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Isle of Orleans

 

This island is located a few minutes from Chalets-Village's country homes.


 

Island of Orleans, facing Côte-de-Beaupre
 


At the foundation of French America

Much later, the island became one of the earliest French settlements. Its extensive shoreline offered fertile soils which were less arduous to clear. Its forests abounded with game, and the St. Lawrence with fish. The river also protected the settlers from Iroquois raids.

Over the years, more than 300 families settled on the island. It is hardly surprising that the Ile d’Orléans is now known as the cradle of French civilization in North America.

So close to the Saint-Lawrence River

Since the St. Lawrence River represented the main means of transportation for the island, islanders soon became experts in boating and navigation. By the late 17th century, many small shipyards had sprung up on the island and 150 years later, shipbuilding had become an important local industry.

River pilots

Islanders also became experts on what was known to be one of the world’s most difficult rivers to navigate. Pilots would meet European ships and guide them safely to St. Lawrence ports.

The richness of its architecture

The first houses were made of wood or whitewashed stones, and usually had two rooms: a kitchen and a common room, which was also used for sleeping. Most of the island’s homes face south to ensure a maximum of sunshine and protection from the cold north wind.

The rise of tourism and the naval industry around 1850 lent more detail to island architecture, in keeping with the English Regency and Victorian styles.

The generosity of its land

The Ile d’Orléans has long been known for its fertile farmlands. Its lush landscapes soon became the Capital’s main supplier of fruits and vegetables. Today, the quality of island produce is still among Québec’s best.

Every summer, Ile d’Orléans becomes an open-air market where fresh farm produce can be bought directly at road stands. Many farms also offer apple and strawberry picking facilities.

The treseares of its religious past

The beauty of the island’s churches bear witness to the importance of spirituality in the hearts of its inhabitants.

Inside are refined ornaments crafted with devotion and skill. Many churches also contain a collection of superb liturgical objects.

The island also has many roadside crosses and processional chapels built to celebrate the Lord’s generosity and creation.Haut de page

 

The bridge to Isle d'Orleans and the Montmorency Waterfalls in the background

 

 

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