There was a time where the train was the most convenient way to travel and to carry goods. In the 19th century, Canada has seen many major rail infrastructure projects that were essential to facilitate protection and communication and to strengthen the sense of belonging of this emerging nation.
Eastern Ontario was no exception: several railroads crisscrossed the region, in places where today there is almost no trace left. In Bourget, a Franco-Ontarian agricultural village, there remains a vestige from this period that is clearly visible: the old railway station.
At the end of the 19th century, the Canadian Pacific built a rail line between Montreal and Ottawa, a rail line that ran from east to west in the Prescott & Russell Counties. In Bourget, a station was built, and it was then the most important boarding point for travelers who wanted to go to one or the other city.
It is said that the royal couple King George VI and his wife Elizabeth took the railway at the beginning of the Second World War, and that a large crowd gathered at the station of Bourget to greet the train and its illustrious passengers.
Operations on the Canadian Pacific Railway ceased in the 1980s. In the early 2000s, the old railway was developed into a sixty-kilometre recreational trail on which it is possible to cycle, walk, and ski. A beautiful place to enjoy the agricultural landscapes of the Prescott-Russell region!
The station is the only one to have survived on this former railway section. It is still in good condition (it was, until recently, the property of the former stationmaster). There are discussions to convert it into a museum, but nothing concrete yet.
By the way sports fans, know that Bourget is the home town of hockey player Stéphane Yelle.