Source: Canadian Pacific Railway, 1956 and Collections Canada
Taken from Zoneski’s l’Histoire du ski au Québec in which I wrote back in 2004:
L’année 1927 marque le début des premiers trains de neige en Amérique du Nord. C’est le Canadien National qui fut le premier transporteur à organiser des voyages de train pour les skieurs montréalais qui désiraient skier dans les Laurentides. Dès l’année suivante, le Canadien Pacifique réplique en mettant sur pied sa ligne Montréal – Mont-Laurier. Durant l’hiver 1927-1928, le Canadien Pacifique a transporté à lui-seul 11 000 skieurs, ce qui donne une idée de l’importance déjà grande de l’épopée du ski dans les Laurentides.
The first ski trains in North America appeared in Quebec in 1927. Canadian National Railway would make specifics trip to bring Montrealers to the Laurentians to ski. The Canadian Pacific Railway replied with its own ski train the following Winter. During that Winter, the CPR alone brought 11,000 skiers on its Montreal-Mont-Laurier line. We have to remember that the first ski school and ski resort in North America also started in the Laurentians by Swiss skier Emile Cochand in Ste. Agathe in 1911 and his resort in 1917 in Ste-Marguerite. The first ropetow was invented and installed at Big Hill in Shawbridge in 1932.
History of skiing is steep in the Laurentians. This week’s feature a list produced by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company for the 1957-58 Winter Season: Ski Tows and Ski Lifts for the Province of Quebec. Information on the different ski lifts across the province along the CPR lines. CPR also advertising an All-expense special at its Chateau Frontenac Hotel in Quebec City. Room with bath, meals, French Parallel technic Instruction, bus to and from Lac Beauport, unlimited use of Alpine Lift plus toboggan and rink next to hotel for double occupancy at $172 per person for ten days. As for finding a way to have people used their trains and hotels, the Canadian Pacific owned a chain a prestigious hotels across Canada from Quebec City to Banff and Victoria as CN had its own prestigious hotel from Ottawa to Vancouver.
As you can see from the list, the majority of lifts were the Laurentians Mountains. Most of the rest of skiing was concentrated between the Gatineau hills (Ottawa) and Lac Beauport (Quebec City) and the Eastern Townships. The list is organized from the first station from the city to the furthest. On the Laurentians train, From Lesage station to Mont Tremblant. Note that this list coincides with the first year of the North slope ski development at Mont Tremblant and prior to the ski area bomb in the Townships. It is also a couple of years prior to the opening of Quebec’s first autoroute, the Laurentians Autoroute in 1959 which will mark the start of the end to the ski train in Quebec.
Below are listed particulars of ski tows and ski lifts which will be operated during course of the 1957-58 winter season in the Province of Quebec. All are conveniently reached from lines of the Canadian Pacific Railway through the stations shown and service the various slopes at the more popular ski centres.
The rates charged for the use of ski tows and ski lifts vary, depending upon the type of equipment, operating conditions and other considerations. As a general rule, operators of rope type tows issue half day tickets from $1.00 up, while for a full day $1.50 and up is a fair average. Charges for T_bar and chair lifts are, of course, higher.
I want to acknowledge and give thanks to Chris Gribbin, who gave me this list over a decade ago. Chris was one of the founding members of the Canadian Ski Instructors’ Alliance in 1943, CSIA Hall of Fame and member of the Laurentian Ski Museum Hall of Fame.