Oka, Quebec

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Oka
Municipality
Oka village and Lake of Two Mountains as seen from Mount Oka
Oka village and Lake of Two Mountains as seen from Mount Oka
Location within Deux-Montagnes RCM.
Location within Deux-Montagnes RCM.
Oka is located in Central Quebec
Oka
Oka
Location in central Quebec.
Coordinates: 45°28′N 74°05′W / 45.467°N 74.083°W / 45.467; -74.083Coordinates: 45°28′N 74°05′W / 45.467°N 74.083°W / 45.467; -74.083[1]
Country  Canada
Province  Quebec
Region Laurentides
RCM Deux-Montagnes
Settled 1721
Constituted September 8, 1999
Government[2]
 • Mayor Richard Lalonde
 • Federal riding Mirabel
 • Prov. riding Mirabel
Area[2][3]
 • Total 85.90 km2 (33.17 sq mi)
 • Land 57.30 km2 (22.12 sq mi)
Population (2011)[3]
 • Total 3,969
 • Density 69.3/km2 (179/sq mi)
 • Pop 2006-2011 Increase 20.3%
 • Dwellings 1,633
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code(s) J0N 1E0
Area code(s) 450 and 579
Highways Route 344
Website www.municipalite.oka.qc.ca
Oka waterfront

Oka is a small Canadian village on the northern bank of the Ottawa River (Rivière des Outaouais in French), northwest of Montreal, Quebec. Located in the Lower Laurentians on Lake of Two Mountains, where the Ottawa has its confluence with the St. Lawrence River, the town has a main thoroughfare that is now part of Quebec Route 344.

This area was first settled by French colonists as a mission to First Nations in 1721 by brothers of the Sulpician Order branch of the Roman Catholic Church. Early native inhabitants were Mohawk (Kanienkaha), Algonquin, and Nipissing, who had a village known as Kanesatake, now a reserve within the boundaries of Oka.

History[edit]

The area was inhabited for thousands of years by cultures of First Nations peoples. At the time of European contact, when Montreal was founded, the Mohawk Nation or Kanienkaha, one of the Five Nations of Iroquoian-speaking peoples based in upstate New York, used this territory as a hunting ground.

The Sulpician Order established a Roman Catholic mission and trading post at what became the adjacent Kanesatake. Some Mohawk made this a new base; they were granted a nine-mile square portion of land by the French king in 1716 as he wanted to move them off the island of Montreal. The Sulpician Order was granted a narrow strip next to theirs. The Sulpicians arranged a change to the grant and deed without informing the Mohawk, gaining legal title to the land. The Mohawk protested, beginning in the late 18th century, but were never successful in regaining control of most of what they thought of as their land.

The Sulpicians later sold much of this land, which was developed privately by European Canadians as the city of Oka. It surrounds the Kanesatake reserve (indicated by the irregular white area on the map to the right).

A niobium mine (also known as columbium) was operated just off the Ste-Sophie road not far from the Trappist monastery.

Oka crisis[edit]

Main article: Oka Crisis

In 1990, the small community gained international attention in what became known as the Oka Crisis. It had approved development of a private golf course, to add nine holes and nearby luxury housing. The Mohawk of Kanesatake opposed this, as they considered the land sacred. Standing tombstones marked their ancestors' graves. Several years before they had lost a land claim court case in which they tried to regain control of this historic land, which had been taken by deception by the French Sulpician Order in the 18th century and later sold to Europeans. The claim was rejected by the courts on technical grounds.

The Mohawk of Kanesatake barricaded a dirt road leading to the land. During a 78-day confrontation, the Quebec Police Force (and later national army units) opposed to members of the Mohawk nation of the adjacent community of Kanesatake. The latter were joined by other Mohawk and First Nations and Native American tribes. In addition, for several weeks, Mohawk at Kahnawake blockaded the approach to the Mercier Bridge, a route that ran through their land. Negotiations finally led to the Mohawk re-opening the road. Numerous people were arrested. The development proceeded.

Attractions[edit]

In the summertime, the community's long stretch of beachfront along the Ottawa River and the Lake of Two Mountains, and its marina draw people to the area from Montreal and neighboring cities. Another attraction is the Abbey of Notre-Dame du Lac, famous for its Oka cheese produced by Trappists monks there.

A small ferry service operates between Oka and the town of Hudson across the Ottawa River. During the winter months, a toll ice bridge provides access on this route.[4] There is also connection with the AMT Deux-Montagnes Train to and from Montreal's Central Station and Deux-Montagnes Station by the OKA Express mini-bus.[5]

Demographics[edit]

Population trend:[6]

  • Population in 2011: 3969 (2006 to 2011 population change: 20.3%)
  • Population in 2006: 3300
  • Population in 2001: 3194
  • Population in 1996:
    • Oka (municipality): 1514
    • Oka (parish): 1498
  • Population in 1991:
    • Oka (municipality): 1658
    • Oka (parish): 1656

Private dwellings occupied by usual residents: 1546 (total dwellings: 1633)

Mother tongue:

  • French as first language: 92.3%
  • English as first language: 4%
  • English and French as first language: 1.2%
  • Other as first language: 2.5%

Education[edit]

The Commission scolaire de la Seigneurie-des-Mille-Îles (CSSMI) operates French language public schools.[7]

Schools include:

The Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board (SWLSB) operates Anglophone public schools. Mountainview Elementary School and Saint Jude Elementary School, both in Deux-Montagnes, serve this community.[9][10]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Oka
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13
(55)
14
(57)
25.6
(78.1)
30
(86)
32.8
(91)
35
(95)
36.1
(97)
35.6
(96.1)
32.5
(90.5)
27.8
(82)
23.9
(75)
16.5
(61.7)
36.1
(97)
Average high °C (°F) −6.4
(20.5)
−4.2
(24.4)
1.6
(34.9)
10.3
(50.5)
18.8
(65.8)
23.4
(74.1)
25.9
(78.6)
24.4
(75.9)
19.2
(66.6)
12.2
(54)
4.4
(39.9)
−2.9
(26.8)
10.6
(51.1)
Daily mean °C (°F) −11.3
(11.7)
−9.4
(15.1)
−3.3
(26.1)
5.1
(41.2)
12.7
(54.9)
17.5
(63.5)
20
(68)
18.7
(65.7)
13.7
(56.7)
7.3
(45.1)
0.7
(33.3)
−7.2
(19)
5.4
(41.7)
Average low °C (°F) −16.2
(2.8)
−14.6
(5.7)
−8.1
(17.4)
−0.2
(31.6)
6.6
(43.9)
11.6
(52.9)
14.1
(57.4)
12.9
(55.2)
8.1
(46.6)
2.4
(36.3)
−3.1
(26.4)
−11.5
(11.3)
0.2
(32.4)
Record low °C (°F) −38.3
(−36.9)
−38.3
(−36.9)
−30
(−22)
−16.1
(3)
−6.1
(21)
−2
(28)
2.2
(36)
−0.6
(30.9)
−5
(23)
−10
(14)
−24
(−11)
−34.4
(−29.9)
−38.3
(−36.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 91.2
(3.591)
70
(2.76)
79.2
(3.118)
84.8
(3.339)
86.9
(3.421)
99
(3.9)
106.4
(4.189)
103.1
(4.059)
96.5
(3.799)
90
(3.54)
97.3
(3.831)
86
(3.39)
1,090.3
(42.925)
Source: Environment Canada[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Reference number 45314 of the Commission de toponymie du Québec (French)
  2. ^ a b Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l'Occupation du territoire - Répertoire des municipalités: Oka
  3. ^ a b "Oka census profile". 2011 Census data. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2010-11-22. 
  4. ^ "Hudson-Oka ice bridge opens". The Gazette. 2009-01-22. Retrieved 2009-10-27. 
  5. ^ OKA Express mini-bus
  6. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 census
  7. ^ "Admission et inscription." Commission scolaire de la Seigneurie-des-Mille-Iles. Retrieved on December 7, 2014. "La Commission scolaire de la Seigneurie-des-Mille-Iles (CSSMI) offre ses services aux résidents des municipalités de : Blainville, Boisbriand, Bois-des-Filion, Deux-Montagnes, Lorraine, Mirabel (Saint-Augustin, Saint-Benoît, Sainte-Scholastique et secteur du Domaine-Vert), Oka, Pointe-Calumet, Rosemère, Sainte-Anne-des-Plaines, Sainte-Marthe-sur-le-Lac, Sainte-Thérèse, Saint-Eustache, Saint-Joseph-du-Lac, Saint-Placide et Terrebonne Ouest."
  8. ^ "secondaire d'Oka." Commission scolaire de la Seigneurie-des-Mille-Iles. Retrieved on December 7, 2014.
  9. ^ "Mountainview Elementary Zone Archived December 11, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.." Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board. Retrieved on December 8, 2014.
  10. ^ "Saint Jude Elementary School Zone Map Archived December 11, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.." Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board. Retrieved on December 8, 2014.
  11. ^ Environment Canada Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000, accessed 14 July 2010

External links[edit]