Rd. 1. (Hwy. 44) to St. Paiilin and St. Alexis des Monts in the Laurentians.
87 m. Three Rivers (Trois Rivieres) (pop. 46,820). The fourth largest city of Quebec province is built on a series of terraces where the St. Maurice river enters the St. Lawrence, and where the great river begins to be tidal. Although by North American standards it is an ancient city with many historical sites and monuments, it is today a busy port and industrial centre. its large paper milis make it one of the greatest producers of newsprint in the world, and a thousand tons of paper flow daily from its plant. its old iron-works, founded over 200 years ago, has developed into a modern iron and steel industry; the cotton manufacturing industry has also come to Three Rivers, and it has long been a ship-building and woodworking place.
Around the city the St. Lawrence lowlands broaden into a plain with an area of over 20,000 sq. miles, extending on both sides of the river; the growth of Three Rivers was largely bound up with its being the regional capital of this plain which now has a population of over 200,000 people; to its functions as an agricultural market centre for a large and densely settled plain, the lumbering industry was soon added, and the presence of bog iron in the lowlying marshy land around gave rise to an iron industry; to-day the abundant cheap hydro-electric power generated by the swift waters of the St. Maurice are perhaps, along with the excellent harbour facilities, the chief factor in the city‚„s growth.
The name arises from the presence of two isds. in the mouth of the St. Lawrence river: the wooded and empty St. Quentin isle and Potherie isle, home of great paper milis of the Consolidated Paper Corp. Ltd. To one sailing the St. Lawrence past the mouth of the St. Maurice these two isds., by dividing the waters of the tributary stream into three channels, give the appearance of three rivers; it was this that led the French merchant, Pontgrave, as long ago as 1599, to cAll the St. Maurice the Three Rivers river, or ‚Å“la riviere de Trois Rivieres.
The population is almost All 95% French Canadian. Besides its functions as a regional capital and an industrial and commercial centre, Three Rivers holds an important place in the tourist and holiday activities of Quebec province. Besides its own attractions interesting old buildings dating from and associated with the French regime in Canada, and its good hotels and restaurants it is the gateway to the beautiful St. Maurice valley with its attractions for the fisherman, huntsman, ski-enthusiast, aquatic sports lover, and the admirer of fine scenery. In position, it is almost mid-way between Montreal and Ouebec, and on the main line of the C.P.R.
History. Although there had probably already been a temporary trading post at the mouth of the St. Maurice river, the first permanent settlement of Three Rivers dates from 1634, when the Sieur de Laviolette, acting under instructions from Samuel de Champlain, founded the present city. A boulder in the Customs building grounds marks the site of the original fort built by Laviolette. The settlement grew fast, and many famous names in the exploration of French Canada belong to men who were born here: Groseillers, Raclisson, La Verendrye who explored as far W. as the Saskatchewan river, and many others.
industry came in 1730, when the inhabitants began to use the local iron ore in their foundries to make such goods as nails, cooking pots, stoves and kettles, for the farmer-settlers in the surrounding country; the iron-works were to the N. of the town. A cairn at the junction of Trois Rivieres and Les Vieilles Forges rds. marks the site; the works, known as the St. Maurice Forges, were established by Poulin de Francheville.