It might be said that the culture of the Province of Quebec is based on the St. Lawrence River. Riviere du Loup Most of the population lives close to the St. Lawrence, and much of the rest lives close to tributaries of the St. Lawrence. The principal cities - Montreal and Quebec - are river cities. Not just the economy of Quebec depends on rivers, but the heart and soul, the history and culture of Quebec all stem from the river.
The other cultural foundation in Quebec, of course, is the Church. Not a village goes by without a larger silver-roofed Catholic church dominating the municipal square, dwarfing the "Centre d'Administration" across the street. In the larger towns there are more and bigger churches.
Riviere du Loop, or Wolf River, features a waterfall, especially imposing now with the spring L'Eglise Saint-Francois Xavier runoff from the northern Appalachian Mountains. The waterfall was made more impressive by the local engineer, M. Ouimet, who added a dam and power plant and incidentally all the rest of the city's civic engineering projects for 40 years. Nearby, a hilltop park features a large illuminated cross and a great view of the city, featuring L'Eglise Saint-Francois Xavier on the skyline.
Near the edge of town is a new tourist attraction, optimistically created in imitation of Cinderella's castle in Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom.. The idea is, apparently, that people can come and wander through it and even spend a night or more.
The wealthier citizens of Riviere du Loup have second homes along the St. Lawrence, upstream or downstream from the city, many with swimming pools, beach access, and tennis courts. From the bluffs Our suite near Cacouma we gazed out at the river until our neighbor called our attention to the balein, or beluga whales swimming a mile away in midstream.
On a rare warm spring day, people were washing their houses and their cars and setting out enormous bags of leaves they had removed from their yards. The ice cream stands were preparing to open, setting out placards and accepting deliveries.
All along the St. Lawrence we saw large colonies of white geese which turned out to be Greater Snow Geese, on their way to summer breeding grounds on Baffin Island.
There was no sign of an economic recession in Quebec, where the homeowners keep their houses painted and gardened to a fare-thee-well.
And oh, yes, we hit it lucky on our hotel here, with a three-bed suite with a huge kitchen, large bath, and back door leading to a spacious porch overlooking the St. Lawrence.