Hamlet of LaPasse

 

The name LaPasse originates from “Lapasse des outardes” in reference to the passing of geese in their flights to and from the Northern and Southern areas. LaPasse was first known though as Gower Point since it was located on the eastern extremity of Gower Line (known now as the Gore Line) leading directly to the hamlet of Westmeath. It was during the 1830's that settlers journeyed up the St. Lawrence and Ottawa Rivers from Quebec City and Montreal inhabiting this area. The majority of settlers were French Canadians, but there were also some pioneers of Scottish and Irish descent. To nurture their strong Catholic faith, the first chapel to be built was a log building erected on the site of the present presbytery but fire later destroyed it. In 1886, a stone building was constructed which today still serves as Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish.
LaPasse is well known for its ferry that travelled from LaPasse to Fort Coulonge, Quebec, a distance of three miles. The first ferry used a horse-powered engine while in later years, a larger gas engine was used and a wooden scow. Arnel Laporte who operated the ferry from 1939 to 1961 used a steel scow that could carry six large cars at one time. During the winter months, an ice road was maintained across the Ottawa River which was used by farmers to take their produce such as hay, grain, potatoes and butter to the lumber camps or to be traded for other goods in the Quebec stores.

Nowadays, LaPasse’s population peaks during the summer months as cottagers and tourist descend on the hamlet and surrounding area to enjoy some leisure time spent boating, fishing and swimming on the Ottawa River