Contrecoeur, Québec, municipality, pop 5222 (2001c), 5331 (1996c), 5501 (1991c), pop 5553 (1986c), area 61.19 km2, is part of the Montérègie region famous for its sugaring-off time and its apple orchards. More specifically, it is part of the MRC de Lajemmerais, which also includes the municipalities of Boucherville, Varennes and Sainte-Julie. Contrecoeur is 45 km from Montréal and spans 24 km along the banks of the St Lawrence River. A migratory bird sanctuary is located on the islands visible from Contrecoeur.
Contrecoeur was one of the first French establishments in North America. It was founded as the seigneurie de Contrecoeur in 1667 by Sieur Antoine Pécaudy de Contrecoeur, captain of the Carignan-Salières regiment. Antoine Pécaudy de Contrecoeur was born in 1596, at Vignieu en Dauphiné, France. He received this seigneurie for his loyal service to the King of France.
The first colonists described this region as a large bay full of islands where the river becomes a lake. In 1832, the municipality of the parish of Contrecoeur was decreed. Some years later, in 1902, the municipality of the village of Contrecoeur was created. The village and parish amalgamated in 1976.
Contrecoeur's accessibility via its highways, railways and seaways has made it a very attractive site for industry. At the turn of the century, the economy revolved around the numerous shoe factories. The 1960s ushered in steelworks manufacturing industries. SIDBEC-DOSCO (ISPAT) INC and STELCO INC are the largest employers in Contrecoeur.
The Maison Lenoblet du Plessis (1794), situated on Cartier-Richard Park, is named after Alexis-Carme Lenoblet du Plessis, a cousin of a great grandfather of premier Maurice Duplessis. It was purchased by the municipality in 1978 and was opened to the public the following year. In 1981, it was declared a historic monument.