Saint-JérômeSaint-Jérôme, Qué, City, pop 63 729 (2001c), 59 614 (2001c), first incorporated in 1881, and reincorporated in 2002 after the former city merged with Bellefeuille, Lafontaine and SAINT-ANTOINE. Saint-Jérôme is located on Rivière du Nord, 40 km northwest of MONTRÉAL. From the 1834 creation of the first parish to its 1881 elevation to the status of town, Saint-Jérôme thrived primarily on forestry and agriculture. From 1882 on, the Rolland Company (since 1992 now part of Cascades Inc) has run one of the oldest fine paper mills in Canada here.
A regional metropolis situated where Rivière du Nord leaves the Laurentians, Saint-Jérôme dominates the entire Lower Laurentians. The bishopric, courthouse and CEGEP give the town an administrative function as well as industrial and commercial ones.
Its parish priest (1868-91) was the legendary Antoine LABELLE, the determined apostle of colonization whose efforts led to the creation of several dozen Laurentian parishes and the development of the huge territory between Saint-Jérôme and Mont-Laurier. Labelle also promoted railway construction in the area, and the former rail bed now forms Le P'tit Train du Nord, a 200-km linear, multi-use park between the 2 communities.