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Surrounded by two magnificent rivers, Rivière des Prairies and Rivière des Mille-Îles, it’s easy to forget that Laval is actually an extremely original and quite stunning island…
The Laval region has that little something that makes it unique – perhaps its the charm of its countryside, or its pleasant old neighbourhoods – or even the avant-garde character of its numerous attractions.
You love flowers, science, water, cycling or serenity? The horticultural capital of Quebec, Laval is a city of gardens in which 35% of all the flowers in the province are produced. Take them all in along the Route des Fleurs and by visiting the ECONOMUSEUM® of flowers. Also on your agenda should be the Cosmodôme, the Musée Armand-Frappier, a renowned centre for research into serious diseases, Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles and the Centre de la Nature de Laval. Here you’ll discover tiny, unexpected treasures and, for the family, entertaining activities. For shoppers, Laval has several large shopping centres.
Located on Montreal’s doorstep and close to the Laurentian region, this 23-km island, with the beauty of its river banks, woods, forests and farm fields, is proving to be a very pleasant pied-à-terre for vacationers and business people.
Flowers by the millions…
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Flavours of the region
With an excellent climate and good soils, the Laval region has many farm fields in cultivation, especially for vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and of course the island’s famous sweet corn. As for fruits, the two star products are apples and the exceptional cantaloupe melons. Very good cheeses are also made here.
The island has a large number of horticultural and floral greenhouses, so it is not surprising to learn that restaurateurs garnish their dishes with pretty floral touches. As for good food, several restaurants in the region are listed among the finest in Quebec.
Very much in evidence on the island, hothouse growing has inspired several agritourism initiatives, such as the delightful event La Venue des Récoltes (tour of producers at harvest time). Other good opportunities for a trip to Laval: the Tournée Gourmande in August, and Le bon goût de notre campagne in September. And don’t forget the fun of picking your own strawberries, raspberries and apples!
Did you know?
Because of its country setting and its beautiful stretches of water like Rivière des Mille-Îles, the Île Jésus was a resort centre, attracting a multitude of pleasure seekers each summer. In 1941, Sainte-Rose and its 2,300 inhabitants welcomed 4,000 tourists! So it’s not surprising that the villas and infrastructures for leisure purposes were built with concern for comfort and quality, as they are today. With urbanization, resorts moved further north, but the pastoral character remains. Parc de la Rivière-des-Mille-Îles, one of the last natural sites, is an exceptional place for enjoying a breath of fresh air.
Laval was first granted to the Jesuits in 1636, and at that time was named Île Jésus. In the absence of a property title, the Jesuits were dispossessed of their island in 1672 and it went to François Berthelot, King’s Counsel to Louis XIV, who exchanged it for Île d’Orléans with Mgr. Laval (first bishop) in 1675. Five years later, Mgr. Laval ceded most of the land to the Séminaire de Québec, of which he was the founder. Following the Lachine massacre of 1689, Laval did not escape the terror of the Iroquois, and this halted its development. Prior to the signing of the Peace Treaty with the Iroquois in 1701, Laval had no more than 13 inhabitants! In 1965, the municipalities merged to form the City of Laval.
A little history
For more information about the Laval region: