Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The area was inhabited by the Montagnais First Nations tribe, until the French settled it in the first half of the 19th century, establishing an agricultural presence throughout the valleys. During the 20th century, the area also became a popular tourist destination, based on a cottage and lake culture in the summer, and a downhill and cross-country ski culture in the winter. Ski resorts include Mont Tremblant and Gray Rocks .
The Laurentides still offer a weekend escape for Montrealers and tourists from New England to Ontario, but sadly the building of a major highway through the area in the 1970s (Laurentian Autoroute no. 15) has brought with it all the side effects of industrial tourism: traffic, noise, residential and commercial development, increases in the cost of living, and the destruction of nature. Currently, the lower Laurentides are being transformed into a suburb of Montreal, threatening to destroy any of the old-fashioned country charm that still lingers.
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