After the end of World War 1, Ellwood Wilson, a forester employed by the Laurentide Company in Quebec realized that aircraft could be used to spot forest fires and to map vast areas. In 1920 he arranged for the loan of two Curtiss HS-2L Flying Boats from the Canadian government. The first bush flights with the aircraft occurred when fire patrol and aerial photography began in the summer of 1919 in the St. Maurice River valley. Over the next three summers, these aircraft were employed in transporting personnel, patrolling for forest fires, sketching of timber limits and aerial photography.
In 1922, the government of Ontario hired the men and aircraft of new Laurentide Air Service. The large government contract provided flying work in connection with detailed mapping showing lakes, waterways and forest types. In 1923, Laurentide was awarded all flying required by the provincial government, not only for continued mapping but for transportation of firefighting personnel, and for forestry patrol. They surveyed 20,000 square miles of country as far west as Lake of the Woods, and north as far as James Bay. Twelve aircraft were used. And over that season, 400 forest fires were spotted and reported.
Losing lucrative contracts and key personnel to the new Ontario Provincial Air Service in 1924 spelled the beginning of the end for Laurentide. In an effort to stay alive, the Laurentide company established a scheduled air service into the Quebec goldfields between Angliers, Lake Fortune and Rouyn. Later, the main operating base was transferred from Angliers to Haileybury, as the facilities were better. It was the first scheduled air service in Canada.
Laurentide ceased operation in 1925.