BELMONT PARK LIVES ON!
Relive the atmosphere that animated the largest of the small amusement parks of Montréal from July 8 to 9, 2017. A big fair in the spirit of that bygone era will be held on the same site where the old BelmontPark used to be, at the aptly named BelmontPark in Ahuntsic-Cartierville.
Other activities will take place until August 18. Take a look at our program.
For this occasion as well, we pulled pictures from our archives showing what Belmont park was like, a great opportunity for those who remember it to recall their own sweet memories or to tell some to those too young to have known it.
The turret gates of BELMONT park
Between 1931 and 1963, visitors had to go through these two towering turret gates to get into Belmont Park. The entrance was designed by Edgar Prairie (1882-1933), a famous architect who also drew the plans for the Sainte-Cecile church in Villeray and several other buildings throughout Québec including Bordeaux prison! There is even a street named after him in the Pointe-aux-Trembles borough.
BELMONT park’s heyday
This photo, taken in 1947, shows us BelmontPark at the height of its glory. The Great Depression was over, the Second World War had ended and tides of baby-boom generation children were preparing to swarm the place. Mechanical rides now took up the whole park. In this photo, we can see the Ferris wheel (at the back) and the Flying Scooters.
BELMONT park at night
In this wacky picture from 1939, the photographer no doubt wanted to capture the drunken dizziness that passengers feel on the merry-go-round, dazzled by the thousands of lights that illuminated the Belmont Park once night had fallen.
…and here is another night scene, taken in 1980.
This ride, added in 1936, called the Cartierville Marina was a nautical version of the ever-popular bumper cars. Twenty little two-seat Scoota-Boats bumped around in a fake pool powered by a pole that would rub against an electrified ceiling.
Very few people remember, but between 1935 and 1938, an "island of monkeys" was moved to Belmont Park. According to the advertisement there were "100 monkeys roaming around just like in their natural habitat." This was certainly an exaggerated number, since there were really just forty little macaques. The island was torn down once its occupants had escaped to the four corners of Cartierville. Managers of the park even offered a reward to anyone who brought back a live monkey.
Death defying acrobats
Belmont Park was not only renowned for its rides; visitors also came to attend free daredevil, acrobatic and high-flying shows presented several times a week. Our photo shows Miss Victory, in 1944, a few minutes before becoming a live cannonball.
Wrestling match evenings
For years, Belmont Park would host wrestling matches on Friday nights, which attracted large crowds. This poster from 1958 shows the stars of the time: Larry Moquin, Yvon Robert and Don Leo Jonathan, nicknamed "The Mormon giant."
the CYCLON, a CLASSIc
The main attraction of Belmont Park was the majestic wooden roller coaster called the Cyclon (or the Scenic). It took riders to the treetops of the park and was used from its opening in 1923 to its closing in 1983.
A MASCOT called BELMONDO
In 1981, Belmont Park even started to have its official mascot. Called Belmondo after a naming contest, the pink and fluffy cotton candy-inspired character unfortunately didn’t have time leave a lasting impression. In 1983, Belmont Park, aging and less profitable than before, closed its doors.