From the Toponomical Commission of the Province of Quebec

The most important city in the region of Mauricie, Trois Rivières was established at the confluence of the the Saint-Laurent and Saint Maurice rivers, between Cap-de-la-Madeleine and Pointe-du-Lac some 140 km north of Montreal. Its descriptive name "Trois-Rivières" derives from the name "Rivière des Trois Rivières" formerly given to the Saint-Maurice, and was given to the fort and to the town surrounding the fort at the request of Champlain. The location had been visited by Jacques Cartier (1535), by François Gravé du Pont (1599), as a trading post with the Amerindians. The name is found on a map of Nouvelle-France drawn up by Guillaume Levasseur in 1601. In his Relation of 1635, Jesuit Father Paul le Jeune writes that the name derives from the geography of the area: "The French named the place "les Trois Rivières" because a beautiful river flows into the Saint-Laurent there, through three separate channels that flow around small islands at the river's mouth. The Abenaki called the river Madobaladenitekou, which means "river that ends". The Algonquins called it Metaberoutin, a name which is translated into French as "décharge de vent", which translates into English as "passing wind".

The notion that the place had an English name before it was given its French name is, in a word, Metaberoutin.

Fr. Owen Taggart

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