The region takes its name from the chain of mountains which runs down its northern side, and is part of the great Canadian Shield which covers most of Quebec north of the St. Lawrence River. Covering 22,000 km², the Laurentians span lakes, forests of maple and pine and, above all, the mountains, making this a top alpine ski getaway in eastern Canada and Quebec's answer to Cottage Country.
The area was inhabited by the Montagnais First Nations tribe, until the French settled in the first half of the 19th century, establishing an agricultural presence throughout the valleys. During the 20th century, the area also became a popular tourist destination, based on a cottage and lake in the summer, and a cross-country skiing and cross country skiing in the winter.
- 1 Deux-Montagnes
- 2 Laval — a Montréal suburb, on an island between the city and the North Shore of the St. Lawrence River
- 3 Mont-Tremblant — ski resort
- 4 Oka — a lakeside village in the Laurentians region but far from the mountains, known for its eponymous cheese
- 5 Sainte-Adèle — Mont Gabriel, a ski and golf resort, is surrounded by lush boreal forest and breathtaking views
- 6 Sainte-Anne-des-Lacs — small village next to Saint-Sauveur, with its 22 lakes it is ideal for cottages.
- 7 Sainte-Agathe — a magnet for English-speaking cottagers, with skiing and golf nearby
- 8 Saint-Jérôme — a gateway to the Laurentian Mountains and its resorts on the Autoroute des Laurentides (Autoroute 15)
- 9 Saint-Joseph-du-Lac — a small village in the lower Laurentians with opportunities for agrotourism
- 10 Saint-André d'Argenteuil — home to the Carillon Canal Historic Site which boasts the highest lock in Quebec, and to the Carillon hydroelectric dam which can also be visited
Mont-Tremblant's small airport also has some direct flights from the US, mostly in the winter season only.
- Via Rail provides service to Montreal's central station from Quebec City, Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax and other cities.
- exo, ☏ . Commuter trains from Montreal's central station to Deux-Montagnes station.
The Laurentians are only an hour from Montreal on Autoroute 15 North.
By public transit
- exo, ☏ . Buses that connect to the Deux-Montagnes commuter train station.
The Parc Régional Bois de Belle-Rivière in Mirabel is a 27 mi (43 km) long network of trails winds across lawns, through gardens, and through an arboretum-style forest. The Maison et Jardins Chénier-Sauvé in Saint-Eustache features local flowers, perennials, trees, shrubs and beautiful riverside scenery in a 20th-century eclectic garden created by Thérèse Romer, a well-known Quebec conservationist. The Cosmodome in Laval is a space museum with a life-sized space shuttle cockpit.
Rent a cottage on one of the dozens of lakes in the region. Ski or golf or partake in the many winter and summer activities at the Mont-Tremblant, Mont-Blanc, Mont Gabriel or other resorts. Through the region, there are many walking trails that become cross-country ski trails in the winter. The Route verte cycling path passes through Sainte-Jerome.
Rent a mountain bike in the summer or snowboard in the winter at PRFO Sports www.prfo.com. They are located in St-Sauveur and have been in operation since 1989.
Oka cheese from the Abbey of Notre-Dame du Lac is a speciality of the region, and there are many products made from the region's apples available.
- There is a mass-market beer named for the region, Molson's Laurentide, which is not available outside Québec.