Within the past 50 years, Laval has become the third largest city in Quebec. Not only has it grown in terms of its population, but also in its reputation for being a sought-after destination for family life and fun activities. Here’s a bird’s eye view as to how Laval has grown in just 50 years, and this is just the beginning!

From the moment of the city’s birth on August 6th, 1965, Laval’s first major feat was to bring together 14 municipalities to create a unified city. The first mayor elected by Lavallers was Jacques Tétrault, who was then re-elected in 1969. Dr. Lucien Paiement followed as mayor in 1973 and he remained mayor until 1981.

Very early on it became primordial to develop the heart of the city. Both sides of Autoroute des Laurentides, south of the 440, along with part of boulevard St-Martin, became the center of attention. By 1968, Centre Laval had opened its doors, and just six years later and 2.5 km away, Carrefour Laval was constructed in 1974, remaining to this day the largest shopping mall in Quebec.

In 1975, Laval adopted the logo currently representing the city, an image of cubes forming the letter ‘L’. Conception and construction of key landmark buildings continued during this period, such as Collège Montmorency in 1969, before its official building inauguration in 1979. Centre de la nature opened to the public in 1970 and Hôpital de la Cité-de-la-Santé welcomed its first patients in 1978.

By 1980, Laval was already celebrating its 15th anniversary, and many events and festivals took place in the various neighbourhoods. Artists such as Jean-Pierre Ferland, Édith Butler and Fernand Gignac performed during the celebrations. It was also in 1980 that Laval’s theme song was released. Titled “C’est l’amour, la vie…Laval”, it was sung by Véronique Béliveau.

During this period, the city began investing in arts and culture. From 1980 to 1990, the city library networks were improved. By 1985, construction had begun on Maison des arts and on March 6th, 1986, an inaugural concert was given by l’Orchestre symphonique de Laval (OSL). It didn’t take long for the Maison des arts to garner a reputation as a first-class venue for the arts.

Keeping the momentum going, Musée Armand-Frappier opened its doors in 1994, quickly establishing itself as a major player in promoting scientific exploration of various genres. That same year, the Cosmodôme was planted in the heart of the city, allowing visitors to experience the awe of space exploration.

The city center continued to develop during this time. The Laval Sheraton Hotel welcomed its first guests in 1980. Towards the end of the 1980’s, Cité de la Biotech began to take shape, and today has expanded to a network of several enterprises in the field of science, such as pharmaceuticals and biotechnical research. 1992 brought the opening of the Palais de justice de Laval.

Following Gilles Vaillancourt, Alexandre Duplessis and Martine Beaugrand, Marc Demers was elected as mayor in November 2013. Construction began on Laval’s three metro stations as of 2002—a project that was in demand even before the city’s official creation in 1965—and in 2007, the Montmorency, de la Concorde and Cartier stations were opened.

Along with Laval’s growing population, new buildings, establishments and infrastructure began to pop up all over the city. Centropolis began its course to becoming a major foodie’s hub, and soon expanded to shopping and entertainment for the whole family. Le Quartier Laval developed to include new shops and restaurants. The Laval campus of Université de Montréal was inaugurated in 2012, and just three years later, construction of Place Bell began. Toping out this period was Laval’s 50th Anniversary celebrations.

50 Years to Celebrate
The celebrations began on December 31st, 2014. An unforgettable show took place featuring artists such as Porn Flakes, Alex Nevsky, DJ Champion, Loco Locass, Rémi Chassé, Yan Perreau, Too Many Cooks, Lulu Hughes and DJ Francis. Throughout all of 2015, special events, concerts, festivals and expositions were organized to celebrate the anniversary. In total, more than 200 000 citizens participated in the various activities and events, including more than 56 musical concerts.

Translation by Lisa Cipriani