Coaster Enthusiasts of Canada

Closed Canadian Parks




Queen's Park
(1890's ? 1901? - 1934 ?)

    This park was situated on Lake Deschenes through which The Ottawa River flows. The area is now part of Gatineau. It was created by The Hull Electric Tramway, which by 1901, had run a line from the Chateau Laurier Terminal to the park. Thus, this was another "trolley" park - one used to garner additional business for a rail company on weekends and after hours.

    There was a large picnic area amongst cedar and pine trees on rolling terrain. Nearby were several lodgings including Hotel Victoria. It offered tennis, golf, and other recreations. Since Ottawa was just across the river, many Members of Parliament would spend their free time here with their families, and of course, they frequented Queen's Park. The hotel was lost in a 1915 fire.

    For park amusements, there were band concerts, boating, a carousel, laughing gallery (funhouse with mirrors, etc), motion picture theater (a novelty then), The "Mystic Moorish Maze" (with 124 doors!), roller skating, scenic railway, "Shoot-the-Chutes", swimming, and at least one refreshment stand. One animal show consisted of a bear that climbed a 6-meter pole inside an enclosure and then performed various antics.

    The "Shoot-the-Chutes" ride was a unique layout but the park's competitor, Victoria Park in Nepean, also had this same ride. It consisted of a long incline which did not enter any building at the top. Instead it made a long graceful, open-air curve back toward the lagoon whereupon it entered the drop. Near the bottom of the descent, the angle increased just before splashdown.

    Although not visible in the Queen's Park brochure picture, a postcard (reproduced below) from Victoria Park shows that next to the ride was a water tower. Visible in both images, is a building within the ride layout. Presumably, this housed the pumping station which provided water for the tower and power to lift the boats up the incline. The tower then in turn likely dispensed water to float the boats through the turn-around at the top of the lift and then as lubrication for the drop.

    What is odd is that this same view is seen on a Queen's Park brochure. It is doubtful that a competitor would allow such a thing, and so perhaps both parks had the same owners by the time this ride went in. A hand-tinted version of this postcard is in the Victoria Park article.

(Image: `Shoot-the-Chutes') Victoria Park
circa 1908

Shown is The "Shoot-the-Chutes". This shot is from Victoria Park but apparently Queen's Park had the same ride.

    There was a ferry service that would take passengers from the pier to other recreation spots and also gave moonlight cruises. Boats were The "Britannia" and "G.B. Green". Speaking of which, there was an accident involving the "Green". On July 6, 1911 there were so many passengers waiting for the boat that the dock became overloaded and it broke, sending about 50 persons into the water. There is no word on injuries or deaths - if any.

    In 1902 the Hull Electric Railway was bought by Canadian Pacific.

    I have no information from that time period until 1925 when Hull Electric discontinued through service to Queen's Park. This may suggest the park was in decline. Patrons had to board another car at Alymer to reach the park. Another possible hint of decline is that Canadian Pacific sold the Hull line to The Canadian International Paper Company in 1927. Although other reasons may have been at play, it seems likely that if the line were doing really well, CP would have held on to it.

    This company too, must have found it tough going because Greg Graham of Alymer, Ontario volunteered that the last streetcar ran to the park on September 2, 1934. Service was completely abandoned on June 15, 1935 between Notre Dame Street and Aylmer/Queen's Park.

    Queen's had been in further decline for some years after The Depression and apparently it suffered from Britannia Park competition. Closure most likely came after the discontinuation of tram service in 1934. (See Britannia Park.)

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