The Lower St. Lawrence draws on great resources which enable it to offer various activities to its inhabitants and visitors, including cultural, scientific, sporting and outdoor recreational activities.
The region has seen a rapid expansion in the development of recreational facilities, thanks to a number of factors such as dynamic participants, the great potential of its natural surroundings, varied wildlife resources, a marine environment that is always within view, and a well-developed secondary road system. These facilities have contributed significantly to the increase in the level of sporting and recreational tourism activities in the Lower St. Lawrence.
Activities at Your Doorstep
The region is full of potential, as can be seen by the presence of trails for hiking, horseback riding, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, ATVing (all-terrain vehicle) and dogsledding, climbing sites, kayak areas, downhill ski areas, parks, beaches, outdoor activity centres, golf courses, campgrounds, holiday camps, interpretation centres and wildlife parks and sanctuaries. The popularity of these activities is an indication of the desire, on the part of Lower St. Lawrence inhabitants, to live in harmony with nature.
At the local level, most municipalities in the region work in collaboration with educational institutions to provide sports facilities such as gymnasiums, pools and arenas.
An Impressive Support Network
The involvement of numerous volunteers, within local committees and associations, is largely responsible for the promotion and organization of recreational activities in the Lower St. Lawrence.
In the region, there are:
- locally, 1,000 corporations including:
- more than 300 in the recreational and outdoor activity sector
- educational institutions at all levels
- many companies that complete the network
- regionally, more than 27 service organizations, including:
- the Association régionale du sport étudiant (Regional Student Sports Association)
- the Fédération des clubs de l'âge d'Or de l'Est-du-Québec (Federation of Senior Citizen Clubs for Eastern Québec)
- the Conseil du loisir scientifique de l'Est-du-Québec (Scientific Recreation Council for Eastern Québec)
- Unité régionale de loisir et de sport du Bas-Saint-Laurent (Regional Unit for Sports and Recreational Activities in the Lower St. Lawrence)
Multiple Benefits for the Region
The recreational sector provides the region with many benefits. In addition to having an impact on individuals, the community and employment, the recreational sector and its infrastructure play a key role in the fields of tourism and wildlife. According to a study carried out by Tourisme Québec, sporting and outdoor activities attract the largest number of tourists to the Lower St. Lawrence (43.7%). With regard to employment, it is estimated that the entertainment and recreational sector employs 780 people.
A Developing Industry
Collective efforts to develop the recreational and outdoor activity sectors are based on the following: strengthening the natural environmental infrastructure to develop the St. Lawrence River and lake shorelines, and introducing the mechanisms and means to facilitate the further development of wildlife resources.