Lac-Mégantic is a town of 6000 people in the Eastern Townships region of Quebec, near the Maine border.

NOTE: Access to the downtown area remained blocked due to a deadly 6 July 2013 oil train derailment. This affects solely a section bounded by rue Villeneuve in the north, the Chaudière River to the south and the Lac Mégantic waterfront in the west. Rue Frontenac, the town's main street, is closed, as is the downtown waterfront. The tourist information bureau, city hall and l'Eau Berge inn are inaccessible. The marina and a portion of Veterans' Park reopened in 2015, but many local businesses and landmarks have been destroyed, including the town's library (now rebuilt elsewhere) and archives. Most remaining downtown structures will be demolished in 2015 due to petroleum contamination. Oil from the 2013 trainwreck had contaminated the banks of the Chaudière River and the marina, although the water of the lake itself remained pristine; the worst of this ecological damage has now been cleared. All destinations outside the downtown, including area campgrounds, bicycle trails and two provincial parks, remain open. The lake itself remains accessible outside the downtown area.



Lac-Mégantic was established in 1884 as a stop on a former Canadian Pacific railway line which ran from Montréal and Sherbrooke eastward across northern Maine to Saint John, New Brunswick. The region is 98% francophone.

A small lakefront town in an isolated location on the Québec-Maine border, Mégantic has traditionally relied on natural resources, forestry and tourism as economic mainstays. Hunting and fishing have traditionally been popular in the region.

The region is mountainous and well known for its granite.

Visitor information may be obtained by calling +1 819-583-5515 or +1-800-363-5515.

Get in

The last passenger train through Lac-Mégantic ran in 1994; the "Atlantic" service from Montréal to Saint John was ended when the Canadian Pacific rails were sold to a short-line railway.

By car

One can reach Lac-Mégantic from Sherbrooke (100 km, 60 miles) by taking Québec Route 108 east to the village-relais of Stornaway, then following Route 161 South through Nantes. Route 161 becomes the town's main street. From Quebec City (200 km, 120 miles), take Autoroute 73 to Beauceville, then Route 108 West to Route 161.

By bus

By boat

Get around

The "Mégantic" tourist region is not the town itself but a wide rural area 50km (30 miles) in radius encompassing a lake, two major provincial parks and a large amount of mountainous terrain. While there are good cycle paths (des pistes cyclables) in the area, this is a lot of ground to cover and an automobile will prove invaluable.

By car

Rue Frontenac (Quebec Route 161) is closed at the edge of downtown and will remain closed well into 2015; use boulevard Jean-Marie Tardif or rue Papineau as a bypass when travelling across the Chaudière River.

By bicycle

Cycle trails and bicycle rentals are available at various in-region points, including Frontenac National Park.

By taxi


Mont-Mégantic Observatory


Baie des Sables in wintertime







The Lac-Mégantic downtown post office has been relocated to Carrefour Lac Mégantic (3560 Laval Street, ); Main Street post offices in Piopolis (415, rue Principale G0Y 1H0) and Nantes (1267, rue Principale G0Y 1G0) remain open. Wi-fi is available at McDonald's on Laval Street.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, July 30, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.