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flag  History of Oka, Québec, Canada

Journey back in time to Oka, Québec, Canada

(Mission du Lac-des-Deux-Montagnes)

Visit Oka, Québec, Canada. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Oka, Québec, Canada - Oka  1882 - Lucius OBrien - Picturesque Canada (1882–84)

50 kilometers west of Montreal, at the confluence of the Ottawa River and the Saint Lawrence River, bordering the Lac des Deux-Montagnes, is the municipality of Oka.

Oka is part of the administrative region of the Laurentians and the town was founded in 1721. Its first name was the Mission du Lac des Deux-Montagnes because the Sulpicians and the sisters of the Congrégation Notre-Dame who were in charge of evangelization Native Americans, lived in this mission.

In 1881, the locality was renamed and the name Oka is now its official name. This name comes from an Algonquin word meaning “golden fish”.

At the end of the 19th century, the largest pine forest in Canada was created in Oka. More than a hundred thousand pines and spruces were planted at that time. Today, many remain in this magnificent forest, the first planted forest in North America.

There is MUCH more to discover about Oka, Québec, Canada. Read on!

Oka Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards


1882 - Lucius O'Brien - Picturesque Canada (1882–84)
Oka, Québec, Canada


1882 - Lucius O'Brien - Picturesque Canada (1882–84)

Oka, Québec, Canada


Oka, Québec, Canada

Église de l’Annonciation
181, ch. Oka, Oka, QUÉBEC
Oka, Québec, Canada

Église de l’Annonciation
181, ch. Oka, Oka, QUÉBEC

Discover Oka: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
Oka was first settled by French colonists as a mission to First Nations in 1721 by brothers of the Sulpician Order branch of the Roman Catholic Church.
1851 - Oka - The people of Kanehsatà:ke send a letter of protest about their treatment at the hands of the Seminary of St. Sulpice to the highest British civil authority in British North America.
They demanded the civil authority of an Indian Agent replace the Seminary’s religious authority. Their demands are ignored and this leads to a strenuous relationship. The Seminary issues rules and regulations that threatened the livelihood – and lives – of the people of Kanehsatà:ke.

At various times, governments tries to "settle" the Kanehsatà:ke situation by offering to relocate the Mohawk people elsewhere.
1859 - Oka - The British Parliament officially grants title to the land to the Sulpicians. Algonquin families move to Maniwaki (Kitigan Zibi). The Sulpicians sell off their land plots to white settlers.
1868 - The Sulpicians change the place name of Kanehsatà:ke to Oka.
The Canadian government refuses the Kanien’kehà:ka (Mohawk) position that the original grant was meant to set aside land for them, or to compensate them for the loss of this territory.
1881 - The Government of Canada acquires land in Gibson , Ontario and forces the Mohawk people of Oka to move. Only a third of the Mohawk people agree to move.
About 5 km northeast of Oka and a little less than 2 km northwest of Grande Baie du Lac des Deux Montagnes, this toponym identifies a Cistercian abbey whose origins date back to 1881, i.e. the construction of a modest monastery by the French monks of Bellefontaine Abbey.

In exchange for the 405 ha of land ceded by the Sulpicians, former lords of Lac-des-Deux-Montagnes, the monks promised to organize a model farm and contribute to the development of agriculture. They kept their word: the School of Agriculture founded in 1893, which became a faculty (Institut agricole d'Oka) in 1908, was affiliated with the University of Montreal before the merger of all the French-speaking faculties of agriculture and the choice of the Laval University, as a single site, in 1962. The Institute even housed the School of Veterinary Medicine from 1928 to 1947. This toponym was borrowed from La Trappe, mother abbey of the order of Cîteaux founded in 1140 in Soligny and reformed by the abbot of Rancé in... Read MORE...

1886 - Birth of the area known as “The Pines” (also known as “The Commons”). After sand avalanches submerge the village of Oka in over a meter of sand
a group of people comprised of Mohawks and Non-Indigenous settlers plant pines on the mountain to stabilize the ground. Somewhere between seventy and eighty thousand pine trees are planted.
1895 - Oka
Oka, formerly Lake of Two Mountains, an Indian village in the co. of Two Mountains, Quebec, situated on Lake of Two Mountains, an expansion of the Ottawa River, 36 miles from Montreal. Pop. 1150.
Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ... Joseph Thomas January 1, 1895 J.B. Lippincott
1936 - The Seminary of St-Sulpice sells the remaining land plots to the Municipality of Oka and vacates the area.
The Oka Crisis was a land dispute between a group of Mohawk people and the town of Oka, Quebec, Canada, which began on July 11, 1990, and lasted until September 26, 1990
At the heart of the crisis was the proposed expansion of a golf course and development of condominiums on disputed land that included a Mohawk burial ground. Tensions were high, particularly after the death of Corporal Marcel Lemay, a police officer, and the situation was only resolved after the army was called in. While the golf course expansion was cancelled, and the land purchased by the federal government, it has not yet been transferred to the Kanesatake community.
Oka, Québec, municipality, population 3,969 (2011), 3,300 (2006), incorporated 1875. Oka is located on Lac des Deux Montagnes, just west of Île de Montréal. Established in 1875, the municipality developed at a strategic position on a point of land that extends well into the lake. In 1717 the governor of New France granted the seigneury of Lac-des-Deux-Montagnes to the clergy of the Séminaire de Montréal so that they could build a mission for the Native people. In 1881 Trappist monks from France founded their famous Abbey of Notre-Dame-du-Lac, now called the Abbaye Val Notre-Dame (or La Trappe d'Oka).

In 1962 the provincial government developed Parc de récréation d'Oka a few kilometres downstream from the village, its main attraction being its large bay, an ecological sanctuary and the Montagne du Calvaire, on whose peak the seigneurs built a pilgrimage site in 1739 for the Mohawk who went there every autumn before setting out on their hunt.

Nearby is the Mohawk reserve of...

2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Oka, Québec:
1. Oka National Park: This is the crown jewel of Oka's attractions. Oka National Park is a vast natural reserve with hiking trails, picnic areas, and a stunning sandy beach along the lake. You can swim, sunbathe, or rent a kayak or canoe to explore the calm waters of the Lake of Two Mountains.

2. Oka Abbey: The Oka Abbey, also known as the Abbaye Cistercienne Notre-Dame du Lac, is a tranquil and spiritual place. Visitors can explore the beautifully manicured gardens, attend the daily Gregorian chants, and even purchase some of the renowned Oka cheese produced by the monks.

3. Calvaire d'Oka: This historical site features a series of stone crosses on a hillside overlooking the town. It's a peaceful spot for a leisurely hike and provides panoramic views of Oka and the surrounding area.

4. Oka Beach: While Oka National Park has a beach, the town of Oka also has its own public beach. It's a great spot for a swim and a picnic with a beautiful view of the lake.

5. Cycling: Oka...

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Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Oka, Québec, Canada

We currently have information about 118 ancestors who were born or died in Oka.

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Ancestors Who Were Married in Oka, Québec, Canada

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Updated: 9/15/2023 9:45:03 AM