The forest territory of Abitibi-Témiscamingue

Mike Forrest is spending the summer in Abitibi!

Mike has just finished his first semester of CEGEP. He’s happy because he’s found himself an unusual job for the summer: he’s leaving soon to plant trees in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, a region with a large logging industry as well as vast tracts of land that need to be replanted. Mike has been hired by a large forestry company that provides its employees with a temporary camp, meals and thousands of tree seedlings to be planted every day.

Mike has always wanted to visit Abitibi because he has family there. To prepare for his trip, he’s asked one of his uncles to email him photos of the region. Unfortunately, the photos arrived in a jumble and Mike would like to understand what they represent. Can you help him sort them out?

 Student working document :



First read the following encyclopedia entry for Abitibi-Témiscamingue:

Abitibi-Témiscamingue (08)

 Source: Ville de Rouyn-Noranda

Population: 145,000 people (2005) (about 2% of the population of Québec)

Area: 57,700 km2

Density: 2.5 people/km2

Boundaries: North: Nord-du-Québec (10) East: Mauricie (04) South: Outaouais (07) West: Ontario

Main municipalities: Amos, Val-d’Or, Rouyn-Noranda, La Sarre, Ville-Marie

Number of Algonquin communities: 7


Abitibi-Témiscamingue is the fourth largest region of Québec and is divided into two areas. In the south, Témiscamingue is a hilly area covered by mixed forest; the main economic activities are livestock farming and agriculture. Abitibi, in the north, is a much flatter area covered by boreal forest; mining is one of the main economic activities of this area. In total, more than 80% of this region is covered by forest.

 Source: Martin Guérin, Le Québec en images

Abitibi-Témiscamingue has abundant water resources, including thousands of lakes and hundreds of rivers that flow towards James Bay or the St. Lawrence River.

 Source: Daniel Bédard, Le Québec en images

Abitibi-Témiscamingue was the last region of Québec to be settled: its colonization only started in the 1920s. The rate of colonization accelerated in the early 1930s, when the government of Québec wanted to help working-class urban dwellers hit hard by the Great Depression. Wooded lots were offered to families who were given the task of clearing and planting the land under challenging conditions.

 Source: Le Québec en images


Villages and then towns sprang up, and the proximity of a labour force soon attracted forestry companies. Forestry was thus the first industry of the region. Later, the discovery of mineral deposits also greatly contributed to the economic development of this region.

 [Val d'or] Source: Martin Guérin, Le Québec en images
Today, Abitibi-Témiscamingue is considered a resource region. Its economy is mainly based on mining activities (copper, gold, zinc) and forest resources. These two sectors provide thousands of jobs to local residents.

 [Domtar plant, Domtar] Source: François Ruph,
Le Québec en images

 [Noranda mining company] Source: François Ruph, Le Québec en images

 Donohue paper mill. Source: Martin Guérin,
Le Québec en images

 Source: Martin Guérin, Le Québec en images

Portail régional de l’Abitibi-Témiscamingue (French only)
Association Aux Arbres Citoyens (French with some English sections)



Understanding the organization of Abitibi

Now that you know a bit more about Abitibiti-Témiscamingue, you can explore the region virtually and help Mike sort the photos he received from his uncle. The following are four landscapes you will find in Abitibi. Select one to explore:

Paysage urbain
Paysage agricole

Paysage d’exploitation

Paysage forestier protégé
retour enjeux agir