Visiting Notre-Dame-du-Nord: scenic municipality in western Quebec, where three cultures meet
Its area of Quebec is an attractive vacation spot
The west of Quebec province certainly deserves to be better known, and Notre-Dame-du-Nord, in Abitibi-Témiscamingue region has plenty of rich variety.
Temiskaming First Nation
The home of Timiskaming First Nation is situated in Notre-Dame-du-Nord and the wider district. Its annual Pow-Wow is held in August. The Timiskaming First Nation is an Algonquin community. A Council consisting of a Chief, Vice-Chief and five Councillors governs its affairs. A Learning Resource Centre specializes in applying information technology for post-secondary and Continuing Education goals of Timiskaming First Nation people.
Some history and geography
In western Quebec, various place names with religious references (Ville-Marie, Saint-Bruno-de-Guigues) bear witness to the strong involvement of clergy in the opening up of the area in the 19th and early 20th centuries for cultivation and settlement by mainly Francophone people. Notre-Dame-du-Nord is no exception, although this name has been used definitively since 1928 only. Previously, Tête-du-Lac (Lakehead) was one of various names used, and the nearby settlement of Notre-Dame-des-Quinze, east of the Rivière Des-Quinze (River of The Fifteen) was merged with the larger entity, and the name 'Notre-Dame-du-Nord' was adopted.
Notre-Dame-du-Nord is situated at the extreme north of Lac Témiscamingue (Lake Timiscaming), at the point of the outflow of the Rivière Des-Quinze (River of The Fifteen) into the lake. This gives it a very picturesque setting and making the area popular with tourists.
Administratively Notre-Dame-du-Nord is linked with the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region, but to some extent it is also linked in terms of business and prosperity with New Liskeard (distance: 27 kilometres) in neighbouring Ontario. Proving also that fire respects no provincial boundaries has been linked in tragedy, too: the Great Fire of 1922, which occurred substantially on the Ontario side of the nearby border, spread its devastation to the locality also.
Fossil theme centre
Notre-Dame-du-Nord is known for the Centre thématique fossilifère (a fossil theme centre). This centre maintains a museum, organizes exhibitions and sponsors excavation schools at local sites.
Truck rodeo — as 'Wild West' as Quebec can be
Every summer, crowds are attracted to Notre-Dame-du-Nord for the Rodéo du Camion (Truck Rodeo). Numbers attending the event are reckoned to reach 60,000.
This rodeo, which occurs over some days, adds a touch of elemental, competitive fury to a normally more tranquil location. Competitions, exhibitions and fireworks, and other activities complement each other to make this rodeo a unique and memorable series of events.
Also worth seeing:
Fort Témiscamingue , near Ville-Marie (distance: 34 kilometres) is a National Historic Site which displays the remains of a French trading fort, dating from the 17th century.
The town of Témiscaming (distance: 122 kilometres) has a museum in the former railroad station, and scenic walks.
At New Liskeard , Ontario (distance: 27 kilometres) the Little Claybelt Homesteaders Museum contains much information about the early settlement history of the area.
Devil's Rock , near Haileybury , Ontario (distance: 36 kilometres) is an impressive rock formation overlooking the western shore of Lake Temiskaming.
How to get there: Air Canada flies from Montreal (Aéroport-Montréal-Trudeau ) to Rouyn-Noranda (Aéroport de Rouyn-Noranda ), where car rental is available. By road from Rouyn-Noranda (distance: 104 kilometres), take Route 101 south. By road from North Bay, Ontario and the south, take Route 11 north to New Liskeard, and then take Route 65 to the Ontario-Quebec boundary on the outskirts of Notre-Dame-du-Nord. Please check with the airline or your travel agent for up to date information.
MJFenn is an independent travel writer based in Ontario, Canada.
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