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Ghost Stories

Ghost Stories

When you think of October, you can’t help but think of Hallowe’en and ghost stories. There are all kinds of stories around and some of them can make us question our sanity. There are scary tales told the world over, including Val d’Or. Allow me to tell you a few of our own…

Oscar the Ghost in Hammond Place

Hammond Place has a long history. It was the head office for the Siscoe Mine in the early thirties when it was divided in three and moved to Bourlamaque, where it became the town hall in 1954. The post office and police department were also housed there. The prison ended up in the same building, in the basement, and is still there to this day, although the space has been converted into a storage vault for documents and archives. Various ministries and organizations have offices in the building. Currently, Hammond Place is the headquarters for the Regional County Municipality (RCM) of La Vallée-de-l’Or.

hôtel de ville Bourlamaque archive

For a number of years, employees working in the building have noticed disturbing noises and eerie shadows. Numerous unusual visions over the years led them to the conclusion that ‘someone’ has been living there for a long time.  Apparently, his name is Oscar. Long ago, Oscar was a prisoner in the basement of Hammond Place and ended up hanging himself in his cell. One might conclude that his ghost would be a scary one, but aside from scaring a few people here and there, he’s never hurt anyone.

 

About 25 years ago, an employee named Denise saw Oscar one morning when she’d gone into work very early. She was the only one in the office at the time. No sooner had she sat down at her desk than she noticed someone sneaking past her door and duck into the neighbouring office. She hurried into the hall to see what could possibly be going on and no one was there. She was still alone in the office. Was this just a product of her sleepy imagination? Or was Oscar indeed the visitor she spied that morning?

 

There was another similar occurrence, on December 9, 2005, to be exact. It was at the annual office Christmas party. The employees and their spouses were all gathered in the basement in the RCM boardroom. Later in the evening, they began to play board games. Everyone was busy enjoying themselves and, all of a sudden, they heard the sound of running in the staircase.  They all stopped in their tracks and immediately looked around the room to see whether everyone was there. Indeed, all were present and accounted for. Someone or something else was making all the din. The guests went upstairs to have a look around and check the doors to make sure none were unlocked, and that no one else had entered the building.  Everything seemed fine. They found no intruder, and nothing had fallen. It had snowed that evening and there was a covering of new snow outside, so had someone entered the building there would have been footprints to prove it. There were no fresh tracks in the snow. Perhaps Oscar felt envious as he watched the party-goers having such a good time…

Lake of the Evil Spirit

Do you know the legend of Lake Matchi-Manitou?

The lake is in the town of Senneterre, in the Regional County Municipality (RCM) of La Vallée-de-l’Or. Its name means ‘evil spirit’. According to indigenous legend, a great moose hunter was hunting around the lake. He was really the best: he took down the largest animals and his hunting grounds were vast. The more moose he killed, the more he sold. As the cold months approached, everyone relied on the meat he sold. He was unstoppable. He tracked and killed moose around the lake, hunting more out of pleasure than need. His ego began to swell – he became reluctant to sell the meat and even wasteful on occasion.

lac matchi-manitou Abitibi-Témiscamingue

One quiet, chilly fall evening, the hunter was cutting up a carcass on the other side of the lake. It was getting dark, so he quickly loaded the pieces into his canoe to get them back to his camp. As he began to paddle, the wind came up. It gathered strength, whipping up huge waves on the lake’s surface. The hunter began to panic. The boat started taking on water. It began to pour rain. Buffeted mercilessly by the waves, the hunter decided to turf the animal carcass into the water. As he did this, the canoe became top-heavy and capsized.

 

The next day, all the people he had turned against him found a birchbark canoe floating upside down on the lake and felt that justice had been done. Perhaps he’d been punished for his ego-centric ways and attracted the evil spirit that claimed his life. And so the lake got its name.

An Icy Death

Stanley Siscoe archive mine siscoe val-d'or

Stanley Siscoe
Société d’histoire et de généalogie de Val-d’Or-Fonds Gilbert Tardif

It’s probably not news to you that Stanley Siscoe, who founded the Siscoe Mine in Sullivan, froze to death on this same lake.

 

Stanley Siscoe, originally called Stanlaw Siskwo, emigrated to Canada from his native Poland. He changed his name when he got here to make it easier to pronounce. He is known as the man who established the Siscoe Mine in 1912. The mine was in operation from 1929 to 1949. The mine is situated on Siscoe Island, an area inhabited by First Nations people when he arrived. They were chased off their land by development of the mine and its related infrastructure.

Mort de Stanley Siscoe archive

The photo of Stanley Siscoe dead frozen on Lake Matchi-Manitou.
Société d’histoire et de généalogie de Val-d’Or-Fonds Gilbert Tardif

Unfortunately, Mr. Siscoe did not live long enough to see the mine in full operation. In March 1935, he was on his way back to Montréal by air. There was a vicious storm raging at the time, with high winds and glacial temperatures. The atrocious weather forced the pilot to make an emergency landing on a frozen lake near Senneterre, Lake  Matchi-Manitou. The plane became lodged in the ice and they waited for help for two long days. Stanley Siscoe, starving and chilled to the bone, decided to walk south. His frozen body was discovered lying in the snow the next day. Of the photos taken at the time, two different ones made the rounds. One depicting a man lying on his back and another, quite similar, with bank notes strewn around his body. Was it photo enhancement? Was it robbery? Did he throw his money into the air in one final desperate gesture, as though to say that his massive fortune could not save his life? There are those who like to think that the evil spirit came to get him as punishment for expelling the First Nations from their land to build the Siscoe Mine. The evil spirit is unforgiving…

 

 

Paul-Antoine Martel, a local history buff, says that Val d’Or is fertile ground for ghost stories and mysterious rumours.

 

 

Photo de couverture | Jack Cain sur Unsplash

ghost stories Val-d'Or
The Best Cocktail Spots in Val-d’Or

The Best Cocktail Spots in Val-d’Or

Because summer just tastes so much better on a sunny patio, a refreshing cocktail in hand, I decided to do some detective work and find the best spots to unwind in Val-d’Or. I headed out on a reconnaissance mission with my friend, Marguerite (not her real name) (just for the fun of it, I decided to give someone I know a fictitious name, because I could). We established some very specific criteria for our mixology research: originality, ingredient ratios, execution and, of course, the bartender. Here are our findings:

Bar Bistro l’Entracte

The urban lounge feel at Bar Bistro l’Entracte is perfect for sitting back and enjoying a good cocktail. There, you’ll find the most extensive cocktail menu in Val-d’Or and a beautiful offering of top-quality spirits. In addition to the classics, you’ll find some house creations. Among others are L’Entracte, made with Hendrick’s gin, apple juice, sugar, lemon juice and 7 UP. It sounds sweet, but it’s actually quite refreshing and subtle on the pallet. If it’s a sweeter drink you’re after, I suggest the Limonade l’Entracte, which offers a fruity, summery taste.

One of my top favs is the Long Island Iced Tea. It’s absolutely sublime – one of the best I’ve ever tasted! It has just the right amount of alcohol in it (enough so that you know it’s there, but not so much that you feel your oesophagus being disinfected on every mouthful).

The quality of execution is certainly a reflection of bartender Daniel. He’s a talented mixologist who has been with Bar Bistro l’Entracte for a long time. His expertise, charisma and talent make the drinks and overall atmosphere there a real treat to experience.

Bar bistro l'Entracte à Val-d'Or cocktail

During my mixology research with my friend “Marguerite”. While she was enjoying Long Island Iced Tea (the brown drink), I drank a Limonade L’Entracte (the orange cocktail).

Le Prospecteur Microbrewery

Although locally brewed craft beer is their speciality, Microbrasserie Le Prospecteur does a fine job on their cocktails too. With evocative names like La Grande pêcheuse (Come Hither) and Le Café du bûcheron (Lumberjack’s Java), most of their cocktails are original creations. Sweet or subtle, refreshing or comforting, the proportions are always just right. My personal favourite is a little number called the Frasilic, a mix of strawberries, fresh basil, vodka and sparkling water.

If you sit at the bar, you may get the chance to meet the lovely barman, Olivier. Not only is he funny and congenial, he has a wonderful talent for mixology and a great deal of imagination. In fact, challenge him to whip you up a surprise cocktail? I’m quite sure you won’t be disappointed.

Cocktails panaché bar Val-d'Or

With its delicious locally brewed craft beers, Le Prospecteur offers tasty beer cocktails. The one on that picture is a suggestion of bartender Olivier.  🙂 

Special Mention to La Tanière – William J. Walter

If you’re one of those people who believes that if you want something done right, you need to do it yourself or you believe you’ve got potential as a mixologist, then I suggest you head over to La Tanière. In fact, even if you aren’t one of those people (you prefer that someone make you a good drink and serve it to you), I still recommend checking out La Tanière. (You can always resort to the DIY approach when you’re snowed in or back at home, unable to enjoy our delicious Val-d’Or cocktails.)

La Tanière is a purveyor of fine foods that sells William J. Walter sausage products, but also cheeses, deli meats, hot sauces, micro-brewery beers, the best sauerkraut in town and… – drum roll – a whole range of cocktail products! The shelves are stocked with simple flavoured syrups, lemonades, ginger ale syrup, colas or tonicBloody Caesar mixgarnishes and flavoured bitters, waiting to jazz up your drinks! All you need to do is let your imagination run wild! They also have all the essential bar accessories to make you feel like Tom Cruise in Cocktail. For instance, they sell a shaker that opens easily when it’s cold (the same model professional bartenders use), a strainer to get the fresh fruit juice out without any lumps or pulp getting into your glass, a pestle to crush lime, sugar and mint in your mojito and a long spoon to stir your martinis.

produits pour faire des cocktails La Tanière Val-d'Or

The display shelving of all cocktail products at La Tanière offers a great choice and always new stuff. 

Classic, sweet, refreshing, subtle or girly: whatever your taste, you’ll find everything you’re looking for at these four great cocktail spots in Val-d’Or. My parting suggestion would be to trust in the bartenders’ passion, expertise and talent and let them surprise you!

Let finish this blog on a good note with a clip of the great movie of Cocktail . 🙂 

The Best Cocktail Spots in Val-d'Or
No me moleste mosquito – Dodging the mozzies!

No me moleste mosquito – Dodging the mozzies!

Summer is synonymous with warm weather, swimming in the lake, camping, kicking back on the patio, ice cream…and those blasted mosquitoes! To support peaceful cohabitation with these tiny creatures while fully enjoying your time in the outdoors, we’ve a few suggestions for all you potential blood donors: some tips for keeping them at bay and a relief plan if you aren’t successful.

How do mosquitoes select their victims?

There has been a lot of research done to determine what exactly attracts mosquitoes when they’re out looking for blood and whether some folks are more likely to get bitten than others. Although it’s a complex subject, there are some certainties to share.

Mosquitoes are primarily attracted to carbon dioxide (CO2), the gas we exhale in the process of breathing. Once mozzies have zeroed in on their blood donor, guided by their CO2 emissions, they then proceed to the next level of selection based on a number of factors.

First of all, mozzies love heat. The more heat you give off, the more they love you. Which is why it is recommended that you wear light-coloured clothing to ward off mosquitoes. Dark colours retain heat more easily so people wearing dark clothing will produce more heat and be more attractive to the mozzies. They also enjoy people who are physically active or just hotter by nature.

Smell is also very important in how mozzies choose their blood donors. Their sense of smell is actually so powerful that they can pick up about 150 different odours that emanate from the body – not all detectable by humans. The components of perspiration, skin bacteria and other smells the body gives off are all factors in how attractive an odour is to mozzies. In fact, certain perfumes and cholesterol (!) even feature among their preferences.

Another thing mozzies really love, over which you have no control, is your blood type. Japanese researchers have shown that mosquitoes have a penchant for blood type O because it’s high-protein.

A study of the correlation between drinks consumed and the frequency of mosquito bites showed that people who drink alcohol, particularly, beer, have a greater chance of being bitten than those who drink water.

How to avoid mosquitoes

Pick your times for heading outdoors.

Since mosquitoes are more plentiful in the spring (especially when it’s a wet one), at dawn, dusk and after it rains, it’s best to remain indoors then. Being on or in the water and out in the wind are good ways to escape from mozzies.

Wear light rather than dark or coloured clothing.

Dark colours absorb the heat (remember, mosquitoes are drawn to heat) and bright colours are easily picked up by mosquitoes’ photosensitive eyes.

Avoid perfumes, soaps, fragrant creams and aftershave.

As mentioned earlier, mosquitoes decide whether a blood donor is tasty or not based on their body odour.

Stay zen!

The more agitated you are, the more heat you give off and the more appealing you are to the mozzies.

Apply insect repellent, preferably on your clothes.

Commercially available insect repellents sold in stores often contain DEET, a chemical that scares off mosquitoes. The concentrations of DEET depend on the repellent. The concentration won’t affect the effectiveness of the repellent, but the duration. An insect repellent containing 30% DEET will last six (6) hours while a concentration of 10%, will last about three (3) hours. Insect repellent containing DEET is not recommended for children under a year old.

There are also natural and homemade insect repellents. Once again, it’s a matter of how long it lasts. Citronella, lemon eucalyptus oil and rose geranium are three essential oils that mozzies really don’t care for. They can be mixed with vegetable oil and applied to the body or put in a diffuser to keep mozzies away. Again, essential oil should not be applied directly on children’s skin.

How to find relief from mosquito bites

Despite all these helpful tips, a few mozzies may try to draw out some of your blood, because there’s one thing that attracts them that you’re better off not doing anything about: breathing!

So, if you get bitten and the itch is unbearable, here are a few ways of finding some relief:

  • Apply ice to the bite. The cold will contract your blood vessels which in turn helps to reduce the swelling and numb the skin, thereby decreasing your discomfort.
  • Apply a cotton pad soaked in vinegar to the bite for 30 minutes. Vinegar is a natural antiseptic with anti-itch properties.
  • Apply aloe gel on the bites. Aloe works real magic when it comes to healing skin! It also has a cooling, soothing effect that helps you to resist scratching your itch.
  • Apply essential oil of spike lavender or real lavender (lavanda angustifolia) on your bites. This essential oil is also found in many natural mosquito repellent recipes.

Still looking for more tips to keep mozzies away or relieve their bites? Visit our Camping page on Pinterest [French only]: https://www.pinterest.ca/tourismevaldor6562/camping/

I hope you’ve found this helpful. Now, you might feel that you are better equipped to fight off mozzies effectively, instead of just madly waving your hands around in the air with annoyance. My intention is for this information to have the best possible experience in the fresh air and the great outdoors this summer!

 

Cover picture | Manlake Gabriel

Dodging mosquitoes
Moving back at the Visitor information centre of Val-d’Or

Moving back at the Visitor information centre of Val-d’Or

After important renovations, our team is moving back at the Visitor Information Centre of Val-d’Or at the 1070, 3e Avenue Est.

Our relocation is in the same time of the beginning of the summer season and the change of our opening hours. From May 17th to September 1st 2019, we will be open daily from 8:30 am to 6:30 pm.

Due to the relocation, we will be close from Friday May 10th to Tuesday May 14th, 2019.

However, during the relocation, we will have a stand at the Super Salon Kinsmen and will be able to answer all your questions about the not-to-be-miss activities for the summer. We will also bring our brand new map of Val-d’Or which now presents all the name of the lakes in Val-d’Or in the Anicinabe native language.

To know more about the Super Salon Kinsmen

The Super Salon Kinsmen will be held at the Air Creebec Centre at the 810, 6e Avenue à Val-d’Or.

 

Opening hours

Friday, 6 pm to 10 pm

Saturday, 11 am to 10 pm

Sunday, 11 am to 4:30 pm

Contest

With Tourisme Amos-Harricana which will share our stand, we are proposing to you to participate to a contest. Come see us at our stand to fill up a ballot to win two tickets for the summer theater Amos vous raconte son histoire (show only in French) and two tickets for the summer theater Val-d’Or vous raconte son histoire (show only in French).

Cover Photo | Erda Estremera

Geology 101: Follow the yellow brick road …

Geology 101: Follow the yellow brick road …

Come to Abitibi-Témiscamingue, specifically, Val-d’Or, and discover our very own yellow brick road. In this case, the ‘yellow’ refers to all the gold that lies beneath our feet when we’re anywhere near Highway 117.  Every time we take that highway from the eastern limits of Val-d’Or to the Ontario border, we are actually riding on gold! Yes sirree, the road actually runs along the Cadillac Fault, which contains abundant deposits of the precious metal.

Although no one I know has found the pot of gold (even though the average income here is among the highest in the province of Quebec), we can still follow the yellow brick road several times a day!

What is the Cadillac Fault?

Here’s the short course in geology: the Cadillac Fault, Cadillac Break or Cadillac-Larder Lake tectonic zone, refers to a major, mineral-rich geological structure in Quebec and Ontario. In the goldrush days, prospectors followed the fault in their search for the precious mineral and, to that end, built the road that is now Highway 117 along the Cadillac Break.  Which also explains all the mines you see along the fault line; there are hundreds of millions of ounces of gold buried underneath the road and in its vicinity.

The Cadillac Fault is about 320 km long and very rich in gold deposits, but it also contains silver, copper, zinc and many other minerals. In fact, it is one of the main gold structures in Abitibi-Témiscamingue.  The mines that sprouted up alongside the fault gave birth to the regional cities and towns of Rouyn-Noranda, Val-d’Or, and Malartic among others.

carte abitibi-témiscamingue faille de cadillac

Image of the Cadillac Fault, Source | L’ATLAS de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue [French only]

Discovering the mining industry

If you are as fascinated by gold as the prospectors were at the turn of the last century, I can recommend visiting two really interesting places where the mining industry and our age-old fascination for gold really come alive. You might begin at Cité de l’Or and the historic village of Bourlamaque where you can experience what the life of a miner was like and follow the history from the early days to modern times. When you’ve emerged from your journey into the workings of an old gold mine 300 feet underground, I highly recommend the Abitibi-Témiscamingue mineralogical museum (Musée minéralogique de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue).

Our underground wealth has meant that we’ve had to move not mountains, but entire neighbourhoods. Visit the Musée minéralogique and discover how a mining operation pulled it off then check out the museum’s breathtaking gold collection.

If you still haven’t had your fill of tales from the frontier, then, you could visit Canadian Malartic, the largest operating open-pit gold mine in Canada, which offers guided visits in conjunction with the Abitibi-Témiscamingue mining museum.

fusion d'or mine d'or visite val-d'or abitibi-témiscamingue

While you are visiting the essay laboratory, you will have the chance to assist to a real gold melting! 

visit underground gallerie gold mine valdor abitibi

The underground galleries of La Cité de l’Or

Mineralogical museum of Abitibi Temiscamingue Malartic Val-d'Or gold mine

During your visit at the Canadian Malartic Mine you will stop at the Employee’s post observation.

Become a miner for a day at the Cité de l’Or by travelling 300 feet underground, explore the mining village of Bourlamaque, visit the Musée minéralogique de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue and its impressive gold collection and experience firsthand the Canadian Malartic open-pit mine, so that you, too, can follow the yellow brick road!

Geology 101: Follow the yellow brick road …
Quality Inn & Suites honoured with Platinum Guest Satisfaction Award

Quality Inn & Suites honoured with Platinum Guest Satisfaction Award

Val-d’Or, QC (March 22, 2019) — Choice Hotels Canada, one of the country’s largest hotel franchisors, recently announced that Quality Inn & Suites Val-d’Or was awarded a prestigious Platinum Guest Satisfaction Award. These annual awards celebrate Canadian properties for their operational excellence and dedication to superior service.

The hotel offers 82 rooms and suites, including 18 recently-renovated hypoallergenic rooms.
In addition, there are two executive meeting rooms and a free hot buffet breakfast. This award-winning hotel earned the Canadian Hotel of the Year in 2014 and again in 2018 from Choice Hotels Canada. This is the hotel’s 7th Platinum award.

“It requires a tremendous amount of dedication and hard work to not only reach, but maintain that standard of service,” said Brian Leon, president, Choice Hotels Canada. “Quality Inn & Suites Val-d’Or efforts have not gone unnoticed and today they represent the best of the best in our system.”

Guest Satisfaction Awards are determined based on a ranking system that examines key performance indicators, including guest survey results. Platinum winners represent the best of the best and are among the top three per cent of hotels in the Choice Hotels Canada portfolio of close to 320 properties.

“We made a commitment to our guests to provide the best level of service possible and winning this award is a clear validation of those efforts,” said Alexandre Audet, general manager, Quality Inn & Suites Val-d’Or. “We are so proud of our team and what we’ve accomplished together.”

For more information on Quality Inn & Suites Val-d’Or or a reservation, visit www.choicehotels.com.

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About Choice Hotels Canada:
Choice Hotels Canada® is one of the largest and most successful lodging franchisors in the country with more than 340 properties currently open or under development. The Choice® family of hotel brands provide business and leisure travellers with a range of high-quality lodging options, including limited to full-service hotels in the upscale, mid-scale, extended stay and economy segments. Brands in Canada include Ascend Hotel Collection®, ComfortTM, Sleep Inn®, Quality®, Clarion®, MainStay Suites®, Suburban Extended Stay Hotel®, Econo Lodge® and Rodeway Inn®. All hotels are independently owned and operated. Choice Hotels Canada® is master franchisee of Choice Hotels International, Inc., which franchises more than 7,000 hotels, representing nearly 570,000 rooms, in over 40 countries and territories as of December 31, 2018. The award-winning Choice Privileges® loyalty program offers members benefits from everyday rewards to exceptional experiences. For more information, visit www.choicehotels.com.

For more information, please contact:
Lauren Wasley
Carlaw Communications
T:647-883-9439
E: [email protected]

Source
Carlaw Communications

Temporary Relocation of the Visitor Information Centre of Val-d’Or

Temporary Relocation of the Visitor Information Centre of Val-d’Or

Due to important renovations, the Visitor Information Centre of Val-d’Or will be relocated temporary at the city hall of Val-d’Or (855, 2e Avenue, Val-d’Or, J9P 4P4), approximately from December to Mid-May. The opening hours will also change during this relocation, Monday thru Friday, 8:30am to noon and 1:30pm to 4:30pm.

Please note that the city hall as well as the Visitor Information Centre of Val-d’Or will be close from December 22nd to January 2nd for the Holidays.

Also, the Visitor Information Centre of Val-d’Or will be close a few days to move at the city hall. These dates will be announced on December 12th.

For any question or information about the tourist offer of Val-d’Or, we invite you to contact us by email or phone at 819 824-9646 or 1 877 582-5367 (toll free). You can also visit or website tourismevaldor.com.

Temporary closing of the Boutique Expo-art

Also for the renovations of our Visitor information Centre, our gift shop Boutique Expo-Art will be close temporary from December 7th. After the Visitor Information Centre will be moved at the city hall, a few products will be on sale as much as jewelleries, regional products and postal cards. However, inventory will be limited during that relocation.

Where to get an annual or daily pass for snowmobile trails

During relocation, annual and daily passes for snowmobile trails will be on sale at Béric Sport (50, 3e Avenue).

Photo de couverture | Erda Estremera

Birds to watch for in the forests of Abitibi-Témiscamingue in winter

Birds to watch for in the forests of Abitibi-Témiscamingue in winter

There are countless ways to enjoy Val-d’Or all year long. In winter, outdoor activities are very popular, which include taking a walk in the woods. Nothing quite compares to the joy of getting some fresh air and immersing yourself in Nature. Although most birds head south in winter, to escape the snow, some of the hardier ones stay behind, enhancing our local forests with their own special beauty, to everyone’s delight. You can take photos and even feed them. Here are eight birds you can see in the woods of Val-d’Or during our colder months.

Brown Creeper

This little bird is brown on the upper parts with light spotting, distinguishable by its long thin bill, eyebrows and white underparts. The creeper can often go un-noticed due to the fact that this bird, which forages for food on tree trunks, blends in so well it appears to be part of the tree bark. Sunflower seeds are a big hit with creepers.

Ruffed Grouse

Sometimes incorrectly referred to as a partridge, the ruffed grouse is a ground-dwelling bird, often found close to tree trunks.  About the size of a small chicken, the grouse’s dappled and barred plumage ranges in colour from pale grey through to reddish brown. The male fans its tail to seduce females. It is a relatively shy bird, but you can get closer for a peek if it happens to be perched in a tree. Click here to hear the song of the ruffed grouse so you know what to listen for when you’re out in our woods:

Common Redpoll

What makes this little seed-eating bird quite distinctive are its pinky-dappled breast and the dash of red on top of its head. Its short, pointy, yellowish beak is perfectly designed for getting at tree seeds (particularly, birch seeds), its primary food source. Redpolls can be seen hanging out at birdfeeders in the winter and they enjoy all kinds of birdseed. Click here to hear its song.

Blue Jay

Long before it became the emblem for Toronto’s baseball team, this bird was a resident of Quebec and the great forests of Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Its magnificent plumage is bright blue overall, with some touches of grey. It is a friendly bird that enjoys being around humans. Its shrill call makes it easy to recognize. Click here to have a listen of its song.

Red-Breasted Nuthatch

As its name implies, this bird’s red breast makes it easy to identify. Another distinguishing feature is the black band across its eyes. Its main sources of food are coniferous seeds, suet and birdseed from feeders. Sunflowers are a big hit with these little birds. Click here to hear its song.

Gray Jay

Mésangeai du canada abitibi temiscamingue valdor observer oiseaux

Photo | CC BY-SA 3.0

This bird, also known as the Canada jay, can live up to 19 years! Its plumage varies from white to gray, with touches of blue on its tail. It can be up to 23 cm long. Often mistaken for a magpie, the gray jay is omnivorous. To make it easier for you to identify, click here to hear its song.

Pine Siskin

This bird is brown and streaky overall with subtle yellow edgings and a pointed tail. They tend to roam in twittering flocks; in fact, in winter, they can live together in groups of as many as 50 individuals. The pine siskin eats all kinds of seeds. Click here to hear their song so that it is easier to identify them.

Black-Capped Chickadee

oiseau à observer forêts abitibi temiscamingue

Photo | Mary C Kirby “shurdbug”

This is the most common of the American chickadees and definitely the best known bird in Abitibi-Témiscamingue. Its black cap and white sides to the face make it easy to identify. Sometimes, it has bluish highlights on its off-yellow flanks. Black-capped chickadees are curious and congenial birds that won’t hesitate to eat out of your hand if you offer some sunflower seeds. Their vocalization is very distinctive. Click here to hear its song.

With a bag of seed, a good sense of observation and some patience, your walk in the forest can become a veritable ornithological adventure! Nature is our playground and Val-d’Or and Abitibi-Témiscamingue are ample proof of that. Come see for yourself!

To see more photos of birds that live in our beautiful forests, I would suggest Raymond Ladurantaye’s work. Raymond is a photographer and avid birdwatcher from Val-d’Or. Check out his images by clicking here.

Observation oiseaux Abitibi-Témiscamingue Val-d'Or hiver
8 Reasons to Tour Val-d’Or and Abitibi-Témiscamingue on a Motorcycle

8 Reasons to Tour Val-d’Or and Abitibi-Témiscamingue on a Motorcycle

Motorcycle touring options in Abitibi-Témiscamingue are endless. The potential for adventure and discovery is too! If you are a motorcyclist, Val-d’Or has so much to offer: customized, personal service, attractions, restaurants to satisfy all your taste buds and hotels that will make you feel right at home. So much to see and do! Here are eight reasons to tour Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Val-d’Or on a motorcycle.

To discover La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve

La Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve alone is worth the trip to Abitibi-Témiscamingue: it is amazing to behold. Let yourself fall under the spell of its magnificent landscapes, covered in white pine, spruce, fir and a few deciduous trees, thousands of lakes and rivers, floating islands and majestic rock cliffs. Crossing the bridge over the Ottawa River is one of my all-time favourite sections. Still to this day, I find it breathtaking every time! There are lots of rest stops along the way, to take a little break or soak your feet in the water.

Halte routière parc la vérendrye abitibi-témiscamingue route en moto

Many rest stops are located on the shore of a lake or a river.

A free cleaning kit to get your ride nice and shiny

Available at our tourism information office, this kit contains everything you need to clean up your bike and restore that shine it deserves. Just ask for your free kit at our reception desk where our tourism advisors will be happy to help you out. You can buff up your motorcycle in the specially designated area in our parking lot. Mosquitoes and dust will soon be nothing but a bad memory!

Hotel specials to make your stay with us more pleasant

A number of hotels offer special packages for motorcyclists travelling in our area. The Escale Hôtel Suites, Quality Inn & Suites and Hôtel Continental Downtown all offer breakfast along with a variety of other options: dinner special (table d’hôte), gas card, visit to a local attraction or massage. To see all packages available, click here.

Warmth and simplicity

People in Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Val-d’Or are known for their warmth and simplicity. They’ll greet you with a smile and treat you like royalty! In Val-d’Or, you’re sure to meet jovial, friendly and refreshingly straightforward locals who’ll leave you with lovely memories of your time here.

Lively downtown and lots of restaurants with outdoor patios

There’s nothing better after a day of riding than a cold beer on a sunny patio, soaking in the sights, sounds and smells of summer. Downtown Val-d’Or is a happening place, with lots of restaurants with patios to add the perfect finishing touch to your day on the motorbike. Le Prospecteur microbrewery, for example, offers a wide selection of craft beers and a roof patio with an uninterrupted view of downtown. You can taste the best poutine in town at Chez Ti-Pit Snack-bar for your lunch break. Or let yourself be transported to Asia by the typically Thai fare at the Ô Thaï restaurant. Only to name a few!

terrasse bar bistro l'Entracte Val-d'Or voyage en moto

The Bar bistro l’Entracte patio is another great option. This pub offers a great view on the historic site of Bourlmaque Mining Village.

Free downtown parking sticker

We provide a free downtown parking sticker for our visitors to make it easier for you to enjoy some carefree downtime on our patios. It allows you to park your motorcycle anywhere downtown at a parking meter or in parking lots with a pay station. Anyone residing outside the regional county municipality of Vallée-de-l’Or is entitled to the parking sticker. It’s available free-of-charge at our tourism information office at 1070 3rd Avenue East at the eastern entrance to the city, which is the one you use to access Val-d’Or if you’re coming from Montreal. The Rouyn-Noranda tourism information office provides the same service to anyone who lives outside Abitibi-Témiscamingue.

Rolling on gold

Who can say that they’ve ridden on gold? Well, anyone who’s taken Highway 117 from Val-d’Or to Rouyn-Noranda! Indeed, the road runs along the Cadillac Fault, which contains abundant deposits of gold. To learn more about this gold-rich fault line, go to: https://tourismevaldor.com/cours-de-geologie-101-rouler-sur-lor/

There’s a lot to discover about the mining industry while touring our area by motorcycle. You might begin at Cité de l’Or where you can morph into a miner for a few hours and travel 300 feet underground to explore the workings of an old gold mine. Then, you could visit Canadian Malartic, the largest operating open-pit gold mine in Canada, and experience an earthquake at the Abitibi-Témiscamingue mining museum (Musée minéralogique de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue).

incoutournables photographies Val-d'Or Cité de l'Or

To visit the underground galleries of La Cité de l’Or, you have to dress yourself up like a miner.

You will be amazed by the gigantic equipment used at the Canadian Malartic Mine.

The artistic fountain route

If you’re one of those people who thinks that motorbike trips are made for riding and not for visiting tourist attractions along the way (my dad and my sister are like that, too!), I have a cultural activity to suggest, which you can enjoy with getting off your bike. In the Amos-Harricana region, there are 10 artistic fountains in 10 different municipalities. These fountains are a delightful excuse to stop for just a minute and take a little breather. The fountains are beautiful and each one is unique. And this itinerary will take you through some magnificent countryside, a changing landscape of farms and forests, striking in its immensity. The fountain route is described in the Amos-Harricana tourist guide available in all the visitor information centres in the area. You can also have a peek by clicking here or click here to see it on Google Maps or download the free app from Balado Discovery for Android or BaladoDiscovery for iPhone/iPad.

Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Val-d’Or are wonderful destinations for motorcyclists: our roads, beautiful scenery, personalized services, restaurants, outdoor patios, activities and hotels are all part of the magic you’ll find here. There’s no doubt in my mind that you will have an amazing, memorable time!

Le Quality Inn & Suites de Val-d’Or désigné Hôtel de l’année 2018 par Choice Hotels Canada

Le Quality Inn & Suites de Val-d’Or désigné Hôtel de l’année 2018 par Choice Hotels Canada

Choice Hotels Canada is thrilled to announce the Quality Inn & Suites, Val d’Or has been named the 2018 Canadian Hotel of the Year at the 64th annual Choice Hotels International Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.

 

Quality Inn & Suites, Val d’Or was chosen from among 12 hotels for this annual award. The nominees all received a 2018 Platinum Hospitality Award, which recognizes properties in the top three per cent of more than 325 hotels within the Choice Canada family.

 

This is the sixth consecutive year the hotel has been honoured with a Platinum Award, having been recognized each year since the hotel opened in 2011. This is the second time the hotel was been awarded this distinction. In 2014, the Quality Inn & Suites, Val-d’Or was recognized not only as Canadian Hotel of the Year, but also the International Hotel of the Year for the Quality brand.

 

“Quality Inn & Suites, Val-d’Or is one of our most awarded hotels across the system,” said Brian Leon, President, Choice Hotels Canada. “The ownership and hotel team truly embody the best of the best and are committed to providing superior guest experience.”

 

Choice Guest Rating ranks the hotel a 4.8 out of 5, and 99 per cent of guests would recommend. The property is also top ranked in its market by TripAdvisor and receives consistently stellar reviews. Located near downtown, the hotel is owned and managed by the Cree Regional Economic Entreprises Company (CREECO) of Eeyou Istchee and Trahan Holdings of Val-d’Or. For business travellers, the hotel boasts a full business centre with conference facilities. The hotel also operates a hot breakfast service that is free to customers.

 

Reservations at the Quality Inn & Suites, Val-d’Or can be made by calling (819) 874-8888 or by visiting www.choicehotels.ca.

Source and information

Carolyn Kilbourne
Carlaw Communications
[email protected]
416-399-4767

hotel quality inn et suites chambre 1 lit

Room of the Quality Inn & Suites Val-d’Or

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A conference room ath Quality Inn & Suites Val-d’Or