Beginnings of the history of Sainte-Adèle

Let's go back in time

The current town of Sainte-Adèle and all the surrounding territory were initially part of a project set up by the Catholic Church, a project called the mission of Sainte-Adèle in 1846.

The parish of Sainte Adèle, where we are, was created in 1852 following the arrival of Éphrem Thérien, the first pastor to reside there permanently.

From the past to the present day

Settlement of the lower Laurentians is considered to have begun with the survey of the Abercrombie Township and Simon River, near to where Algonquins would hunt.

Lawyer, founder of the newspaper La Minerve, and politician interested in agriculture, Augustin-Norbert Morin acquired 3,800 acres of land in Abercrombie Township.

Sainte-Adèle is a vast territory north of the Seigneurie des Mille-Îles. Monsignor Bourget, responsible for organizing the territory on behalf of the Catholic Church, refers to it as a “mission”.

With the arrival of the first resident priest, Éphrem Thérien, Sainte-Adèle becomes a parish.

The Municipality of Sainte-Adèle is created. Isidore Legault becomes the first mayor. As the land is allotted, the first village centre is organized around Rond Lake with a hotel, general store, blacksmith, flour mill, some shops and a small wooden chapel. The farmer Paschal Longpré holds the positions of bailiff as well as secretary of the village council and schools. Isidore Legault is responsible for building the church.

The work of Augustin-Norbert Morin resonates with François-Xavier-Antoine Labelle who is concerned about settlement in the Laurentians. He is appointed parish priest of Saint-Jérôme in 1869. 

Doctor Wilfrid Grignon arrives in Sainte-Adèle. A great innovator, he promotes the village in addition to acquiring and renovating houses that he rents to tourists.

During the time the doctor is mayor, the municipality grants a $10,000 subsidy for the construction of a railroad.

The first train arrives at the station in 1891, shortly after the death of Curé Labelle, the driving force behind the project. The addition of this new means of transport contributes greatly to the economic life of the village.

With his paper mill in full production in the City of Saint-Jérôme, Jean-Baptiste Rolland visits the area surrounding the North River, today known as the Mont-Rolland sector. With the full support of Doctor Grignon, the contractor builds a mill for the manufacture of fine paper. The Municipality of Sainte-Adèle grants them an exemption from taxes for 25 years.

As the first sheets of paper are shipped from the factory, Wilfrid Grignon installs the first telephone exchange north of Saint-Jérôme in his residence on Beauchamp Street. It serves 11 subscribers. The doctor then builds a private aqueduct to provide water to the upper village.

The downhill skiing boom begins with the arrival of Émile Cochand from Switzerland, who settles in the region and becomes the first ski instructor. The sport attracts tourists in large numbers to Sainte-Adèle.

Mont-Rolland separates from Sainte-Adèle and becomes a company town.

To mark the parish’s 75th anniversary, an illuminated cross almost 20 meters high is erected at the top of the Sommet Bleu mountain. The Maple Leaf Trail for cross-country skiing is opened by Herman (Jackrabbit) S. Johansen and extends from Sainte-Agathe to Shawbridge (today Prévost).

Claude-Henri Grignon finishes writing his novel, Un homme et son péché.

The Côtes 40–80 ski centre opens to the delight of the growing number of enthusiasts of the sport in the region.

Highway 11 is paved up to Sainte-Adèle. In the 1950s, residential development intensifies in the Chantecler and surrounding areas. Vacationers flock from everywhere.

Phil Fermanian opens Cinema Pine in a large independent movie theatre. An innovator, his son Tom introduces the scope format, 3D glasses and stereo sound in the 60s and 70s. Today, the cinema features eight screens.

Artist Robert Lapalme creates an enormous piece of street art on Morin Street. The event has been occasionally recreated during the Nuit Laurentienne.

Sainte-Adèle acquires city status with the merger of the Village and the Parish. The first mayor is Lionel Patry.

Start of community television. The Village de Séraphin sees the day thanks to Claude-Henri Grignon, Roland Liboiron and Fernand Montplaisir. It closes down in 1997.

Maurice Aveline and Claude-Henri Grignon found the Journal des Pays d’en Haut.

Opening of the Sainte-Adèle Theatre in the Saint-Paul Chapel located on Sainte-Adèle Boulevard. Previously, Philippe Riopelle presented his summer theatre at the Chantecler.

The Rolland Paper Mill closes down. The railroad tracks are dismantled.

The P’tit train du nord linear park is created.

Start of classical music concerts at the Sainte-Adèle Arts Pavilion on Sainte-Marguerite Street (now Pierre-Péladeau Street). Activities take place until 2007.

Sainte-Adèle and Mont-Rolland merge to form the greater Saint-Adèle that we know today. The first mayor is Pierre Grignon.

Adoption of the Cultural Policy of the City of Sainte-Adèle.

Opening of the Place des citoyens

Extract of
History & Heritage | Sainte-Adèle des Pays-d'en-Haut

History & Heritage | Sainte-Adèle des Pays-d'en-Haut image circuit

Presented by : Ville de Sainte-Adèle

Get There

Download the BaladoDiscovery app (for Android and iOS) and access the largest network of self-guided tour experiences in Canada.