Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs History

Lac Guindon 1921

Villa du Soleil, Lac des Seigneurs

Formerly known as Lac Marois after the area’s largest lake, Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs was first settled by colonists coming from areas north of Montreal. Some of these colonists left Saint-Eustache in 1837 to avoid being involved in, or affected by, the Lower Canada Rebellion.

In many cases, the thirty-some lakes scattered across the municipality bear the names of the founding families: Guindon, Paquin, Raymond, Lessard, Paquette, Saint-Amour.

Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs church

At the turn of the 20th century, Catholics still had to travel to Saint Sauveur to worship. However, vacationing English Protestant families, such as the Camerons, Coplands, Billingsleys, Allens, and Jacksons, held their church services outside, on the shores of Lac Marois. In 1911, they built the Lac Marois Union Church on the very same site.

Lac Marois Union Church

Social and sporting activities such as tennis, regattas and concerts were offered by the Church to the members of its growing congregation. The Lac Marois Country Club was founded in 1929, with its members granted permission to erect their clubhouse on church property along the lake.

Lac Marois Country Club

French Catholics built their own church in Cyriac Saint-Amour’s (1849-1929) old apple orchard, where he had originally erected a cross. It was the first step towards the founding of the parish in 1946 and, one year later, towards the creation of a separate municipality.

Youth Hostel, Lac Guindon

At the time, Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs counted some 300 permanent residents. It had been a popular summer tourist destination for a long time, however it began to gain popularity in the winter as well, for skiing in particular, thanks to the proximity of the Shawbridge train station for weekend excursions.

L'Étoile of Mont Sainte-Anne

A first downhill ski run was created close to Lac Loiselle. Equipped with a ski-lift by Mr. Létourneau and Mr. Loiselle, the ski run’s popularity attracted winter holiday-goers to nearby inns for accommodation.

Visitors began to have an influence on the local community: annual slalom races, timed by an “old alarm clock still good enough to count the seconds accurately” were held by the area’s two one-room schools, with 33 and 17 students respectively.

Winter in Sainte-Anne-des-lacs

Mont Saint-Anne opened its ski slopes at the beginning of the 1950s near Lac Guindon. A great success, a luxurious chalet named L’Étoile was consequently inaugurated at its summit in 1959.

Skiers on the lake

The extension of the Laurentian highway up to Sainte-Adèle in 1964 infringed upon Mont Sainte-Anne and forced the ski hill to close. The area’s last school closed in 1972 and the L’Étoile ski chalet was transformed into condominiums during the 1990s.

Chairlift of L'Étoile

Now with a population of 3 700 residents on an even larger territory than before, Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs is home to a number of former vacationers who have since set up permanent residences.

Gors Sapin Hostel, Lac Guindon

Many summer camps are held in the district, offering young people a sense of group life, religious or secular, and offering those less fortunate a chance to enjoy the great outdoors.

Lac Guindon's domain

Lac Guindon's domain.




Historical and iconographic research, text   
Marc-André Lapointe and Samuel Mathieu
Serge Laurin, Histoire des Laurentides, Institut québécois de recherche sur la culture, 1989, 892 p.
Michel Andreoli, Guide Historique de Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs.
Jean-Pierre Bourbeau, Laurentides : la belle randonnée, QGID, 2005, 210 p.
Jean-Pierre Bourbeau, Les Laurentides au temps du train du Nord, GID, 2013, 208 p.
Municipality of Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs, Website,
Municipality of Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs, Guide historique de Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs.

Pictures: Collection Michel Andreoli

Photographe : Ludger Charpentier, Anik Thibault

Extract of
The Pays-d’en-Haut: a Jewel of Leisure and Recreation

The Pays-d’en-Haut: a Jewel of Leisure and Recreation image circuit

Presented by : MRC des Pays-d'en-Haut

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