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Fort Témiscamingue

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Fort Témiscamingue

Fort Témiscamingue
Remnants of Fort Témiscamingue with Lake Timiskaming in the background.
Type Fort
Site information
Controlled by

New France; Canada

Official name: Fort Témiscamingue National Historic Site of Canada
Designated: 1931
Site history
Built 1679
In use 1679–1902

Fort Témiscamingue was a trading post from the 17th century in Duhamel-Ouest, Quebec, near Ville-Marie, Canada, located on the fur trade route on the east shore of Lake Timiskaming. The fort is a National Historic Site of Canada.[1]


Fort Témiscamingue in 1887.

Since Lake Timiskaming is at the northwest "corner" of the Ottawa River where its course turns from west to southeast, the lake is a natural site for a trading post. It was on the main canoe route from Hudson Bay to the Saint Lawrence (James Bay, Moose Factory, Abitibi River, Lake Abitibi, portage, Lake Timiskaming, Ottawa River southeast to Montreal). The lake was about the midpoint of a forty day journey. The Hudson Bay expedition (1686) was the first European group to use the route.

Circa 1679, Montreal merchants established a fort on the west side of Lake Timiskaming to compete with the English posts on the Ville-Marie, Quebec. The fort lingered on until it was closed in 1902.[5] Around 1980 there were only some standing chimneys,[6] but today there is a historic site.

A Roman Catholic mission originally established at Fort Témiscamingue on the eastern shore of Lake Timiskaming in present-day Quebec was relocated to the Ontario shore of the lake in 1863. The mission comprised a presbytery for the Oblate fathers, a small hospital operated by two Grey Sisters of the Cross, and eventually a frame church.[7]

National historic site

Old grave sites at Fort Témiscamingue.

Declared a national historic site in 1931,[2] the site is notable for its cultural and natural heritage. The park's territory is mainly three distinct natural areas: the plateau, the escarpments and the lowlands. Overall, over 80% of the total area of the park is a wooded area with approximately 20 different stands and a number of plants from the climatic forest type of the Laurentian maple stand and the Upper St. Lawrence forest sub-region.[4] Of particular interest is a forest of cedar trunks so twisted that it was nicknamed the "Enchanted Forest".

Of the fort itself not much remained, but a modern visitor's centre, exhibits, and reenactments highlight the cultural history of the place.


  1. ^ Fort Témiscamingue. Directory of Federal Heritage Designations. Parks Canada. Retrieved 28 March 2012.
  2. ^ a b c Conseil de la culture de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Cultural Heritage and Tourism Discovery Guide, ISBN 2-9806153-2-3
  3. ^ Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada
  4. ^ a b "Natural Wonders & Cultural Treasures". Parks Canada. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  5. ^ Parks Canada, Fort Témiscamingue National Historic Site leaflet, ISBN 0-662-66300-4
  6. ^ Elizabeth Browne Losey, "Let Them be Remembered:The Story of the Fur Trade Forts",1999
  7. ^ Ontario Heritage Trust Timiskaming Mission. Retrieved on 2012-05-15.

External links

  • Fort Témiscamingue National Historic Site of Canada – official site
  • Fort Témiscamingue National Historic Site of Canada at Parks Canada
  • Tourisme Temiscamingue
  • Temiscamingue Portal
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