St. Hilarion is a lovely village, located about 15 miles from the town of Baie-St-Paul, meteorite-blasted Charlevoix Region, via Highway 138. It has a population of about 1200.
The name of the village refers to that of St. Hilarion, who lived at the beginning of Christianity. The village is located along the Mountain Drive at a dizzying altitude of 500 metres in extraordinary scenery. The panoramic view of the Laurentian chain is magnificent.
The immensity of the scenery gives the place a grandiose style and makes visiting worthwhile. First families settle here around 1830. Arriving in the hinterland of Charlevoix the first settlers had to deal with the harshness of the climate and the unproductive soil. Courage and tenacity were necessary. The village is the birthplace of Olivar Asselin, a famous Quebec journalist, co-founder of the daily Le Devoir.
A commemorative plaque honouring his social involvement adorns the front of St. Hilarion Church. Guests can stroll down the De la Fabrique Street behind the church to see the Chouinard monument erected in commemoration of Thelesphor, another pioneer who settled here. Many of his descendants still live in the village. The monument was unveiled on July 5, 1998, at the annual Chouinard gathering. The local church sits on a hilltop, offering a stunning view of the surrounding countryside. For an even better view, tourists can take Cartier Street south toward Les Ebolouments Village.
The Internation Art, Nature and Landscape Centre (Centre international Art, Nature et Paysages de Charlevoix) is located here and it is made up of a contemporary art hall, a gallery workshop and a short-term thematic exhibit space - one of which is open-air. And educational center, art & geology museum & park, as well as a plantation of hybrid poplar trees sprawling over a million square feet of property, is cris-crossed by three streams. To its vocation as a tourist attraction, the Centre adds a highly rated program promotig cultural and educational activities addressed to art buffs, and the inquisitive traveller who seeks to harmonize the term vacation with the word experience.
There, visitors will find a commemorative plaque honouring the man who discovered the Charlevoix meteorite crate, Jean Rondot. The plaque presents this history of the meteorite. Heading north in opposite direction, Cartier Street leads you to St. Jean Baptist Rang, and the hills.