The charming town of Matane lies at the gateway to the Gaspesie Region of Quebec, which is one of the most scenic areas in Canada. It has a population of about 15 thousand. Matane is located on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River at the mouth of the Matane River. It’s the seat for the Matane Regional County Municipality and it’s divided in four districts: district 1: Matane, district 2: Saint-Jérome-de-Matane, district 3: Petit-Matane and district 4 - Saint-Luc-de-Matane.
The name of the town is said to come from a Mi’kmaq word meaning “beaver pond”.
In the region of Matane, there is a great choice of affordable housing, given the relatively high rate of apartment vacancy. Besides, the proximity and variety of services facilitate daily life, therefore allowing time for relaxing, physical and cultural activities or entertainment.
It is well known that the cost of living in the region in Matane is lower than that of the large urban centers. This situation is due to the fact that the town of Matane contributes substantially to the financing of cultural and sports organizations in order to facilitate access to these services, when it is not itself owner of facilities.
In addition to the numerous sports and cultural activities, you can find 3 bowling alleys, many bars and 2 movie theaters in the region of Matane. The bars and brasseries are varied in style, but each is as welcoming as the other.
The Gaieté movie theater presents feature films as well as youth programs on weekend afternoons. The CinémAlice repertoire theater offers weekly projections to knowledgeable moviegoers.
A welcoming committee is in place to facilitate the integration of newcomers into the community.
There’s always a wind off the gulf here. The AXOR compagny operates windmill farms around Matane and Cap Chat, one of the largest concentrations of power generating windmills in Canada. Around Matane you can see on the horizon, high white towers sporting massive blades. The highest vertical axis windmill in the world is located at the company’s facility just west of Cap Chat. Tours are offered during the summer months.
Matane is known as well for its salmon river and for its shrimp industry. In fact, Matane’s Shrimp festival (Festival de la crevette) used to be one of the biggest festivals in the province of Quebec until they ran out of volunteers to run it and sadly had to cancel the event. But still, because it is located about 4h east of Quebec City and 3h west of Gaspe, Matane is a good place to stop on your “tour de la Gaspesie”. You can relax and enjoy a stroll along the river, a delicious seafood meal, and discover all that Matane’s nature has to offer.
There is a ferry service which crosses the St. Lawrence River to Baie-Comeau and Godbout on the north shore.