Located 78 miles north of Montreal (as stated in the brochure), when it opened for the 1964-65 season, Mont Garceau, with Jasper and La Réserve, became the 3rd ski area in the vicinity of St-Donat. Although it is located north of Montreal, St-Donat is part of the Lanaudière, a region parallel to the Laurentians and more remote and less commercial than the region to it West.
Ski area was named after local entrepreneur and builder, Mr. Lauda Garceau, Garceau had been involved in the construction of the Manoir des Laurentides and he wanted to bring skiing to St-Donat. The first runs were cut during the summer 1964, a T-bar was installed and lodge built. One year later a chairlift and poma were installed. In the following years, extra runs and a beginner poma were added.
That is what Mont Garceau had become on the eve of its 15th year anniversary. This week we offer an image of Mont Garceau from 1978-79. The brochure is interesting in the way and it is presented. I have to drag your attention to the pictures from the brochure which seem from another era. One side is on the skiing and other is on the accommodation its various activities offered including French lessons, orchestra, etc. Of course, skiing was only on natural snow. Snowmaking would have to wait until 1982 after a few terrible season. There is also the pricing non-colour brochure with hand-drawn trail map.
Ski week offers in conjunction with the Manoir des Laurentides. The 1,000′ vertical ski area was to become a family ski area.
The MONT GARCEAU SKI CENTER is ideally located in the Laurentians bordering the famous Mont Tremblant Park. The DOUBLE CHAIR LIFT, operational year round 4,000′ long, takes you very comfortably up to the mountain top. You will also find 2 POMA-LIFTS, one of 3,500′ and another of 1,000′ long and a T-BAR, 2,500′ long, expert amd novice hills, FIRST-AID CLINIC, PARKING for over 1,000 cars. modern RESTAURANT, SKI SHOP.
For the Best Ski Mont Garceau
L’APRES-SKI: Enjoy the warm atmosphere at the “BISTRO”. We have special evening activities such as talent night, (mascerade) etc. French lessons are given to every one wishing to learn our language or do better. Bowling, ping-pong, shuffle board, ice skating arena and of course the swinging orchestra all on our premises.
A few years after, Mont Garceau was the only remaining ski area in St-Donat. Jasper closed in the early 1970s and La Réserve was shutdown for a few years in the mid 1990s, but is now open again, offering an alternative to the St-Donat skiers.