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The magnificent stands of white pine located in Bristol township attracted the first settlers in the early 1800's. The municipality of Bristol - located in the south-east corner of Pontiac - was incorporated in 1846, with William Craig as its first mayor. The iron ore deposits, here, where first mined from 1872 to 1894. In 1956, the owners of Hilton Mines constructed the new open pit mining and processing facilities.

This mine, which employed as many as 300 people, was the first ironore mining and pelletizing plant to be built in Quebec and also one of the first in Canada. Operations were stopped in 1976. The village of Norway Bay is a popular tourist resort, with cottagers making up most of the population. The Ottawa River is their playground. A new, beautiful wharf with docking facilities and a public sandy beach at McLellan Park, along with two golf courses attract visitors to Norway Bay and Bristol all summer long.