The name Mont-Tremblant initially referred to the mountain two hours north of Montreal and the village that sprouted at the foot of it, but has been most commonly applied to the resort just outside of the village itself, one of Canada’s most popular skiing destinations and year-round vacation spots.
The history of Mont-Tremblant does not extend very far back; the whole area around the Laurentian Mountains was not settled in any major way until the late 19th century. Though later generations would be drawn to the region by the superb slopes and glitzy accommodations, the first colonists were enticed by the rich soil and the prospect of a railway into the territory, a line that was inaugurated as the Montreal-Saint-Jerome railway in 1879.
Still, Mont-Tremblant didn’t really take off until the arrival of Joseph Bondurant Ryan, an heir to one of the most substantial American railway fortunes. Ryan, following a 1938 climbing expedition, fell in love with the pristine beauty of the area and pledged to share the mountain with others.
In 1939, the Mont-Tremblant Lodge and the mountain’s first chairlift opened, the initial steps towards transforming the sleepy northern hamlet into a major winterland resort. Travelers and ski enthusiasts did take notice, but it wasn’t until the resort was purchased by Intrawest in 1991 that Mont-Tremblant began to fully realize its potential. With the construction of the pedestrian village and its world-class shops, restaurants and nightlife venues, Ryan’s dream was eventually realized””for the past 10 years, Mont-Tremblant has been recognized as the #1 ski resort in eastern North America, and has blossomed into a year-round tourist destination.