Saint-Lazare, also known as Saint-Lazare-de-Vaudreuil, is an off-island suburb of Montreal, in southwestern Quebec, Canada in the Regional County Municipality of Vaudreuil-Soulanges.
The first French-speaking colonists began settling in the 18th century on the land granted by the Lord who, at the time, owned Vaudreuil, Rigaud and Lotbinière. These three domains were subdivided in concessions. Among those of Vaudreuil were Côte St-Charles, Pointe Cavagnol and Côte St-Louis where Solomon Grout was the first to settle in 1812. The first settlers cultivated the land and traded their crops in exchange for the use of the land. Their harvests included oat, rye, buckwheat, corn, potatoes, peas, beans, tomatoes and hay. The majority of the first English-speaking immigrants arrived after the war of 1812. Most immigrants were from New-England, and those that were from England mainly came from Cumberland and Scotland. In 1875, residents living in the parish we now call Saint-Lazare, expressed their desire to create a distinct region. On December 29th, 1875, an act conferred the status of municipality to the territory of Saint-Lazare which, in 1876, took the name of the Corporation Municipale de la Paroisse de Saint-Lazare. The Lord’s tenure was also abolished. The residents of Saint-Lazare are named Lazarois and Lazaroise, not be confused with Lazarien and Lazariene from Saint-Lazare-de-Bellechasse.
According to stories carried word-of-mouth through the generations, businessmen were attracted to the area by the idea of exploiting iron mines along the Sainte-Angélique concession road. This first production and extraction of natural resources became an incentive for other merchants to settle in the area. Local businesses included three sawmills to handle tree cuttings and fulfill local construction needs. Horses were used to pull wagons carrying mineral extracts to be shipped off to the iron forges of the day, including that of St-Maurice. From agriculture to mines to mills, the beginning of its commercial activity in Saint-Lazare was almost entirely based on its natural resources.
Mother tongue language from Canada 2006 Census
|Both English and French||250||1.47%|
Saint-Lazare has experienced rapid growth since 1990, fueled predominantly by the arrival of young, middle-class families. New residents flocked to the area with the idea of escaping the hustle and bustle of life on the island of Montreal. Although Saint-Lazare residents are protective of their country lifestyle the area is not without its amenities. A trial bus service is currently in process of being tested to provide public transportation between Saint-Lazare and Saint-Anne-De-Bellevue on the island of Montreal, connecting the town's residents to the extensive public transit network of the greater Montreal area.
The distribution of wealth in Saint-Lazare ranges from lower middle class to upper middle class and the average income is significantly above the provincial average. Current population is unofficially around 17,000 inhabitants with further growth forecast as new developments are planned along Côte-St-Charles and further along St-Angelique. A new sports centre was opened to the public in 2006 along with a new senior elementary school, Forest Hill Senior. Several high schools in the surrounding area provide secondary education to the region's growing young population. These include two English language public high schools (Westwood Senior - formerly Hudson High School - and Westwood Junior), one French language public high school (Cité-des-Jeunes in Vaudreuil-Dorion), and a semi-private French-speaking institution in Rigaud (Collège-Bourget).
Saint-Lazare is graced by significant public funding for its ambitious recreational projects. Bedard Park in the centre of the town is a relatively large park equipped with a small water park, a grass field, three baseball diamonds, and tennis courts. In the winter two hockey rinks and an ice skating oval are added. The park hosts several events throughout the year, among the biggest of which is the annual St-Jean-de-Baptiste festival. Other parks in Saint-Lazare are scattered among the small subdivisions throughout the municipality.
History of the Town