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Countryside: emphasis people and culture not nature

Northern California
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Countryside: emphasis people and culture not nature

An early-mid September trip. We will be spending 6 nights in Montréal at the beginning of this trip and 4 nights in Québec City at the end. This is a little bit of a roots trip in that my wife's mother grew up in Montréal but never said a word about her childhood (ever). We live in San Francisco and my wife has never been to Canada. So she would especially like to get a feel for Québec and the Québecois. Here are my questions. 1. We have planned to take 4 nights in between the M. and QC. visits during which we'd like to go to smaller towns. We will be driving (and dumping the car once we reach Québec). I've done a bit of reading and I wonder what you think about going down to the area around North Hatley or Asbestos for a couple of nights and then crossing the river and going up to the area around Joliette or Rawdon for a couple of nights and then driving straight through to QC? Places have been somewhat picked by the availability of good quality lodging. 2. Would driving from Joliette or Asbestos to QC would be too arduous in say, an afternoon? 3. What about using a van service to then go directly to YUL from Québec City rather than either renting a car for the day or holding on the rental car that we would arrive with?

Massachusetts
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1. Re: Countryside: emphasis people and culture not nature

First, with regards to your wife's roots, did her mother grow up in Montreal proper or outside of the city? If outside of the city I would spend some time in that area also. My wife's family, for instance, had roots both in Trois Rivieres, a place you could visit and stay on the way to Quebec City, as well as on a farm out in the middle of no where. Also, her maiden name could be a very common one and do mention it to others. My wife's certainly is and we have probably met a distant relative or 2 just by mentioning it in a casual conversation.

As for where to stay along the way, yes the Manor Hovey in N. Hatley is wonderful. An old English mansion set on a lake, it has great views and award winning food.

From there you could cross the St. Lawrence spend a night or to in Trois Rivieres which I mentioned earlier. You then could take Le Chemin du Roy, ( The King's road) into Quebec City. Beautiful views of the St. Lawrence as well as some historial sites. Visit lecheminduroy.com for more info.

JDP

Toronto, Canada
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2. Re: Countryside: emphasis people and culture not nature

The drive from from Joliette to Asbestos is anywhere from 2 hours and 22 minutes and two hours and 39 minutes, depending what route you choose, so more than doable in an afternoon....

Montreal, Canada
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3. Re: Countryside: emphasis people and culture not nature

North Hatley is probably MUCH more charming than Asbestos.

Take note that driving from that area to Rawdon or Joliette would take back toward Montreal... Anyway, from Rawdon to Quebec is certainly feasible: roughly 3h15 driving time if you take A40 up to Trois-Rivieres and then 138 (Le Chemin du Roy) up to Quebec + your stopping times. Old Trois-Rivieres is really charming (and historical) by the way...

Are you more after English/Irish roots/atmosphere or French roots...?

If you prefer to see small villages between Mtl and Quebec, renting a car is probably a better option.

Northern California
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4. Re: Countryside: emphasis people and culture not nature

Thank you all. I hadn't thought about Trois Rivieres. Just presumed it was another big city. I'll revise my thinking (just starting to read the green Michelin). All comments appreciated.

Re: wife's family. We're talking the first and second decade of the 20thC; name was Gue, the family was from Bretagne. But there are not or were not any other relatives in the New World or at least not anyone that my wife's mother admitted to or was in contact with. The family moved west and wound up on the West Coast by the early 1920s. All interesting but there will not be any expectation or even searching for relatives.

I mentioned Asbestos because I notice the Gite McCallum in Danville and the area and the towns around there seemed potentially interesting and perhaps less touristy and Anglo than N. Hatley and the Magog/Memphremagog area but ... fine. I saw that the Manor Hovey was well recommended.

Thank you again.

Quebec, Canada
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5. Re: Countryside: emphasis people and culture not nature

If you stop in Trois Rivieres and want to send a night, there are 2 b&b in the old town: Le gite Loiselle and Le fleurvil. For an hotel Delta in town center or L Auberge du lac St Pierre about 2 miles from town center but with a beautiful view of the St Lawrence and award winning regional cuisine. ( all have websites). There are many things to do, little museums, brand new touristic bus tour, short cruises on the St Lawrence, lots of restaurants with outdoor patiosetc... This is the town tourist website

http://www.tourismetroisrivieres.com/en

For lunch I suggest Le Sacristain, very nice, and good...

www.lesacristain.com/Site/Bienvenue.html

By th way Gue could be the same as Guay ( same pronunciation) very common name in Trois Rivieres

Quebec, Canada
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6. Re: Countryside: emphasis people and culture not nature

I meant * spend* a night...

Surrey, Canada
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for Quebec City, Quebec, Montreal, The Netherlands
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7. Re: Countryside: emphasis people and culture not nature

And if indeed 'Gue' morphed into the very common 'Guay', found througout the province, you might look for a genealogy of the family here (in French) claudeprudhomme.com/famille/…d1.html . The very 1st one of the family, born in 1530, was named Jean Guay Guet and came from the greater Paris. In Brittany, only 2 'Guay' were born between 1891 and 1915 according to this website www.genealogie.com/nom-de-famille/GUAY.htmla

Other ways to write this family names : GAY, GUY, GEAY, GOY, GOUY, GAYE, GUAY, GUEYE, GAU, GEY and Guay. 'Castonguay' is another family name related to the same family.

Massachusetts
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8. Re: Countryside: emphasis people and culture not nature

Very nice websites anectine. I've never stayed over, and my wife only did as a child, but I think it is time we do.

JDP

Northern California
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9. Re: Countryside: emphasis people and culture not nature

Wow. Thank you all so much.

Very very useful. Now we will definitely plan on going to Trois-Rivieres and for two nights.

Hotel and restaurant suggestions will be followed. Merci.

Old Montreal
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10. Re: Countryside: emphasis people and culture not nature

JDP, sorry I misjudged you based on your fondness for Modavie !

Hovey Manor is an excellent choice ! I hope you enjoyed your time in that civilized establishment.

Trois Rivieres is older than Montreal. It was a mini Detroit in the sense that it was very industrialized (pulp and paper, foundries, etc) and one of the richest cities in Canada once upon a time. Of course, it is much smaller than Detroit and, unlike that city, totally safe. Many anglophones originate from trois Rivieres as big companies dispatched their English speaking bosses to manage french speaking Quebeckers there and I believe that the first Jewish MP in Quebec was elected in trois Rivieres.

Edited: 8:20 pm, July 08, 2013