The Québec maritime Blog

5 Surprising Facts about Rimouski
  • Rimouski
    Mathieu Dupuis

5 Surprising Facts about Rimouski

A seaside city offering both urban vitality and proximity to nature, Rimouski promises you a stay that will meet all your expectations, whether you’re a fan of cultural activities, an outdoor enthusiast or a history buff. Are you planning to visit this city in Bas-Saint-Laurent during your next vacation? Here are five facts about Rimouski that may surprise you!

1. It’s easy to see a variety of wildlife species in Parc national du Bic

Harbour seals, grey seals, white-tailed deer, common eiders, peregrine falcons and foxes are just some of the wildlife species you may see in Parc national du Bic. Within the space of a day, you’re quite likely to spot a variety of wild animals in this park! While you may encounter some unexpectedly along a trail, others can be seen in their favourite spots in the park: common eiders at Pointe aux Eiders, birds of prey at the Raoul-Roy lookout and seals at Pointe aux Épinettes and Cap Caribou. Park wardens are on hand to tell you more about these fascinating species and answer all your questions.

2. Rimouski is home to Canada’s first submarine open to the public

Visit the Pointe-au-Père Maritime Historic Site to immerse yourself in the life of the submariners who lived aboard the Onondaga. Learn the secrets of this 90-metre (300-foot) vessel during an audio tour that will take you to the control room and torpedo room as well as to see the engines, galley, living quarters and very narrow berths. While you’re there, you can also discover the Pointe-au-Père Lighthouse (the second tallest in Canada), the Empress of Ireland Museum (where you can learn about the history and the tragic sinking of this ship through an exhibition and multimedia show) and much more!

3. You can cross the highest suspension footbridge in Québec

If you love heights and wide-open spaces, you’ll want to visit the Canyon des Portes de l’Enfer (Hell’s Gate Canyon). Located about 35 km (22 mi.) inland from downtown Rimouski, this site is home to the highest suspension footbridge in the province of Québec. From the vantage point of 63 metres (205 feet) above ground, you can admire a breathtaking view of an endless forest, the canyon (which stretches for nearly 5 km [3 mi.]) and—if you’re brave enough to look—the Rimouski River flowing between rock faces beneath you. You can also explore a vast network of hiking trails, admire the 20-metre (65-foot) high Grand Sault Falls and walk down a 300-step staircase. Want to learn more about log driving? Visit the site that pays tribute to these courageous men where you can admire a reconstructed camp and river boat as well as period photos.

4. A hermit lived for nearly 40 years on an island off Rimouski

Did you know that, in the 17th century, a hermit named Toussaint Cartier lived alone for nearly 40 years on Saint-Barnabé Island? To find out more about his story and learn about the highlights of life on this island located 3 km (2 mi.) off the coast of Rimouski, hop on an inflatable boat at the Rimouski marina. Once on the island, enjoy the self-guided tour as well as 20 km (12 mi.) of hiking trails, 12 rustic campsites and many opportunities to observe harbour seals and up to 72 species of birds. As a bonus, you’ll get to see the city from a new angle. Book your boat trip soon!

5. You can stroll along the St. Lawrence in the heart of the city

Do as the locals do and breathe in the fresh sea air while strolling along the Promenade de la Mer. This 4.3-km (3-mi.) seaside boardwalk gives you easy access to downtown Rimouski on one side and a breathtaking view of the ever-changing sea on the other. Follow the evolution of the tides in real time by checking out the tide towers found along this walk. Would you like to spend some time soaking up the surrounding scenery? Sit comfortably at one of the two lookouts or on the breakwater and enjoy the view! Sunsets are particularly colourful… From downtown, you can also continue your walk in nature on trails along the coast and along the Rimouski River. On the agenda: salt marshes, woodlands, wildlife observation and more.

Did these five facts about Rimouski pique your interest? Will you visit these attractions during your road trip along the Bas-Saint-Laurent – Gaspésie Tour? You’ll also find a variety of accommodation options in the city and in the surrounding area, including modern hotels, inns, cottages, campgrounds and more. Start planning your trip today!

Author Anne-Josée Pineau

Born in Bas-Saint-Laurent, Anne-Josée Pineau loves this region and is delighted to introduce others to it. Never far from the sea, she’s fascinated by lighthouses and could live on seafood alone! On this blog, she likes to write about our regions’ unusual attractions, make your mouth water by describing local delicacies, and pique your interest by revealing some of the hidden beauty found in Québec by the Sea. In other words, she wants to provide you with lots of ideas for an unforgettable vacation!

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(2) comments

Annie Jones

How did this city get the name of Rimouski?

Le Québec maritimeLe Québec maritime

HI Annie, Rimouski has a Mi’gmaq origin: animousk means “dog” and ki or gi translates as “abode,” therefore Rimouski means “dog’s abode.” This name may refer to the presence of seals, which at the time were known as “sea dogs,” or to the river, which the Mi’gmaq called the “Dog River” because it was so difficult to navigate between the mainland and Saint-Barnabé Island at low tide.

Mrs. Marjorie Spacek

So nostalgic--love the drive from New Brunswick to Rimouski--then along the St. Lawrence to Quebec City. Always wanted to take the ferry across the river--beautiful area.