Since 1954, the MOC has used the House in Prévost, QC as a home-away-from-home for its outdoor activities. Based there, the MOC became well-known for its contributions to the outdoor community in the Laurentians (in particular, developing cross-country skiing in the region, maintaining large trail networks, and developing new climbing routes at Val-David). For the first five decades, the House was owned by McGill University on behalf of the MOC.
In 2008, McGill made the decision to sell the beloved House in Prévost. For the first time in over 50 years, the MOC would not have a place in the Laurentians to continue its outdoor pursuits. After negotiating with the University, the MOC agreed to purchase the House directly instead of having it sold on the open market.
This led to the establishment of FPAM – the Fondation Plein Air de Montréal – a provincially-registered non-profit organization whose mission is to promote accessibility of outdoor activities for McGill students and the Montreal community, a mission they aimed to achieve by providing continued access to the House. FPAM’s first Board of Directors members were recent MOC Alumni who negotiated with the University, secured a mortgage loan from two very generous alumni, and officially purchased the House from the University. By 2009, MOC was back to its activities in the Laurentians at the House thanks to FPAM.
Under an agreement between MOC and FPAM that is renewed annually, MOC can continue to use the House as its base for outdoor activities. Hundreds of students from McGill and the wider Montreal community take advantage of this special place annually. FPAM is responsible for legal and administrative affairs while MOC is responsible for general maintenance and upkeep of the property. In 2014, FPAM made the final payment on the mortgage.
Many MOC contributions to the outdoor community have been made possible through the access provided by FPAM. Highlights since FPAM purchased the house include:
- Continuing and expanding the MOC’s well-known annual events hosted at the House, including introductions to rock climbing, ice climbing, cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, Wilderness First Aid, and more.
- Continuing to assist in the maintenance of the hiking and cross-country skiing network between Prévost and Saint-Sauveur.
- Hosting the first Outdoor Frosh in Canada. An alternative introduction to university life through outdoor activity has been hosted at the House annually since 2010.
- Hosting the first “MOC Outdoor Winter Olympics” – a friendly event between the MOC and other University outdoor clubs. First launched in 2012, the House has hosted other university clubs from Quebec, Ontario, and the Northeastern USA at this annual event.
Current list of FPAM Directors:
FPAM Director since 2017
FPAM Director since 2020
FPAM Director since 2019
FPAM Director since 2013
FPAM Director since 2017