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North America > Canada > Quebec > Northern Quebec > Abitibi > Rouyn-Noranda

Rouyn-Noranda

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Rouyn-Noranda is a city of 42,000 people (2016) in Abitibi in the province of Quebec.

Understand[edit]

Lac Osisko

The town is the result of the merger of two cities, Rouyn and Noranda, in 1986. More smaller towns and villages were incorporated into Rouyn-Noranda later.

The Horne smelter is the world's largest processor of electronic scrap containing copper and precious metals. It opened in 1927 at the site of the Horne copper mine. The mine was closed in 1976, but the smelter remained in production.

Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue is based in Rouyn-Noranda, with campuses elsewhere.

History[edit]

The city of Rouyn (named for Jean-Baptiste Rouyn, a captain in the Royal-Roussillon regiment of Montcalm) appeared after copper was discovered in 1917. Noranda (a contraction of "North Canada") was created later around the Horne mine and foundry. Both were designated cities in 1926, then merged in 1986.

The population tends to increase or decrease dramatically depending on the economic situation. The city's population dropped by 5 per cent between the 1996 and 2001 census, before increasing slightly by 0.8 per cent for the 2006 census. This more closely parallels the demographic patterns of Northern Ontario than those of Quebec during this period. Rouyn-Noranda also has other cultural affiliations with Northern Ontario, being the only municipality in Quebec that holds a membership in the Francophone Association of Municipalities of Ontario.

Get in[edit]

By plane[edit]

By car[edit]

From Montreal, Autoroute 15 will take you directly to Rouyn-Noranda. The road becomes Route 117, part of the Trans-Canada Highway. You will remain on that road for most of the 6-hour drive. There are several towns along the way where you can stop for food. Don't expect a high culinary experience during the trip. If at all possible, you should try to avoid the overpriced and generally not so great food at La Domaine in the Parc de la Vérendrye (a national park of Quebec, or réserve faunique).

By bus[edit]

Three buses depart daily from Montreal's Station centrale on Maisonneuve by the Maheux company. The trip takes 8 to 9 hours depending on the departure time (some buses stop in nearly every town over 200 inhabitants along the way) and generally stops for a half-hour or so in Grand-Remous or Mont-Laurier where you can eat. Cross the street and eat in a restaurant different from the one where the bus stops because the latter is more expensive.

Get around[edit]

  • Driving in a small town in northern Quebec is fairly easy. The streets are wide, parking is normally available anywhere and at anytime. Driving is often more practical than the city bus system, which, although generally well suited to the needs of the locals, is not so great for tourists.
  • Cycling is probably one of the easiest way to get around the city. You can ride anywhere in Rouyn-Noranda. It is quite safe given the width of the streets and the sparsity of traffic. Several bike paths have been built, some around the Lac Osisko, which borders the downtown area.
  • In the winter, snow paths are built within the city and it is possible to get around town with a snowmobile.
  • L'autobus de ville (City buses), +1 819-762-2200. Three bus routes operate through the city M-F roughly from 07:00-22:00. Service evenings and Saturdays can be as infrequent as every 2 hours. All buses pass through rue Horne in the centre of town. Cash fares payable on the bus. Cartes de puce (smart cards) are sold in some convenience stores (dépanneurs). Adult $2.90, student and senior with ID $2.55, child 0-6 free.

See[edit]

Fountain on Osisko Lake
  • Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. This Quebec Major Junior Hockey League team has played in the city since the Saint-Hyacinthe Laser relocated here in 1996. Rouyn-Noranda Huskies on Wikipedia
  • St. George Russian Orthodox Church of Rouyn, 201 rue Taschereau Ouest, +1 819-797-7125. Mid-June to mid-August: free visits 08:30-12:00 and 13:00-17:00, 1-hr guided tours 09:00 10:40 13:30 15:00; off-season, guided tours for groups by reservation. This church, with its traditional architecture, was erected between 1955 and 1957 by the Russian community, at the time about 20 families. A guided tour explains the celebration of Mass and the history of immigrant communities and their role in local history. This distinctive church paints a vivid picture of the lives of the people who suffered through the First and Second World Wars and then came to live in Canada. The site is not equipped for people with reduced mobility. Free visit; tour: adult $7, senior or student $6, child $5.
  • Walking tour of Vieux-Rouyn and Vieux-Noranda. Self-guided walking tour of the old neighbourhoods of Rouyn and Noranda. Discover heritage, architecture and history through period photos and buildings still present in today's Rouyn-Noranda setting. Maps of tours available at the Tourist Information Office and in the tourism magazine. Old Noranda: 2 hours on foot; Old Rouyn: 1 hour walk

Do[edit]

  • Sentier Osisko polyvalente (Osisko multipurpose trail). A 7.8-km easy walking and biking trail through urban and forest landscapes on a paved sidewalk, on the dike separating the lake in two and in a deciduous forest, mainly composed of aspen and birch. Open all year.

Events[edit]

  • La fête d'hiver (Winter festival), Osisko Lake Peninsula. Mid- to late February. A 3-day festival of tube sliding, dog sledding, carriage rides, snow labyrinth, boot hockey tournaments and many more. Shows for the whole family are presented under the marquee. $7 for 3-day pass.
  • Osisko en lumière (Osisko pyromusical festival in light), Osisko Lake Peninsula, . Early to mid-August. Three nights of festivities, nine musical performances and three major pyromusical fires. More than 25,000 festival-goers each year.
  • Festival de musique émergente, +1 819 797-0888, toll-free: +1 877 797-0889, . Late Aug-early Sep. Emerging and independent music in indoor and outdoor concerts. Cafés, rooms, restaurants, bars, urban spaces, art galleries and outdoor sites come alive. Regional, Quebec, Canadian and international artists perform alternative music.
  • Festival du cinéma international en Abitibi-Témiscamingue.
  • Festival du DocuMenteur de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Little Theater of Old Noranda , 112, 7e Rue, +1 819-763-0424, . A festival of fake documentary film - a "menteur" is a liar. The program includes the creation contest where five teams of videographers are challenged to produce a fake documentary in 72 hours within the city limits of Rouyn-Noranda.
  • Festival des guitare du monde de l'Abitibi-Témiscamingue (World Guitar Festival), +1 819-797-8288, toll-free: +1-877-997-8288, . Late May to early June. 8 days of over 80 concerts and musical activities. This festival brings together guitarists from Quebec, Canada and the international scene. High-caliber shows are presented in intimate venues where virtuosity and musical and cultural diversity are honoured. Tickets to shows $10-54, buy 7 shows and get 15% off.

Buy[edit]

  • Promenades Du Cuivre, 100 Rue du Terminus Ouest. M-W 09:30-17:30, Th F 09:30-21:00, Sa 09:30-17:00, Su 12:00-17:00. A Hart discount store, and over 40 more shops and services.
  • Place Rouanda, 4 15e Rue. 20 shops.
  • Rouyn-Noranda Public Market, intersection between Perreault Street East and Portage Street, Citizenship and Cooperation Square, +1 819-277-4516. Jun-Sep: Sa 09:30-13:30. Local producers and processors exhibit, sell, promote their products directly to consumers. Grown and manufactured regionally.

Eat[edit]

  • Le Saint Exupery, 35, Rue Perreault Est, +1 819-797-4867. M-F 07:30-14:30, Sa Su 08:00-14:30. Healthy foods with local ingredients: eggs, pastas, burgers, salads.
  • Le Cachottier Bistro Bar, 143, Principal, +1 819-762-3551. Tu W 16:00-21:00, Th Sa 16:00-22:00, F 16:00-23:00. Sample plates $9-21.
  • Olive et Basil, 164-A, Rue Perreault Est, +1 819-797-6655. Tu-Sa 11:00-21:00. Mediterranean. Local and regional products, organic wines.

Poutine[edit]

You should try the poutine (French fries, cheese curds and gravy). It is particularly appreciated on Friday and Saturday nights at 03:00 when bars close and all the young people meet there for a late night snack. You should expect to wait 10-15 minutes at that time, and sometimes during lunch and dinner hours. Check whether poutine-related conditions are covered by your travel health insurance.

  • Friterie Chez Linda, 157, av Mercier, +1 819-762-8111. Daily 10:00-20:00. Free, poutine, and other fast food.
  • Chez Morasse, 110 9e Rue, +1 819-762-6666. You can have poutine any time of the day, any day of the week -- they will never let you down. 19 different poutines, burgers, pizzas. Claims to be the best poutine in the world Wikivoyage cannot vouch for that claim.
  • Poutinerie du cuivre, 100 rue du Terminus Ouest # 102. +1 819-764-7688.

Drink[edit]

Given its size, Rouyn-Noranda has quite a few bars, coffee shops and pubs to choose from, many of them located in the Rouyn downtown area, which spans Perreault Street, Main Street (Rue Principale) and Gamble Street. Several smaller joints are on the adjacent streets.

Sleep[edit]

  • Le Passant B&B, 489, Perreault St. East, +1 819 762-9827. Check-in: 16:00, check-out: 12:00. With breakfast: $72-97 single; $97-122 double. Without breakfast: $57 single, $77 double..
  • Best Western Plus Hotel Albert, 84 Principale Ave, toll-free: +1 866 678-0527. Breakfast included. Exercise room. $140-165.
  • Hotel Gouverneur Le Noranda, 41, 6e Street. Breakfast included. Exercise room. Pets allowed. $129-218.
  • Motel Miranda, 903 Rue Lariviere. $147-152.

Go next[edit]

Located in the centre of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Rouyn-Noranda can serve as a good starting point for exploring that part of the Canadian shield. At least two nearby parks are worth visiting:

  • Kekeko: Roughly a 20-minute car ride south of the city, this small (unofficial) park offers many adventures. Trails are relatively undeveloped with sections consisting of former, or still used, paths for snowmobiles and other vehicles. The park is not a protected area, although many locals will tell you it should be. It is possible to hike to the so-called first lake in 45 minutes and enjoy an afternoon of swimming. A longer hike to the second lake will fit in an afternoon, possibly a bit more. It is sometimes possible to still find a small booklet detailing trails in the Kekeko mountains. Most likely out of print.
  • Aiguebelle: This park is a protected area and is quite developed. Trails are well-marked and maintained. Popular trails include one hike to a small mountain top, from where, if weather permits, Val d'Or, Amos, La Sarre and Rouyn-Noranda (the so-called Quadrangle or Quadrilatère in French) can be seen. Also noteworthy is a longer hike, for which you should reserve a day to really enjoy the scenery, that will take you across a suspended bridge that straddles the water divide line. Waters to the north flow into the Hudson Bay, while waters to the south flow to the St. Lawrence river.

One other noteworthy park is further south:

  • Enchanted Forest: near Ville-Marie, some 2 hours away, you'll be able to enjoy the sight of strangely shaped trees in this park.
Routes through Rouyn-Noranda
Jct Ontario 11.svgTCH-blank.svgKirkland Lake ← becomes Ontario 66.svgTCH-blank.svg  N Qc117.svgTrans-Canada Highway Quebec.svg S  Val-d'OrMontreal


This city travel guide to Rouyn-Noranda 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.