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I came across a recent article suggesting that it might be worth a visit to Tadoussac. I was curious as I had known virtually nothing about the place.

It seems the place comes as a surprise to many – the Huffington Post  suggests that it “isn’t one of the most popular tourist destinations in Canada, but it’s one of the coolest”, touting what it describes as a “funky yet historic atmosphere”.

Tadoussac (French pronunciation: ​[tadusak]), Quebec is a village of approximately 1,000 located at the confluence of the Saguenay and St. Lawrence Rivers.  Archaeological digs have yielded evidence of civilizations going back many centuries. Established at an Innu settlement, the bay was a landing point for Jacques Cartier in 1535 and the town was one of the first non-Native settlements in North America – it was France’s first trading post on the Mainland of New France.  After stints as a major fur-trading post for Hudson’s Bay Company from the 1600s to the mid-1800s, and a logging centre after that, it became a tourist destination in the 1860s when the forerunner to this Hotel Tadoussac was built. By the 17th century it became an important trading post and was the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in Canada, and the oldest surviving French settlement in the Americas.

These  days the tourists still come,   It is known as a tourist destination because of the rugged beauty of the Saguenay fjord. The cold waters of the fjord intersect with the the warmer, salty water of the St. Lawrence, meet to create a rich marine environment. The rivers support an abundance of krill, making the area very attractive to whales –  especially during the Summer when food for the whales is plentiful. So just as the whales are drawn to krill, so too are tourists (many aboard large cruise ships) drawn to the area.

What they find (beyond the whales) is an entire area is either rural or still in a wilderness state, with several federal and provincial natural parks and preserves protecting natural resources. Tadoussac encompasses the first marine national park of Canada. The nearest larger urban locale is Saguenay about 100 km (62 mi) west.

In town there are historic structuires such as the Petite Chapelle de Tadoussac, constructed between 1747 and 1750, the trading post of Pierre Chauvin, and the iconic Hotel Tadoussac, constructed to replace the town’s first Victorian hotel built in 1864

As to the funky, a recent visitor reporting on a visit  decribed “…something about Tadoussac’s small size, unique location, and laid-back atmosphere that makes it feel distinctly bohemian. Quirky patios, restaurants disguised as historic homes, and even the Le Casse-Croûte du Connaisseur food truck, serving up poutine and ice cream, make every dining experience a unique one”.

Here is one location that appears to be offbeat, off the beaten path and overlooked (if not forgotten). Worth a visit. I can’t wait.

 

 

 

It’s important to plan ahead. For example, the Festival de la Chanson de Tadoussac, June 14-17, is a sellout every year and Tadoussac’s hotels, restaurants and cruises will be heavily booked.

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