- 53 Tracks
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Snuggling just on the Quebec side of the US/Canadian border, anyone arriving from the south will feel they've landed in a different world when the first roll in to the village of Sutton.
Located in the heart of the unspoilt Eastern Townships region of the predominantly French speaking Canadian province of Quebec, Sutton has the immediate charm that so many ski resorts claim, yet sadly so few actually deliver.
Guests from Europe who maybe familiar with French ski areas will perhaps find something here that's too often missing in the Alps. Friendly locals, a relaxed atmosphere, good French food and fair prices are all, remarkably, rarely seen in top French resorts - yet Sutton has all in abundance.
The scenery is spectacular too, with some of the most impressive mountains in Quebec, part of the Appalachian chain and some of the most varied terrain in between. Vineyards, mountain lakes, woodland (70% deciduous compared to predominantly coniferous elsewhere in Quebec), fields and a wide variety of traditional architecture reflecting the numerous cultural influences on the area.
The resort's history is one of the classic tales of ski holiday pioneers, with guests arriving by train and walking up the nearby hills to ski down. According to the local museum one of the biggest problems then was having your sandwiches freeze as you enjoyed the slopes.
What is now Mont Sutton ski resort, a few kilometres up the hill from the village centre, began on December 17th, 1960, when the Boulanger family opened the first lift. Harold Boulanger, his son Réal and family friend François Lévesque, a lawyer, were the main players in Mont Sutton's development, seeing the ski resort as a perfect winter alternative to their busy summer dairy business. The Boulanger family have retained ownership and management ever since.
Indeed the heritage and the strength of family values shine through in Sutton. The village grew up in the eighteenth century with a mixture of British Loyalist, American and Irish immigrant inhabitants before the dominant French culture began to shape the area in the latter 19th century. It's clear that through the twentieth century many of the locals more or less 'grew up on skis' and its still common to see grandparents on the slopes teaching their grandchildren to ski. This attitude, combined with Sutton's community rather than 'tourist resort' feel, make it a unique ski destination.
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