Downtown Morin Heights
Location within Les Pays-d'en-Haut RCM.
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Constituted||July 1, 1855|
|• Mayor||Timothy Watchorn|
|• Federal riding||Argenteuil—La Petite-Nation|
|• Prov. riding||Argenteuil|
|• Total||59.40 km2 (22.93 sq mi)|
|• Land||56.47 km2 (21.80 sq mi)|
|• Density||69.5/km2 (180/sq mi)|
|• Pop (2006–11)||12.0%|
|Time zone||EST (UTC−5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC−4)|
|Postal code(s)||J0R 1H0|
|Area code(s)||450 and 579|
Morin-Heights is a town in the Laurentian Mountains region of Quebec, Canada. It is west of Saint-Sauveur and north of Lachute; municipally, it is within the Regional County Municipality of Les Pays-d'en-Haut.
It is primarily a tourist town, having a large ski hill (Ski Morin Heights) that is popular during the winter months and being on a recreational trailway (the Aerobic Corridor), which is used year-round. A dense network of hiking, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and mountain biking trails surround Morin Heights, making it the closest multi-recreational outdoor hub to Montreal (45-minute drive in moderate traffic). The old train station, on Lac Écho road, is the starting point for most recreational activities, year-round. The Rivière à Simon offers enjoyable canoeing and kayaking all the way down to Christieville and beyond.
Formerly located just south of the town was a recording studio, called Le Studio, built in 1975, which is now closed. The facility was used by numerous Canadian and international artists, including The Tragically Hip, Rush, Nazareth, Pilot, April Wine, Rainbow, Barenaked Ladies, Sting, The Police, The Rolling Stones, David Bowie, The Bee Gees, Cat Stevens, and Lawrence Gowan, as well as by Québec artists Jean-Pierre Ferland, Richard Séguin, Lucien Francoeur and Garolou. In 1994, another important music recording facility was built in Morin Heights, on the northern edge of town. Conceived and built by Swedish-born artist Lars Westvind, Studio Nomade exclusively hosted Sarah McLachlan's recording projects up to 2000. It then became opened to other artists as well, and is still a frequently used production facility. The town hosts a theater company (featuring mostly plays in English language), as well as a choir.
The first European settlers arrived from Ireland around 1850, followed by French Canadians from Lachute, Saint-Jérôme and Saint-Eustache. In 1852, the Morin Township was formed and in 1855, the Township Municipality of Morin-Partie-Sud was established in a part of the township (the remaining part became Sainte-Adèle).
The township was named after its founder and 19th-century politician Augustin-Norbert Morin (1803–1865) who had at that point a huge farm of more than 3 square kilometres (1.2 sq mi) on the banks of the Rivière du Nord, built around 1850-1860 and included a home, saw mill, and flour mill. An alternate, less accepted origin for the name Morin concerns an engineer named Morin who was dispatched by the provincial government to survey the region and had hired a Native American named Simon as guide, whose name was used to identify the river flowing through the township.
Until 1911, the territory had just the names of Bas-Morin or Morin Flats, name of the post office between 1875 and 1911, while the railway station was known as Morin Heights Station. In 1950, Morin-Partie-Sud changed its statutes and name to become the Municipality of Morin-Heights.
The town gained notoriety in 1994 when members of the Order of the Solar Temple took part in a mass suicide, after setting fire to the ski chalet they occupied in the community.
On March 12, 2008, a tragic roof collapse in the Gourmet du Village bakery warehouse killed three women. An excessive accumulation of snow was suspected to be the cause of the accident. The victims, Barbara Elliott, 54; Sharon Kirkpatrick, 62; and Marilyn Ofiaza, 46, were just three of a total of 40 people who were in the building at the time of the collapse.
Private dwellings occupied by usual residents: 1841 (total dwellings: 2395)
- Reference number 42534 of the Commission de toponymie du Québec (French)
- Geographic code 77050 in the official Répertoire des municipalités (French)
- "(Code 2477050) Census Profile". 2011 census. Statistics Canada. 2012.
- "Morin-Heights (Municipalité)" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2009-03-16.
- "Co-workers pay tribute to roof collapse victims". CTV.ca. 03-013-2008. Check date values in:
- Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 census