Photo 23 (Hard)

St Andrews Channel and the Boisdale Hills
Photo 23 of 30: St Andrews Channel and the Boisdale Hills
Taken 2006 June 27 from the Hillside Boularderie Road
about 6.3 km (3.9 mi) southwest of the Groves Point Picnic Park Entrance
GPS 46°13.7??'N 60°24.7??'W

This lovely view to the southeast from the east side of Boularderie Island shows St Andrews Channel and the iconic Boisdale Hills that line its eastern side; two islands, Mouse Island at the far left and Long Island across the centre and continuing to the right, sit just off the opposite shore. The community of Georges River lies to the far left, outside the scope of this photo.

St Andrews Channel is one of the two northern arms of the Great Bras d’Or Lake that connect it directly to the Atlantic Ocean; the other is the Great Bras d’Or Channel which lies on the west side of Boularderie Island and which the Seal Island Bridge on the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 105) crosses. A rarely driven road, paved over much of the distance, but turning to gravel as it gets closer to Kempt Head (the southern tip of Boularderie Island), generally follows both coasts of Boularderie Island and offers fine views of both channels, each of which is gorgeous in its own right and with a character quite different from the other. When Victoria County was split off from Cape Breton County in 1851, Cape Breton County retained the northeastern part of the island and about half of its eastern coast; the rest, which is the larger part of Boularderie Island, lies in Victoria County.

Boularderie is locally pronounced as BULL-uh-dree [ˈbʊl.ə.dri]; the French pronunciation would be boo-lar-dree [bu.lar.dri], with the last syllable bearing a length (as opposed to a stress) accent if final in the phrase. The island (and some of its communities) are named for Louis-Simon de St Aubin le Poupet, chevalier (“knight”) de la Boularderie (1674-1738), who “served as commandant at Port d’Orléans (North Bay Ingonish) from 1719 to 1738.”¹ During the heyday of the French at Louisbourg, King Louis XV granted him Boularderie Island in 1721 together with final authority over all administrative and judicial matters involving it. “His colonization efforts and those of his son, Antoine, were not particularly successful, and their main legacy is the place name.”²

¹ Place Names of Atlantic Canada by William B. Hamilton, pp. 297-298.

² Ibid.