Victoria Avenue

A gathering place in the heart of the city

For decades, Victoria Avenue has formed the heart of the village and the commercial hub of Saint-Lambert, a place where people gather. Here is what it looked like in the old days.

Hubert Brault tells us about Victoria Street, the activities that took place there and its atmosphere
Excerpts from an interview, December 6, 2016

The following text consists of excerpts retranscribed from an interview with Hubert Brault, a longtime Saint-Lambert resident who was born here in the 1930s. Some sentences have been reworded for easier reading. Read about and form a picture of Saint-Lambert in the old days, as if you were there in person!

“Around Saint-Lambert were land and fields. In Saint-Lambert, we had Victoria Street. That’s where you found all sorts of stores, starting from Desaulniers Boulevard and going as far as the railway tracks. It met everyone’s needs! People from neighbouring areas would come to Saint-Lambert because they had access to all the services. There were shoemakers, grocery stories, beauty salons and barber shops, professionals’ offices, banks, drugstores, movie houses for leisure time and even record stores. There was also the Dollorama of the time, which we used to call the five-and-dime store. You could buy anything there – thread, needles, pencils, all the little comforts – for just 5, 10 or 15 cents. Then there was the big general department store, Taylor’s, which was the centre, the real heartbeat of Saint-Lambert. You could find everything at Taylor’s. It was the commercial hub, the shopping mall of the time.

There were two movie houses in Saint-Lambert, the Victoria and the Astor. The Victoria had its own ticket wicket right on the street. Above the Victoria, there was the billiards hall, and on the third floor, the bowling alley.

We always used to say we were going to the Village when we were heading to Victoria Street. For me, the village spirit is still there, with its small neighbourhood shops and businesses.”

You can listen to the complete interview (in French) on our YouTube channel.