ROL Cruise recommends…
1. Check out La Pulperie de Chicoutimi
Now the most populous borough of Saguenay, Chicoutimi has a fascinating history of its own. Centrally situated and open to visitors year-round, this popular museum and heritage site (set in an old pulp mill) educates visitors about Chicoutimi’s local history and art through their interactive and well-received exhibits. Explore the self-painted house of the Québécois painter Arthur Villeneuve, peruse the many temporary exhibits or get immersed in discovering the origins of the site as the Chicoutimi trading post – a vital hub of an extensive fur trade network for over 200 years, established in 1676 on prehistoric Aboriginal encampment areas.
2. Peruse the city’s park life
Those with limited time in the city can still experience the beautiful flora and fauna of the region. Head across town to get back to nature in Parc de la Riviere du Moulin. Visitors can enjoy the likes of ice skating, ice hockey and cross-country skiing in winter, or fishing, boat rental and bike hire in summer. Extensive hiking trails are open all year.
3. Visit The Little White House with a big story
For a delightful tale of remarkable perseverance, visit La Petite Maison Blanche (The Little White House), a museum and symbol of hope for local residents. Constructed in 1900 in the town formerly known as Chicoutimi, the house has survived multiple floods. In 1996, when the nearby dam overflowed due to heavy rainfall, The Little White House withstood the torrents raging around its base for four days, while every other building surrounding it was destroyed. Today, the building houses a museum commemorating the floods, while its surroundings have been converted into a picturesque park.
4. Admire the local architecture
The Cathedral of St. Francis Xavier is located in the Saguenay borough of Chicoutimi and overlooks the old port area of the town. Destroyed twice by fire within a decade, the current Renaissance revival style structure is the fourth to occupy the site and the third to serve as cathedral for the diocese. The hand-painted frescoes in the Cathedral’s dome were a particularly significant achievement, as the legs of the artist Louis Eustache Monti were paralysed following an accident. He was mounted each morning using a pulley system in order to reach the ceiling.
5. Find yourself in the Saguenay Fjord National Park
For passengers willing to head further afield to get a taste of true Quebec wilderness, the Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay welcomes visitors to enjoy its stunning landscapes and wide variety of outdoor activities throughout most of the year. Many services are offered on site, including kayaking, ferrata, fishing and much more.