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Rowboats, bark canoes, guide boats… In Quebec as elsewhere, history was basically written with every stroke of the oar or the paddle…

The Exhibition

Step into the boathouse to visit The Era of Traditional Small Craft exhibition! In this vast venue flooded in light, the scent of wood and the close proximity of the St. Lawrence River combine to offer a unique experience to visitors. Follow the stories of a not-so-distant past, when both islanders and shore dwellers depended almost exclusively on their “floating vehicles” to travel.

Discover some twenty small wooden boats from our common past that showcase the traditional craftsmanship of our ancestors. Learn more about this vital means of transportation and its many surprising functions. 

Showcasing a series of accounts, archive photos and audio and video recordings, this exhibition will take you to the shores of the St. Lawrence in eras past. Meet its dwellers and listen to their best tales. Delight in your discoveries and the charm of this singular venue! 

A Great Family Outing in Store!

The Era of Traditional Small Craft is a truly great family museum activity. Challenge your kids! Put their muscles to the test as they try different types of mechanisms to hoist sails. Or challenge them to a dual at our game table, an adaptation of the Battleship game. 

But before you leave the museum, dress up in period costumes and jump into our rowboat exhibit to take a family picture reminiscent of a Sunday boat ride.

Why visit The Era of Traditional Small Craft?

  • To observe the complete making of a summer canoe from a single spruce tree
  • To discover some of the legends of Quebec inspired by that era, including The Legend of the Flying Canoe and “La légende du canotier” (the legend of the canoeist)
  • To relive the early days of the Carnaval de Québec canoe race and learn more about some of Quebec’s first athletes
  • To train your eyes into recognizing different parts of a boat

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