Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean is a region in Quebec, a province of Canada.


Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean can be divided into two regions: Saguenay as the city itself (formerly Chicoutimi-Jonquière) or the city and river, Lac-Saint-Jean as the group of communities to the west around the lake of that same name. To the northwest is Chibougamau-Chapais, a northern mining area usually treated as its own region.

Chibougamau, in turn, serves as a gateway to sparsely-populated (and sometimes inaccessible) northern Québec; a gravel road continues to James Bay, beyond which further travel is left to ships (seasonally) or bush planes (general aviation).


The main population centres in the Saguenay region (Chicoutimi-Jonquière, La Baie, Arvida, Bagotville) were merged at various points, with the last merger leaving a single municipality (in 2002) named "Saguenay", the name of the river. Downriver of Chicoutimi-Jonquière, the river shores become a fjord and there are no settlements, services, fuel or cellular/mobile communications for many miles.

Towns (there are no major cities) in the Lac-Saint-Jean region include:

Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean is separated from James Bay and northern Québec by Chibougamau and its twin, Chapais.

Other destinations

St-Honoré-de-Chicoutimi, a small town north of Saguenay, has the largest Niobium (Nb) mine in North America.


The main economic forces in the region are the forest, paper, aluminium, tourism and hydro-electricity.


French is the primary language of instruction for university (université) and community college (collège, cégep) programmes in the region. There is an established immersion programme in Jonquière to teach French as a second language.


Many people in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean speak only French; it is the region with the smallest proportion English speakers in Quebec. It is also important to note they speak French with an accent that might sound strange, even for other people from Québec. If you speak only English, you might encounter problems as you visit this area. Otherwise, most of this is true: Quebec#Talk


It's well known around Québec that people from the area use expressions you might not have heard before. Here is a few of them (in French, naturally.)

Get in

You're most likely to arrive to Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean by land. If you're coming from Quebec City, you will cross the Parc des Laurentides on provincial road 175. This road is about 200 km long between Québec City and Chicoutimi and there is but one gas station (known as l'Étape) in the middle so plan ahead. It is also a great paronamic view of the deep Quebec Forest. If you come from Chibougamau-Chapais or Abitibi-Témiscamingue, you will arrive by road.

There are also a few airports in the area. None of them are international airports, but if you're coming from somewhere else in Canada, you might arrive at one of them. The main one is Bagotville in Ville de La Baie (now part of Ville Saguenay). There is also one in St-Honoré-de-Chicoutimi.

Get around

A car will be required to drive around the area. Some cities in the area have bus systems, but most of them don't.

Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean has a big territory so be ready to drive long distances.



Here are a few things you might want to do.

Places To Visit


Things To Do


If you visit the area, try to find a place where you can eat some Tourtière (a sort of meat pie). The tourtière in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean is a different meal that in other regions of Québec.

Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean is known for its blueberries. Make sure you try a blueberry pie or some chocolate covered blueberries (available in August only) from Les pères trappistes.


Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean is renowned for its party-loving population. They take great pride in drinking "grosse bière" (literally "big beer", meaning most of them drink bottles of beer of around 700 mL in bars), arrive early and leave late. The title of main street of drinking is usually given to rue Saint-Dominique, in Jonquière, where you will find 6 or 7 bars on a less than a kilometre stretch.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 19, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.