The story behind Rue Lockwell and the Quebec Arena

Photo: Bill Cox

Rue Lockwell is a one-way, tree-lined street that runs parallel to Rue Octave-Crémazie and Rue Saint-Jean, between Rue de Claire-Fontaine and Rue de Salaberry. The park at the corner of de Salaberry (behind the Théâtre Périscope) is also named after J. C. Lockwell. 

Rue Lockwell, a short residential street in the Saint-Jean-Baptiste district, is named in honour of Joseph-Camélien Lockwell, a Quebec City businessman and cigar maker and, from 1908 to 1918, a City alderman. 

Lockwell was also a director of the Quebec Hockey Club. The team was known as the “Bulldogs,” and they were precursors to the now defunct Nordiques.

 On March 12, 1913, two days after the Bulldogs’ second Stanley Cup win, Mayor Drouin received a proposal from the Quebec Hockey Club to purchase land in Saint-Roch to build an arena. This offer was supported by Alderman Joseph-Camélien Lockwell, who was “convinced that citizens would appreciate the purchase of land and houses at the price of the municipal evaluation.” 

 Mayor Drouin, however, favoured a proposal submitted by the Dussault Syndicate for an arena to be built in Victoria Park. The offer from the wealthy Dussault family was accompanied by a $10,000 cheque to guarantee delivery by December 1913. Plans were ready for a concrete and steel building that would seat 7,000. When the project was submitted to the City for approval, Lockwell opposed it out of “respect for the Quebec Club that was playing in western Canada” at the time. Upon their return, manager Mike Quinn and other members of the Club rapidly agreed with the Dussault group for a five-year lease.

 The inaugural match of the Quebec City Arena was held on December 29, 1913, with the Quebec Bulldogs against the Montreal Canadiens. NHA president Emmet Quinn, Mayor Drouin and Lieutenant Governor Sir François Langelier attended the game. The Canadiens spoiled it by winning 4 to 3.  

In 1942, the Quebec Arena was destroyed by fire. In 1949, the Pepsi Colisée was opened, and it, in turn, will be torn down now that the new Videotron Centre has opened. 

The source of much of the above information is from Marc Durand's book, La Coupe à Québec, the history of the Quebec Bulldogs and the birth of hockey. 

Glad you used my book, La Coupe à Québec, for this story ! Marc

We were very happy to find all that material in your book, Mr. Durand. In fact I just added a note to the online article menitoning the source of Mr. Cox's information.    The source of much of the above information is from Marc Durand's book, La Coupe à Québec, the history of the Quebec Bulldogs and the birth of hockey.    

I always find these street stories quite interesting but please, Nordiques, not Nordics... ;-)

Shirley Nadeau

  Thank you for showing us the error or our ways, Mr. Tregget. The spelling error has been corrected in this online version.