In Mauricie, a Plethora of Industrial Epics to be Traced
Heading back south on Route 155, you’ll follow the winding course of the majestic Saint-Maurice River, which was and still remains essential to the region’s development. The city of Shawinigan provides a dazzling demonstration of this fact, with the river being first and foremost an unparalleled source of energy here. A major attraction in Quebec, the famous Cité de l’énergie is easily recognizable from afar with its observation tower standing 115 meters tall, offering a breathtaking view of the city and its superb natural surroundings from the top. This unique heritage and museum complex will give you the inside scoop on energy in all its forms, from both a scientific and playful angle, whether through a large-scale multimedia show with special effects or through exciting exhibitions and activities. Exploring the historic district, particularly visiting the Shawinigan-2 hydroelectric power plant dating back to 1911, is particularly enlightening. Take the time to also visit the museum dedicated to former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, a local resident. Surely, the current will flow between you and “Shawi,” and your batteries will be fully recharged as you hit the road towards Trois-Rivières.
It is precisely at the point where the Saint-Maurice River joins the mighty Saint Lawrence that Boréalis welcomes you. In the middle of the 20th century, Canadian International Paper (CIP) was considered the largest paper mill on the planet, producing nearly 1,000 tonnes of newsprint daily. Of this imposing industrial complex, one of the only remaining vestiges still standing is the former CIP water filtration plant, with its signature water tower. It is here that this unique museum has been set up, both to preserve the memory of this unique saga (the permanent exhibition “Roots and Identity” is not to be missed) and to pay tribute to the women and men who were instrumental in the development of the Trois-Rivières pulp and paper industry, from forest workers, loggers, and other river drivers, to the labourers who worked here. An interactive outdoor course, customizable immersive adventures – including fascinating underground vaults -, unique workshops and animations…
You won’t notice the time passing, yet we advise you to make time to discover yet another captivating site of significant historical importance. Slightly north of downtown Trois-Rivières, the Forges du Saint-Maurice National Historic Site is none other than the birthplace of the steel industry in Canada, whose very first blast furnace was lit during the summer of 1738, under the French regime. Significant archaeological work has made it possible to reconstruct the layout and operation of these forges, which played a major role in the development of New France. Exhibitions, immersive shows, an audio tour designed by storyteller Fred Pellerin, and period costume animations: Parcs Canada has created an outstanding visiting experience there!