10. Montreal to the Laurentians and N. W. Quebec via Mont Laurier and Yal d‚„Or Side-routes. A. Louvicourt to Senneterre (p. 189); B. Val d‚„Or to Amos (p. 189).
Principal sights en route. The Laurentian mountains; gold mines and smelter at Noranda (p. 190).
Rail. C.P.R. as far as Mont Laurier, 164 m. This line serves the many excellent resorts along the line in summer, and the winter-sports centres in winter when, owing to road conditions, many prefer the rail journey. 4 hrs. 30 mins., Montreal to Mont Laurier. The Abitibi clay-belt and gold-mining country of N. W. Quebec is served by the. main C.N.R. line form Quebec to Cochrane, and branches from it Connections may be made with this line from Montreal. Montreal to Senneterre, 436 m., 15 hrs. 30 mins.; to Noranda, 19 hrs. 15 mins.
Road. 393 m. Hwy. 77, Montreal to Mont Laurier, paved All the way. Hwy. 58, Mont Laurier to Louvicourt, 317 m., gravel. Hwy. 59, Louvicourt to Noranda-Rouyn, part paved and part gravel. Gravel surfaces may be materially altered by changes of weather and should be treated with especial caution in spring, when frost heaves may be encountered.
Route points. St. Jerome, 32 m.; Mont Laurier, 147 m.; Val d‚„Or, 336 m.
Air. Private air-lines connect Montreal and Noranda-Rouyn, and chartered flights may be made to many places throughout the districts traversed by this route.
Route 10 crosses the western Laurentians, as this section of the great Canadian shield is called. The Laurentian Mts. are not mountainous in the sense of the Rockies or the Alps; they are too old to have kept a jagged sky-line; in fact they are often termed the oldest mountains in the world and date back to dim geological begin-nings; since then they have been worn by aeons of wind, and rain, and ice, until only a countryside of old rolling hills is left. Mostly covered with evergreen forest, these hills are mostly between 1,000 and 2,000 ft. high. There are many rugged areas where bare and jagged rocks protrude, and the whole vast area is scattered with thousands of lakes of All sizes and shapes; many of these lakes have been converted into great reservoirs for the province‚„s hydro-electric development. The streams that link the lakes together often have falls and rapids; some flow S. to the valleys of the Ottawa and St. Lawrence, others go N. to Hudson Bay.
The Laurentians N. of Montreal have become a well-equipped and easily accessible playground. The lakes and streams are heavily fished, but the sportsman pre-pared to go some distance from the resorts has good prospects for lake trout, speckled trout, bass and pike. For the hunter there are many good deer grounds. For those who love the water, whether for swimming, sailing, aquaplaning and other aquatic sports, there are many lakeside resorts that cater for them, nor is the golfer forgotten. For those who prefer to ride or walk, the provincial parks, Montagne Tremblante Park and Verendrye Park, provide excellent opportunities. Despite their often rugged nature, the hills are well served by highways, railways, andair-transport, but there is stili scope for the canoeist. There is accommodation of All kinds, luxurious hotels and more modest establishments, particularly in the resorts served by the C.P.R.
Many of these advantages the Laurentians share with the vacation lands of N. Ontario. As a winter-sports area they are unexcelled. The snow conditions are consistently the best in N. America, the climate is bracing and the incidence of sun-shine is high in Jan., Feb., and March. More than 1,000 m. of ski trails are main-tained in the Laurentians and thousands of skiers tour from centre to centre on cross-country trips. In late March and early April, touring reaches its greatest popularity. The lakes and rivers of the region lend themselves to hockey, skating and even ice-boating. Each village has one or more rinks, and scheduled hockey matches provide thrills both for players and spectators.