City of Laval offers free walking tours of one of its oldest neighbourhoods
|globalnews.ca 20 Jul 2019 at 16:15|
Saint-Vincent-de-Paul in eastern Laval is marked by cute homes and the occasional crank ‚ÄĒ dressed in tails in the middle of a hot July.
The costumes are part of a free walking tour currently offered by the city in the area.
On Saturday, about a dozen brave souls went on the tour of one of Laval‚Äôs oldest neighbourhoods.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs a place with a lot of secrets,‚ÄĚ said Val√©rie Gagnon-Laniel, a tour guide.
One of those secrets: Canada‚Äôs second prison lies in the area.
Actor Philippe Gobeille plays three characters in the story of the former town. One of them is master sculptor Vincent Chartrand.
‚ÄúIt‚Äôs an anonymous character but it‚Äôs the guy who takes care of the ground around the church,‚ÄĚ Gobeille explained. ‚ÄúAnd then after that, we move forward in time where I‚Äôm a young student who goes to College Laval.‚ÄĚ
Those taking the tour learn about the church of the same name as the neighbourhood, hearing rumours about its past.
They also go to the city hall that served the area before it became part of Laval. The mayor would address people from the balcony.
The people in the area may get a bit more than they expected, too.
The tour makes use of props to tell the story of the area, which intertwines Laval and Montreal history in a one-block radius.
‚ÄúOn the way, we find some papers with some clues on where to go after. So I guess that‚Äôs my favourite part,‚ÄĚ Gagnon-Laniel said.
‚ÄúPretty impressive. Very entertaining also. Kind of short, though,‚ÄĚ said Jessy Bergeron Dallayre, who lives in the area. Given the heat, maybe that‚Äôs not such a bad thing.