Lac-Mégantic

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Lac-Mégantic is a town of 6000 people in the Eastern Townships region of Quebec, near the Maine border.

Caution NOTE: Access to the downtown area remained blocked through 2014 due to a deadly 6 July 2013 oil train derailment. This affects solely a section bounded by rue Villeneuve in the north, the Chaudière River to the south and the Lac Mégantic waterfront in the west. Rue Frontenac, the town's main street, is closed, as is the downtown waterfront. The tourist information bureau, city hall, marina, Veterans' Park and l'Eau Berge inn are inaccessible. Many local businesses and landmarks have been destroyed, including the town's library and archives, and most of the remaining downtown structures will be demolished in 2015 due to petroleum contamination. Oil from the 2013 trainwreck had contaminated the banks of the Chaudière River and the marina, although the water of the lake itself remained pristine; the worst of this ecological damage has now been cleared. All destinations outside the downtown area, including area campgrounds, bicycle trails and two provincial parks, remain open. The lake itself remains accessible outside the downtown area.

Understand[edit]

Lac-Mégantic

Lac-Mégantic was established in 1884 as a stop on a former Canadian Pacific railway line which ran from Montréal and Sherbrooke eastward across northern Maine to Saint John, New Brunswick. The region is 98% francophone.

A small lakefront town in an isolated location on the Québec-Maine border, Mégantic has traditionally relied on natural resources, forestry and tourism as economic mainstays. Hunting and fishing have traditionally been popular in the region.

The region is mountainous and well known for its granite.

Visitor information may be obtained by calling +1 819-583-5515 or +1-800-363-5515.

Get in[edit]

The last passenger train through Lac-Mégantic ran in 1994; the "Atlantic" service from Montréal to Saint John was ended when the Canadian Pacific rails were sold to a short-line railway.

By car, one can reach Lac-Mégantic from Sherbrooke (100 km, 60 miles) by taking Québec Route 108 east to the village-relais of Stornaway, then following Route 161 South through Nantes. Route 161 becomes the town's main street. From Quebec City (200 km, 120 miles), take Autoroute 73 to Beauceville, then Route 108 West to Route 161.

By bus,    Autocars la Chaudière4323, rue Laval G6B 1C1 (Dépanneur du Coin) +1 819-583-5349, toll-free: +1-800-550-7496fax: +1 418-228-8097. operates a bus to Quebec City via Saint-Georges with stops in multiple cities. $41.16/person one-way to Québec.

Get around[edit]

The "Mégantic" tourist region is not the town itself but a wide rural area 50km (30 miles) in radius encompassing a lake, two major provincial parks and a large amount of mountainous terrain. While there are good cycle paths (des pistes cyclables) in the area, this is a lot of ground to cover and an automobile will prove invaluable.

By car[edit]

Rue Frontenac (Quebec Route 161) is closed at the edge of downtown and will remain closed through 2014 and part of 2015; use Boulevard Jean-Marie Tardif as a bypass when travelling across the Chaudière River.

By bicycle[edit]

Cycle trails and bicycle rentals are available at various in-region points, including Frontenac National Park.

By taxi[edit]

See[edit]

Mont-Mégantic Observatory
  •    AstrolabMont-Mégantic National Park. Mountaintop astronomical observatory and Mount Megantic Popular Observatory at the summit of Mont Mégantic, includes access by shuttlebus. Guided tours. Events include the Popular Astronomy Festival, the Perseid Festival (August 10–14) and snowshoe hiking (raquette au flambeaux) in winter. $11-23/person plus park admission.
  •    Concerts Entre chien et loupParc de l'OTJ de Lac-Mégantic. 8PM Thursdays, summer only. Weekly open-air show featuring local and emerging musical talent. Free.
  •    Sainte-Agnès Church.
  •    Maison du Granit301, route du Morne, Lac-Drolet G0Y 1C0 +1 819-549-2566. 9AM-5PM daily, 10AM-5PM except Monday off-season. Museum in former granite quarry site, 20km north of Lac-Mégantic. $10.50/person.
  •    Moulin Bernier (Bernier Mill), 100, rue du Moulin, Courcelles G0M 1C0 +1 418-483-5646fax: +1 418-483-3540. May-Oct 10AM-5PM, closed Mon-Tue. Museum and old mill, conference and exhibition facilities, Internet access, park with former Quebec Central RR caboose and Expo-Train. $5/person.
  •    Parc de la Croix-Lumineuserue Lafontaine, Frontenac G6B 1H4. A prime lookout point to view the region from the Rencontre au Sommet (signpost at 500m altitude); bring your binoculars. Picnic tables. Accessible by motorcar. Free.
  • Route des Sommets. 157 km (100 mile) signed tourist route from La Patrie to Stratford through the mountains.

Do[edit]

Baie des Sables in wintertime
  •    Centre Sportif Mégantic5400, rue Papineau +1 819-583-0630. Open skating, swimming and badminton. Arena for 1200 spectators, indoor pool and gym constructed in 2011.
  •    Cinéma Mégantic1977 route 161, Lac-Mégantic G6B 2S1 +1 819-583-4970fax: +1 819-583-6789. Two 3-D movie screens, English-language films shown Thursdays. From $5/person.
  •    Club de golf de Lac-Megantic1039 route 161, Lac-Megantic G6B 2S5 +1 819-583-4810.
  •    Complexe Baie des Sables2370, chemin du Lac, G6B 2S5 +1 819-583-3965. Beachfront park on the shore of Lac Mégantic. Cabins, camping, canoeing, kayak and pedal boat rental. Restaurant and bar on-site. Playground, picnic area, docks and boat launch. $9/car, $11/camper.
  •    Le Vent du Sud254, rang des Grenier, Piopolis G0Y 1H0 +1 819-583-0202. Equestrian centre. Lessons and one-week summer camp available. $30/person for 45-minute horseback tour.
  •    Mont GosfordWoburn +1 819-544-9004. 8AM-4PM (6PM Sat) info kiosk. Tallest summit in southern Québec, hiking and cycling trails. Camping $8-24, chalets $82-140. $2.50/person, $9/car.
  •    Frontenac National Park177, route du parc de Frontenac, Saint-Daniel G0N 1S0 +1 418-422-4021. Boating, canoeing, snowshoeing, hiking and cycling on the shores of Grand lac Saint-François. Campgrounds and refuges, close to 200 bird species and over 30 mammal species.
  •    Mont-Mégantic National Park189 Route du Parc, Notre-Dame-des-Bois J0B 2E0 +1 819-888-2941, toll-free: +1 800-665-6527fax: +1 819-888-2943. Provincial park with two mountains (Saint-Joseph and Mégantic) to climb on foot or by motorcar. ASTROlab astronomical interpretation centre on-site. Open year-round. Hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowshoe hiking, bird and nature watching. Park is 50km (30 miles) from Lac Mégantic village. park access $6.50/person, campground $27-38/night.
  •    Théâtre de la première scène160 Route 263 South, Marston +1 819-582-4158. French-language live summer theatre. $22/person.

Events[edit]

Buy[edit]

  • Marché Public (Public Market), 5400, rue Papineau (Centre Sportif). mid-June to end Sept, 9AM-2PM Saturdays. Public market with opportunity to sample local and regional produce, on sport centre grounds (or indoors in case of rain).
  •    Aux Jardins Couverts (Fraisières et framboisières Carmen & Gaétan Roy), 1919, route 161, Nantes G0Y 1G0 +1 819-583-3498. Pick your own strawberries, raspberries and blueberries in-season. Maple products and organic vegetables.

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

  •    Au Ruisseau Jaseur337 Rang des Grenier, Piopolis G0Y 1H0 +1 819-583-2494. Cottage rentals on the Lac Mégantic shore in Piopolis. $800/week.
  •    Auberge et Chalets sur le Lac2000, chemin du Motel-sur-le-lac, Frontenac G6B 2S1 +1 819-583-0293, toll-free: +1-800-263-0293fax: +1 819-582-4011. Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Rooms and chalets for rent, refrigerators, boat docks on-site, outdoor pool. Whirlpool bath in some rooms. Additional charge for pets. $95-145/night.
  •    Le Quiet3284 Laval St, G6B 1A4 +1 819-583-6666, toll-free: +1-888-778-7018fax: +1 819-583-4871. Check-in: 2-10PM, check-out: noon. 47 room hotel/motel, wi-fi, meeting facilities, restaurant adjacent.
  •    Les Victorines du lac1886 Route 161 South, Frontenac G6B 2S1 +1 819-583-6904, toll-free: +1-866-494-6904fax: +1 819-583-6906. 17-room country inn with dining room, meeting facilities for up to thirty people. $60-120/night.

Connect[edit]

The Lac-Mégantic downtown post office has been relocated to Carrefour Lac Mégantic (3560 Laval Street, [1]); Main Street post offices in Piopolis (415, rue Principale G0Y 1H0) and Nantes (1267, rue Principale G0Y 1G0) remain open. Wi-fi is available at McDonald's on Laval Street.

Go next[edit]

This city travel guide to Lac-Mégantic is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page
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