Dolbeau-Mistassini

Dolbeau-Mistassini, Qué, City, pop 14 879 (2001c), 15 214 A (1996c), area 295.67 km2, inc 1997, comprises the 2 former communities of Dolbeau and MISTASSINI. Dolbeau-Mistassini is located at the confluence of the Mistassini and Mistassibi rivers, just north of Lac SAINT-JEAN.

Named after Jean Dolbeau, a priest who served the Montagnais mission at TADOUSSAC, Dolbeau (now owned by Resolute Forest Products) was founded when the Lake St John Pulp & Paper Company, an American firm later bought out by the Canadian company Domtar, decided to build a paper mill on the Rivière Mistassibi. The factory owners also built a city to house their employees, making Dolbeau a company town whose charter, modelled on that of Arvida, contained some deviations from the Québec law for cities and towns. After WWII Dolbeau became the major service centre, including a hospital (1955) for the area north of Lac Saint-Jean.

Dolbeau-Mistassini is home to one of the few astronomic observatories in the province. Each July it holds a western festival and each August a blueberry festival, honouring the small, blue fruit found in such abundance in the district.