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Bristol is a picturesque municipality located on the north shore of the Ottawa River, in the regional county municipality of Pontiac, in the administrative region of Outaouais, in Quebec.

Owing to recreational and tourism activities, to the riverside landscapes, to cultural and sporting events, and also to the historical heritage, you're likely to see three times as many visitors. Recreational tourism has developed particularly because of the Norway Bay resort, the Ottawa River and two golf courses.



Today its economy is based on recreational tourism (vacation, cycling, hunting and fishing, mountain biking, snowmobiles, boating, observations of flora and fauna), forestry and agriculture.


The township of Bristol (proclaimed in 1834) has two towns: Norway Bay and Bristol. This township runs along the north shore of Lac-des-Chats, which is an enlargement of the Ottawa River. The natural beauty of the Laurentians and the charm of the shores of the Ottawa River attract visitors and residents.

The municipal territory has several levels on which agriculture has developed. The part of the territory north of Route 148 is mostly wooded with agricultural islands. Several zones are designated in the municipal territory (some forming a hamlet): Bristol Mines (hamlet), Bristol Ridge (hamlet), Caldwell (hamlet), Doherty, Elmside (hamlet), Knox Landing, Maple Ridge (hamlet), Maryland ( hamlet), McKee (hamlet), Norway Bay (village), North Onslow, Pine Lodge (hamlet), Pontiac Station (hamlet), Ruthledge, Thorne Lake, Wyman (hamlet) and Weirstead. The water bodies are small, in particular: Lake Killoran, Lake Thorne, Lake Long, Lake Stanton and Lake Swan.

The main bays on the north shore of the Ottawa River, in the Bristol area, are (from west to east): Camp Bay, Chat Bay, Webb Bay, Haughton Bay, Norway Bay, Dirty Gut Bay, Kiroy Bay. The main streams are: Silver Creek (draining the Norway Bay area), Black Creek, Dame Creek, Factory Creek, Golden Creek, and Ireland Creek.

The country roads offer an agricultural, forest and built heritage landscape comprising ancestral buildings often built of red pine trunks (often more than a hundred years old) and well stuck, as well as old barns well sheeted. Bristol is crossed from east to west in the middle by road 148 which runs along the Quebec shore of the Ottawa River.


The toponym Bristol refers to the city of Bristol, county of Gloucestershire, in the south-west of England. This Quebec toponymic designation appears on the map of Gale and Duberger in 1795.

The Municipality of Bristol was incorporated in 1855. Originally the town was populated by settlers of English, Scottish and Irish descent; then several Germans, Poles and French arrived to settle there. At the time, immigrants arrived by boat in Montreal. They had to walk a long way to reach their assigned lot. The first houses were built of logs of fir, white pine, balsam, cedar and other hardwoods.

Gradually, the forestry industry, the mining industry (from 1872) and fish farming developed, thus establishing economic diversification. In 1835, a first mill operated by the motricity of water was erected by William King; in 1837, a second was erected by Mr. Stewart who had arrived from Scotland. The mills changed the way of treating wool for the manufacture of clothing and household accessories (dishcloths, sheets, tablecloth, etc.)

Two docks were erected in Bristol in the 1800s; one end of Bristol Road and the other at Danny Bay (now known as Haughton Bay). In 1908, the federal government called for tenders for the construction of the Norway Bay wharf at the end of Cutherburtson Street (now Quai Road). The Norvic ferry commuted from 1923 to 1963 from Norway Bay; it ceased in 1963 when it was sold. In 1988, the Municipality of Bristol acquired the wharf from the federal government. A park with landscaping (trees, benches, brick promenade, flower arrangements) has been made. This municipal wharf is particularly used for regattas, swimming lessons and boat launching ramps.

Get in[edit]

The territory of Bristol is accessible by road vehicle, seapleane VTT or snowmobile.

By car[edit]

  • From Montreal (277 km (172 mi). Time: 3 hr 110 min. Take highway 15 (north) to Mirabel; Highway 50 (West) to Gatineau; Route 148 (West); Bristol road (south) to the village of Bristol.


The marked trail of the Fédération des clubs de motoneigistes du Québec passes through Bristol territory. The snow cover is generally from mid-December until mid-March.

Get around[edit]

Map of Bristol (Quebec)



Beach of Norway Bay
  • 1 Plage de Norway Bay (Norway Bay Beach). Magnificent beach with fine sand, near the Norway Bay municipal wharf.
  • Cycloparc PPJ. Bicycle path and natural park for more than 90 km in the MRC Pontiac, between Bristol and Île aux Allumettes. Track built on the old railway line of the Pontiac Pacific Junction. Course accessible to the whole family because it is relatively flat. Route in a forest, agricultural and marshland setting offering magnificent views of the Pontiac countryside and the Ottawa River, as well as through small communities. For cyclists and hikers. In addition, eight thematic circuits accessible from the PPJ 1 trail are offered to users; these thematic circuits lead to leisure destinations (eg: beach tours) or to tourist attractions (eg: Coulonge falls). Free.
  • 2 Ross Farm Wierstead (sentier de randonnée) (Ross Farm Wierstead (hiking trail)), 1 chemin Smith. Hiking trail in the forest near the Blacks and Irelan streams.
  • 3 Timberland Tours, 36, chemin Ragged Chute, +1 819-647-3185. Dog sledding service (by reservation only) for the whole family, all year round, with experienced guides.

Heritage circuit[edit]

  • 4 Sentier patrimonial de Norway Bay (Norway Bay Heritage Trail), +1 819-647-3185. Near the shore of the Ottawa River, a signpost describes the history of the Norway Bay docks since 1850.



  • 1 Les Alpagas de Willow Lane Alpacas, 44, route 148, +1 819-647-5402, . Guided tour (by reservation) of a 50-acre Alpacas farm. Alpaca wool products shop: socks, soles, accessories (e.g. scarves), toques, hats, and stuffed animals for babies.
  • 2 Ferme Pleine Lune (Full Moon Farm), 24, chemin 6 Line, +1 819-208-1414. Farm offering organic products: market garden products, fine herbs and flowers.
  • 3 Ferme La Paysannerie, 16, chemin Knox, +1 819-647-2536, . Farm offering organic products: beef, blood pig, pork, poultry, mushroom, maple and egg products. Online ordering of products directly from the farm.
  • 4 Cidrerie Coronation Hall (Coronation Hall Cider House), 206, chemin River (Cidrerie située dans le hameau de Norway Bay.). Family craft cider house specializing in agritourism. Offer of cider products and traditional heritage foods from Western Quebec. Cider house in the historic Coronation Hall building, built in the early 1930s as the MacDougall Dance Hall; then renamed for the coronation of George VI in 1937. The family operating the cider house acquired the building in 2003 and the cider house started in 2008, the first commercial cider house in the region.

Other stores[edit]

  • 5 Centre du patrimoine de Bristol (Bristol Heritage Center), 14, route 148, +1 418 289-3490. July 1 until Labor Day. Center offering the arts and crafts products of local artisans to the public.
  • 6 Made with Luv by Shelley Bourgeau, 34, Bristol Mines Roads, +1 819-592-5205. Quilt store
  • 7 Pépinière Canada Tree Farm (Canada Tree Farm Nursery), 16, chemin 5, line E (near route 148), +1 819-208-1414. Nursery open to the public in 2022.



  • 1 Pine Lodge, 6, chemin de Pine Lodge, +1 819-647-2805, . Building built in 1919 by Jahn Russell in Norway Bay, on the north shore of the Ottawa River. Pine Lodge offers ten guest rooms and a distinctive dining experience. This hotel is located near the local nine-hole golf course and a white sand beach. Enthusiasts can practice kayaking, cycling and water activities.
  • 2 My Way Burgers, Fries & Ice Cream, 31, chemin Wharf #25, . Restaurant in the hamlet of Norway Bay.




  • 1 Pine Lodge, 6, chemin de Pine Lodge, +1 819-647-2805, . Hotel established in 1930 in Bristol, on the north shore of the Ottawa River. Pine Lodge offers ten guest rooms and a distinctive dining experience. This hotel is located near the local nine-hole golf course and a white sand beach. Enthusiasts can practice kayaking, cycling and water activities.


  • Bibliothèque municipale (Public Library), +1 418-289-2070. Laptops are available during business hours.

Go next[edit]


  • 1 Pontiac (Quebec) Pontiac, Quebec on Wikipedia Municipality on the north shore of the Ottawa River. It stands out thanks to the ferries in Quyon, the magnificent Luskville waterfall, its country fair, and its boat launch and docks.
  • 2 La Pêche La Pêche on Wikipedia Location offering a variety of recreational tourism activities in nature: hunting, fishing, camping, hiking trails, ATVs, snowmobiles. Main local events: Wakefield Covered Bridge Races, Artist Tour, Winter Carnivals, Summer Festivals, Fall Parties, Annual Fairs, Arts Festival, Writers Festival, Wakefield International Film Festival, Christmas, public markets where emerging farmers come to offer their products, visit to gardens.
  • 3 Thorne Rural locality crossed by the Quyon river. Its relief allows many activities in nature, including hunting and fishing, as well as vacationing.
  • 4 Clarendon Clarendon, Quebec on Wikipedia Locality with a historic and modern character, offering a beautiful rural panorama. It has many lakes and rivers for recreational tourism, including vacationing and boating on the Ottawa River.
  • 5 Shawville Shawville, Quebec on Wikipedia Shawville is the capital of the Pontiac region. The old buildings are all in red brick.
This rural area travel guide to Bristol 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.