On 17 May 1642, a group of French settlers led by Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance established the missionary colony of Ville-Marie on the Island of Montréal. Today, this modest settlement founded in the middle of the St. Lawrence River is Canada’s second largest city and home to nearly half of the province of Québec’s population. A centre of francophone culture in North America, Montréal also enjoys international renown. Through exhibits, images and articles — as well as several Heritage Minutes about influential Montrealers — this collection celebrates the 375-year heritage and history of this important cultural and economic centre.
The name Pincourt goes back to the days of the fur traders and voyageurs who, on seeing the pine forest which at that time covered most of the western half of the island, described the trees as being rather short and dwarf-like in stature. They called the place Pins courts, that is, "short pines.
Petrolia was originally called Petrolea but its name was changed due to a clerical error. Both its original and current names reflect the discovery of oil in the area. Oil was discovered in 1861 although it was not until 1866 that it was developed. That same year it was incorporated as a village.
Saint-Émile began as a small village and has developed into a suburb of Québec City, situated 15 km to the south. Saint-Émile's territory is 90% residential. The shoe industry, with 5 manufacturers in the city, is Saint-Émile's main employer. The Valcartier military base is located 15 km away.
In the mid-1600s the first of 3 seigneuries (Repentigny, 1647; Des Plaines, 1731; and Lachenaie, 1752) was granted in the area, but the first settlers did not arrive until 1760-65. In 1877 the Laurentian Railway between SAINTE-THÉRÈSE and Saint-Lin was completed but development remained slow.
The name Saint-Léonard first appears in 1706 as Côte-Saint-Léonard, a seigneurial concession road along which the first settlers built their homesteads. Later, in 1885, the name was given to a new parish that was created from the parishes of Sault-aux-Récollets and Longue-Pointe.
In the 1950s, the closing of several paper mills resulted in widespread unemployment. A decade later, however, the recognition of Matane's port as an important regional transportation and distribution point revived interest in the town. There is now a pulp mill and a paper mill providing employment.