The Municipality of French River has been in existence since January 1, 1999.
It encompasses nine townships which includes the settlements Alban, French River Station, Ouellette, and Monetville. Many lakes, rivers, and islands are within the municipality, including Trout Lake, the West Arm of Lake Nipissing, and of course, the famous French River, on both the north and south side of Eighteen Mile Island.
Enjoy our world-class fishing, our many golf courses; participate in events such as the French River Voyageur Canoe Race, Family Hockey and Ball Tournaments, or walk, hike, bike, or ride, while taking in the breathtaking natural beauty of our surroundings that are synonymous with the Municipality of French River.
The history of the French River is so well known that you cannot travel the river without thinking about the experiences of the Voyageurs, Coureurs de Bois, Missionaries, Samuel de Champlain, Etienne Brûlé, Radisson, and Des Groseillers. They saw the beauty of our region, much of which remains the same today.
Originally this town was known as Rutter, after the railway station in 1907, but in 1937 the community was renamed after Rev. J. Alban Filiatrault. Initially, the expansion of the railway brought activity to the area, as a number of families settled around the station. Other people were attracted to the area by its fertile soil and vast forests.
Alban is situated in the heart of the French River region on Highway 64 off highway 69, South of Sudbury. This town is a bilingual village of approximately 1,200 people in the winter months and up to 2,000 or more in the summer months. This picturesque clean village is a beautiful place to live or visit any time of the year. It has most services required to fulfill the every day needs of its visitors and residents. Alban is a nice and quiet village that is proud of its rural heritage. The Alban Community Center was built by the resident volunteers in 1980. The centre also has a banquet hall with kitchen, bar facilities and a large stage area. Great for weddings, parties or meetings.
The community also has restaurants, a grocery store/bakery, hardware store, gas station, bank, post office, library, church and fire hall. The Alban community takes pride in this wonderful place right on the French River.
Around 1900 with the arrival of settlers to the region, Noëlville was formerly known as Cosby. Then in 1911, the name of the town was change to Noëlville to pay homage to Noel Desmarais, the village’s first merchant and the first businessman of the region. Development accelerated with the opening of shops and industries. Thanks to agriculture, forestry and tourism, Noëlville rapidly became and remains today, the economic center of the region.
This bilingual village is accessible and is located at the cross-road of Highway 64 and Highway 535. Noëlville is the home of 1,500 permanent residents and more in the summer months at local cottages and tourist lodges. You can meet and be greeted by our mayor and council members at our municipal office. This is also the home of our outstanding arena, where many events take place and our French River community residents come together for meetings, sporting events and social functions.
With this small town comes all the necessities residents and tourists need, such as grocery stores, banking facility, post office, pharmacy, medical clinic, restaurants, library, church, gas station, hardware stores, ambulance service, dentist, fire hall (volunteer) and a 24 hour O.P.P. detachment. In the end, Noëlville is a very active family oriented community that offers a variety of events and services to fancy anyone's needs.
French River Station
This community is located at the southern most tip of the Municipality of French River. The hamlet is mostly tourist based and boasts a historical recognized train station, built at the turn of the century. Some 156 full time residents are always willing to assist visitors in making their stay enjoyable and memorable.
This village was founded in the beginning of the 20th Century. One of the first settlers was Joachin Ouellette and owned and operated a cheese factory. A school was built 1907 and closed in 1964. From 1940 to 1980, the building on the corner of Pilon Road was bought by Emile Pilon where a general store, a post office, and gas station were started.
Monetville is another small village located further east on highway 64. It is an English settlement that offers to its residences and tourists the pleasure of discovering its wildlife and scenery. This town is home to approximately 100 residents with others joining them during the summer months. Even if this village is small it has lots to offer to its visitors and residents.