The Pontiac area is home to a wealth of heritage treasures that have endured through time to tell of our history, our culture and our traditions.
Natural Heritage: Nature’s masterpieces preserved, an abundance of lakes and rivers, historical sites…these are but a sampling of Pontiac’s outstanding natural heritage that continue to generate spontaneous exclamations of amazement from visitors.
Follow the link for more information about three 'must see' sites: Chutes Coulonge, Ottawa River and Oiseau Rock.
Built Heritage: Sites abound throughout Pontiac as testimonials to our history of land settlement. Don’t be surprised to come upon 19th century squared timber houses or brick and stone dwellings reminiscent of a more prosperous era.
To date, three structures are protected as historical monuments: Marchand Bridge (covered bridge), Bryson House and the Fort-William site.
Agricultural Heritage: Pontiac was a veritable destination for Irish and French settlers in search of farmland. Today, 278 farms occupy 11.5% of the land within municipal boundaries.
We celebrate our agricultural heritage every Labour Day weekend when thousands come to the Shawville Fair, one of the largest farming exhibitions in Quebec.
Industrial Heritage: Since the 19th century, industrialisation shaped the history and landscape of Pontiac. Visible in some places from highway 148, motorists will notice the hill formed by the extraction of iron minerals from the Bristol mine. Cyclists travelling on the PPJ bicycle path now ride the former rail way that carried Pontiac Pacific Junction (PPJ) passengers between 1880 and 1958. Boaters venturing by canoe, kayak or boat will come upon several dams throughout Pontiac such as at Bryson and Portage-du-Fort on the Ottawa River and Waltham on the Black River. Going through the villages, travellers interested in industrial heritage can discover such evidence as remnants of an old flour mill, a former pulp and paper mill, sawmill and several industrial farm buildings.
Sacred Heritage: More than 60 churches within a range of 11 denominations bear witness to the cultural and religious diversity characteristic of Pontiac. In fact, Pontiac has the greatest number of churches per capita than elsewhere in Quebec. Annually, in October, several of these open their doors to welcome visitors with concerts, exhibits and other activities.