Gatineau Mills dates back to the 1920s, when the government of Quebec last granted woodland to forestry industries. Canadian International Paper (CIP), a subsidiary of International Paper (IP), expressed an interest in acquiring more than 1,000 square kilometres of woodland in the Outaouais. This request was approved with one condition: the company had to agree to build a major paper mill in the area.
And this is how it came to be that in 1925, the municipality of West Templeton authorized the CIP to purchase large tracts of farmland to build its mill and accommodations for the workers during the construction period. At about the same time, it also built larger homes for the company's senior managers, and more modest ones for its other employees. As the mill opened, hundreds of workers and their families, as well as pulp and paper experts, moved to the area. The agricultural sector in West Templeton was diminished as a result of this rapid population growth, which disrupted the area's traditional lifestyle, and drowned its Anglophone population in a sea of Catholic Francophones.
The rural community in the municipality of West Templeton, which had been established in 1886 and had developed a prosperous and diversified agricultural economy, was unsettled by the CIP's arrival in 1926. A paper mill and a new industrial town—Gatineau Mills, which was incorporated as a village in 1933, and later as a city in 1946—sprung up right in the centre of the territory.
Coordination: Sonia Blouin, Ville de Gatineau
Research and writing: Sylvie Jean, Historian
Neighbourhood news: Bernard Lacroix, Mes jeunes années à l'ombre du moulin, 1934-1947
Translation: Katalin Poor, Traduction Al Punto
Revision: Michel Bédard, Ville de Gatineau
Photos: Ville de Gatineau
Gatineau is the fourth largest city in the province of Quebec with close to 285,000 inhabitants.