Friday, May 1, 2009

LaRonde Carousel (1 of 10 oldest in North America)

Sites emblématiques menacés - 2006

La Ronde Antique Carousel

La Ronde - Saint Helen’s Island

carrouselaronde-an-copy.jpg car2

Architectural Value

The carousel was manufactured in Belgium circa 1885. After a period of time in the United States, it was brought to Montreal for Expo 67. According to the records of the National Carousel Association it is the oldest merry-go-round in Canada, and one of the ten oldest in North America.

Historic Value

The La Ronde Carousel is a rare example of the art and science of amusement parks that animated the industrial cities of Europe, the Americas and elsewhere during the 19th and 20th centuries. In addition to its presence at Expo 67, it was featured in the credits to the 1970s Radio-Canada television programme Quelle famille!

The Threat

Part of the city’s collection of public art, the carousel was negligently ceded to the Six Flags company with the transfer of La Ronde in 2001. While the company restored the ride in 2003, since that time it has been dismantled and stored in shipping containers. In addition to fears it could be quickly exported from the country, Héritage Montréal is worried about the conditions in which it is being stored and the potential for damage to its mechanisms and decorations.

Initiatives of Héritage Montréal

In 2001, Héritage Montréal wrote to Mayor Bourque’s Administration about protecting the carousel in the agreement with Six Flags Inc. and to ensure it would remain in Montreal under municipal ownership. Two years later, we contacted the National Carousel Association to help persuade Six Flags to protect this unique heritage. Héritage Montréal is currently working with others to update the 1993 Master plan for St. Helen’s and Notre-Dame Islands park. In that context, it hopes to alert municipal authorities and the Six Flags Company to the importance of bringing La Ronde’s Antique Carousel back to life and one again make it part of Montreal’s public art heritage.

“The oldest merry-go-round in the world. A must for nostalgia of the old world in an amusement park.”

La Ronde - Assessment Comittee of the Bids for Rides
21 October, 1965


Les F said...

I wonder how old the Carousel / Merry Go Round, from Belmont Park was and where did it eventually end up? Here's an old link we've explored many times in the past, but it may be of interest to some newer members
.and also here's one from CBC archives on the closing of Belmont Park,with a video ( I believe it's somewhere in our Video section, but click here if you want to hear & see the sights & sounds of the old days at Belmont park,.their Merry Go Round / Carousel appears as well........

pauline garneau said...

We never went away on holidays during the summer we just had day trips and Belmont Park was the highlight of my summer.
I remember always coming home sick as a dog but always ready to go back.Pauline

Diane Roberts said...

What made you sick Pauline, the rides or the Fairy Floss?...Diane

pauline garneau said...

When I went with my parents it was to eat . My mother would buy every bit of junk food they sold and of course she would share so in between the junk and getting shook up spun round knocked plus the excitement plus I'm talking when I was a kid I guess I had a delicate stomach.
I only remember ever eating cotton candy at Belmont Park . Do you remember if they sold it any where else? They sell it now a day in a bags .Pauline

pauline garneau said...

Just clicked Fairy Floss is Cotton Candy . I never heard it call by that name.Pauline

Les F said...

Hi Pauline ,watch the video from this link again, & you will see a shot of the Cotton Candy at Belmont Park
You probably already watched it, but here it again ,....Remember all the noise at Belmont Park (of course that was excitment not noise in those days) How about the adventure of getting there vis the #17 Streetcar then later the Bus,...... but on a couple of occasions myself and a couple of freinds ,walked to Belmont Park ,following the bus route ,as that was the only route we knew...hahahahahah form Verdunwe headed straight up Church Avenue then alng Decarie,then we meandered wherever the route took us,....that was a considerablt walk,we probably did it to have an extra .10 cents for the park ?? or maybe just because we could..

robert jomphe said...

The last time we went to Belmont park was probably 1970 Donna and I brought her brother Stuart with us. We took the train at Central station and spend the day there. Oh Pony one of the things that probably made you sick was those honey balls. On the way back we were at the Cartierville station waiting for the train Stuart being 14 decided to put a penny on the track to flatten it. At the end of the tracks there were stoppers big metal contraptions to stop the train in emergency, then the sidewalk and the street. There was a guy stopped in front of those stoppers. For some reason he decided to move forward a car length. Just then the train came at the station didn't even slow down, blasted trough the stoppers and finally came to a stop in the middle of Gouin boulevard.
We told Stuart it was his fault ! The car driver had his angel with him that day.

Diane Roberts said...

I remember visiting Belmont Park just once a year as most of my summer was spent in Rawdon. Watching them twirl the cotton candy on a stick was quite magical as a child. I only remember it at the circus and especially the travelling ones that came to Rawdon and Joliette. Another "Quebec" special I used to love were Laurentide potato chips and Kik Cola. I don't think either were sold outside of Quebec....Diane