Discover the fascinating stories of the Machault (1759) and Elizabeth and Mary (1690) shipwrecks—in Pointe à-la-Croix and Baie Trinité respectively—or learn about the 1711 sinking of Admiral Walker’s fleet at Musée Louis Langlois in Port-Cartier.

Museums and heritage sites

The past is alive and well!

Museums and heritage sitesQuébec has plenty to offer those looking to discover its cultural treasures, the history of the province and its cities, and its scientific and technological legacy. To truly understand Québec, past and present, its museums and heritage sites paint a lively, colourful picture of how this society has fared in the New World over the centuries, up until the dawn of this third millennium.

MuseumsHeritage sites

Heritage sites

The past is alive and well

QuébecNearly five centuries of European presence have left Québec with a priceless heritage that today has been vividly brought to life by many major sites. Some evoke the colony’s military past or the lives of great political figures, while others present the daily life of Québec’s habitants, paying homage to the know-how, piety and tenacity of yesterday’s populace for the benefit of today’s.

Memory lane

PhotoThree of the oldest establishments in New France, namely, Québec City, Montréal and Trois-Rivières, are districts of great historic import today. In the four hundred years since their founding in the first half of the 17th century, the three cities have managed to preserve valuable remnants of life in colonial times.

Île d'Orléans, QuébecQuébec City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is particularly remarkable for its imposing ramparts, Place-Royale (the cradle of French civilization in North America) and Artillery Park, located within the city walls. The nearby and delightfully bucolic Île d’Orléans, with its many remarkable old churches and buildings, is a perfect complement to the capital.

Close to Old Montréal, the Lachine Canal, whose origins go back to the 18th century, has great historical significance for southern Québec. Recently rehabilitated, the canal has opened its locks to pleasure craft, while walkers and cyclists can enjoy pleasantly green surroundings on its banks. Eastwards along the St. Lawrence, Old Trois-Rivières and the Forges du Saint-Maurice are vivid reminders of the pivotal role played by Trois-Rivières in the early days of the colony.

Pages of history

Chambly, MontérégieFacing Laval, near Montréal, the Île des Moulins (mill island) in Terrebonne has a superbly preserved collection of 19th-century industrial buildings in a lovely park with no shortage of themed activities and presentations in the summer. On the Rivière Richelieu, whose source is Lake Champlain on the Canada–U.S. border, forts Chambly and Lennox are valiant witnesses to the colonial wars.

PhotoNear Montmagny (Chaudière-Appalaches), Grosse Île testifies to an important page in the history of European immigration to Canada, recalling the mid-19th-century quarantine of Irish immigrants who were fleeing the famine in their homeland. Two historic sites in eastern Québec, Banc-de-Pêche-de-Paspébiac in the Gaspésie and La Grave in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine, commemorate the vital economic role played until recently by fishing in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. In western Québec, Fort Témiscamingue was an important trading post in Abitibi-Témiscamingue: a region well known to the explorers of old that reached its apogee in the 20th century with the development of gold mines, today commemorated by the Cité de l’or (city of gold) at Val-d’Or.

Three estates renowned for their spectacular gardens are also of great historical interest: the Mackenzie King Estate in Gatineau Park (Outaouais region); the Domaine Joly-de Lotbinière, east of Québec City; and the Reford Gardens in the Gaspésie, a resplendent testimony to a bygone age: the 19th-century bourgeois resorts on the St. Lawrence.

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