The Québec maritime Blog
Although Bas-Saint-Laurent, Gaspésie, Côte-Nord and the Îles de la Madeleine each have their own distinct characteristics, these regions are united by the sea, otherwise known as the St. Lawrence, an immense river and estuary that has shaped the culture of the people who live alongside it for centuries. Read on to find out more.
Standing guard along the coastlines, the lighthouses found in the maritime regions of Québec have many fascinating stories to tell about the daily lives of the lightkeepers, shipwrecks, unique buildings and more. Visitors are bound to fall under the spell of these picturesque sentinels of the sea! Did you know that there are over 40 lighthouses in our regions, of which about 20 are open to the public? They include the oldest lighthouse in Québec and the tallest in Canada!
Historic and heritage sites
The St. Lawrence is directly linked to the history and development of our regions. The fishing industry (including the cod fishery) is a good example of this. Today, several authentic sites bear witness to the history of this industry, which had such a significant impact on our world as we know it. Other sites recount how the majestic St. Lawrence played a major role in historic events. And our regions are also home to spectacular natural heritage sites along the sea!
Museums and interpretation sites
For First Nations peoples as well as for European settlers and their descendants, the St. Lawrence was (and still is) a source of food, a means of transportation and an important economic driver. Several museums and sites in our regions recount these facts through fascinating exhibitions and reconstructions. The underwater world of the St. Lawrence is also the focus of many interpretation centres, which have much to teach visitors about whales, seals and other amazing marine creatures!
The influence of the sea on the daily lives of the inhabitants of Eastern Québec is undeniable and manifests itself in many ways. For example, we consult the tide schedule before going on a stroll along the water or heading out to sea and adjust our clothing accordingly. We also impatiently await the start of crab and lobster season, not only because we love these delicious products, but also because we’re looking forward to the celebrations that mark the launch of the fishing boats in the spring. The St. Lawrence also inspires many local artists and artisans, whether they’re writing songs, telling stories or creating unique works of art.
The St. Lawrence abounds with fish, seafood and algae, which are harvested, prepared and enjoyed at home, in good restaurants as well as at the snack bars found throughout our regions. Each family or community has its own culinary traditions and methods for showcasing these delicacies from the sea, which include lobster, crab, shrimp, shellfish and smoked fish. Visitors delight in savouring these fresh products and discovering new and sometimes unusual species (such as sea urchins or Stimpson’s surf clams) that are sustainably fished.
You’ll be amazed by all the wonders the St. Lawrence has to offer!