Maniwaki is a town located north of Gatineau and north-west of Montreal, in the province of Quebec, Canada. The town is situated on the Gatineau River, at the crossroads of Route 105 and Route 107, not far south of Route 117 (Trans-Canada Highway). It is the administrative centre for La Vallée-de-la-Gatineau Regional County Municipality.

Main street (Hwy. 105)
Location in western Quebec.
Coordinates: 46°22′30″N 75°58′0″W[1]
Country Canada
Province Quebec
RCMLa Vallée-de-la-Gatineau
ConstitutedMarch 15, 1904
  MayorFrancine Fortin
  Federal ridingPontiac
  Prov. ridingGatineau
  Total8.80 km2 (3.40 sq mi)
  Land5.80 km2 (2.24 sq mi)
  Density677.7/km2 (1,755/sq mi)
  Pop (2006–11)
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
  Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Postal code(s)
J9E 1Z9
Area code(s)819


The history of Maniwaki is closely linked to that of the adjacent Kitigan Zibi Reserve, because the Town of Maniwaki was developed on land that was originally part of this reserve. Its municipal lands were included in historical land claims by Kitigan Zibi; some of which were settled as recently as 2007.[4]

In the first half of the nineteenth century, Algonquins of the mission at Lake of Two Mountains, under the leadership of Chief Pakinawatik, came to the area of the Désert River. Shortly after in 1832, the Hudson's Bay Company followed them and installed a trading post at the confluence of the Désert and Gatineau Rivers. A decade later, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate established the mission of Notre-Dame-du-Desert and, from 1849, they demanded of the authorities the demarcation of a township in order to establish a reserve for the Algonquins. The township limits are drawn in 1850 and given the name of Maniwaki by the Oblates at this time (Algonquian for "Mary's Land").[5] Soon after, wood merchants, farmers, trade workers, businessmen and professionals, drawn by the forest's wealth, came to live in Maniwaki. The Canadian Pacific Maniwaki subdivision linked Maniwaki with Wakefield and was abandoned in 1986.

In 1851, the Oblats founded the L'Assomption-de-Maniwaki parish.[6] Forestry took root and became the livelihood of many settlers in the region. Irish, French and First Nations Peoples contributed to the development of the town and lived side by side in harmony. Maniwaki was officially founded in 1851 and became a township municipality in 1904. It obtained the status of "village" in 1930, and status of "ville" in 1957.[6]

At the beginning of the 20th century, the region, like everywhere in Quebec, was hit by an epidemic of the Spanish influenza. In less than two weeks, some twenty deaths were related to this sickness. Scared, people refused to go outdoors, and for the first time in its history, a Sunday passed without any mass being celebrated at the Assumption church.

The flood of 1974 is an event remembered by the local population. On May 14 of that year, the waters of the Gatineau river and those of the Désert River overflowed. The water rose at an alarming rate of 3 to 6 inches an hour. Over 1,000 residences in the Maniwaki area were flooded and approximately 3,000 peoples had to be evacuated. Although no one was injured, damages reached many millions of dollars.

Since 1974, no other major calamity has occurred. The area continues prospering every year in two predominant fields, namely forestry and tourism.



  • Population in 2016: 3778
  • Population in 2011: 3930
  • Population in 2006: 4102
    • 2006 to 2011 population change: -4.2%
  • Population in 2001: 4020 (R)
  • Population in 1996: 4527 (included additional area before ceded to Kitigan Zibi)
  • Population in 1991: 4605

(R) = Revised count.[8]

Private dwellings (occupied by usual residents): 1934


  • English as first language: 5.5%
  • French as first language: 90.7%
  • English and French as first language: 0.7%
  • Other as first language: 3.1%

Notable people

  • Gino Odjick: NHL player for Vancouver Canucks, New York Islanders, Philadelphia Flyers and Montreal Canadiens.
  • Annie Galipeau: actress who starred in the 1999 movie about Grey Owl, alongside Pierce Brosnan.

Disappearance of Maisy Odjick and Shannon Alexander

On September 6, 2008 the town of Maniwaki was brought into the international spotlight with the disappearance of Maisy Odjick and Shannon Alexander from the Kitigan Zibi Nation. Search and Rescue Global One was invited to the community by the chief and council. Two separate searches were conducted, both unsuccessful. Since their disappearance, the Quebec police, RCMP and the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg police have carried out several investigations, but it was not possible to move the case forward.[10]


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