Historical commentary: Stéphane Tessier. Directing and filming for this video: Nicolas St-Germain.
After scenes showing the heart of the Sault-au-Récollet village, the Church of the Visitation, and the Gouin Boulevard East, historian and cultural animator Stéphane Tessier (ST) speaks to us from the house of Mr. Monette, the milkman. He explains how the original “chemins de côtes” (roads running parallel to the river) and the “montées” (crossroads from one “côte” to another ) were the only way to get around the parish. We see archive images of this. In the last part of the video, we see the buildings of what used to be the main street—now Gouin Boulevard—, which was home to the village’s various shops and professionals.
ST Much like municipalities have a duty to provide services to their citizens, seigneurs in the days of the seigneurial regime, had to provide services to their censors; roads, in this case.
This is how Sault-au-Récollet’s Jarry Street, which used to be called “côte Saint-Michel,” came to be. Some roads, called “montées” went all the way to the Des Prairie River. There was Saint-Michel Boulevard, “la montée de Saint-Michel” and Lajeunesse Street, then called “la montée du Sault.”
And all this led to the river’s shore, where you had the main road, Gouin Boulevard.
That road was at the centre of village life. On it were several shops and services: the doctor, the baker, but also the milkman, the mayor’s house, the town hall, the general store, etc.