- Bureau d'Information Touristique, 189, Boulevard de l'Hotel-de-Ville, ☏ , toll-free: . Early Oct to late June: M-F 08:30-12:00 and 13:00-16:30; late June to mid-July: daily 08:30 to 18:00; late July to Aug: daily 08:30-19:00; early Sep to late September: M-F 08:30-16:30 and Sa Su 11:00-16:00; late September to early Oct: M-F 08:30-13:00 and 13:00-18:30, Sa Su 11:00-16:00. Tourist information in English and French.
The city was named after the nearby river, whose name means "Wolf's River" in French. This name may have come from a native tribe known as "Les Loups" or from the many seals, known in French as loups-marin (sea wolves), once found at the river's mouth.
Rivière-du-Loup was established in 1673 as the seigneurie of Sieur Charles-Aubert de la Chesnaye. The community was incorporated as the village of Fraserville, in honour of early Scottish settler Alexandre Fraser, in 1850, and became a city in 1910. The city reverted to its original name, Rivière-du-Loup, in 1919.
Between 1850 and 1919, the city's anglophone population grew dramatically. Most of them left the region by the 1950s. 1% of the population still speaks English as its first language.
In autumn of 1950, Rivière-du-Loup was the site of a nuclear accident. A USAF B-50 was returning a nuclear bomb to the USA. The bomb was released due to engine troubles, and then was destroyed in a non-nuclear detonation before it hit the ground. The explosion scattered nearly 100 pounds (45 kg) of uranium (U-238).
Rivière-du-Loup is 200 km northeast of Quebec City (about two hours drive) at the junction of Autoroute 20 and Autoroute 85 / Route 185. Autoroute 20 is part of the Trans-Canada Highway between Longueuil and Rivière-du-Loup, enabling travel east from Montreal and Quebec City. Autoroute 85 (freeway) and Route 185 (non-freeway, being gradually replaced by Autoroute 85) is also part of the Trans-Canada Highway and enables travel from Atlantic Canada including Moncton in the adjacent province of New Brunswick.
- 1 Rivière-du-Loup railway station (Gare de Rivière-du-Loup), 615 rue Lafontaine. Train operator:
- VIA Rail Canada, toll-free: . Operates train routes across Canada. Operates The Ocean route between Halifax and Montreal, including stops in Moncton and Sainte-Foy (near Quebec City. Operates three trips per direction per week. A shuttle between train stations in Sainte-Foy and in Quebec City is available for The Ocean trains, but must be reserved in advance.
- Maritime Bus, toll-free: , email@example.com. Operates intercity buses in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Operates a Route between Rivière-du-Loup and Moncton including stops in Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, Edmundston, Grand Falls, Perth-Andover, Florenceville, Woodstock, Fredericton, and Fredericton Airport. As of January 2021, due to Covid-19, the bus route only operates between Moncton and Edmundston, and does not enter into Quebec. It is possible to transfer to Maritime Bus at Campbellton, NB, which is a 2 km taxi ride from Pointe-à-la-Croix, QC.
- Orléans Express, ☏ , toll-free: . Operates bus routes within Quebec and to Ottawa. Operates two trips per day in each direction between Quebec City and Rimouski including stops in Rivière-du-Loup and Trois-Pistoles. Same day transfers to and from Montreal are available via Quebec City. Same day transfers to and from Pointe-à-la-Croix, Gaspé, and Percé are available via Rimouski. Travel time to Rivière-du-Loup from Montreal is 5.25-6 hours, from Quebec City is 2.5-3 hours, from Rimouski is 1.5 hours, and from Gaspé is 9 hours.
- Traverse Rivière-du-Loup Saint-Siméon, 199, rue Hayward, Rivière-du-Loup, ☏ . 100-car seasonal ferry, operating daily from Easter (March or April) to early January. The ferry crosses the St. Lawrence River between Rivière-du-Loup and Saint-Siméon (1 hour 5 minutes). The ferry has lunch counter, and during high season only has an on-board restaurant. Depending on the season, there are 2 to 4 round trips per day. $21/adult, $14.10/child (7-12), $19.10/senior (65+), free for children 6 and under, $49.90/vehicle (up to 6.4 m long).
- Musee du Bas Saint-Laurent, 300 Rue Saint-Pierre, ☏ . Sep-Jun: Tu-Su 13:00-17:00; Jun-Aug: Daily 09:00-17:00. The museum has built one of the largest collections of old photographs in Canada: more than a dozen photographic collections, containing nearly 250,000 images. This major visual heritage mainly covers the first half of the 20th century. Topics such as transportation, daily life, events, architecture or public life are illustrated, as are the highlights experienced by the population of Eastern Quebec. The museum also has objects relating to the Euro-Quebec culture and some important collections of artifacts relating to the work of metal and wood. Adult $7, student $5, child under 12 free if accompanied, family $18 ,(plus applicable taxes).
The city offers a number of outdoor recreation opportunities such as hiking, cycling and whale watching.
- Parc des Chutes (Falls Park) (a few steps from Lafontaine Street). 33 m waterfall, 9 km of footpaths, a training circuit in the silence of the woods. In winter, a system of freezing rock walls is used for ice climbing activities. Two bridges provide access to both banks of the River. One is at the bottom of the waterfall, and the other at the top for a view of the fall. Parking is available at both entrances.
- Ile aux Lievres, 8 km off Rivière-du-Loup (board the passenger boat, Le Petit Lièvre, at the Rivière-du-Loup Marina), ☏ , toll-free: . June-September. The island has a vast and diverse network of hiking trails (45 km) ranging in difficulty from novice to expert. Accommodation: inn ($195-265 per person including 3 meals, $160 for additional nights), cottages for 2-6 people ($200-375 per night), camping ($40 for up to 4 people per night, 3rd night is free), taxes extra. Round-trip boat crossing: adult $48, child 0-12 $26, taxes not included.
- LNAH hockey. The Rivière-du-Loup 3L play at Centre Premier Tech.
The main shopping district is along rue La Fontaine between Laval and Ste. Anne.
- Centre commercial Rivière-du-Loup, 298 Boulevard Armand-Thériault. M-W 09:30 to 17:30, The 09:30-21:00, Sa 09:00-17:00, Su 12:00-17:00. Shopping mall with about 64 shops and restaurants, including Giant Tiger discount store.
- Marché Public Lafontaine (Lafontaine public market), Carré Dubé, rue Lafontaine. Mid-June to mid-Oct: every Saturday 10:00-15:00. Local produce and prepared foods. Local meats, maple products, honey, wine. Parking area facing 508 to 520 Lafontaine.
- Resto-Cafe L'Innocent, 460, rue Lafontaine, ☏ . Tu 11:00 - 16:00, W-F 11:00 - 21:00, Sa 08:00 - 21:00, Su 08:00 - 16:00. Fusion, vegetarian friendly, vegan options, gluten-free options.
- Restaurant Le Saint-Patrice, 169, rue Fraser, ☏ . M-F 11:30-14:00, 17:00-21:00; Sa 17:00-21:30; Su 17:00-20:00. Regional gastronomic cuisine. Lunch mains $15-23, 3-course meal $39.
- L'estaminet Resto-pub, 299, Rue Lafontaine, ☏ . M-W 07:00-23:00, Th 07:00-00:00, F 07:00-01:00, Sa 08:00-01:00, Su 08:00-23:00. Breakfast (waffles, pancakes, Benedictines, morning pizza), lunch and dinner (pizzas, steaks, burgers, salads). Mains $15-30, 3-course meal $19-22.
- Pub O'farfadet, 298 boul. Armand Theriault. M Tu 07:00-21:00, W 07:00-23:00, Th-Sa 07:00-01:00, Su 08:00-21:00. Irish pub.
- Auberge Internationale de Rivière-du-Loup, 46, rue Hôtel-de-ville, ☏ . Hostel affiliated with Hostelling International. Will arrange trips to some local parks. Internet access, laundry and meal service. $30 (dorm), $66 (double room, shared bath), $88 (family room, private bath); HI members receive $4 discount.
- Motel Au Vieux Piloteux, 185 Rue Fraser, ☏ , toll-free: . Free Wi-Fi and parking, pool, non-smoking hotel, pets allowed (fee), wheelchair access, air conditioning, refrigerator in room. From $78.
- Hotel Levesque, 171 Fraser St, ☏ , toll-free: . Free Wi-Fi and parking, pool, fitness centre, bar/lounge, spa, restaurant, air conditioning, refrigerator in room, family rooms. From $120.
- Phare du Pot a l'Eau-de-Vie (Brandy Pot Island Lighthouse), 200 rue Hayward, ☏ , toll-free: . Mid-June through September. The three small islands of the archipelago support thousands of sea birds. Built on a rocky outcrop in 1861-1862, the lighthouse has been restored and turned into a cozy inn. Hiking is available trails once the birds have completed nesting in early July. No pets. Only three rooms, so booking is essential. Double $170-265 per person, single $210-285, includes boat trip, tour, dinner and brunch, access to the lighthouse.
- Tadoussac and Saint-Siméon on the north shore are reachable by ferry.
- The Atlantic Ocean is within reach via New Brunswick or from Québec's Gaspé Peninsula
|Routes through Rivière-du-Loup|
|Sainte-Foy ← Montmagny ←||W E||→ Trois-Pistoles → Rimouski|
|Sainte-Foy ← Montmagny ← Merges with ←||W E||→ Merges with → Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! → Edmundston|
|Sainte-Foy ← Montmagny ←||W E||→ Trois-Pistoles → → Rimouski|
|ENDS ←||N S||→ becomes → Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! → Edmundston|