Saint-Antoine-sur-Richelieu is a charming village that is advantageously sitting by the water. The Richelieu River eased the transport of merchandise and permitted the development of the community prior to the 19th century.
You will notice the calm environment, patrimonial homes with large balconies facing the river and the tall church rising right next to the road. It is the Saint-Antoine-de-Padou (Saint Anthony of Padua) church. Not the first church in the community but the original was too small for the attendance. They built the new one in 1779. The exterior walls and façade of the current church are original. However, the interior and towers had to be rebuilt after a fire in 1913.
I have to mention a personal special memory. I remember my grand-mother praying to Saint-Anthony whenever we could not find something. I guess if I remember this today it means I have lost a few things and she had to remind me a few times.
Facing the river, like most do in the region, this church sits on picturesque surroundings. The view of the river from the church porch is unobstructed since a park is across the street.
The village is the birthplace of George-Etienne Cartier. He was a patriot and a politician in Quebec. A monument in the park (Parc de la Fabrique) facing the church confirms it. You can learn more about George-Etienne Cartier in one of his residences in Old Montreal (George-Etienne Cartier Museum (National site) and the monument at the bottom of Mont Royal is also for this honor.
A nice Bed & Breakfast is in the village and the 1898 Chateau St-Antoine (also known as Chateau Louis-Joseph-Cartier) presents a very unique architectural style in the village. The castle is currently for sale but was a beautiful restaurant and reception hall that could host events and wedding receptions.
To reach the village if you are on opposite shore, in the summer there is a very small ferry (for about 4 cars) that will take you to another beautiful village, Saint-Denis-sur-Richelieu to Saint-Antoine.
The route along the Richelieu River is a nice day trip option from Montreal.