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Visiting Alexandria, Ontario: With its Main Street Dominated by a Conspicuous Spire

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Provincial flag of Ontario

Provincial flag of Ontario

Alexandria (North Glengarry Township), Ontario, Canada

Alexandria (North Glengarry Township), Ontario, Canada

On a hill and higher

[NB: Among the many notable buildings which are the subject of these hubpages, these may include religious buildings, described as churches, etc.; these descriptions centre on the buildings' architectural and historical interest.]

At Main Street, at Alexandria, North Glengarry Township, Ontario, the built environment is dominated by a highly conspicuous spire. The spire belongs to the Paroisse de Sacré-Coeur building, founded in 1910.

Other features of the building at 225 Main Street South include strongly neo-Gothic characteristics such as pointed window arches, pinnacles and flying buttresses. A corner property, its main entrance is at the Main Street elevation.

Other church spires which significantly affect Alexandria skyline include those at St. Finnan's Cathedral at 70 St Paul Street and at Alexandria United Church, at 36 Kincardine Street East.

It is probably fair to say that, while St Finnan's Cathedral is a larger building, the fact that the Paroisse de Sacré-Coeur church building is on Main Street and being near the top of a hill makes its spire the most conspicuous one, that many visitors to Alexandria will likely see first.

Interestingly, Alexandria was formerly known as Priest's Mills. Whereas the former name was identifiable as Anglophone, it is perhaps noteworthy to think also that the current name is not visibly identified exclusively with either the Anglophone or Francophone communities (1).

Alexandria, in North Glengarry, is located in Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry United Counties, Ontario. Locally at Alexandria, the population is about 50% Francophone. (I have supplied a picture, below, of the Franco-Ontarian flag.) While the authorities like to publicize that the local area is "where Ontario began" — which is indeed the case, with the original influx of United Empire Loyalists at the time of the American Revolution — yet some localities such as Alexandria are a reminder also the area is also traditionally part of French Canada. When one realizes this, it is evident that eastern Ontario is thus a fascinating blend of historical and cultural influences.

January 8, 2021

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(1) There is also Alexandria Bay on the not too distant St. Lawrence River, although this locality is in Upstate New York.

Some sourcing: Wikipedia

Franco-Ontarian Flag ; Government of Ontario, Office of Francophone Affairs

Franco-Ontarian Flag ; Government of Ontario, Office of Francophone Affairs

Also worth seeing

At Alexandria itself, Mill Pond Park is a popular area for fishing and recreation; in winter, a Polar Bear Dip is usually organized (see:

St Raphael's Church Ruins (distance: approx. 14 kilometres); the ruins of this former church building are a National Historic Site of Canada and a visitor attraction; they date from 1821. (See: )


How to get there: Alexandria lies on Ontario County Road 34, between Highways 401 and 417. Air Canada flies to Montreal (Aéroport international Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau de Montréal; distance from Alexandria: 89 kilometres) from Toronto-Pearson, and from New York-Newark and New York-La Guardia, with wide connections. A number of car rental companies offer service at Montreal-Trudeau airport. Air Canada flies from various North American destinations to Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport / Aéroport international Macdonald-Cartier d'Ottawa (distance from Alexandria: 103.2 kilometres); car rental is available. Please note that some facilities may be withdrawn, without notice. For up to date information, please check with the airline or your travel agent.

MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.

 Map location of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry United Counties, Ontario

Map location of Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry United Counties, Ontario

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