Société des musées du Québec

This summer, sail through time...


© Collection Musée maritime de Charlevoix

All symbols of freedom, trains, airplanes, boats and other vehicles carry us on a trip through history as it unfolds. As part of your summer travels, explore Quebec’s museums – the custodians of these impressive mechanical inventions. There’s so much distance to cover! No need for a passport! Just come with your curiosity and desire to discover human ingenuity ... in a safe environment.

The river, the lakes and the smaller rivers have shaped Québec’s history. Travel upstream and understand the challenges of navigation and the ancient knowledge associated with it. Drop anchor at museums that feature fascinating boats, from early wooden skiffs to powerful metal ships!

  • The ingenious native canoes—the first to travel the continent’s waterways—are revealing their secrets at the Huron-Wendat Museum, in Wendake. The interactive exhibition The Canoe, Bearer of Traditions pays tribute to Maurice Picard Jr., a craftsman who represents the fourth generation of canoe makers. The canoe is also on display at the Musée des Abénakis in Odanak and at the Native Museum of Mashteuiatsh.
  • On Île d’Orléans, the Parc maritime de Saint-Laurent is a fascinating stop to explore an authentic 19th-century rowboat shop and its impressive collections of tools. Meet islanders who share their intimate connection with the river.
  • Out in full sail, the wooden schooners have long plied the St. Lawrence, guided by valiant captains. Come aboard the ones dry-docking at the Musée maritime de Charlevoix. They have so many stories to share!
  • At the Musée de la Gaspésie, cod fishing boat Gaspésienne no 20 is an authentic and rare reminder of the region’s modern history. The deep blue sea exhibition presents the history of Gaspé told through 15 sailing vessels, including sailboat models, from the Viking era to the 20th century! 

  • At the Pointe-au-Père Lighthouse National Historic Site, in Rimouski, relive the daily life of crew members aboard the Onondaga, an authentic and impressive 90-metre submarine. Inside the museum, the exhibition on the Empress of Ireland, the 168-metre-long ship that sank off Pointe-au-Père in 1914, reveals the many facets of this tragedy.
  • In L’Islet-sur-Mer, at the Musée maritime du Québec, ships await their “crew” of visitors! On the agenda: a seaworthy icebreaker, a surprising hydrofoil, a proud sailboard and solid rowboats. You can also learn about the life of a sailor by visiting the Sea Roots and Captain J. E. Bernier exhibitions.
  • The Site historique T. E. Draper traces the history of this rare tugboat that plied the Lac des Quinze in Témiscamingue for over 40 years. A powerful witness to the region’s forestry and logging industry!
  • Only steps away from the Lévis-Québec ferry, the A.C. Davie Shipyard National Historic Site brings to life one of Québec’s most famous shipyards and a maritime industry pioneer in the region. Discover the craftsmanship developed on site for the repair, construction and salvaging of ships, including the ingenious hauling plan to hoist boats out of the water. 



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