Sunday, October 30, 2011

Queen's Park Velodrome 1899 - Map finally Discovered

Finally after 7 years of research and with the help of the city of Verdun (Amélie Soulard), a map showing the exact location of the Queen's Park velodrome has been discovered. As the map shows, it was situated in between the streets: Wellington, Rielle, Chemin Bas Lachine (LaSalle Blvd) and along the dike wich was situated between Willibrord and 1st avenue, faccing city hall today. Willibrord street stopped at Wellington in 1898 and 1st avenue was not yet built and was part of the E.X Brault land. According to the map, the seats where built above the dike and could contain up to 15,000 spectators, quite an accomplishment when you consider that Verdun had only about 2000 residents.This dyke was built to contain the rising water in the spring and the section along the river became the Boardwalk. The Ontario Wellington tramway came along Rielle street to unload its passengers and continued towards Lower Lachine Road, up Gordon and returned east towards Montreal.

The map was in the newspaper "Le Sport Illustré" dated the 22nd of July 1899 and was short lived having been printed only 6 issues and was found in the BANQ internet site.

I know I am repeating myself but Verdun was the host to the World's Meet International bicycle races from the 7th to the 12th of August 1899 and as far as I am concerned, was the largest sporting event ever held in Verdun, bar none. As an historical society (SHGV), it is our mission to inform the public of events such as these and to make sure that they are not forgotten.

Guy (SHGV)



Les F said...

Pretty Cool Stuff,...I would imagine any digging done around these areas might turn up some interesting things....HF&RV Cheers ! LesF
ps: I would like to know ,just where on the BNQ site you found these, because I have been searching Verdun & Montreal stuff from there for years.I have never come across that info......
Good Job...........

Jean-Marie Hachey said...

Hi Guy !

Thank you for your continued interest in the history of Verdun.
Your contribution is highly appreciated.

Note :
The map published in « LE SPORT ILLUSTRÉ » of July 22, 1899 :
I agree with the dimensions (perimeter) of the velodrome which was 1/3 of a mile (1760 feet)
From the map, I have estimated this perimeter to be about 1800 feet (1810 to 1833 feet). This estimation falls within about 3% of margin of error.

Concerning the location of the Queen’s Park velodrome, I’m not convinced by the map published in « LE SPORT ILLUSTRÉ » of July 22, 1899.

For the following reasons :

1) The map published in « LE SPORT ILLUSTRÉ » of July 22, 1899 suggests that the velodrome cut Rockland Avenue (Willibrord St.) from Wellington to Lower Lachine Road (Lasalle Blvd).
This is in contradiction with another map published in January 1899 by City of Verdun Engineer.

2) Many photos available on BAnQ site do not agree with the plan of « LE SPORT ILLUSTRÉ » of July 22, 1899.

N.B. The construction of the Queen’s Park velodrome was completed in May 1898 (one year before the Bicycle World’s Meet).

My proposal for the location of Queen’s Park still remains the same :
Limits of the polyvalent (hippodrome, velodrome, foot race) course track (1869) inside which the Queen’s Park velodrome was buit in 1898 :
North : Verdun Ave.
South : in the axis of Gertrude St.
East : Galt St.
West : Willibrord St.


My comment in « Messager Verdun » :
Jean-Marie Hachey - 25 Février 2011 à 14:42:07

Thank you for your interest,

Jean-Marie Hachey
Société d’histoire et de généalogie de Verdun

pauline garneau said...

Already cracked open the champagne.

Oh well will try to find when it was demolished.

Guy Billard said...

Me and Jean-Marie have a long standing disagreement going way back on the location of the Queen's Park velodrome. J.M. persist on tying in the old hypodrome that was north of Wellington with the Q.P. vélodrome but now that a map has finally been discovered wich was published two weeks before the competions, I consider this map valid until other official documents are discovered. Many maps where printed showing streets that where not yet built as is customary in city projects.
This is a healthy debate wich incites us to continue our research.

pauline garneau said...

Just found this Gilliandr’s Blog
Queens Park was used for other activities . Will try to find entrance tickets or adds for the Park and maybe it will have an address.

cracked open the champagne so here's to Queens park

MontrealDaily Star, 13 August 1900, Page 3
Caledonian Games
Great Gathering of the Clans at Queen’s Park on Saturday Afternoon
Scotch Dancing and Piping
List of events on track, field and platform – Police win tug-of-war and take Seath Trophy
“We’re a’ John Tamson’s bairns, ya ken;
And we’ll be blithe and fain thegither;
And lika man wha lo’es oor lan’
We hail him as a friend and brither”
The forty-fifth annual Scottish games of the Montreal Caledonian Society were held at the Queen’s Park ,Verdun, on Saturday afternoon, and, notwithstanding threatening skies, there was a great gathering of all the clans. From all parts ofScotlandthey hailed, Highlanders, Islanders, Lowlanders and Borderers, together with hundreds more who had never beheld the heather hills of the old land. Many, both old and young, were clad in the picturesque “garb of Auld Gaul” while, as on all such occasions, the pipers were out in force, and fired the patriotism of the clansmen with their stirring strains. Then there was the sweet scented heather fresh from the Scottish hills, and free to one and all. To the exiled Scot it was almost as good as a visit home.

Les F said...

Good investigative reporting JMH,..... thanks! HF&RV

Les F said...

Don't waste that bubbly pony,....and thanks for the lead to the park. HF&RV

Les F said...

Thos previous two reply's were one for JMH & the other for Pony,.however they didn't pop up as actually replies to the specific comment,.??? A few changes here at Multiply ,not really working well right now,

Guy Billard said...

I am having problems posting photos from my albums as well as the slideshow. It seems Multiply made some changes wich i am not familiar with. Can you help me how to proceed.

Guy Billard said...

It seems that what was named Queen's Park extended north of Wellington on the former grounds of the hypodrome horse race track so the Caledonian Games may have been held also on those grounds and not only on the velodrome grounds wich was south of Wellington according to my beliefs although the spectator stands where ideal for watching the games. There is still a lot of research for years to come to answer all these questions on this fascinating subject.
There must have been hundreds if not thousands of photos taken by reporters around the world from many countries wich are lying somewhere in libraries, archives etc. and maybe even 8mm, 16mm or 35mm films. I checked with the NFB but they have any.

Les F said...

Yes , we are experiencing techincal difficulties here at Multiply.I have asked them about this very problem, and it seems they are aware of it, and are working on the problem:
Here are the questions and answers so far to my questions about this :

embed photos Oct 28, '11 8:55 AM
by Les for customer service and user service

Why is it I can no longer get the embed code to place a photo in a comment window. I used to be able to open a photo from any of te photo albums and click on 'share' at the bottom ,which would give me two embed codes ,1 for the photo or 1 for the whole album....
now all I get is some buttons that do everything but allow me to post a photo in the comment window. It now opens (when you click share) a large window for me to fill in and link to the photo Why?
or is there a way to just have the more simple embed code ?
Thanks for any info you can share .


delete reply
servicejack wrote today at 2:33 PMHi,

We're aware of the issue and are working on resolving it.

Thanks for your patience.
- Jack
edit delete reply
lesf wrote today at 3:06 PMThanks that's great news & I appreciate the response...Cheers !

So now you know as much as I do,I have addressed some other thoughts with Multiply tech staff,in other departments ,just ideas to make this a better site, So far they are at least, good about getting back to me ....we will have to see how quickly they resolve this Cheers ! HF&RV Les

Les F said...

So there is the response,......................Time will tell ,if we've lost a feature during this recent 'Upgrade' ? or they fix it. Cheers ! HF&RV
I will keep you posted,as I think this only started a few days ago.& I contacted them immediately.

Jean-Marie Hachey said...

The map was published on July 22, 1899 in the review « SPORT ILLUSTRÉ ».
However, there is no date of production of the map.

Now, let us consider the following comparisons of the map with a photo of the Queen’s Park Club House :

Queen's Park velodrome:

Some buildings around Queen's Park velodrome:
1: Queen's Park Club House
(Used as temporary chapel of Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs in 1899).
2: Queen's Park Athletic Association built in 1898.
3. Club House suggested in "LE SPORT ILLUSTRÉ" of July 22, 1899.


Queen's Park Club House :

If we assume that the structure marked QPVR
was the roof over the stands, then the velodrome
could not be located as suggested by "LE SPORT ILLUSTRÉ" of July 22, 1899.
Queen's Park Club House:
On Lasalle Blvd,
North-East corner of Rielle.
(QPVR: Queen's Park Velodrome Roof over the stands).

I agree with Guy that this is a healthy debate that stimulate us in our research.


(Click and Paste on the photos do not work, so I put the URL)

Guy Billard said...

It seems that J.M. is set on trying to proove that the Q.P. vélodrome was north of Wellington whereby my conclusion is that it was south between Wellington and Lower Lachine rd (LaSalle blvd). The maps J.M. is posting are made by himself and are drawings he superimposed on old official maps wich is misleading and have no official validity. Also he has not mentioned this on the maps he has produced.
I will post the complete pages of the "Le Sport Illustré" as soon as Multiply solves their problems as I have no reasons to believe that the map is not valid. Also, the fact that "Le Sport Illustré" is in the Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Quebec (BANQ) gives it that much more credibility. The fact that the map does not have a production date can be explained by the fact that it was produced by the newspaper therefore the date of publication is the 22nd of July 1899.
As far as I am concerned, the map having been produced 2 weeks before the competitions is conclusive evidence wich cannot be denied..


Les F said...

multiply tells me this problem ,should now be fixed, however I just attempted to post a photo from my site, & I still get the same results......I will contact them again,but I will give it a few hours to see if it works normally again.

Jean-Marie Hachey said...

Hi Guy !

Some citations, comments and one request …

Citation :
« The maps J.M. is posting are made by himself and are drawings he superimposed on old official maps wich is misleading and have no official validity. Also he has not mentioned this on the maps he has produced. ».

My comment :
The map I posted is not made by me : it is from the map you posted.

I only added some indications on specific parts of the map without modifying it.
The origin of the map appears very clearly : it is part of the map I posted.


Citation :
« The map was in the newspaper "Le Sport Illustré" dated the 22nd of July 1899 and was short lived having been printed only 6 issues and was found in the BANQ internet site ».

Guy, would you post the URL of the website giving access to this article published in the review "Le Sport Illustré".

Thanking you in advance,


Les F said...

Ok here is a little more ingo on the posting in a reply / comment window.
The answer is Yes we can now do this (again) but you have to click on the 'email' icon/button at the bottom of each page.(we used to click on the 'share' icon/button) However so far the only 'embed' code that appears is the sharing of the whole album like the slide shows we are used to) for now reposating just a single photo,even though you click on the 'email' icon at the bottom of each photo,it allows as mentioned posting of the whole album...Again I will update you all,when I get more info....Cheers ! HF&RV

Les F said...

..and another updatere: embed photos ,.turns out there is a little more work to do,.and it will be back to normal, I have to say that on this particular dealing with Multiply it has been better than MSN so far......
here's the latest from their service rep Jack,

delete reply servicejack wrote today at 2:21 PM Hi,

I apologize. I thought it was fixed already but it still is not ready. Hopefully, it should be available within the next few days. I'll let you know once it is.

- Jack
edit delete reply
lesf wrote today at 4:25 PM No worries,.sounds good to me....... thanks Cheers ! -Les
.....................................I will keep you all updated.....HF&RV -Les

Les F said...

I think the race track in question in Verdun was simply a flat oval racetrack,at least according to the photos: Especially due to the size that we are talking about for Verdun's outdoor track . Cheers ! HF&RV

Guy Billard said...

Here are the specifications of the Queen's Park vélodrome:

Length 1/3 mile.
width 22 ft
width at corners 28 ft
inclination 7 ft

The race track was built in 1898 and the World's Meet was held in 1899. Since it was made of wood with no roof, how could the wooden track withstand the rigors of rain and winter, was it protected with a tarpaulin. Although there was a dike to protect against the spring floods, water still managed to overflow on certain years. I have come to the conclusion that the track would not have lasted more than 2, 3 or maybe 4 years, not more, as there was a major food in 1904 that flooded all Verdun There remains many unanswered questions wich will require more research and I am counting on members to help me find the answers.

Guy Billard said...

Album No. 31: Queen's Park