Dolbeau-Mistassini

The city of Dolbeau-Mistassini (population about 15 thousand) comprises the former communities of Dolbeau and Mistassini, located in northern Quebec, at the confluence of the Mistassini and Mistassibi rivers and the Aux Rats River, just north of Lac St-Jean.

The city is part of the Maria-Chapdelaine County. Dolbeau-Mistassini is named after Jean Dolbeau, a famous priest who evangelized the Montagnais people at Tadoussac. The sector of Dolbeau was founded when an American enterprise, Lake St John Pulp & Paper Company decided to build a paper mill on the Mistassibi River.

The company also built a real company town to house their employees; Dolbeau’s Charter was modelled on that of neighbouring Arvida. After WWII Dolbeau, with its shopping centres and big stores, became the major service centre and the commercial hub for the area north of St-Jean Lake. Today, Dolbeau-Mistassini is home to an important astronomic observatory of Quebec. The paper mill factory and a few wood factories are still main sources of income and of employment for the dwellers.

In July, the city holds a Western Festival and in August a Blueberry Festival honours this blue fruit found in abundance here. Blueberry Festival includes exhibitions, animation, performances, games, blueberry contests, a parade by night, and the baking of a giant blueberry pie. It is celebrated in July or August when blueberries are picked up in blueberry fields. Besides, the city is an entrance point to the Great Quebec north for hunters and fishers.

Rafting is very popular here. Dolbeau-Mistassini is also home to Do-Mi-Ski, a local ski resort. It has a few nice beaches on the lake shores.

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