Evelyne: When the City Girl Finds her City in Nature

Insights on La Mauricie

A city girl with a passion for culture, Eveline thought she’d have to mourn her loss when she left the big city to settle in Mauricie, but it turned out to be quite the opposite. She quickly discovered the varied cultural universe of our region and immediately fell in love with it. What’s more, because she was used to doing everything on foot, she found it easy to settle in downtown Shawinigan with her two twins and her husband. This way, there’s no need to get in the car to fetch a pint of milk. “I don’t even feel like I’ve left the big city because I’m in the heart of Shawinigan and everything is practically a 5-minute walk away.”

Eveline, who arrived in the region in 2015 to cofound Coop Nitaskinan with two friends, is a woman of intuition and feeling, and that’s what has led her to great projects like this one. In fact, she set her sights on Shawinigan to create her dream job. It was the furthest place she wanted to settle in order to be closer to the First Nations communities in the north of the Mauricie region.

As a native of Lanaudière, she can be close to her family, who still live there. “It’s just 55 minutes to visit my family. On the other hand, from Montreal to Lanaudière, it’s uncertain if you consider the traffic.” For Eveline, Shawinigan is a lot closer to Montreal than Montreal is to Shawinigan. Interesting perspective! A keen traveller, Eveline has been to practically every corner of the globe. Just after concluding her studies, she started travelling. Sometimes in Togo, sometimes in Niger, Eveline would return home to do small work contracts and then set off again to discover the world. It was while she was in Guinea that she met her husband, and finally decided to start a family with him in Quebec. When she arrived in the Mauricie region, her only fear was that her husband and children were of different origins. To her great delight, Eveline and her family were very well received in the region. “People are curious and ask us questions, but it’s all done with respect and kindness.” It has to be said that her twins were far from feeling different, since at the children’s school there are between 17 and 20 different nationalities. What’s more, her husband’s eldest son arrived from his native country three years ago and quickly surrounded himself with a circle of friends of many different nationalities. “I thought he would probably want to move to the big city, but no, he really likes it here in Mauricie and has no plans to move at all.” 

Eveline is still a city girl, and since moving to Mauricie, she has loved being able to enjoy the proximity of all the amenities that Shawinigan has to offer and, at the same time, the vastness of nature in Mauricie. “One evening, you can walk to a good restaurant for dinner with a friend, and the next day, you can relax on a hike.” Eveline makes the most of the region’s various bodies of water by paddleboarding. She also likes to go deep into the forest for long walks. Her move has taken her away from her friends, but on the other hand, she now spends more quality time with them.

Eveline’s journeys are not over yet. She still travels a lot and when she does, she likes to lend her house to friends and acquaintances to help them out or just to show them a good time in our region. “Shawi is my home away from home. I can’t imagine leaving this town. The air is good for the family.” She’s not shy about the vastness of the landscapes she sees in the Mauricie region. It’s a way of life she and her family have embraced and will continue to embrace for a long time to come.

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This project is made possible by the generous contribution of our partners.
A huge thanks to everyone.