Chibougamau, Canada

Chibougamau is the largest town in rugged central Quebec, even though the population is only 7, 563. Surrounded by northern boreal forests and pristine lakes, Chibougamau is a beautiful location with a growing tourism interest. Named after vast nearby Lake Chibougamau, the town was once a mining outpost, but has grown into a thriving community.

Chibougamau, which means “crossed by a river” in Cree, is located in the Nord-du-Quebec region on the banks of Lake Gilman. The Cree Indians used the area for their traditional hunting grounds for centuries, and in the early 17th century French explorers and traders first came to Lake Chibougamau. In the late 1800’s, mining prospectors began working the area, and gold was discovered in 1903. A period of concentrated exploration immediately began, but due to the remote location and difficulty in accessing the area, no permanent outpost was developed. In 1949, copper was discovered and the availability of more advanced transportation methods and technology allowed mining to expand, along with a permanent community. The town of Chibougamau was incorporated in 1954, and soon became well-established as a mining center for copper, gold and silver. Still renowned for its mining, Chibougamau is now a large industry center for logging and sawmills.

Located on the banks of Lake Gilman, Chibougamau takes advantage of its beautiful surroundings in both summer and winter. In the summer, highest temperatures are from June to August, the average being around 70° F. Winter high temperatures average around 10° F from December to February. In the summer months, Obalski Park around Lake Gilman offers a beach for swimming or relaxing in the sun, a boat pier, picnic areas, cabins, and camping facilities. Many well-kept trails are used for hiking and biking, and in the snowy months, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Winter is celebrated in Chibougamau with the festival of the “Folies Frettes”, and a huge international snowmobile rally.

Although Chibougamau is in a fairly remote area of Canada, it is easily accessed by road or by air. From the west, Route 113 leads to Chibougamau, and from the southeast, Route 167 goes into town. The Chibougamau airport is just outside of town on Route 113. French is the main language spoken, with English being spoken by about two percent of the population. With the booming mining and logging industries, Chibougamau has become a well-known destination for commercial, residential, and tourist interests.


Montreal, Canada

Reminiscent of the city of Paris, Montreal is considered the most sophisticated and romantic city in Canada by many. Home to a vibrant arts and cultural scene, there is a wide variety of attractions to suit all tastes. The city hosts many festivals and events throughout the year that range from art exhibits to live theatrical productions as well as science exhibitions and much more.

Montreal is an island municipality located within the province of Quebec and is bounded by the St. Lawrence Seaway. The site where the city now stands was discovered in 1535 by Jacques Cartier, a French navigator. Upon seeing the mountain for the first time that now serves as a stately backdrop to the city, he named it le Mont Royal. The area was eventually settled in May 1642 by the Société de Notre Dame de Montréal, a group of missionaries from France who came to bring the gospel to the Indians who inhabited the area at the time.

Montreal is a wonderful mixture of the historic and the modern and nowhere in the city is its heritage more alive than in Old Montreal. Narrow cobbled streets lined with Victorian era street lamps showcase a wonderful assortment of sidewalk cafes, artfully renovated historic buildings, many now home to elegant boutiques, as well as talented street entertainers that will beguile passersby with their craft. Wandering through the area, the aroma of delicious cuisine tempts visitors to venture inside the many fine dining establishments.

One of the city’s most notable landmarks is the Notre-Dame Basilica, a grand cathedral that was founded in 1642 by the original settlers to the island. Far from its original simple wood construction, the Notre-Dame Basilica seen today is a stunning example of Gothic Revival architecture. The current cathedral was completed in 1829, replacing the previous church on the same site. The interior of the cathedral is even more spectacular than the outside with breathtaking sculptures depicting many scenes from the Bible throughout while hues of blue and gold gently highlight the room adding to the ambiance.

No visit to Montreal is complete without a visit to Mont Royal. Outstanding views of the city abound as you ascend the mountain. While the hike is a bit strenuous it will yield some amazing photo opportunities and is well worth the effort!

For a relaxing afternoon a visit to the Montreal Botanical Gardens might be just the thing. Considered one of the finest botanical gardens in the world, it features more than 21,000 different plant species from around the world. There are ten exhibition greenhouses that contain thousands of plants, over 100 that are quite rare or threatened. There are also thirty theme gardens that are quite spectacular and represent authentic habitats for each region depicted. These include an Alpine Garden, a Japanese garden, a Chinese garden, the First Nations Garden of Canadian plants, a collection of poisonous plants and several others.

These are just a few of the sights that await visitors in beautiful Montreal.


Québec City, Canada

Over four hundred years have passed since Québec City, the capitol of the Canadian province of Québec, was founded by Samuel de Champlain and began its role as the wellspring of French civilization in the Americas. This vast cultural metropolis, populated by only an estimated 750,000 individuals, lies within a low-lying region situated along the St. Lawrence River, and pays homage to its European origins through numerous facets, including its French speaking populace, rustic architecture, and overall lifestyle.

While Québec City features a uniform ethos, the heart of this urban center, called Vieux-Québec, or Old Québec, is actually divided by precipitous bluffs into two districts: Upper Town, or Haute Ville, and Lower Town, also referred to as Basse Ville. The former quarter, positioned on the Cape Diamond promontory, stands in the midst of century-old fortress walls, while the latter region sprawls along the shore of the cape.

Deemed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985, Upper Town, which was initially built to accommodate the steadily expanding government of New France, features a variety of immaculately preserved historic monuments, including the Chateau Frontenac, Place d’Armes, Plains of Abraham, and the Quebec Parliament. Notwithstanding its evident antiquity, the narrow streets of Upper Town still provide an ample selection of modernized bars, cafés, shops, and hotels.

The Lower Town of Old Québec holds the capitol’s oldest residential areas, which are now dotted with exquisite boutiques, restaurants, art galleries, and other tourist oriented attractions, such as the Museum of Civilization. Lower Town’s cobblestone streets and breathtaking view of the raging St. Lawrence River is appreciated by a culturally diverse community, including both the suit-clad businessman and the new-age hipster.

Tradition manifests itself in Québec City not only through its aged infrastructure and timeless culture, but also through large-scale events such as the Winter Carnival and Summer Festival. The cold weather festivities were first held in the year 1894, in order to lessen the severity of winter hardships on the populace by providing several weeks of sporting events, parades, banquets, and masquerade balls. The later established Summer Festival spans eleven days, during which the city hosts hundreds of indoor and outdoor concerts, meant to showcase the artistic and economic capabilities of Quebec’s capitol.

Since its inception, Québec City has fostered the continued presence of French civilization far from its European origins. The respect bestowed upon the past is relevant in the city’s every element, and is therefore an incredibly invaluable experience to be realized.


Quebec, Canada

Stretching from the St Lawrence River to the Arctic Circle, Quebec is a Canadian province brimming with history, culture and tradition. This former French colony has built upon its colonial and native past to become a vibrant and diverse travel destination.

People who come to Quebec realize that it is many destinations in one. There are the quaint, picturesque Inuit villages of the far north and the bustling modern cities of Montreal and Quebec City in the south. The lakes, rivers and mountains of the countryside combined with the museums, chic boutiques and fine dining of the cities unite in a way to please any traveler.

Winter sports enthusiasts will be delighted by the high mountains and spectacular falls of the Cote-de-Beaupre and the ski resorts of the Laurentians region. In summer, relax and enjoy the many festivals, concerts and exhibitions that abound within the province.

Quebec City and Montreal are a delightful mix of old world charm and present day sophistication. The capital of the province, Quebec City is still contained by its fortified walls. Enjoy a horse drawn carriage ride over cobblestone streets as you tour the historic districts of Quarter Petit Champlain and the Place-Royale. The city of Montreal is a multicultural, modern North American metropolis with a French flare. Tour the old city and discover 18th and 19th century homes, the neo-Gothic Notre Dame Basilica and numerous museums that display the region’s interesting past. After a day of sightseeing, enjoy the rhythms of the electrifying nightlife and the world famous cuisine of this innovative and invigorating city.

The rustic charms of the province shine through the farmlands of the eastern townships, the rugged coastline of the pristine Gaspe Peninsula, the cliffs that soar high above the Saquenay River and the enchanting Northern Lights of the Far North. The flora and fauna contained in numerous national parks are a hidden treasure awaiting discovery. Tour the chocolate factory on the Ile d’Orleans or follow a bike path along the majestic St. Lawrence River. There are many natural and manmade wonders within the province to be discovered and enjoyed.

People from all over the world travel to Quebec to discover the province’s unique and varied regions. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventure or to immerse yourself in cultural traditions, a trip to Quebec will be unforgettable.