The Maple Leaf Trail
The Laurentian region of Quebec is known as the “cradle of skiing” in North America because of its rich history as one of the oldest ski regions in Canada.
Swiss ski champion, Emile Cochand, emigrated to Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains in 1911, bringing with him 100 pairs of skis and poles with which to establish the first ski school at Ste-Agathe’s Laurentide Inn.
In 1914, he operated his own resort hotel at Ste-Marguerite “It was just a little more luxurious then than camping but it was on the rough side, to be quite frank” was his comment about conditions at the resort. The original lodge burned down shortly after its completion and in 1917, he rebuilt the lodge, Chalet Cochand, which still exists
today and was the first ski resort established in the Laurentians.
He was instrumental in founding the Laurentian Resorts Association and was its president for 12-years. He promoted the first United States ski train to the Laurentians and was involved in the first indoor winter sports show held in Madison Square Gardens in 1938. In 1936, the Chalet Cochand installed a J-bar lift, Canada’s first overhead cable ski lift, with another first in 1938 with the installation of the first double-seat chairlift.
To Emile Cochand, the building and promotion of the sport was his life’s work.
Please Note: The ski information gathered here is compiled from a number of sources; it may not be inclusive of all accomplishments.
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Chalet Cochand postcard. CSHFM Collection.
Emile Cochand. CSHFM Collection.
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