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The Laurentides is a region of Quebec, Canada. Its name comes from the Laurentian mountains. It has a total land area of 20,744.29 km2 (8,009.42 sq mi) and a 2006 census population of 511,276 inhabitants.

The southern area of the Laurentides was inhabited by the nomadic Montagnais and other First Nations, until French Quebecers settled it in the first half of the 19th century, establishing an agricultural presence throughout the valleys. During the 20th century, the area also became a popular tourist destination, based on a cottage and lake culture in the summer, and a downhill and cross-country ski culture in the winter. Ski resorts include St-Sauveur and Mont Tremblant.

The Laurentides still offer a weekend escape for Montrealers and tourists from New England to Ontario, though with the building of a major highway through the area in the 1970s (Autoroute 15), the area has experienced a lot of growth. Its largest city is Saint-Jérôme, in its extreme southeast, with a 2006 census population of 63,729 inhabitants.

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Selected article

Mont-Tremblant is a village and incorporated municipality in the Laurentian mountains of Quebec, Canada, approximately 130 kilometres (81 mi) north-west of Montreal. The municipality with city status was formed in 2000. Mont-Tremblant is most famous for ski resorts such as the Mont-Tremblant Ski Resort, which is 13 kilometres from the village proper, at the foot of a mountain called Mont Tremblant (derived from local Algonquins who referred to it as the "trembling mountain").[citation needed] The largest population centre in Mont-Tremblant is Saint-Jovite.

Mont-Tremblant has a race track called Circuit Mont-Tremblant. It once hosted Formula One, Can-Am, Trans-Am, and Champ Car World Series competitions.

The surrounding area also features hiking, cycling, canoeing, golfing, and a host of other outdoor activities.

Since the summer of 2006, Mont-Tremblant has its own senior amateur Football, the Mystral. It also has a Junior AA hockey team, Les Diables (Devils).

The city of Mont-Tremblant, was created in 2000 from the merger of the municipalities of Mont-Tremblant and Lac-Tremblant-Nord, the village of Saint-Jovite, and the parish of Saint-Jovite. After a referendum, the municipality of Lac-Tremblant-Nord decided to part from the new city and returned to its former status as municipality in 2006. Read more...

Selected biography

François-Xavier-Antoine Labelle (November 24, 1833 in Sainte-Rose-de-Lima – January 4, 1891 in Quebec City) was a Roman Catholic priest and the person principally responsible for the settlement (or "colonization") of the Laurentides. He is also referred to as "Curé Labelle" and sometimes, the "King of the North".

He was born in Sainte-Rose-de-Lima, the son of Maher Angelica and Antoine Labelle, who were not very well off. He studied at the Sainte-Thérèse seminary. Little is known about the first years of his life but it is known that he liked to read Auguste Nicolas and Joseph de Maistre. He added François-Xavier to his name in honour of Saint Francis Xavier. He was ordained as a priest on June 1, 1856 after a comparatively brief theological education from 1852 to 1855. His physical size made him a giant: he was 180 cm tall (6 ft) and weighed 152 kg (300 pounds). He was first appointed vicar at the parish of Sault-au-Récollet by bishop Ignace Bourget, and later to the parish of Saint-Antoine-Abbé, near the United States border, where he worked until 1863, after which he was assigned to the parish of Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle. About 1867, frustrated by his debts, he asked to be transferred to an American diocese or a monastery. Instead, Bishop Bourget asked to him to remain, assigning him to the more prosperous parish of Saint-Jérôme. Read more...


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