Beaconsfield, Quebec Canada

Discover Beaconsfield, Quebec: A Prestigious Residential Community with Rich History

Beaconsfield, Quebec, a suburb on the Island of Montreal, is a part of the Greater Montreal region, locally known as the West Island. This prestigious residential community is located on the north shore of Lac Saint-Louis, bordered on the west by Baie-D'Urfé, north by Kirkland, and east by Pointe-Claire. Incorporated in 1910, Beaconsfield was named in honour of Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and close confidant of Queen Victoria. The city's historical roots go back as far as 1698. Over the decades, Beaconsfield has transformed from a summer cottage community to a year-round residential area, flourishing with a population of 19,277 as of the Canada 2021 Census.

The History of Beaconsfield, Quebec

In 1678, the Sulpician Order, who owned the Island of Montreal at the time, granted the first concession in this area to Jean Guenet, a main merchant of Ville-Marie and tax collector for the island's Seigneurs. Guenet named his concession, located at Pointe Beaurepaire or Thompson Point but now known as Pointe à Quenet, "Beau Repaire". Following the Great Peace of Montreal Treaty in 1701, permanent settlement began, leading to farming communities along Lake Saint-Louis.

In 1713, the Parish of St-Joachim de la Pointe Claire was created, which included the present territory of the cities of Beaconsfield, Kirkland, and Pointe-Claire. In 1855, the Grand Trunk Railway was built through the area, and the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880s. These brought summer residents from Montreal and the pioneer farming settlement began to transform into a summer cottage resort.

The name Beaconsfield is first attributed to John Henry Menzies who in 1870 bought a country estate then known as "Le Bocage" (originally built by Paul Urgèle Gabriel Valois in 1810). He renamed it in 1877 after Benjamin Disraeli, 1st Earl of Beaconsfield, who was his friend. In time, this name was also used for its train station (which opened in 1879), golf club (opened in 1902), and the Post Office (opened in 1904).

The City (Ville) of Beaconsfield was formed on June 30, 1910, when it split off from the Parish of Saint-Joachim de la Pointe-Claire. In the census of 1911, it had 375 persons, 60 families living in 60 houses. It grew slowly to 990 inhabitants by 1951. During the 1950s and 1960s, Beaconsfield rapidly developed as a residential suburb. By 1966, the last original farm concession began to be developed for residences.

On March 19, 1966, Beaconsfield changed statutes from Ville to Cité ("city"), but on September 18, 1982, this was reverted. As part of the 2002–2006 municipal reorganization of Montreal, Beaconsfield and neighbouring Baie-D'Urfé became the borough of Beaconsfield–Baie-D'Urfé and were merged into the city of Montreal. After a change of government, and the 2004 referendum, both Baie-D'Urfé and Beaconsfield voted to de-merge from Montreal. On January 1, 2006, they were reconstituted as independent municipalities. They still remain part of the urban agglomeration of Montreal.

In 2016, People For the Ethical Treatment of Animals certified Beaconsfield as a Compassionate City, due to its progressive and humane animal protection bylaws.

Demographics of Beaconsfield, Quebec

According to the Office québécois de la langue française, Beaconsfield has been officially recognized as a bilingual municipality since 2005-11-02. In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Beaconsfield had a population of 19,277 living in 6,753 of its 6,915 total private dwellings, a change of −0.2% from its 2016 population of 19,324. With a land area of 11.03 km2 (4.26 sq mi), it had a population density of 1,747.7/km2 (4,526.5/sq mi) in 2021.

Sports and Recreation in Beaconsfield, Quebec

Beaconsfield boasts a number of parks and athletic facilities. The Recreation Centre, an indoor recreation complex, features a full-sized ice rink, semi-Olympic pool, gymnasium, and youth centre. It is home to the Beaconsfield Bluefins, a competitive swim club that has trained athletes from beginner to national competition levels. It is also home to the Lakeshore Panthers, a Quebec minor hockey league, and the Beaconsfield Oldtimers Hockey Association.

Two private yacht clubs on municipal land, Beaconsfield Yacht Club and Lord Reading Yacht Club, offer sailing opportunities. A number of neighbourhood parks, playgrounds, and playing fields, including numerous soccer fields, outdoor ice rinks, and baseball fields, provide ample space for outdoor activities. Beaconsfield is part of the Lakeshore league, which has sports teams that include hockey, baseball, soccer, football, and tennis.

The Beaconsfield Rugby Football Club is a member of the Fédération de Rugby du Québec (FRQ). Four community pools offer swim lessons and public swimming. The West Island Heritage Bicycle Trail and Elm Ave Bike Path provide excellent cycling routes, and a skate park is located at the Beaconsfield Recreation Centre.

Parks and Open Spaces in Beaconsfield, Quebec

Beaconsfield is home to several parks and open spaces, including the Beaconsfield Dog Park near Angell Woods, a large old growth forest. Christmas Park offers baseball, tennis, and basketball during the summer and a hockey rink in the winter. Windermere Park features soccer, baseball, tennis, and basketball during the summer and a skating rink in the winter. Centennial Beach is dog-friendly, and Centennial Park, Mouse Park, Saint James Park, Drummond, and Beacon Hill Park offer various recreational activities.

Local Landmarks in Beaconsfield, Quebec

Village Beaurepaire, a commercial development in the heart of Beaconsfield, began in 1925 with the opening of a general store by Sidney Cunningham, the first president of the Beaconsfield Citizen's Association. It is home to local bakeries, pubs, Marche Beaurepaire (a weekly farmers market), and shops.

The historic cultural centre, Centennial Hall, hosts exhibitions and concerts. La Palette Art Gallery & Art School offers art classes and exhibitions. The Beaconsfield Library, established in 1951, has an extensive digital and print collection and excellent reference services. Heroes Park honours those who served.

Houses of Worship in Beaconsfield, Quebec

Beaconsfield is home to several houses of worship, including Briarwood Presbyterian Church, Beaconsfield United Church, St. Edmund of Canterbury Church, Christ Church Beaurepaire, Holy Trinity Ghanian Methodist Church, and Inglesia Ni Cristo.

Transportation in Beaconsfield, Quebec

Beaconsfield is served by the Réseau de transport métropolitain (RTM) train system, with two stations, Beaconsfield and Beaurepaire, on the Vaudreuil-Hudson line which ends in downtown Montreal. The city is also served by Société de transport de Montréal (STM) bus lines 200, 201, 211, 217, 221, 354, 361, 382, 401, 405, 411, and 425.

Beaconsfield is also served directly by one major highway, Highway 20 (Autoroute 20) with two exits in Beaconsfield, exit 45 at Avenue Woodland, and exit 48 at Boulevard St-Charles. Access to Beaconsfield is also possible from the Highway 40 (Autoroute 40), exit Boulevard St-Charles - south (Sud).