Athabasca Landing Trail Attractions




Lamoureux is a hamlet in central Alberta, Canada within Sturgeon County.[1] It is located 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) northeast of Edmonton's city limits on the northern shore of the North Saskatchewan River, opposite the City of Fort Saskatchewan.


The pastoral community of Lamoureux was first settled by Joseph and Francois Lamoureux in 1872. Originally from the Montreal area, the brothers heard of the 'valley of the Saskatchewan' while searching for gold in the Cariboo region of British Columbia. Soon after their arrival they began farming and lumbering, later rafting the lumber with their steamboat 'Minnow'. Other settlers followed and the district developed with the impressive Saskatchewan Hotel being the social centre. However the NWMP barracks built on the south side of the river (now Fort Saskatchewan) in 1875 attracted the main settlement in the area and the great future for 'Saskatchewan City' never became a reality.


Transportation between Lamoureux and Fort Saskatchewan was initially provided by the Lamoureux brothers. At first they took travellers across the river in a small boat, but by 1882 plans were underway for a cable and regular ferry which they operated until 1897. The one-way fee of 50 cents for a person and team was considered costly, and in 1903, the village of Fort Saskatchewan authorities began the operating the service charging "a low rate of toll." The ferry continued in operation through the 1906 season - 24 hours a day in the last two years.

The Lamoureux brothers were active in other enterprises as well including a lumber mill, gristmill and freighting. The first store and hotel on the site were built and operated by Philip Heiminck.

The Lamoureux brothers donated land for the construction of Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in 1876; Bishop Grandin officiated at the blessing of the church in 1880. A new church was built in 1901 and remains in active operation. The site includes the church, rectory, parish hall and grotto. A church bell, weighing 10,000 pounds, was added in 1927 and a new electric organ in 1967.


Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church (1901) – This historic church is still in active operation, serving the people in and near Lamoureux. The site includes the church, rectory, parish hall and grotto. A church bell, weighing 1,000 pounds, was added in 1927 and a new electric organ in 1967.


Fort Augustus/Fort Edmonton (1901) – A commemorative plaque is found along the Athabasca Landing Trail, beside the east side of the road north of Lamoureux. It marks the building of both Fort Augustus and Fort Edmonton (1795–1801), and is considered both a provincial and national historic site.

The origin of these forts began in the late 18th century when the Hudson's Bay Company was in fierce competition with the North West Company for the trade of animal furs in Rupert's Land. As one company established a fur trading post, the other would counter by building another post in close proximity. Expansion down the Saskatchewan River began in the 1790s. In the summer of 1795, the North West Company constructed Fort Augustus near the present-day city of Fort Saskatchewan by the North Saskatchewan River. In the following autumn, Hudson's Bay Co. constructed Edmonton House nearby, where the Sturgeon River meets the North Saskatchewan River. The two forts were described as being a "musket-shot" apart, yet the proximity also offered mutual security to the European traders of both companies in a land where they were all intruders.

Fort Edmonton was named by William Tomison, the HBC's Inland Master. It is thought that Tomison chose the name in honour of HBC Deputy Governor Sir James Winter Lake's birthplace of Edmonton, Middlesex, England. Tomison used the post as his headquarters until 1799, when he was stabbed in the leg by a native man and had to depart for Europe to recover. The crippling nature of his injury left Tomison unable to serve again.

In 1801, due to several years of declining fur returns and increasingly scarce firewood, it was decided to move Fort Edmonton and Fort Augustus upstream, to what is now the Rossdale area of downtown Edmonton. This area had been a gathering place for aboriginals in the region for thousands of years. The history of this period and these forts comes to life in the popular Fort Edmonton attraction located in west Edmonton.