers Percy

Source: Library and Archives Canada, water-colour by Henry Hugh Manvers Percy, 1838-1840, C-013617.

A new manor

Towards 1817, the seigneur Alexandre Fraser built a new manor house on the slope of the west bank. This was the fifth seigniorial manor built on the domain.

fifth manor, circa 1817

Source : Centre d’archives de la région de Rivière-du-Loup, Fonds Famille Fraser, Box 5, File 63, Manoir Fraser.

The saw mill

The Caldwell family’s saw mill was built in 1823 at the top of the highest of the Rivière du Loup waterfalls.

In 1825, a huge chute was built to slide the lumber down to the river mouth, where it was transported on schooners to ships anchored offshore.

A cluster of houses appeared near the mill at the top of the falls. In 1851, the mill employed as many as 200 workers at high season.

Map showing the location of the old mill Caldwell

Source : Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, excerpt from the map by Joseph Bouchette, 1832, E21, S555, SS1, SSS15, P1 3.

St. Bartholomew’s church

In 1841, the seigneur Malcolm Fraser, Alexandre Fraser’s son, donated land for the construction of a Presbyterian church on Rue du Domaine.

Families of British and Scottish ancestry in Rivière-du-Loup worshipped at St. Bartholomew’s.

Presbyterian Church St. Bartholomew

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, St. Bartholomew’s church, bl0004.

The Fraserville hotel

The Fraserville hotel was one of the oldest buildings in the village. As early as 1850, it was open for business at the corner of Rue Sault (Lévis) and Rue Fraser.

Fraserville hotel on Fraser street

Source : Régis Jean, Rivière-du-Loup. De la mission à la cité, Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Montmagny, Ateliers Marquis, 1987, p. 57.

The first schools

The village school was located on Rue Iberville at the corner of du Domaine. In 1860, a Catholic order of nuns, the Sœurs du Bon-Pasteur, opened their first convent there.

former convent of the Sœurs du Bon-Pasteur

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Stanislas Belle, former convent of the Sœurs du Bon-Pasteur, 1899, b03156.

Manoir Fraser

Alexandre Fraser purchased a house at the top of Côte Saint-Jacques and moved there in 1834. The new Manoir Fraser was located in what would become the heart of the future village.

This sixth and last seigniorial manor was enlarged in 1888 by Alexandre’s son, William, who also actively participated in the town’s development and served several terms as mayor. He was one of the town’s principal landowners.

Anaïs de Gaspé and William Fraser

Source : SHGRDL, Fonds Lizotte, William Fraser and Anaïs Wilhelmine de Gaspé.

Fraser manor enlarged in 1888

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Paul-Émile Martin, m04043.

1860

The Grand Trunk Railway

Rivière-du-Loup became the last stop on the east line of the Grand Trunk Railway in 1860. The tracks were south of the village, above the big falls.

The wharf at La Pointe

In 1855, Rivière-du-Loup’s first deepwater wharf at La Pointe upgraded the maritime link.

Steamer leaving the wharf at Riviere-du-Loup in 1904

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, Rivière-du-Loup wharf, 1904, bl0803.

A new flour mill

The Fraser seigneurs (or lairds) built a new flour mill on the west bank of the Rivière du Loup, right across from the older mills.

Flour mill lords Fraser on the west bank of the river

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, seigneur’s mill, bl1119.

A new parish church

The chapel quickly became too small to accommodate the village’s growing population. The need for a larger place of worship was pressing. The residents of the village argued with other parishioners over the choice of the site.

The village dwellers finally won the day, and the church was built in the middle of Fraserville.

In 1856, the church was erected on land donated by the seigneurs William and Edward Fraser, between Beaubien and du Rocher streets.

Burnt down in 1883, it was rebuilt upon what remained of the original walls.

Church of Saint-Patrice of Rivière-du-Loup

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds J-Adélard Boucher, Saint-Patrice church, jab1130c.

Fraserville Station in 1860

The Grand Trunk Railway line left the Lévis area and headed east, crossing through lands connected by the second concession road inland from the villages on the St. Lawrence. The new transportation link soon led to the mushrooming of small and larger villages along the track. Rivière-du-Loup also owed its development to this network.

The Grand Trunk built its station south of the village, just above the big falls. At that time, this area consisted mainly of cultivated fields and almost no houses. In less than two decades, it was completely transformed, becoming the site of all the railway activities in the growing town.

Fraserville station at Rivière-du-Loup in 1860.

Source: Library and Archives Canada, Thomas Evans Blackwell, Grand Trunk Railway at Rivière-du-Loup, 1860, PA-205428.

Fraserville station for the east bank of the River du Loup

Source: ©McCord Museum, Grand Trunk station at Rivière-du-Loup, circa 1860, William Notman, N-0000.193.53.2.

The Victoria hotel

In the years following the railway’s arrival, several hotels opened near the station to lodge train passengers.The Victoria hotel owned by M. J.A. Fontaine was one of the better-known hotels of this period.

Built at the foot of Côte Fraserville in 1878, it was completely renovated in 1889.

Victoria hotel on Lafontaine Street in 1870

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, Victoria hotel, 1870, bl0108.

1874

Railway town

In 1874, the village became a town. As a railway junction and business hub, Fraserville underwent an unprecedented period of development.

La Pointe, a headland sheltering the mouth of the Rivière du Loup, began to be developed in the 1890s. Three hotels – Venise, Bellevue, and La Maison Blanche – welcomed visitors at the turn of the last century. In 1900, a Catholic chapel for holiday-makers was inaugurated.

View of La Pointe of Rivière-du-Loup and its hotels

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, postcard of La Pointe, circa 1905.

Looking southward at the inlet of the Rivière du Loup from the Narcisse Pelletier wharf.

schooner docked at Pelletier dock in the inlet of the river

Source: Library and Archives Canada, William James Topley, inlet of the Rivière du Loup, PA-029296.

Looking south-west at the inlet of Rivière du Loup. On the river’s west bank was the Fraser wharf, accessible at high tide.

Schooner aground at low tide in the inlet of the river

Source: Library Archives Canada, William James Topley, inlet of the Rivière du Loup, PA-008727.

View of the inlet of the Rivière du Loup at the beginning of the 20th century. Narcisse Pelletier’s furniture factory can be seen on the far shore.

inlet of the Rivière du Loup and the Narcisse Pelletier factory

Source: Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, inlet of the Rivière du Loup and the Narcisse Pelletier factory, bl0519.

Looking south-west, view of the Rivière du Loup bridge and the seigneur’s mill, built in 1856.

Bridge over the  River du Loup near the mill

Source: SHGRDL, Fonds Société d’histoire, Rivière du Loup bridge, circa 1883.

The Courthouse

The Courthouse was built in 1883 on a street facing St. Patrick’s Catholic church. First called Rue de l’Église, the street was subsequently renamed Rue de la Cour.

Court house, 1915

Source: Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, Court house, 1915, bl0153.

Quartier Saint-Patrice

Towards the end of the 19th century, several well-to-do families built large, beautiful houses on Rue Iberville, Rue de la Cour, Rue du Rocher, and Rue Beaubien. These members of the local elite were store and factory owners, lawyers, and notaries.

View of the neighborhood of Saint-Patrice church

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, Saint-Patrice church, bl1003.

Convent of the Sœurs du Bon-Pasteur

The Catholic order of nuns, the Sœurs du Bon-Pasteur, moved their convent to Rue du Rocher in 1869. The number of day students and boarders grew so fast that in 1886, a grey-stone wing was added on to the brick building.

Former convent of the Sœurs du Bon-Pasteur

Source: Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Stanislas Belle, 1899, b03156b.

Today, the building houses the Maison de la Culture.

New stone annexe of the convent of Sœurs du Bon-Pasteur

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Stanislas Belle, 1899, b03156c.

The Collège Saint-Patrice

After it opened in 1887, the town’s young boys received their education at Collège Saint-Patrice, located at the corner of Rue du Collège (Hôtel-de-Ville) and Rue du Domaine. The building was replaced by a primary school in the 1960s.

The Collège Saint-Patrice

Source: Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, bl0058.

A new post office

In 1899, a new post office was built between Beaubien and Iberville streets, near St. Patrick’s church.

post office, 1924

Source: Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Paul-Émile Martin, post office, 1924, m11091..

Lake Temiscouata Road (Rue Lafontaine), looking southward, circa 1883.

View south of the Temiscouata road (Lafontaine) circa 1883

Source : SHGRDL, Fonds Société d’histoire, Rue Lafontaine, circa 1883.

At this time, there were few residences between St. Patrick’s parish and the railway yard south of the town, nor had the city hall been built.

Théophile Rioux’s store

Théophile Rioux’s store opened on Lake Temiscouata Road (Rue Lafontaine) in 1887.

Théophile Rioux's store

Source: Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds J-Adélard Boucher, jab0058.

Facing northward on Rue Lafontaine at the beginning of the 20th century.

Lafontaine street circa 20th century

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Stanislas Belle, 1899, b03433a.

The Intercolonial Railway (I.C.R.) station

Inaugurated in1876, the Halifax- Rivière-du-Loup rail link increased activity at the station.

In 1883, a new station was built to receive passengers travelling on the Grand Trunk and Intercolonial lines.

The Temiscouata Railway station

Built in 1889, the Temiscouata Railway station was located on the river bank, right across from the Intercolonial station.

The railway machine shops

The locomotive repair shops employed dozens of men, many of whom were from the region. However, job opportunities also attracted many workers of English, Irish, and Scottish extraction from other provinces.

Fraserville station built in 1883

Source : Postcard by Stanislas Belle, circa 1895, Private collection.


A passenger car at the station of the Temiscouata Railway

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, Temiscouata Railway station, bl0031.

Workers and wagon wheels in front of the locomotive repair shop

Source : Collection Richard Michaud, locomotive repair shop, end of 19th century.

The Vendôme and Victoria hotels, built near the station, welcomed train travellers at the beginning of the 20th century.

The Hotels Vendôme and Victoria

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Stanislas Belle, 1901, b05595.

Railway installations seen from the west bank of the river. On the horizon, houses on Rue Saint-André.

Railway installations and St-André street

Source: SHGRDL, Fonds Société d’histoire, Railway installations and Rue Saint-André (southern part), circa 1883.

View of the Rivière du Loup bridge and the Intercolonial station on the west bank of the river. In the foreground are the first houses of the future parish of Saint-Ludger.

 Intercolonial Station and bridge over the River du Loup circa 1883

Source: SHGRDL, Fonds Société d’histoire, I.C.R. station and the Rivière du Loup bridge circa 1883.

1905

The town with three steeples

The development of railway activity left its mark on the urban landscape.

Saint-François-Xavier church

In 1905, the church of the Catholic parish of Saint-François-Xavier was built on the rise on the west bank of the Rivière du Loup.

Saint-François-Xavier church

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Jean-Baptiste Dupuis, jbd030.

The first streets in the neighbourhood

Saint-André, Saint-Elzéar, and Fraserville were the first streets to be laid out in the neighbourhood.

Several families of English and Scottish origin were already living in this area at the end of the 1870s. A Protestant church and school were built at the corner of Rue Saint-Elzéar and Rue Saint-André; the latter was known as Côte des Anglais.

Insurance map of Fraserville city, the Saint-François-Xavier area

Source : Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Insurance map of Fraserville, Montreal, Toronto, Charles E. Goad, 1906, 3029857-12.

Saint-Ludger church

In 1905, the parish church of Saint-Ludger was built on the rise on the east bank of the Rivière du Loup.

Saint-Ludger church

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, bl0586.

The first streets in the neighbourhood

Beginning in the 1880s, workers hired by the railway machine shops settled on the other side of the river, along Lake Temiscouata Road.

Raymond, Jarvis, and Alexandra were the first streets to be laid out on the slope in 1884.

In 1886, a pedestrian bridge nicknamed the Red Bridge made it possible for residents to cross the river, giving them direct access to the railway shops.

Insurance map of Fraserville city, the Saint-Ludger area

Source : Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Insurance map of Fraserville, Montreal, Toronto, Charles E. Goad, 1906, 3029857-16.

View of Saint-Ludger and the railway yards

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, bl1006.

Station installations in 1920

The railway yards developed rapidly at the beginning of the 20th century. At that time, the industry employed almost 900 residents of the town.

Insurance map of  Fraserville city, ​​the station area

Source : Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, Insurance map of Fraserville, Montreal, Toronto, 1920, 3708211-15.

Hotels on both banks of the river hosted travellers arriving at the station.

Victoria Hôtel and its Banque Provinciale Bank

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, Victoria hotel and its Banque provinciale branch, circa 1925, bl0111.

Ophir Hotel built in 1903 on the back of the station

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Ulric Lavoie, Ophir hotel circa 1937, l 14013.

The Pont d’Amours bridge and the Hôtel Anctil, facing the Temiscouata Railway station.

Pont d’Amours bridge to Saint-Ludger

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, Pont d’Amours bridge to Saint-Ludger, bl0247.

CN station at Rivière-du-Loup

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Antonio Pelletier, CN station at Rivière-du-Loup, 1959.

The public market

Built in 1902, the public market building held the town council room and a theatre. Destroyed in a fire in 1908, it was replaced by a new building.

The actual City Hall

Rivière-du-Loup City Hall was rebuilt in 1910. The brick building held the town council room and a theatre.

The Saint-Ludger and Saint-François-Xavier churches had just been built south of the town. Rivière-du-Loup, nicknamed the town with three steeples, was in full expansion mode.

View of the street Lafontaine near the public market

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, bl0244.


Municipal council of Rivière-du-Loup, 1905

Source: Rivière-du-Loup municipal council in 1905, Union Meeting Canadian Divisions, Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, July, 1905, Collection Richard Michaud.


City Hall, 1918

Source: Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds J-Adélard Boucher, City Hall, 1918, jab0475.

View of town with Saint-Ludger and Saint-François-Xavier churches

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Belle-Lavoie, bl1039.

Saint-Ludger

The Temiscouata Railway station and the beautiful Anctil hotel were on either side of the river, near the bridge.

At the top of the slope, Saint-Ludger church and its presbytery dominated the rapidly growing neighbourhood.

From the opening of the first railway station in 1860 until the closing of the last machine shop in the 1950s, railway activities constituted the town’s lifeblood and shaped its urban landscape

View of neighborhood of Saint-Ludger church

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Paul-Émile Martin, circa 1914, m04051.

Saint-François-Xavier

The station installations took up the river banks, and the residential neighbourhood arose on the slope, dominated by the church.

Mansard and pavilion roofs, as well as dormer windows – new architectural models introduced at the end of the 19th century – joined the traditional two-sided pitched roofs slightly curved out at the bottom

View of neighborhood of Saint-Françoix-Xavier church

Source : Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent, Fonds Paul-Émile Martin, circa 1914, m04052.