Originally located at the end of the Baie d'Urfé (known today as Pointe Caron), the parish dates back to around 1663. When Monseigneur de Laval went to the top of the island along with Father Berny, pastor of Lachine and Father Dollier de Casson, vicar general, to mark the boundaries of the Saint-Louis Mission, it included back then the entire area from the tip of the island to Pointe-Claire, Île Perrot, Soulanges, Vaudreuil, and Île aux Tourtes. This mission was led by l'Abbé François d'Urfé (a neighboring municipality was named after him).
The canonical erection took place on September 20, 1685 under the name of Saint-Louis-du-Bout-de-l'Île. In the period from 1672-1680, Louis XIV, king of France, ordered this part of the island to be divided up into fiefdoms, one of which was offered to a settler and was given the name of the Bellevue fief. It is in his memory that the parish took the name of Bellevue.
As for the name of Sainte-Anne, it was given to the city in light of circumstances well worth mentioning. In the early part of its history, due to the incessant threats from the Iroquois, the mission was forced to withdraw. The Abbé d'Urfé, transferred his registers to Lachine; the mission itself was transported to the top of the rapids, next to the forts of Senneville and l'Île aux Tourtes. It is there in a humble chapel that l'Abbé de Breslay continued the work of his predecessor (Abbé d'Urfé): the missionary apostolate. The number of Iroquois that came to settle near the forts kept growing, and soon the chapel became too small.
A miraculous event helped remedy this situation: Around 1712, l'Abbé de Breslay, who was returning home from a nightly visit to some sick persons, was stuck in a terrible snow storm. His horse got lost, bolted and finally threw him onto the ice. He had fractured a leg in the fall, and realized that there was no human help in sight. He then vowed to erect a chapel dedicated to Sainte-Anne if he made it out of this misfortune. Not far from the bank, soon rose the first church known as Sainte-Anne.
The municipality of the Village of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue was established on April 18, 1818, and was then incorporated into a city on January 12, 1895 by virtue of Act 58 Victoria Chapter 56. In 1911, a part of the territory was detached from it to become the city of Baie d'Urfé.
During the modern-days, the transformation of this north-western part of the island was greatly accelerated by the establishment of an agricultural school: The Macdonald College (affiliated to the McGill University). This rural institution was established in 1907 and, of course, continues to this day.
Subsequently (in 1917), the Federal Government had a hospital built that would treat the veterans of the two world wars. The Garden City Press, which prints important trade journals, settled here in 1919. As for the bridge (for cars and pedestrians), its construction dates back to 1924.
The Little Story of the Canal
The first canal and the first lock were dug between 1840 and 1843. The Government pier, at the bottom of Saint-Pierre Street, was built around 1850 and used by both passenger and cargo boats. The current canal and lock were built between 1875 and 1882, parallel to the old ones, with new docks where citizens could secure their boats. Among the passenger boats that stopped over in Sainte-Anne, were the Old Field before 1860, the Prince of Wales between 1860 and 1869, the Sovereign after 1889 and the Empress until 1935. Today, sailors from almost all corners of the province and the U.S. visit us each summer then travel buoyantly through those beautiful locks that are our pride and joy.