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Parc national du Lac‑Témiscouata

Portrait of the park

History of the Creation of Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata

During the 1996 strategic planning period, the Parks Service for the Ministère du Développement durable, de l’Environnement et des Parcs (MDDEP) began studies to identify potential sites in natural areas of southern Québec not yet represented in the parks network. Seven sites on State land were analyzed in the Monts Notre-Dame region

Following a comparative analysis and an aerial survey, the Lac Témiscouata site was chosen because of its aesthetic qualities and the characteristics that make it so representative of the natural region.

In 2003, the regional county municipality (RCM) of Témiscouata, wanting to protect its natural heritage for the benefit of the most citizens possible and to diversify its economy, applied to the Minister Responsible for Parks for the creation of a national park in Témiscouata. The application was also supported by several municipalities and regional organizations. The Service des parcs then included this project in its 2004-2007 Strategic Plan. The inventory work started in 2004 lasted several years.

In 2006, a work group was formed to promote discussions with the regional milieu. It was composed of representatives from the MDDEP, the RCM of Témiscouata, a variety of regional interest groups (tourism, economy, environment) and the mayors of the municipalities involved in the park project.

In the spring of 2008, the MDDEP went public with the draft management plan. In June, 2008, the population and area organizations were asked to submit their comments on the draft management plan either directly at public hearings or in the form of memoires.

On November 18, 2009, the government decree confirming the creation of Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata appeared in the Gazette officielle du Québec.

The Park’s Natural Heritage

Parc national du Lac-Témiscouata was created to protect a representative sample of the natural territory of Monts Notre-Dame. Lac Témiscouata itself is a striking element of the landscape. Almost 39 km long, it is the second largest body of water on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River. With the creation of the park, 45 % of its shores are protected. This territory’s plant heritage includes several forests that are over 100 years old and 500 plant species.

As for wildlife, some 40 mammal species, about 20 fish species, 15 reptile and amphibian species, and 150 bird species inhabit or visit this territory. Among the birds is the bald eagle, which frequents at least three areas of the national park. It is on the list of endangered species in Québec. A particular type of threespine stickleback, a fish found only in rare places around the world, is also present in certain lakes, along with many other species.

The Park’s Cultural Heritage

On the human level, for thousands of years, the Témiscouata region, and especially the park’s territory, has been not only a major waterway linking the St. Lawrence River and the Bay of Fundy in the Atlantic, but also a crossroads for business and exchanges. Several groups of nomads and hunter-gatherer-fishermen, such as the Malecites, used these waterways.

So far, 62 archaeological sites have been discovered in the Témiscouata area. The oldest evidence of human occupation date back 9,400 to 9,000 years ago. On the park’s territory, there are 54 archeological sites, the majority located in the axis of Rivière Touladi and the Touladi lakes. This abundance can be explained by two chert quarries in the Lac Touladi sector. Chert was highly prized as a material for making hunting weapons and domestic tools. This stone is named Touladi chert after its place of origin. Most of the archaeological sites being studied in the area are cutting sheds that were used during fishing and hunting activities.

The territory was also frequented by a famous character known as Grey Owl. His real name was Archibald Stansfield Belany. This Englishman was considered by some to be the forerunner of the current ecological movement. He settled in Témiscouata in 1928 and spent three years there. He left the region in 1931 to become the warden for Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan. Because of his notoriety, the National Parks of Canada Service hired Grey Owl to promote its network of parks and wildlife conservation.

Did you know?

The park in numbers

Year established: 2009
Area: 175 km2
Perimeter: 116 km
Annual attendance: 55,000 visit-days

List of Species

Excerpt from the Interim Management Plan concerning wildlife

(in French only)

Amphibians and reptiles

Species at risk



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