Tour the depths of a mine, canoe down the rivers that have cradled the Anishinaabe for 8,000 years, and trek through the forests in the footsteps of the coureurs des bois. Learn about the territory’s wild history through its museums and take the time to discover great treasures from its cultural vitality to a varied culinary offering.
The Lamaque mine quickly became the biggest gold mine in Québec. Busy enough to lure workers off the poor streets of Montreal, Italy, Eastern Europe and all over the world to settle in Bourlamaque. By day, the miners worked underground, but by night, they partook in the diversions that gradually sprung up in neighbouring Val-d’Or: restaurants, theatres, bars, gambling houses, etc.
And although Senneterre was a trading post long before the prospectors ever struck gold, Vallée-de-l’Or isn’t named after the precious metal for nothing. It owes its very existence to the mining industry— from the organized fashion in which the mining company built homes for its workers to the chaotic way the prospectors set up camp anywhere and everywhere. Mines sprung up all along the Cadillac Fault, many of which still operate today. Malartic is still home to one of the biggest gold mines in the world and one of the biggest open-pit mines in North America.
But there’s much more to Vallée-de-l’Or. Where others see a pebble, we see a nugget. Rock-solid ideas and innovative entrepreneurs to carry them out—our modern prospectors, helping us to explore new talents, new avenues. There’s a strong culture here, one that embraces the colour and flair of newcomers and makes room for street artists and buskers. The vibe of our former nightlife* can still be felt in our fun and creative festivals. Vallée-de-l’Or is an authentic place, with its rock-hard foundations and rich culture. It’s a relatable place, from its huge mines to its hockey team, which proudly bears the name Les Foreurs, to its university, whose architecture features a tepee as a tribute to the region’s first peoples.
Once a city that attracted people from all over the world hoping for a better life, it’s held on to that energy through its focus on young people and those who dream of a brighter future. It still welcomes people from all nationalities with open arms and profound sincerity. In Vallée-de-l’Or, everyone gets along and everyone is equal when it comes to doing the things that make us happy.
Vallée-de-l’Or continues to embody the courage of all those who journeyed hundreds and thousands of feet below ground to blast through the rock. A courage that keeps us going, that pushes us to speak out, loud and proud, about who we are. Because even though it’s a combination of glint and grime, mines and museums, it’s still a part of us, a source of pride. It’s also a place where we’re not forced to decide between country and city. We’re blessed to have both at the same time.
And, at the end of the day, if we feel like going out to eat in our steel-toed boots,* we really don’t care what anyone else thinks!
Living in Vallée-de-l’Or
Living in Vallée-de-l’Or
Discover Aki, the zero-waste grocery store
Aki was born from the hard work and drive of three women from Val-d’Or whose values align with the zero-waste movement. We met with them (next to a tub of honey and a vat of rice) to discover the origins of this unique grocery store. Jennifer, Jolianne and Myriame were happy to share their story with us.
Find out more about Vallée-de-l’Or
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