- 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/Highway 185 and is the point where the Trans-Canada Highway turns south into the Atlantic Provinces.
Via Rail's Ocean service between Montreal and Halifax stops three times a week in Rivière-du-Loup.
- Traverse Rivière-du-Loup Saint-Siméon, 199, rue Hayward, Rivière-du-Loup, ☏ . 100-car seasonal (Easter to New Year's) ferry to north shore of St. Lawrence River, with lunch counter. On-board restaurant in high season only. Crossing time 65 minutes, runs 2-4 times daily depending on season. $17.30/person + $43.70/vehicle.
- 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.
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|
|Lévis ← Montmagny ←||W E||→ Trois-Pistoles → Rimouski|
|Quebec City ← Montmagny ← Merges with ←||W E||→ Merges with → Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! → Edmundston|
|Quebec City ← Montmagny ←||W E||→ Trois-Pistoles → → Rimouski|
|ENDS ←||N S||→ becomes → Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! → Edmundston|