It is about 40 km (25 mi) southeast of Montreal on the shores of the Richelieu Rive. In 2001 when the neighbouring municipalities of Saint-Luc, Iberville, Saint-Athanase, L'Acadie and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu were amalgamated into one city.
The city is in an area rich with fertile soil. Agrotourism is one of the region's biggest draws, boasting orchards and cider-houses, vineyards and wineries, and maple sugar shacks (sucreries).
St-Jean is a manufacturing centre for textiles, food and wood products. It hosts an Area Support Unit (ASU) of the Canadian Forces, which functions as a primary recruit and officer training establishment.
The city has been an important transportation hub. The first railway line in British North America connected it with La Prairie in 1836.
The French built Fort Saint-Jean (Quebec) in the 17th century. Known to early English settlers as St. Johns, it provided an important communication link during the French and Indian Wars. During the American Revolutionary War control of the town changed hands several times as British and American forces moved through the area.
The city is split in two by Autoroute de la Vallée-des-Forts (Autoroute 35) which goes North-South by going first through St-Luc district, then turns east just south of Pierre-Caisse Blvd in Saint-Jean-sur-Richlieu district to cross the Richelieu River and to finally continue its way south through St-Athanase and Iberville districts. The highway continues south for some 24 km before ending at Saint-Sébastien.
The Ville de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu public transit system provides commuter and local bus services.
- 1 Fort Saint-Jean Museum (Musée du Fort Saint-Jean), 15 rue Jacques-Cartier nord, ☏ . Mid May-early Sep: W-Su 10AM-5PM; rest of year only by appointment. $4 adults, $3 seniors 65+, $2 children 6-12, $10 families, free for children under 6.
- Festival International des Montgolfières, 5, chemin de l'Aéroport, ☏ . An international hot air balloon festival which attracts thousands of tourists who come to see the hundreds of balloons in the sky in early August.
- Musee du Haut-Richelieu, 182 Rue Jacques-Cartier N, ☏ . Sep-Jun: Tu-Sa 11:00-17:00, Su 13:00-17:00; Jul Aug: Su-F 11:00-17:00, Sa 09:00-17:00. A museum of regional history and of ancient and contemporary Quebec ceramics. The ceramics component occupies a place of importance in the history of the region since, starting in 1840, ceramics was one of the dominant sectors of the Haut-Richelieu economy. From 1840 to 1940, the region of Saint-Jean and Iberville was identified as the Canadian pottery capital. Under 6 years free, children from 6-17 years old $4, students $5, adults $10, seniors (65 years old and over) $9, family (2 adults and 2 children) $22.
- 2 Fort Lennox National Historic Site, Île-aux-Noix (22 km S of Saint-Jean on Route 223). Closed for restoration until 2021. Built between 1819 and 1829, the fort was designed to protect the colony from possible American invasion. Guided tours are given of the grounds and buildings, which include an ordnance magazine and artillery magazine, a guardhouse, officers' quarters, barracks and casemates. During summer weekends, living history demonstrations focus on fort life in the mid 19th century. Admission to the site includes the ferry ride to the island. The parking lot and visitor reception area are located on the west shore of the river. Boaters can visit the island directly and pay a separate fee to enter the fort.
- If you have a smartphone, you can enjoy walking around the city with free audio tours, published on izi.TRAVEL platform.
- The Chambly Canal extends 20 km (12 mi) north along the west bank of the river and provides modern freight passage to Chambly and the St. Lawrence River. The canal has one lock near the downtown core of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. In the winter, the city builds a skating rink on the canal near the lock. In the summer, the embankment on the east side of the canal has a 20-kilometre (12 mi) cycling path.
- Carrefour Richelieu, 600 Rue Pierre-Caisse. M-F 10:00-21:00, Sa 09:00-17:00, Sa 10:00-17:00. A regional shopping mall with 115 stores.
- Galerie du Vieux St-Jean, https://www.galerievieuxstjean.com, ☏ . W Sa Su 11:00-16:00, Th F 11:00-20:00. A gallery that sells the work of national and international painters and sculptors.
- Fromagerie Au Gre Des Champs, 400, rang Saint-Edouard, ☏ . Tu-F 10:30-17:30, Sa Su 10:00-17:00. Their own organic cheeses, other farmhouse or artisan cheeses from Quebec, and veal, beef and pork from their farm. A showcase allows you to see some of their cheese refining, while another opens on the manufacturing workshop.
- Bastos, 242 Rue Richelieu, ☏ . Su-Tu 11:00-21:00, W Th 11:00-22:00, F Sa 11:00-23:00. Portuguese grilled chicken, seafood, poutine. Mains $11-28.
- Manneken-Pis, 320 Rue Champlain, ☏ . M-Th 08:00-22:00, F Sa 08:00-23:00, Su 08:00-16:00. Belgian café-bistro and shop. A varied menu of fully-prepared specialties on-site — waffles, crêpes, grilled sandwiches, soups, salads, Belgian gratins and gourmet cakes.
- La Plank, 268 Rue Richelieu, ☏ . Tu-Th 11:30 - 22:00, F Sa 11:30 - 23:00, Su 11:30 - 21:00. Pub style food — poutine galore.
- Lagabiere, 135 Rue Richelieu, ☏ . Su-W 11:30-00:00, Th-Sa 11:30-01:30. Craft brewery offering up to 20 different beers, brewed and served on site. A varied menu of local products served in the summer on their deck with a view of the Richelieu River.
You can look for a place to stay at the Government of Québec's official tourist site.
- Quality Hotel Centre de Congres, 725, boul. Séminaire Nord, toll-free: . 113 rooms and 11 multifunctional boardrooms. From $112.
|Routes through Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu|
|Montreal via ← Chambly ←||N S||→ END|
|Sorel-Tracy ← Richelieu ←||N S||→ → becomes → St. Albans → Burlington|
|Sorel-Tracy ← Chambly ←||N S||→ → becomes → Rouses Point → Champlain|