FILM2 | "Skiing Scene, Quebec"
1902, 20th century
Edison Manufacturing co., USA (production)
Library of Congress (Washington) (Archives)
This artefact belongs to : © Library of Congress (Washington) (Archives)
Keys to History
Quebeckers really began skiing during the last quarter of the 20th century.
The first mention of a ski excursion in Quebec appeared in the Canadian Illustrated News in 1879. A Norwegian immigrant, A. Birch, had then travelled the distance from Montreal to Quebec City on 3-metre long "Norwegian snowshoes." The practice of skiing, however, remained a curiosity. In 1887, the aide-de-camp of the Governor General of Canada, Frederick Hamilton, became the laughing stock of Ottawa because he took his first outings by ski.
A few daring snowshoers gradually became interested in skiing and the first ski clubs were founded - in Montreal, in 1904; in Quebec City and Toronto, in 1908; in Ottawa, in 1910. At the time, interest in skiing was mostly the result of the ski-jumping competitions in which Scandinavian immigrants took part.
Skiing really developed starting in the 1920s, after the creation of the Canadian Amateur Ski Association, the organization responsible for the promotion and monitoring of amateur skiing in Canada.
Quebeckers first practised Nordic skiing, which combined cross-country skiing and ski jumping. Alpine skiing, which includes downhill and slalom, then gradually became established.
During the first quarter of the 20th century, a few ski-jumping competitions took place on the slopes of Mount Royal. These events attracted huge crowds.
The first Canadian ski resort was built in 1917, at Ste. Marguerite, in the Laurentian region.
The Swiss Émile Cochand left his homeland in 1911 to settle in Canada. He then founded the first ski school in Ste. Marguerite, Quebec.