|Route Île Saint-Ours Range, PQ|
Description: In the summer of 1903, work on the improvement and widening of the thirty-foot ship channel between Lanoraie and Île Bouchard, known as Contrecoeur Channel, was completed. During the fiscal year ended June 30, 1903, the dredge Lady Aberdeen spent 192 days removing 982,750 cubic yards of material at Contrecoeur Bend, St. Ours Traverse, and Petite Traverse, while the dredge Lady Minto spent 190 days removing 643,600 cubic yards of material at Petite Traverse and Contrecoeur Traverse. After this work, the shipping channel had a depth of at least thirty feet at extreme low water and a minimum width of 450 feet.
The nearly seven-mile-long Contrecoeur Channel includes four straight sections, 12,800-foot-long St. Ours Traverse, 5,500-foot-long Petite Traverse, 10,200-foot-long Contrecoeur Course, and Contrecoeur Traverse, which are joined by gentle curves or bends.
The front towers and rear towers used on the three ranges were similar. The front towers consisted of thirty-three-foot-tall, square, wooden, structures, with sloping sides and surmounted by a square lantern room, while the rear towers were square, steel, skeletal structures topped by an enclosed watchroom and a square, wooden lantern room. White slatwork was mounted on the side of the rear tower facing the range line for improved visibility during the day.
The following description of St. Ours Traverse Range was published shortly after the lights were placed in operation to mark the axis of the cut in the improved ship channel known as St. Ours Traverse:
Two range light towers were erected and put in operation on the 27th October, 1903. They show fixed white catoptric lights, visible only in the line of range. They mark the tangent previously marked by day beacons, but 75 feet westward of and parallel to them.
J.B. Laporte was hired as the first keeper of St. Ours Traverse Front Range Light at an annual salary of $125, while Jos. Duchrane received $100 per year to look after the companion rear light.
In 1928, a new front light was built at a new location roughly 2,500 feet south of the original site of the front light. This new structure was described as an aluminum-coloured, square, wooden building with a red roof that displayed the light at a height of forty-three feet above the river. The existing rear tower was relocated to a new site, where it stood 2,700 feet from the front light, but the bearing marked by the range was still 181°. For several years before its relocation, the range had been called Île St. Ours Channel (Île Saint-Ours Course).
The range is known today as Route Île Saint-Ours, and square, skeleton towers are used at both the front and rear location to display fixed green lights.
Located alongside QC-132 east of Île aux Boeufs. The range lights are owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. Grounds/towers closed.
The range lights are owned by the Canadian Coast Guard. Grounds/towers closed.
Pictures on this page copyright Michael Boucher, used by permission.