An article written by Elizabeth Plante
Rich in cultural and historical heritage, Trois-Rivières will make you spend a weekend as relaxing as it is instructive on the shores of the St. Lawrence River. Enjoying an ideal geographical position, it is the oldest industrialized city in Canada. Whether for a romantic weekend, a family outing or a stopover on a motorbike in the summer, the city has something to please all types of visitors. The second oldest city in the country is ideal for walking around since most of its tourist attractions are located within a radius of a few kilometers.
1. Laviolette Bridge
To get to Trois-Rivières from Montreal, you will have to cross the Laviolette bridge which spans the St. Lawrence River. The metal framework of the bridge impresses with its semicircular arch overhanging the highway. For the best photos of the bridge, take a right on the 138. Once you have crossed the bridge, head towards Parc Laviolette. Park your car in front of the Pavillon Maurice-Pitre and walk about 200 meters towards the river. You will have an unobstructed view of the imposing structure as well as the St. Lawrence River.
2. The Port Park
My favorite in Trois-Rivières is undeniably the Port Park! Arranged on three levels to better appreciate the river, the park is a place where you want to stroll and sunbathe. Enjoy the fresh air as you take a walk near the shore. If you are lucky, you will be able to observe boats carrying goods and others docked at the port. They are real behemoths of steel! From June 24 to September 4, Croisières AML is offering a 90-minute guided cruise of the city for $29.99 per adult (children aged 6 to 12 accompanied by an adult board for free). The Poivre Noir bistro and the gelateria located on the second level will delight your taste buds during a break. With such a beautiful view, it's hard to resist the urge to bask there all afternoon.
3. The Old Prison of Trois-Rivières
For history buffs, the Old Prison of Trois-Rivières is a must! Starting from the Port Park, a five-minute walk will take you to one of the oldest prisons in the country. Listed as a historical monument, the prison of Trois-Rivières is a major tourist attraction. With its original divisions, old doors and remarkably preserved architectural elements, it is a must in the city. Please note that prison is not recommended for children under the age of 12. Plan your visit, the number of entries is limited. If your group has several reckless people (or teenagers looking for sensations), let them try the Sentence of a night... The prison experience allows you to spend the night in a cell, like a real prisoner (reserved for groups of 15 people or more).
4. The Ursuline Museum
The history of Quebec is intimately linked to the religious orders that set up the first services to the population. The Ursuline community, present in Trois-Rivières for more than 300 years, opens its doors to visitors wishing to discover the monastery which once housed a cloister, a hospital and a school. The many exhibitions at the Ursulines Museum will certainly immerse you in another era. In July and August, you can take a guided tour of the garden and the former boarding school. Admission to the museum costs $5 per adult and free for children 17 and under.
5. The Green Route
A great sportsman myself, I like to visit a city while doing some outdoor activities (nothing better than going for a jog in an unknown city in the morning when everyone is asleep!). I will definitely go back to Trois-Rivières for a variety of reasons, but the main one is the Route verte! Axis 5 runs along the river near the port park before crossing Saint-Quentin Island and continuing on Chemin du Roy north to Quebec and much further along the river. Being on set for our second film Repères, I couldn't get on my bike to ride a few kilometers, but it's only a postponement!
6. Culture House
Lovers of art, literature, music, humour, theater or song, the programming of the Maison de la culture is a sensation every year. In addition to the many performance halls, you will find the Gatien-Lapointe library and the Robert-Lasnier exhibition center at the Maison de la culture. Nothing better after a day of walking around town than watching a show or an exhibition!
7. Forges Street
In the afternoon or evening, rue des Forges is a must for strolling. With such an abundance of cafes, bars, bistros, restaurants and shops, you are spoiled for choice. Between June and August, the city center comes alive with festivities, particularly on rue des forges, as well as on rue Badeaux and rue Hart. We really liked the Café Morgane where the staff welcomed us with a smile and professionalism. The benches placed in front of the window allowed us to sip a latte frothed to perfection. We took the opportunity to indulge in one of our favorite activities: people watching! With no less than six locations across town, Morgane Cafés offer a great local alternative to coffee chains such as Tim Hortons.
8. The capital of poetry
The Capital of Poetry (as Félix Leclerc said!) welcomes poets from all over the world every year as part of the International Poetry Festival which will take place from September 29 to October 8 approximately. That said, Trois-Rivières lives poetry 365 days a year. During your walk, you will undoubtedly come across one of the 400 poems displayed on the walls of the city. Stop for a moment to soak up the words of local poets or let yourself be inspired and write your own poem...
9. Forges of Saint-Maurice
About twenty minutes north of downtown, you can visit the first industrial establishment in the country, the Forges du Saint-Maurice. The Forges site, which is part of the National Historic Sites of Parks Canada, is vast; plan to spend at least 90 minutes there. In addition to the traditional and very informative guided tours, you can see the lower forge, the blast furnace, the large house and its remains, the ruins of the Upper Forge and above all, a fascinating natural phenomenon: the Devil's Fountain. When a match touches the water source, fire erupts! It is simply a source of natural gas water which escapes in the form of bubbles and which heats the stones all around without affecting the temperature of the liquid. For an incursion into the daily life of the inhabitants of the village La Forge at the time, take a walk around the site while storytelling and let yourself be accompanied by characters such as Mrs. Poulin, Antoine Tassé or the devil! Admission is normally $3.90 per person. Another good reason to go to Trois-Rivières!
10. Boréalis Museum
At the former Canadian International Paper water filtration plant in Trois-Rivières, you can now discover the Boréalis Museum, an interpretation center for the paper industry. In addition to learning about logging, the omnipresence of water, factory work, loggers and raftsmen as well as the construction of workers' quarters, you can make your own artisanal paper! The Passage 5S promises an immersive experience for your 5 senses with a reconstruction of the working conditions of factory workers. The guides will be able to adapt their explanations to capture the attention of young and old alike. A 40-minute audio-guided tour for children aged 8 to 12 is also available. Once the visit is over, the Confluents terrace is a must! Sit down and treat yourself to a drink and a snack while enjoying the view of the St. Lawrence and the Saint-Maurice River.