Val-d'Or is a city of 32,000 people (2016) in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of northwestern Quebec, on the road to Rouyn. The city is known for its vast parks, cycle tracks, and forests. Some other attractions include the City of Gold and the mining village of Bourlamaque, which were proclaimed historic sites in 1979.
The city's name is French for "Valley of Gold". Val-d’Or is on the Canadian Shield at an elevation of 1100 feet (330 m) above sea level. Although its name refers to a valley (“Val”), the city is actually on a vast, slightly undulating plain.
Val-d'Or was established in 1923 as a gold rush town. Gold, copper, zinc, lead and lithium are still extracted in the region.
Gold was discovered in the area in 1923. The metal ores are usually found in volcanic rocks that were deposited on the sea floor over 2.7 billion years ago. They are referred to as volcanic-hosted (or volcanogenic) massive sulphide deposits (VMS).
Val-d'Or was once home to CFS Val-d'Or, a Canadian Forces Station.
Winters are cold and snowy with a January mean of −17 °C (1 °F). On an average of 18 days, the temperature will fall below −30 °C (−22 °F) although with the wind chill factored in, it can occasionally drop below −40 °C (−40 °F). Snowfall totals are heavy, averaging 288 cm (113 in) with reliable snow cover from November to April. Summers are warm with a July high of 24 °C (75 °F) though highs can reach above 30 °C (86 °F) an average of 4 days. Val-d'Or receives 905 mm (36 in) of precipitation per year which is fairly evenly distributed throughout the year, though precipitation is heaviest during the warmest months.
- 1 Aéroport régional de Val-d'Or (YVO IATA), 2-93, rue Arseneault, ☏ . A small, regional airstrip, served by Air Creebec and Pascan Aviation.
Val d'Or is on Route 117, one of the lesser-travelled branches of the Trans-Canada Highway system, which enters the province from Kirkland Lake in Ontario and passes through Réserve faunique La Vérendrye and Mont-Tremblant to connect to the Laurentian Autoroute (15) to Montréal.
- 1 Cité de l'Or. "The City of Gold", a listed provincial and federal national historic site, includes the decommissioned Lamaque Gold Mine (1935-1985) and the former Bourlamaque mining village. Tour the underground mine, see what gold mining was like and how miners lived.
- Mineralogical Museum of Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Canadian Malartic Mine, 650, rue de la Paix, Malartic, ☏ . Museum: Jun-Aug - daily 09:00-17:00; Sep-May M-Sa 09:00-12:00 and 13:00-15:00; the museum is also open during many holidays. Canadian Malartic mine: June to early September - Tu-Su one tour per day. The museum has a permanent exhibit about the geology and mining industry of the area, a spectacular gold collection, a sample from lunar roc, a large variety of minerals from around the world, interactives games, a seismic simulator, and a shadow theatre. The Canadian Malartic mines facilities are Canada’s largest open-pit gold mine in operation. Learn more about the day-to-day lives of numerous mine workers and the mining industry’s technological developments. Children and grown men will be amazed by the gigantic equipment used. Accessible for person with impaired mobility. Reservation requested, 24 hr in advance for weekends during winter Museum: adult $9, student and senior (over 55) $7, child (5-12) $5, 5 years old and under free, family (2 adults, 2 children) $23. Canadian Malartic (includes the visit of the museum): adult $18, child (over 8) $15, student and senior (over 55) $15, family (2 adults, 2 children) $50.
- Les Jardins à fleur de peau, 67, chemin de la Baie-jolie (5 km from downtown Val-d’Or, on the shores of Lake Blouin), ☏ . Late June to August: Th-Su 10:00-17:00. An oriental garden created by two local artists offers an original, poetic, meditative and artistic journey. A garden dotted with flowers, scents, sculptures, dragons, bonsais, Buddhas, adorned with a small stream and waterfalls. Adult $20, child 6-17 $5.
- 1 Réserve faunique La Vérendrye (La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve), Route 117, between Val d'Or and Grand Remous. Huge provincial park, one of the largest contiguous reserves in Québec. The opposite end of this wildlife reserve is near Grand Remous, 180 km (110 mi) north of Ottawa-Hull-Gatineau. Most park services are in the village of Le Domaine on Route 117. The park has winter snowmobile trails, whitewater rivers (such as the Gens de Terre River) for canoeing, as well as fishing, hiking, swimming, and canoe camping. There is black bear hunting in spring and moose or deer hunting in autumn.
- Val-d'Or Foreurs, Centre Air Creebec, 810 6e Avenue. The local hockey team have played in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League since 1993, and won the league championship in 1998, 2001 and 2014 to claim a spot in the Memorial Cup. The Foreurs' mascot is called Dynamit, named after dynamite which was extensively used by the mining industry of Val-d'Or. Adult $17.50, student $11.50, child $5.75.
- Tour de l'Abitibi. Union Cycliste Internationale-sponsored bicycle stage race, held annually since 1969, now an international competition as part of the Junior Nation's Cup (Coupe des Nations Junior). One stage leads through underground mining access tunnels at Cité de l'Or, the others race through the streets of Val-d'Or.
- Windsor- Restaurant, 805, 2e Avenue, ☏ . Tu-Sa 16:00-22:00. European cuisine with North American touches. Mains $19-39.
- Benedictine, 1645 3e Avenue and 636 3e Avenue, ☏ . M-F 05:00-14:00, Sa Su 06:00-15:00. Breakfast and brunch. $13-16.
- O Thai, 810 3rd Avenue, ☏ . Sa Su 16:00-22:00, M-W 11:30-22:00, Th 11:30-23:00, F 11:30-23:00. Dishes $14-26.
- Microbrasserie Le Prospecteur microbrewery, 585, 3e Avenue, ☏ . M-W 11:00-22:00, Th F 11:00-03:00, Sa 11:00-03:00 (summer) or 16:00-03:00 (rest of the year). 100% locally produced craft beer, pub style cuisine, rooftop terrace, this microbrewery is a must in the region. Accessible for people with impaired mobility. Mains, pizzas and burgers $14-29.
- Forestel Hotel, 1001, 3e avenue Est, ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Bar/lounge, free Wi-Fi, fitness centre, restaurant, air conditioning, refrigerator in room, non-smoking rooms, suites. From $250.
- La Vieille Auberge, 3120, Chemin Sullivan, ☏ . Clean motel rooms with kitchenettes. From $87.
- Hotel Continental Centreville, 932, 3e Avenue, ☏ . Free hot breakfast, and free Wi-Fi. Rustic bar. Some rooms with kitchenettes. From $130.
|Routes through Val-d'Or|
|Jct ← becomes ← Rouyn-Noranda ←||N S||→ Mont-Tremblant → Montreal|
|Chibougamau ← Senneterre ←||N S||→ END|