Coaster Enthusiasts of Canada

Closed Canadian Parks




Parc King Edward Park
(1909 ? 1910 - 1928)

    This park was located on an island called "Isle Grosbois" (Island of Big Trees) in The St. Lawrence River opposite Boucherville. It consisted of a horse race track, zoo, picnic grove, dance hall, theater, and restaurants. An amusement area had rides, games, and live entertainment in the form of circus acrobats. Being on an island, transport was by ferry, but an airfield also came to be available.

An Aerial Photo of the Park

(Image: Aerial Photo of the Island)

The island is very evident in this image. The water at the bottom is The St. Lawrence River. The channel to the left is called "La Passe".
At Bottom Center is the ferry dock. The path leading up from it goes to the solitary structure which housed the carousel. To the right is the race track, and its grandstand and horse stables; while the roller coaster and other amusements are to the left. Note the `L' shape of the coaster layout.

    Tim Covell of Ottawa, Ontario submitted that the coaster was called "Racing Dips". It was designed by T.M. Harton and opened in 1911. The "Dips" was claimed to be the tallest roller coaster at that time, but no height figure has surfaced. However, the second photo below shows that it was exceptionally high for a coaster of that era.

Racing Dips

(Image: Side View of the Roller Coaster)

This very foggy photo shows the general layout of the roller coaster. Note the double-down on the middle drop. The lower-height, humped track in front of the big hills is the return leg of the ride.

A closer view of the ride shows the lift and first drop. The trains appear to be 2 cars X 3 rows X 2 persons for a total of 12 passengers.

Racing Dips
Circa 1911

(Image: View of the Coaster Lift and First Drop)
(McCord Museum: MP-1994.9.55)

    As at Scarboro Beach Amusement Park, aviation played an early part in King Edward's attractions: A July 30, 1910 Le Devoir newspaper ad proclaimed:


           The famous "Scarabee" and The Bleriot #9 are now on
        exhibition at the Park and test flights will be held on
        Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting.

           Don't miss this occasion to see these famous monoplanes,
        no additional charge, but the ordinary rates of 20 cents
        roundtrip and 10 cents for children.

           The boats leave the wharf at the corner of Notre-Dame
        Street East and King Edward Avenue, every 40-min. from
        9 a.m.
           Don't miss seeing the Zoo and the audacious Princess

    Marc Cantin of Quebec, had a great grandfather, Narcisse Cantin. He was Secretary/Treasurer of King Edward Park and had a son Napoleon Arthur Cantin. Napoleon operated a "Virginia Reel" there from 1910 until about 1914.

Here is the carousel building. It is not known from what company the carousel came nor where it went after the park's closure.

Carousel Building

(Image: The Carousel Building)
(Charles DesMarteaux Photograph Collection)

    Steve Proulx of Montreal sent the text of a French-language advertisement from the La Presse newspaper published on June 28th, 1924. It translates to:

           Enjoy the province's most beautiful place for picnicking
        and riding on the river. Various amusements, dancing, and
        an orchestra of the first order. Sunday June 20th and
        Confederation Day, July 1st. The steamships Imperial and
        Boucherville will leave from Pie IX Avenue and Maisonneuve
        each hour from 9 AM until 8 PM.
                    Adults: 50 cents. Children: 25 cents

    As you can see, the ferry rates had more than doubled from the 1910 fares.

The Park's Mainland Ferry Terminal

(Image: Ferry and Dock)
A ferry awaits the next load at the Montreal dock.

    As with many Canadian amusement parks of that era, King Edward had a photo concession. Similarily to Dominion Park, there was a studio with a set on which patrons stood or sat, with a suitable backdrop behind. This park had a biplane set and the resulting photos taken on it appeared as shown below.

Park Photo Studio
Circa 1915

(Image: Four Men pose on an Airplane Set)

Notice that the plane's landing gear wheel on your right is misaligned.  (-:  The backdrop shows the Montreal ferry dock below with the plane apparently having just flown over it. The final print is done in sepiatone, as was common then.

    In 1928, a pier collapsed causing the deaths of some people. That incident, plus the likely competition of parks closer to Montreal's main population such as Dominion Park and Belmont Park, saw the owners not run for the 1929 season. It was never to reopen. Much of the equipment, along with many rides, was bought by Belmont. Today, it is a Quebec provincial park: Parc Quebecois des Isles-de-Boucherville.

    Special thanks goes to Steve Kotai of Brossard, Quebec for additional information and for photos of the park.

    Merci to Gérard Laperrière of Ste-Marcelline-de-Kildare, Québec for the photo studio picture. His grandfather, Emile Gosselin (1876-1950) appears in the photo seated on your left in the back row.

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