Step into our past to explore the unique bilingual Métis-sur-Mer community as never before. With thanks to Heritage Canada and community funding, as well as volunteer support, we’re expanding our original two walking tours to five with some driving or biking in between, and links to other trails in the neighborhood. On a calm day, with the right safety measures, it might even be fun to see parts of the Trails from a kayak, canoe, punt or small boat, just as indigenous peoples, and later sailors, fisherfolk, and Navy seamen, would have seen them. You also can drop in virtually, from the comfort of your chair, and find beautiful views of the St. Lawrence, historic buildings, and beaches. You’ll discover written and oral accounts of what it was like to live here 50, 100, even 200 years ago, some with photos of then and now.
Help us recreate the Trails of our past by contacting Pam Andersson (firstname.lastname@example.org; (418) 936-3239) about the people and places that should appear along the expanded Heritage Trails due to their architecture, history, or link to the way of life that was.
Walk, bike, drive, or virtually hike these paths of our past. While some of these walks and drives are still in development, the Metis West and East Trails, as well as the Parcours Baie-des-Sables developed by the village for its 150th anniversary in 2019, and the Price-Grand Métis Sentier Mitiwee, are all ready to receive you.
To give you a sense of the Macnider Seigneury then and now, check out these two sets of older maps – remember, those things we used before Google Maps and Waze existed? This first map provides an overview of the seigniorial area, with detail of Grand Metis, Leggatt’s Point, Lighthouse Point and Patton Road. The second series of maps includes a detailed map with the houses in Metis Beach through the start of Secteur Les Boules, and a more recent one of Secteur Les Boules to Baie-des-Sables.
Beach Road, between MacNider Road and what was then the entrance to the village of Les Boules, was sometimes called Professors’ Row or McGill College Avenue because of the ‘preponderance of professors’ who built summer homes there. From where Beach Road becomes Rue principale on further east to Route 132 is a small, year-round, close-knit predominantly francophone community, originally named for the large boulders in the St. Lawrence opposite, now also part of Métis-sur-Mer.
On this short stretch of Beach Road, between Route 132 and McLaren Road, you’ll find a mix of mostly anglophone year-round residents and visitors who make a yearly pilgrimage to summer homes, some having been in the family since the 1860s. Among the highlights are two historic English churches, a local school that traces its roots back over a century, reminders of the area’s first large hotel, the town hall, and a building that’s been a post office (with a postmistress’s apartment above), telegraph office, CN ticket agency, and doctor’s office.
& CONCESSIONS TRAIL
Drive or bike past two of Canada’s oldest and still-operating golf courses, the lost village of Petit-Métis, a covered bridge, and the railway lines and stations that kept people coming back for more.
Surrounded by reefs and battered by storms, Lighthouse Point was home to a Seigneur complete with a ghost story; originally reliant on farming, it is now a tightly-knit summer community, dominated by one of the most painted and photographed sites around – the Metis Lighthouse.
PARCOURS JEUNESSE MARITIME
Created by Jeunesse Maritime du Bas St-Laurent, this trail shows what’s happened on and along the Lower St. Lawrence. Find 4 of the 10 interpretation panels on Metis’s Heritage Trails.
This heritage trail was created by Baie-des-Sabliens as one of the initiatives marking Baie-des-Sables’ 150th anniversary in 2019. It includes sites, houses, and buildings with some special meaning in the history of the parish and celebrates those who participated significantly in building the community and those who live there today.
(Price to Grand Métis)
Running between the Mitis River and what later became the Kempt Road that was built from Baie-des-Chaleurs to the Saint Lawrence River, this pleasant trail runs through woodlands and by farmers’ fields, interspersed with beautiful views of the river and falls.
Throughout, you will find traces of Scottish, French, English and Indigenous influence – cultural, historical and ancestral. Each trail provides an interesting perspective on how those influences helped to create and shape a thriving community.