city, Montreal region, southern Quebec province, Canada, on the south shore of Ile de Montreal (Montreal Island), at the head of the Lachine Rapids of the St. Lawrence River. Settlement of the site began in 1668, when Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, established a fortified townsite first known as Saint-Sulpice and later as La Petite Chine, or Lachine. Surviving an Iroquois Indian massacre in 1689, the community grew as a trade junction and western terminus of the Lachine Canal, 8 miles (13 km) long, bypassing the Lachine Rapids, built in the 1820s. In the 1850s the Montreal Aqueduct was built through the town from Lac Saint-Louis to serve the growing metropolis to the north. The origin of the name La Salle dates to 1912, when a group of townspeople moved to the modern site of Lachine, taking that name with them and allowing the old town of Lachine to become incorporated as a city under the name of its founder, La Salle. Following World War II, La Salle was engulfed by the spread of Montreal (in 1959 it joined the Montreal Metropolitan Corporation) and became primarily a residential suburb. Among the products manufactured there are alcoholic beverages, food products, roofing materials, plastics, chemicals, fabricated steel, pharmaceuticals, boxes, and heating and cooling equipment. Fleming Mill, a four-story conical windmill built in 1816, is a city landmark. La Salle is linked to Caughnawaga, on the south bank of the St. Lawrence, by the Honore-Mercier Bridge. Inc. 1912. Pop. (1991) 73,804.
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