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Abitibi-Ouest resonates with the sound of the wind blowing through the tall grass and the waves breaking against the docks, an oasis of tranquility under a majestic, never-ending sky. Enveloped by the soothing presence of nature—a striking contrast to the frantic pace of city life—you’ll have no choice but to slow down and take a moment. If you arrive straight from the city, you’ll almost need to detox, to purge your body of all the stress that kept you on your A-game.  


Or so you thought…

Take a moment to welcome the calm that surrounds you. Take a deep breath, centre yourself, open yourself up to possibility and…  

After a few days here, I challenge you to keep thinking the city is where you feel most alive. After you’ve met the smiling locals, who ask you where you’re from… After they’ve invited you on their boats, on their ATVs, to their hunting camps or even to their homes, to sit around the campfire… After you realize what a big, happy family we are… And not because everyone knows each other (let’s not exaggerate). But because everyone’s willing to get to know each other, to get together, to help out with the latest crazy idea. Because when someone comes up with a plan, we all get on board and make it happen.  

Combine this with the majesty of Lac Abitibi, as vast as an inland sea, that still glimmers with the spirit of the Anicinabek people, who gathered on its shores every summer to celebrate births and marriages and to forget the hardships of winter and the sorrows of lost loved ones with games and feasts. Then add the beauty of the fields and the barns, whose grey, weather-beaten boards tell the story of a land we cleared with our bare hands, without any machinery, through bitterly cold, snowbound winters. Layer this with wildflowers growing everywhere, on the sides of the roads, like so many unlikely arrangements of fireweed, wheat, buttercups and cattails.  

There’s nothing stressful in Abitibi-Ouest, except for maybe the sound of a passing snowmobile or motorboat. Yet we don’t feel like we’re missing out on anything. Life is simple, relaxed, but when we feel the need to shake things up, everyone’s always game. But that doesn’t stop us from taking it easy, from spending quality time with each other, helping each other and going out of our way to make visitors feel welcome. You can do whatever you want here—it’s completely up to you. But take it from us: You’ll find out what it’s like to feel truly alive.  

Living in Abitibi-Ouest

Discovering a citizen of Abitibi-Ouest

Meeting with Norbert Lemire, from Laferté

Norbert Lemire is synonymous with watercolors loaded with colors that burst on the page like the sunset on the lake. Meeting Norbert at home, in Laferté, in the landscapes that inspire him, was moving. We loved hearing an artist of his caliber talk to us about his art.

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