Rivière des Prairies
|Rivière des Prairies|
Aerial view of Rivière des Prairies with Louis Bisson Bridge in the foreground.
|Origin||Lake of Two Mountains|
|Mouth||Saint Lawrence River|
|Location||Montreal and Laval, Quebec|
The Rivière des Prairies (literally River of the Prairies, sometimes called the The Back River in English) is a delta channel of the Ottawa River in southwestern Quebec, Canada. The Amerindians who originally inhabited the Island of Montreal called it Skowanoti, meaning “River behind the island”.
Flowing west to east, the Rivière des Prairies bisects the Hochelaga Archipelago and originates in the Lake of Two Mountains. It flows on either side of Île Bizard (part of Montreal), it then divides the Island of Montreal (Montreal) to the south from Île Jésus (Laval) to the north, after which it flows into the St. Lawrence River at the eastern tip of the Island of Montreal.
The river contains a large number of islands, including Île Bizard, the Îles Laval (Île Bigras, Île Pariseau, Île Verte and Île Ronde) belonging to Laval, and Île de la Visitation, a nature park belonging to Montreal. There is also Île Lapierre, Île Boutin, Île Rochon and Île Gagné.
The Rivière des Prairies has many rapids. Rapids are shown in several places on the 1879 map of Henry Whitmersome Hopkins, and on Gordon and Gotch's map of the Island of Montreal from 1924. Named rapids of the river, starting from the west are the "Rapides de Cap-Saint-Jacques",  the Lalemant(Dutchman) Rapids that are located between Île Bizard and Laval (with a ferry), the "Rapides du Cheval Blanc"(Whitehorse rapids) that are located in between the borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro and Sainte-Dorothée,  the Laval rapids, the "Sault-au-Récollet Rapids" that are located north of Bordeaux Prison, and ending with the "Rapides de la Rivière des Prairies".
The river has received massive discharges of untreated liquid waste from metropolitan Montreal and the newly developed suburbs. Turning the river into essentially an open sewer, however, ecological intervention and modern sewage treatment techniques have reversed much of the damage.  The river is now considered clean, and since 1998, most sewage is treated. However, parts of the river are still not suitable for swimming. Specifically the RDP 140, Rive Rive-Boisée area is still polluted from raw sewage . The Rive-Boisée problem has been noticed and is reported to be repaired in 2014.
From Bing maps, several locations on the shoreline can be seen that deposit untreated city water into the river. The solution to the visible pollution that accumulates on the shoreline is to use a type of a screen at outlets that expel the rainwater-garbage mixture into the river.
- List of bridges spanning the Rivière des Prairies
- List of crossings of the Rivière des Prairies
- List of hydroelectric stations
- List of Quebec rivers
- Beauregard, Ludger (1968). Toponymie de la région métropolitaine de Montréal. Ministry of Lands and Forests of Quebec. p. 19. OCLC 5935170.
- "the Island of Montreal". Gordon and Gotch's map of the Island of Montreal compiled and drawn by Albert E. Dumont c1924 (9-10-11, H-J) "Back River" is written. Library and Archives Canada.
- "Atlas of the city and island of Montreal". Titre : Atlas of the city and island of Montreal "Back River" is written. Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec 1879.
- "Montreal Island and Vicinity: Goad, Chas. E, (Charles Edward)". Titre : Montreal Island and Vicinity "Back River" is written. Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec 1907.
- "History — Neighbourhood Sault-au-Récollet". NEIGHBOURHOODS AND SITES. Heritage Montreal. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
- Commission de toponymie Québec Rapides de Cap-Saint-Jacques
- Dutchman rapids
- Map of Rapides Lalemant, Quebec , Rapids - Canada Geographical Names with Maps
- Les rapides du Cheval Blanc 1968-12-05
- Map of Rapides du Sault au Récollet, Quebec , Rapids - Canada Geographical Names with Maps
- Map of Rapides de la Rivière des Prairies, Quebec , Rapids - Canada Geographical Names with Maps
- "...local shoreline brought thousands of people out from Montreal to the commercial beaches out in the west ward.". The North Shore News Editorial. July 16, 1970.
- "Map of Pierrefonds(1998)". Map. Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec Beach/Plage Crystal, Noel and Riviera.
- ""Experts Report on Back River" The Montreal Gazette August 16, 1911". The Montreal Gazette. 1911.
- ""Back River Ice Safe" The Montreal Gazette, March 29, 1944". The Montreal Gazette. 1944.
- "O rivières de chou nous!". Editorial cartoon. 1945.
- "Roxboro residents warned: don’t swim in the Back River". The Montreal Gazette. August 15, 1968.
- "Swimming in Sewage". The Montreal Gazette. August 30, 1973.
- "Pierrefonds Pondering ($20,300) Sewage Judgement". The North Shore News. May 16, 1974.
- "The Dirtiest Water in North America". The Montreal Gazette. July 5, 1980.
- "Project Archipel: Is it a boon or boondoggle? "Riviere des Prairies should be clean enough for swimming by 1987" Andre Desroches. : Water Quality". The Montreal Gazette. June 21, 1982.
- The Montreal Gazette "2.95 billion litres dumped daily" March 29, 1984
- A History of Problems Under Montreal
- "Raw sewage flowing into river from Pierrefonds". Max Harrold : The Montreal Gazette. July 2, 2009.
- "Sewage still pouring into river". Max Harrold : The Montreal Gazette. July 15, 2010.
- "Kirkland ups compensation for crossed pipes". By ALBERT KRAMBERGER : The Montreal Gazette. July 11, 2012.
- "Sewage washing up on eastern Montreal shores". CBC News. July 25, 2012.
- Le Réseau de suivi du milieu aquatique (RSMA). "Suivi de la qualité bactériologique des cours d'eau à Montréal". Réseau de suivi du milieu aquatique (RSMA). Retrieved 2012.
- Title "Pierrefonds tackles 133 cases of cross-connected pipes" Montreal Gazette, Cheryl Cornacchia, November 19, 2013
- Agence de développement de réseaux locaux de services de santé et de services sociaux de Montréal (Québec). Health Care, in Your Neighbourhood. Health and Social Service Resources in the CLSC Rivière-des-Prairies District. Montreal: Agence de développement de réseaux locaux de services de santé et de services sociaux, Montreal, 2004.
- Canada. Bill An Act to Remove Certain Obstructions to the Navigation of the Rivière des Prairies, and to Repeal Certain Clauses of the Acts 10th and 11th Victoria, Cap. 97 and 98. Quebec: Thompson, 2003. ISBN 0-659-02570-1 (1860 Bibliographic record)
- Sylvie Paré. Impacts of Ethnic Changes on the Housing Market in the Rivière-des-Prairies District of Montreal. [Ottawa]: CMHC, 2006.
- Rybczynski, Witold, Avi Friedman, and Brenda Baxter. Urban Design for Affordability = Urbanisme Et Conception De Maisons Abordables, Rivière-des-Prairies. Montreal: Affordable Homes Program, School of Architecture, McGill University, 1991.
- Verdon, R., and M. Gendron. 1991. "Creation of Artificial Spawning Grounds Downstream of the Rivière-des-Prairies Spillway". Transactions — Canadian Electrical Association. Engineering and Operation Division. 30.
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