After five years of working this website, it is great to come across another long-lost ski hill – Jasper in Quebec – in St. Donat. The postcard below dates from 1938. Jasper is a resort in the Canadian Rockies in Alberta and the creators of this hill obviously hoped to get some of that western Canadian glamour attached to this laurentian hill. I don’t have any info on the back story on this hill so if you know anything please jump in with a comment or email me at info(at)hinterlandproductions.ca.
I know this hill had a fantastic art-deco base-house and will load an image shortly.
Richard S. Rice
Continuing the exploration of this ski-hill, here is an image of the base house of Mont Ste. Agathe, formerly called Mount Kingston.
As promised in the earlier piece about the ski hills of Ste. Agathe, here is an image taken from the former ski hill Mount Kingston. You can clearly see the church on rue Principale. This dates from the 1940’s/50’s.
This website is shortly to be renovated. Come back soon!
**Update: more information coming next week including image of Mount Kingston**
Considering its’ pivotal role in the development of skiing in Canada it is ironic that Ste. Agathe now has no operating ski hills. This week I visited and noticed that Mont-Alta seems to have gone – this was the hill that rose off the 117 – now both the lift and the base-house have disappeared. A reader has informed me that Alex Foster, the inventor of the rope-tow, built a ski-hill just before Ste. Agathe. Could this have been Mont-Alta?
I was in the town to look for the Laurentide Inn which I think I have found. It is now called ‘Auberge Hotel Spa Watel’ and has been highly renovated. [New information: a reader has informed me that the original Laurentide Inn burned down – this would explain why the ‘Watel’ hotel looks new – though I strongly suspect it was built on the same spot as the Laurentide Inn. Though another reader has now suggested this was not the location of the Laurentide Inn]. I will be returning shortly to verify these details!
The other place I was looking for was the ski-hill ‘Mont Ste- Agathe‘. I don’t know anything about this ski-hill but I have come across some nice images recently. It seems to have had a great location in front of one of the beautiful lakes that dot the Ste. Agathe area. I didn’t have time to find it this time but will return soon. [new information: readers have informed me that this hill was originally called Mont Kingston]
There is some info on Ste. Agathe’s place in skiing history here. Not to put too fine a point on it but Canadian downhill skiing all kicked off here, Emile Cochand being parachuted in by the Montreal Ski Club to start ski-ing lessons for the Montreal bourgeoisie….and then to an irrelevent but mysterious item…Hitler’s foreign minister Count von Ribbentrop learned to ski in Ste. Agathe apparently…but where? Little Alp? Baumgarten? The mind boggles…
I will leave more information about the ski-hills in Ste. Agathe as I find out more. If you have information to share on these hills leave a comment or contact Lost Ski Hills at info(at)hinterlandproductions.ca.
Below is an image of Mont Ste. Agathe.
Here is an equivalent to the ‘kiss-me-quick’ type postcards you can find in Britain. But in this case it deals with skiing in Ste. Agathe! This one was posted from Ste-Agathe in 1949 to an address in Outremont (Montreal) with the following words:
“Dear Clarry, Don’t let the picture fool you, I haven’t yet but I have hopes that it will. Surprising the owners are Jewish, and so the meals are just like home. Hope you arrive safely. Be good. Shirley”
A summer activity that was popular at the Laurentian skiing lodges was horseriding. Here we can see equine activities at the Laurentide Inn at Ste. Agathe.
Hill 40/80 seen in the distance from Ste Adele Lodge. To read more about Hill 40/80 click here.
Nymark’s Lodge was a famous Inn located near the base of Hill 70 in Saint Sauveur. Here we see the swimming pool in summer with Hill 70 in the distance. For more info on Hill 70 click here.
See more about ‘Laurentide Inn‘ and this inn is referenced in this article.
The humble beginnings of Mont Saint Sauveur. Read more about Hill 70 here.