The Shipyard of Saint-Laurent
History of the Shipyard
In 1908, Philéas Fillion bought land in Saint-Laurent-de-l’Île-d’Orléans to maintain and repair boats. His son Ovide then started the Saint-Laurent dry dock there, which in 1911 became the Chantier maritime (Shipyard) de Saint-Laurent I.O. Ltd. Ovide Fillion thus continued the work of his father Philéas, who died in 1909. Over the years, several members of the Fillion family became involved in the administration of the business. The Shipyard, at its peak, was one of the largest shipyards with more than a hundred workers at one time. The remains of this industrial activity, still present on the site of the current maritime Park, reveal the extent of this project managed for six decades by the same family, the Fillions. The Shipyard of Saint-Laurent was the most important industry on Île d’Orléans. Shipbuilding activities took place from 1908 to 1967.
The construction, repair and wintering of schooners were its main activities. First known for its sailing ships, the Shipyard added over the years the construction of schooners. Different types of mechanically propelled ships, made of wood or steel, have been developed there. The Shipyard was also renowned for the manufacture of its machined parts: tanks, propellers, winches, etc. With the development of the road network in Quebec, trucking gradually replaced maritime transport and gradually put an end to the use of small coasters. Due to a lack of requests and contracts, the Shipyard closed its doors in 1967. Between 1967 and 1995, the year the Foundation of the maritime Park was created, the Shipyard remained a wasteland and a memory for the inhabitants of Saint-Laurent. Since 1995, the Foundation has been responsible for the management of the site, its interpretation and the conservation of the maritime heritage of Saint-Laurent and Île d’Orléans.
The interpretation of the Shipyard
You can visit the Forest of rails and its interpretation trail as well as our interpretation center with models showing the Shipyard at its peak. You can also take advantage of the guided or audio-guided visit.