Stanstead

Haskell Library
For Stansted Airport see London Stansted Airport

Stanstead is an incorporated municipality which comprises three villages (Beebe Plain, Rock Island and Stanstead) in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. The villages are notable primarily for being divided by the international boundary (part of Beebe is in Derby Line, Vermont and part in Stanstead, Québec). The border splits a street ( CanUsa Street), a former tool-and-die factory (Butterfield's, Rock Island), a famous library and opera house (Haskell's) and a number of old houses right down the centre or center.

Understand

While the Canadian portion of these villages is majority francophone, this was historically United Empire Loyalist country and many of the original settlers therefore were English-speaking. It is common to hear both languages in use on the Canadian side. The same is not true in the US, even while in the same town.

The proximity of this region to the border (which divides the villages) meant that, before the tightened restrictions imposed in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US, it was not uncommon for Canadian residents to make many small grocery or department store purchases in Newport (Vermont) as the closest town. While in a foreign country, Newport is geographically closer than Magog or Sherbrooke.

It is possible to make a local international telephone call between Beebe Plain (Rock Island, +1-819-876-) in Canada and Beebe Plain (Derby Line, +1-802-873-) in the US. Anything further into foreign territory is long distance.

Visitor information

Get in

International boundary through library

For Americans wanting to get into Canada quickly, the Derby Line/Stanstead crossing is ideal. The wait at the border is much less than that at the major border station down by the highway. Having said that, don't be fooled by the absence of physical barriers running through the border. In fact, one street has some houses on the American side (Derby Line, VT) and the rest on the Canadian side (Stanstead). Don't cross Canusa street to visit your friend who lives right across you; you need to report to border agents (with valid passports and visas) before having a meal with them. Crossing the street without proper inspection into either side can put you in serious trouble with the authorities of the country you are trying to enter.

The lone exception is visiting the bi-national Haskell Free library and opera house (purposely built to straddle the border). You need to enter through the door on the American side (the back door is locked anyway). Once you exit the building, you must immediately return to the country you entered from.

Get around

As these are small villages, there is no public transit on either side. A car (une auto) would therefore be the most obvious option; there is also a cycling trail on what had been an international rail line before the railroad tracks were removed in the 1990s.

See

Do

Stanstead, as viewed by the US

Buy

Stanstead College

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Go next

Routes through Stanstead

Sherbrooke Magog  N  S  Newport Saint Johnsbury


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