Pontiac Regional County is located in the western part of the Outaouais Region. Its vast territory includes 18 municipalities spread over 4,178 square, as well as an unorganized territory of 9,670 square kilometres. The Ottawa River crosses this territory. This is a very vast, but sparsely populated territory.
Colonized by the English, Irish, Scots, Germans, Poles and French, Pontiac is a true cultural mosaic. More than fifty-seven percent of its residents are Anglophones, and about 40% are Francophones.
Pontiac experienced a demographic drop in the late 1990, as for more than one hundred fifty years, the local economy depended mainly on forest products. The recent forestry crisis, which reached its height in 2008, was the stimulant for economic diversification and Pontiac Region has undertaken a strategic process to determine socio-economic development niches. This process is taking place in the context of the economic diversification in the natural resources and the tourism industry.
The region has an attractive architectural and natural heritage. Vacationers from all over the world come here in growing numbers and they recall their visits as wonderful moments. Local rivers, including the imposing Ottawa, about four thousand lakes, varied and abundant wildlife and a built heritage as diverse and form a lively, colourful and unforgettable portrait of the area.
The historical development of the Outaouais has often found its origin in the Pontiac. Thus, is within the Pontiac where the oldest traces of human artefacts were discovered, shortly after the retreat of the Champlain Sea, about 8 thousand years ago.
Later, as archaeological discoveries found on Morrison Island revealed, the river in the Pontiac had become "the copper route", starting from the Great Lakes and leading up to Eastern Quebec. Afterwards, the "fur trade routes" took over the commercial exchange before being replaced centuries later by the log drive. These industries allowed the Europeans to transform the shorelines as we see it today, along the river and all the MRC in order to meet their business and industrial needs.
Today we can trace the historical development of the Pontiac by visiting these historical sites that can be found throughout the territory: trading posts, train stations, houses, covered bridges, such as Bryson House, the Shawville Train Station.
The Pontiac Region is equipped with a network of infrastructures that allows its population to take advantage of diverse cultural activities. For example, there are no less than ten libraries here (Bristol, Shawville, Bryson, Campbell’s Bay, Grand-Calumet, Otter Lake, Alleyn-et-Cawood, Fort-Coulonge, Mansfield-et-Pontefract, Isle-aux-Allumettes).