Story and Photography by Mike Grandmaison
In the Fall/Winter 2010 issue of OPC we explored the Gaspe Peninsula, the south shore of the St. Lawrence River and Gulf. In this installment of Discovering Canada I want to explore part of the north shore of the St. Lawrence. We start our journey just north of Quebec City and head eastward towards the Labrador border, but we’ll stop before the border, to be continued on yet another road trip.
Hwy. 138 is one of Quebec’s “Sea To Sky Highways.” The highway along the St. Lawrence River is dotted with ancestral villages dating back to New France.
I don’t often research when I travel as I like to be surprised. Frequently I’ll take the back roads, where you’re more likely to discover things. One of the first stops I made leaving Quebec City airport after picking up a friend was L’Isle-aux-Coudres, a quaint little island named by explorer Jacques Cartier during his second expedition in 1535. He named it such for the many nut-bearing trees found on the island; “coudriers” was the ancient French name for hazel tree. A free, short ferry service connects Saint-Joseph-de-la-Rive on the north shore to Saint-Bernard-sur-Mer on the island. The island is 11 km long and the picturesque drive around its periphery offers opportunities to photograph the rocky shoreline at low tide as well as beautiful expanses of rose-covered landscapes.
To read more of Mike Grandmaison’s feature “Quebec’s North Shore” please pick up the Winter 2015 issue of OPC today, or subscribe!