in brief

Hibernating like bears


All winter long at Iberville Passenger Terminal on Alexandra Pier, we could see three ships snuggled up against each other like three brothers. These three merchant ships from the Algoma Central fleet wintered in Montreal before returning to service when spring arrived. The Algolake and the Algosoo resumed service in early April, while the Algoma Montréalais was scheduled to weigh anchor later. Algoma Central Corporation is Canada’s largest domestic ship operator in the Great Lakes. On January 15, it unveiled a new vessel, the M/V Algoma Equinox.

This winter, 23 vessels wintered in the Port of Montreal. They were mainly vessels belonging to Canadian shipping companies such as Transports Desgagnés, CSL and Algoma.

Canada-Europe trade agreement promises an upswing in traffic

On October 24, federal ministers Ed Fast (International Trade) and Steven Blaney (Public Security and Emergency Preparedness) held a press conference at the Port of Montreal. Subject: the signing of a new trade agreement between Canada and the European Union. It stands to reason that abolishing customs charges between European Union countries and Canada will result in increased product sales between these two markets and in turn, an increase in the delivery of these goods, the vast majority of which pass through the Port of Montreal. Read the press release



A mobile application

The Port of Montreal made the most of the 175th Gold-Headed Cane Awarding Ceremony held on January 3 to introduce its first mobile application. It sets users on a fun race through time to explore the history of the Port of Montreal and the tradition of the Gold-Headed Cane.  Information


 The Port innovates from the ground up

Land recovery work in the Viau sector, south of Notre-Dame Street at the end of Viau Street, was an opportunity for Port of Montreal engineers to apply a new method for the reuse of a material. The project: make the ground solid enough to hold up to four tiers of containers without buckling. First we dug up and extracted the various soils, which were too soft to support the containers. Then we mixed them with cement to form a thick, very solid but malleable paste that we spread and compacted on the bottom of the excavated ground. Had we opted to recuperate these soils, we would have had to eliminate them by sending them to a technical landfill site and then replace them with better quality soils. That would have entailed a lot of trucking. By sparing all those trips, we saved the equivalent of 170 tonnes of greenhouse gases.

Nominations at the Port

The retirement of Jean-Luc Bédard, Harbour Master and Vice-President, Operations at the Port of Montreal, gave rise to new appointments. Daniel Dagenais, formerly Director of Operations, was appointed Vice-President, Operations. In addition, Christian Demers was recruited as the incoming Harbour Master and is also stepping up as Director of Operations.

in a mariner's words


"Battre son plein"

“Usually at the end of March, the maple sugar season “bat son plein” – It’s in full swing.”


Originally, “plein” referred to high tide. When the tide reached its highest level, it was said that the sea “battait son plein”. The ebb and flow of waves pounding the shore were at the peak of their activity.

Now we use the expression to say that an event is at its peak. For example, when “la fête bat son plein” that means the party is in full swing.




How many container terminals does the Port of Montreal have?


Four: the Bickerdike, Racine, Maisonneuve and Cast terminals.

Bickerdike Terminal, located at the west end of port territory, receives container ships that provide service between Newfoundland and the mainland.

The other three terminals have an international vocation. They occupy land further to the east, between Dikson and Liebert streets. They welcome vessels from around the world: Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America.

In 2013, these terminals handled 11.9 million tonnes of goods transported in containers. Container transport is on the rise worldwide. Among its many benefits is the fact that these large boxes can be easily transshipped, or moved, from a ship to a truck or a train. They also ensure excellent conservation of the goods inside them; the containers are sealed and their temperature can be controlled when perishable products such as fruit are being shipped.

camera buffs

Logbook is proud to publish its readers’ photos. There are numerous ship enthusiasts in Montreal, and many of them handle camera equipment very well, too. You can spot them any time of day, and practically any time at night, on the lookout, waiting patiently for their target ship to show her best side. They seek that ray of sunshine that will make the water sparkle, or they count on heavy clouds to give the shot a dramatic effect.

To send us your photos : carnetdebord@port-montreal.com

The Oceanex Cabot. Photo by René Beauchamp


René Beauchamp

“I photographed my first ship in December 1966 between Christmas and New Year’s Day,” recalled René Beauchamp, a retired postal employee. The ship was the Helga Dan, owned by the Danish shipping line Lauritzen’s . “It was red.”

When he was a teenager, René Beauchamp enjoyed watching ships anchored at Longue-Pointe, which he could see from his house on Mercier Street, between Notre-Dame and Bellerive. On foggy days, the sound of their foghorn impressed him. “I started at Canada Post in December 1965, and for Christmas 1966 I bought myself a camera to photograph the ships.” He never stopped. It’s his passion. How many people do you know who, when asked where they live, reply “Between Cast and the petroleum docks”?


The AIDAbella. Photo by Édouard Painchaud

Édouard Painchaud

It was about 7:15 on the morning of October 2, and Édouard Painchaud was already at Iberville Passenger Terminal on Alexandra Pier, camera pointed east, his bike leaning against the fence beside him. Then, on this still morning before the sun was up, she arrived in all her splendour. The AIDAbella! She sailed under Jacques Cartier Bridge for the first time.

“In March, I check out the cruise ship schedule on the Port of Montreal website. I jot down the names of a few ships, I find their pictures on the web, and I write the date of their arrival on my calendar. On D-Day, I’m here,” explained Édouard Painchaud.

When he’s not snapping photos, he’s reproducing them. Fifteen years into his retirement, he found a hobby: making models. “I’ve made the  AIDAaura , and also the Titanic, because I wanted to see where she would have docked if she’d reached the Port of Montreal,” he stated. As a young boy growing up on the south s hore in Sainte-Angèle, opposite Trois-Rivières, “I saw the huge white Empress ships go by, bringing immigrants in the 50s!”