Province/Territory: Quebec

Nautical Heritage Comes Alive

  • 33 m lighthouse
  • 90 m submarine
  • 02 centuries of nautical history

Discover two centuries of maritime traditions on the shores of the St. Lawrence River—replete with tragedy, triumph and tales from the sea. Immerse in nautical heritage at Site Historique Maritime de la Pointe-au-Pere—a collection of interactive museum exhibits carefully stewarded alongside Quebec’s most storied waterway.

Climb to the pinnacle of one of Canada’s tallest lighthouses for a panoramic Atlantic view. Wander the hallways of the Empress of Ireland Museum, examining artefacts recovered from a devastating shipwreck. Tour the decommissioned Canadian navy submarine Onondaga—or book an overnight group-tour and actually acquire the skills of a submariner. Allow 200 Years of Maritime History to come to life before your eyes.

Why you should visit
  • Spiral up 128 steps to the top of Pointe-au-Pere Lighthouse and gaze over the St. Lawrence River as did the keepers of yore.
  • Explore exhibits within the two-century-old Lighthouse Station; learn the story of The Pilots, navigational aid boats in use since the 1600s.
  • Tour the Empress of Ireland Museum and view more than 200 artefacts raised from the shipwreck the Empress of Ireland—a catastrophe that claimed 1,012 lives one fateful night in 1914.
  • Watch a 3D documentary film about the Empress of Ireland—detailing the disaster and illuminating the actual shipwreck as it lies beneath the waves, just offshore.
  • Engage in an audio-tour of the decommissioned Canadian Navy submarine, Onondaga, running your hands over the navigational and weapons controls and exploring quarters where 70 men lived for months at a time.
  • Learn of Onondaga’s 33-year commission—when it travelled half-a-million nautical miles and served in NATO missions worldwide.
  • Reserve a spot in Onondaga’s “Night on Board”—an overnight group tour that sees teams competing in submariner-themed events, learning seamanship skills from an on-board coxswain and sleeping in actual crew quarters.
  • Hear the tale of William Clark—a man who survived both the wrecks of the Titanic and Empress of Ireland; appreciate the stewardship and care in preserving the region’s maritime traditions.

Weather

Visitor information
When to go
  • Site Historique Maritime de la Pointe-au-Père operates from early June to early October of each year.
  • Group tours can be booked May 31 to October 31.
  • Onondaga's “Night on Board” runs from June to September.
Need to know
  • Staff is fluent in both French and English.
  • Onondaga has narrow, enclosed spaces and may not be accessible for all.
  • Site Historique Maritime de la Pointe-au-Père is partially accessible for those with mobility impairments; service for visually impaired is available.
  • Site Historique Maritime de la Pointe-au-Père is a family friendly destination.
  • Plan a full day to explore Site Historique Maritime de la Pointe-au-Père.
Getting Here
  • Site Historique Maritime de la Pointe-au-Père is located 13 km north of Rimouski.
  • Rimouski is located 300 km northeast of Québec City.
  • Closest major airport is Jean Lessage International Airport (YQB).
  • Vehicle rentals are available at Jean Lessage International Airport (YQB).
  • Bus transportation is available to Rimouski.