Charlevoix infos

An unequalled variety of landscapes and natural spaces.

  • Coastal landscapes and rolling hills,
  • A view on the Charlevoix crater,
  • Membership in the World Biosphere Reserve,
  • The Southernmost part of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park,
  • The twice-daily rhythm of the tidal currents,
  • The iodized smell of the tidal flats,
  • The succession of rocky capes,
  • The meeting of birds and maritime mammals,
  • The pursuit of a maritime history,
  • A legendary warm welcome.

The various facets of Charlevoix

Here is a brief preview of the fields that inspire us in our interpretation work. References towards reliable sources are also provided.


small-bal.jpg As for the marine mammals, there are 2 resident species, the Beluga and the Harbour Seal as well as some other species that stay during summer: the harbour porpoise, the Minke Whale and the Fin Whale. The Fin Whale is considered at risk, the Harbour Porpoise is considered as ''special concern'' whereas the St. Lawrence Estuary Beluga population is considered ''threatened''.

Rules governing the approach of marine mammals were elaborated by the Marine Park. They govern how to behave in the presence of maritime mammals according to their species.

Precise and current data
For more information about marine mammals living in the St. Lawrence Estuary, you can consult Baleins en direct, a product of the the Group for Research and Education on Marine Mammals (GREMM).


The charlevoix coast is part of the old base of the Canadian Shield constituted by crystalline rocks dating back between 600 million and 4 billion years. The region's current configuration results, among others, from a meteorite impact that occurred 350 million years ago and created a crater with a diameter that measures over 56 km.

A bit of history

The region owes its name to New France historian Jesuit father François-Xavier de Charlevoix. Until the 19th century, shipbuilding and fishing constituted the region's main economic activities.

Nowadays, business in Charlevoix is based on tourism, forestry and agriculture. First populated around 1680, the region is characterized by its varied landscapes that we owe to the steep relief of the Laurentians.


The entire region is located in the Middle St. Lawrence Estuary. The physiography of the average estuary is characterized by a series of islands and sandbanks that are in-between the North and South channels. Upstream, the water is brackish and can become tepid in summer (14oC). Downstream, the water is two thirds as salty as the ocean (22 g of salt per kg of water) and varies by only four degrees between summer (6oC) and winter (2oC).


Many species of aquatic and migratory bird species live and/or stop over here. To mention but a few: the Common Eider, Surf Scoter, Barrow's Goldeneye, Double-crested Cormorant, Herring Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Black-crowned Night-Heron, Razorbill, Black Guillemot, Long-tailed Duck , Great Blue Heron, Snow Goose, Canada Goose. In all, 250 species of shorebirds, forest and aquatic birds frequent and\or live in the Charlevoix region.