Museum Space dedicated to Curé Labelle

A defining figure in the history of the Laurentians and Quebec

“The King of the North”

This exhibition, dedicated to the legendary priest François-Xavier Antoine Labelle, marks the starting point of the Route des Belles-Histoires in the Laurentians. Located in Saint-Jérôme cathedral, it sheds light on the fascinating history of this priest, a visionary who dedicated much of his life to colonizing the Laurentians.

This man of impressive stature, who knew no boundaries, and who spoke his mind as a result of his working-class upbringing, fascinated everybody. Europeans found him to be especially charming when he spoke to them during his travels to the Old Continent, where he earned the occasional reputation of “crazy or drunk”.

“I recall that I may have been excessively impetuous. As you so aptly wrote, I understand nothing about modern civilization and I am proud of this but not to the point of confusing my friends. Please forgive this excessive rustic expansion on my behalf'.
- Curé Labelle

Tribute to a visionary priest

To add to the priest’s eccentricity, Quebec Premier Honoré Mercier appointed him Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Colonization in 1888. We owe him the “100 acre bill”, which granted 100 acres of land to families with over 12 living children. An amendment in effect from June 1904 to May 1905 allowed families to receive $50 instead of free land if they wished.

An exhibit on the “father of colonization”

Titled “The King of the North”, the exhibition is a collection of artifacts from the life of this man of the clergy who marked the history of the Laurentians, Quebec, and Canada. Born to a shoemaker in Sainte-Rose in 1833, he was appointed a historical figure of Quebec in 2016. In addition to inspiring several artists, he has lent his name to a municipality, a wildlife reserve, a sector of the Upper Laurentians, and several roads in municipalities throughout Quebec. 

Freely accessible year-round at the cathedral from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guided tours are also offered by appointment.

Extract of
Discover La Route des Belles-Histoires

Discover La Route des Belles-Histoires image circuit

Presented by : Tourisme Laurentides
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