Unforgettable Experiences In Matane, Quebec

Matane is located on the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, Canada, on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River at the mouth of the Matane River. It is the seat of the La Matanie Regional County Municipality and includes the communities of Petit-Matane and Saint-Luc-de-Matane.


The name "Matane" was first assigned to the river by Samuel de Champlain in 1603, who referred to it as "Mantanne." The meaning of the name is open to interpretation, with the most common explanation being that it comes from the Mi'kmaq word "mtctan," meaning "beaver pond," due to the region's abundant beaver population. 


It could also be a Maliseet word for "spinal cord," referring to the course of the Matane River, or from the word "Mattawa" or "Matawin," meaning "meeting of the waters." Another theory suggests it might be an abbreviation of the word "matandipives," meaning "shipwreck."


In 1603, Samuel de Champlain visited the area and considered it "pleasant enough." In 1616, merchants known as the Rochelais from La Rochelle were the first Europeans to spend the winter in the area. 


Matane is a significant tourist destination due to its proximity to Gaspé's tourist circuit. The old lighthouse of Matane was converted into a tourist information centre with a panoramic view of the surrounding area. 


The Matane River is known as the "River School" in Quebec because many people learn to fish there. The river is 101 km (63 mi) long and is the only place in Quebec where you can fish in the town square.


Matane has a diversified economy with a strong focus on shrimp processing. The northern prawn, known locally as "crevettes de Matane," is renowned worldwide for its high quality. 


The city is also home to the Sappi Matane Mill, which produces high-quality pulp for various paper products. Additionally, Matane has a strong wind power industry and has been named East Quebec's industrial capital.


History of Matane, Quebec, Canada

Matane was first visited by Samuel de Champlain in 1603, who considered the location "pleasant enough." In 1616, merchants known as the Rochelais from La Rochelle were the first Europeans to spend the winter in the area. 


Matane was a trading post for the Rochelais, exchanging European goods for furs with the Mi'kmaq people. In 1672, Mathieu D'Amours was granted the land on both sides of the Matane River as a seignory, which led to the first settlements shortly after. The Mi'kmaq people lived there until 1845.


The town was first incorporated as the Municipality of Matane in 1845 but dissolved two years later. In 1855, it was re-established as the Parish Municipality of Saint-Jérôme-de-Matane, named after the local parish. 


In 1893, the main population centre at the mouth of the Matane River separated from the parish municipality. It was incorporated as the Village Municipality of Saint-Jérôme-de-Matane, which changed its status and name to City of Matane in 1937 when city status was granted.


Matane County has a rich genealogical history, with records available for birth, marriage, death, census, and other events. The town's flag features a beaver, symbolizing the town's origins and the beaver's importance in the region's history.


Geography of Matane, Quebec, Canada

The town is situated on the south bank of the St. Lawrence River estuary at the mouth of the Matane River. The Matane River originates from mountain streams on the western slope of Mont Blanc, located in the Leclercq township in the Matane Wildlife Reserve. It flows over 105.3 km (65.4 mi) and empties into the Saint Lawrence River in Matane.


Matane is known for its rich natural resources and warm hospitality. Visitors can enjoy the town's urban and natural attractions, including the Matane River and fishing opportunities. The town is also home to several art galleries that support local talent. Notable residents include artist Claude Picher and NHL players such as Yves Racine.


The Sappi Matane Mill is certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), ensuring that the pulp produced there meets high standards for sustainable forestry practices.


Demographics of Matane, Quebec, Canada

The demographics of Matane, Quebec, Canada, are as follows:



  • 2021 Census: 13,987
  • 2016 Census: 14,311
  • 2011 Census: 14,462
  • 2006 Census: 14,462 (adjusted due to boundary change)


Median Age

  • 2021: 52.4 (M: 50.0, F: 54.4)
  • 2016: 52.3 (M: 50.5, F: 53.7)
  • 2011: 49.7 (M: 48.2, F: 50.9)


Population Trend

Matane's population has declined over the years, with a change of -2.3% from 2016 to 2021.


Economy of Matane, Quebec, Canada

The economy of Matane, Quebec, Canada, is diverse and includes several key industries:

  1. Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishing:
    • Agriculture: Dairying, market gardening, and ranching are significant in the surrounding rural area.
    • Forestry: Lumbering, woodworking, and furniture making are major industries.
    • Fishing: Shrimp and salmon fishing are important in the region.
  2. Industrial and Commercial Centre:
    • Matane is a pulp-shipping port and the eastern terminus of a spur line of the Canadian National Railway, with rail ferry service to the north shore of the St. Lawrence River estuary.
    • The city is a supply point for sport fishing in the Matane River Reserve.
  3. Port and Transportation:
    • Matane boasts one of the largest industrial port zones in Eastern Quebec, with an expansive road network and a deep-water port.
  4. Immigration and Labour:
    • The city has a significant proportion of economic immigrants selected for their ability to contribute to Canada's economy through their skills and experience.
    • The labour force is predominantly composed of women (54.6%) and men (50.4%), with a relatively high proportion of individuals aged 25-54 (7.7%).


These factors contribute to Matane's diverse economy and role as a significant industrial and commercial centre in Eastern Quebec.


Education in Matane, Quebec, Canada

The education system in Matane, Quebec, Canada includes:

  1. Public Schools:
    • Commission Scolaire Des Monts-Et-Marees: Elementary Schools
    • High School certificate or equivalent: 76.8% (2021)
    • Apprenticeship or trades certificate: 54.4% (2021).
  2. Cégep de Matane:
    • A public CEGEP pre-university and technical college located at 616 Saint-Rédempteur in Matane, Quebec, Canada.
    • Offers pre-university and technical programs, including:
      • Pre-university programs: Sciences de la nature, Sciences humaines, Arts et lettres
      • Technical programs: Gestion et exploitation d'entreprise agricole, Soins infirmiers, Technologie de l'électronique industrielle, Techniques d'aménagement et d'urbanisme, de l'administration, de l'informatique, de tourisme, de photographie, d'animation 3D et de synthèse d'images, d'intégration multimédia
      • Continuing education and services to business.


These institutions and programs contribute to the diverse educational landscape in Matane, Quebec, Canada.


Transport System in Matane, Quebec, Canada

The transport system in Matane, Quebec, Canada, includes:


By Car

  • Route 132: Matane is located on Québec Route 132, which makes a wide loop around the entire Gaspé coast, ultimately intersecting itself.
  • Autoroute 20: From Montréal, Québec City, Rivière-du-Loup, and Rimouski, take Autoroute 20 east to Route 132, continuing downriver.
  • Route 198: From Gaspé, take Route 198 west to its end, then continue on Route 132 west to Matane.
  • Route 195: From Amqui, take Route 195 north to Matane.


By Boat

  • Ferry: La Société des traversiers du Québec operates ferries between Matane and Baie-Comeau (2 hours 20 minutes crossing), and between Matane and Godbout (2 hours 10 minutes crossing).
  • Marina: A marina at Matane serves those cruising on small craft.


By Bus

  • Orléans Express Operates bus routes within Quebec and to Ottawa, including a daily route between Gaspé and Rimouski with stops in Grande-Vallée, Sainte-Anne-des-Monts, Matane, and Mont-Joli.


By Plane

  • Mont-Joli Airport: The closest regional airport is in Mont-Joli, a little under an hour west of Matane by road.


Public Transportation

  • National Car Rental: Located at 795 Avenue du Phare Ouest, it offers car rentals.



  • Ferry: The ferry is accessible to people with disabilities, and it offers services such as a bar, boutique, automated teller machine (ATM), wireless internet, and public telephone.


These transportation options provide various ways to travel to and within Matane, Quebec, Canada.


Living in Matane, Quebec, Canada

Matane is located on the Gaspé Peninsula in eastern Quebec, on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River at the mouth of the Matane River.


Population and Demographics:

  • As of the 2021 census, Matane has a population of 11,635 people.
  • The population density is 1,021 people per square kilometre.
  • The median age is 52.4 years old.
  • French is the predominant language, spoken by 98.5% of the population as a first language.


Economy and Industries:

  • Matane has a diversified economy with key industries including:
    • Shrimp processing and fishing (the "crevettes de Matane" are renowned worldwide)
    • Forestry, lumbering, and pulp production
    • Wind power generation
  • The city is an important transportation and commercial hub, with a deep-water port and rail connections.
  • Tourism is also an important part of the economy, with the town serving as a gateway to the Gaspé Peninsula.



  • Matane is located on Quebec Route 132, which provides road access around the Gaspé coast.
  • The town has a ferry service across the St. Lawrence River to Baie-Comeau and Godbout.
  • There is also a rail ferry service connecting Matane to the north shore.
  • The closest regional airport is Mont-Joli, which is about an hour away by road.


Attractions and Amenities:

  • Matane is known for its natural beauty, including the Matane River and surrounding landscapes.
  • The town has a range of cultural attractions, including art galleries, museums, and historic sites.
  • Outdoor recreation opportunities include fishing, hiking, biking, and winter sports.
  • Matane has many municipal services and amenities, including schools, healthcare, shopping, and dining.


Matane offers a mix of small-town charm, natural beauty, and economic opportunities, making it an appealing place to live in eastern Quebec.


Healthcare in Matane, Quebec, Canada

The healthcare facilities and services available in Matane, Quebec, Canada:


Hospitals and Medical Centers

  • Centre Hospitalier de Matane: This is the main hospital in Matane. It offers a range of medical services, including emergency care, surgery, and specialized treatments. 
  • Fondation de l'Hôpital de Matane: A foundation that supports the Centre Hospitalier de Matane and other local healthcare initiatives. 
  • Le Carré St-Jérôme Inc. is a medical clinic and healthcare facility in Matane. 


Other Healthcare Providers

  • Matane has several other healthcare providers and clinics that offer family medicine, specialized care, and diagnostic testing. These include facilities like the CLSC (local community service center) and private medical practices. 


Quality and Accessibility

  • The healthcare facilities in Matane are generally well-regarded and serve the local population. 
  • As the main population center in the region, Matane's healthcare system is accessible to residents of the town and surrounding areas. The hospital and clinics provide a range of essential medical services. 


Overall, Matane has a healthcare infrastructure that caters to the medical needs of the local community, centred around the Centre Hospitalier de Matane hospital. The town's healthcare providers work to serve the population's healthcare requirements.


Tourist places in Matane, Quebec, Canada

Matane, Quebec, Canada, is a charming town with a rich history and natural beauty. Here are some of the top tourist attractions and activities to enjoy:


Top Attractions

  1. Matane Lighthouse: This historic lighthouse has been converted into a tourist information centre with panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  2. Salmon Observation Post: Witness the migration of Atlantic salmon at this observation centre with glass windows and an exhibition on the history of the Matane River.
  3. Doris Gardens: Explore the beautiful gardens and enjoy the scenic views of the Matane River.
  4. Matane Wildlife Reserve: Visit the wildlife reserve for hiking, biking, and fishing opportunities.
  5. Matane Ferry Terminal: Take a ferry ride across the St. Lawrence River to Baie-Comeau and Godbout.


Cultural Experiences

  1. Claude Picher Exhibition: Visit the "La Couleur de la Gaspésie" exhibition by renowned Quebec painter Claude Picher.
  2. Matane History and Genealogy Society: Learn about Matane's history and genealogy in this society.
  3. Art Galleries: Discover local art at various galleries in Matane.


Outdoor Activities

  1. Hiking and Biking: Explore the scenic trails and bike paths around Matane.
  2. Fishing: Enjoy fishing in the Matane River and surrounding areas.
  3. Kayaking and Canoeing: Paddle through the Matane River and enjoy the scenic views.
  4. Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing: Explore the winter trails in the Matane Wildlife Reserve.


Other Activities

  1. Parc des Îles: Relax and enjoy activities like supervised beach, water play area, pedal boating, and mini-golf.
  2. Complexe culturel Joseph-Rouleau: Visit the library and Espaces F gallery for cultural experiences.
  3. Promenade des Capitaines: Explore the outdoor photography exhibitions and interactive terminal.


Matane, Quebec, Canada, is a charming town with a rich history and natural beauty. From outdoor activities to cultural experiences, there is something for everyone in Matane.


Local Food of Matane, Quebec, Canada

The local food of Matane, Quebec, Canada, is known for its fresh seafood and local products. Here are some popular dishes and restaurants to try:


Popular Dishes

  1. Nordic Shrimp: Matane is famous for its Nordic shrimp, which are renowned for their high quality and flavour.
  2. Salmon: The Matane River is known for its salmon-filled waters, making it a popular choice for local seafood.
  3. Poutine: A classic Quebecois dish, poutine is a must-try when visiting Matane. It can be found at various restaurants and cabane à frites (fry shacks).
  4. Tarte au sucre à l’érable: This maple sugar pie is a Quebecois delicacy and can be found at local bakeries and pastry shops.
  5. Wild Blueberries: Matane is known for its wild blueberries, often picked fresh and enjoyed as a snack or used in local recipes.



  1. La Fabrique: This restaurant offers a range of local dishes, including seafood and traditional Quebecois cuisine.
  2. Cargo: Known for its fine dining and extensive wine list, Cargo is a popular choice for special occasions.
  3. Les Fumoirs Raoul Roux Ltée: This family-run business has been smoking fish for generations and offers a variety of smoked seafood dishes.
  4. Café Crêperie: This cozy café serves a variety of crepes, both savory and sweet, made with local ingredients.
  5. Les Fruits De Mer De L'est Du Québec: This seafood restaurant is located near the Matane River and offers a variety of fresh seafood dishes.


Local Products

  1. Fresh Seafood: Matane is known for its fresh seafood, including shrimp, salmon, and other fish.
  2. Local Cheese: The region is home to several local cheese producers, offering a range of artisanal cheeses.
  3. Maple Products: Matane is known for its maple syrup and other maple products, such as maple sugar and butter.
  4. Wild Blueberries: Fresh wild blueberries are popular for snacking and use in local recipes.


Matane, Quebec, Canada, is known for its fresh seafood and local products, making it a food lover's paradise.


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