There's no denying that Quebec and, specifically, Montreal, are beautiful regions of southeastern Canada. There's nothing that one can't find in Montreal, and there's no charm that can't be felt on the streets of Old Quebec. However, that doesn't mean everyone is visiting Canada to have a city experience, and there's are many solutions to that.

One of them is to consider the nearby island city of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. This tiny destination is just southwest of Montreal and is found on Grande-Île in the center of the Saint Lawrence River. A humble and beautiful waterside locale, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield offers plenty away from the crowded streets of Quebec's larger cities.


'The Venice Of Quebec'

The city of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield was first founded in 1874, but it was actually settled long before then. The first people to call this city their home prior to its official founding arrived in 1798. It underwent several name changes including Saranac (not to be confused with the New York city of the same name), and then Saint-Cécile. In 1874, the name Salaberry-de-Valleyfield was finally decided on and stuck. The addition of 'Valleyfield' came from the paper mill in Edinburgh, Scotland, which shared the same name at the time.

In addition to all of these official names, Salaberry-de-Valleyfield was also given a nickname that was unofficial, yet accurate. It was referred to as the 'Venice of Quebec' due to the waterways that run around it, namely the Saint Lawrence River. Its small size and proximity to the water give it the feel of a city that, similarly to Venice, was literally built on a canal system. However, this is only one aspect of the charm that Salaberry-de-Valleyfield exudes for newcomers.

Planning A Trip To This Island

So, what, besides the gorgeous landscape, is there to do in such a small island city? In short, there's plenty. The Great Outdoors holds adventure for those looking to stretch their legs, in-city shopping boasts perfectly shoppable streets, and gourmet dining is on a level that only Quebec can offer.

What To Do Outdoors

The park at the Bay of Saint François is humble yet inviting, with a very small marina for boating on the bay and on the river. This rocky shoreline gives way to plenty of beach access and has a nearby playground for families and children. An awning with picnic tables makes for the perfect place to stop and have lunch, while indoor facilities and a snack bar are also great ways to take advantage of this all-in-one outdoor recreational area.

Watercraft rentals, biking, swimming, and even scuba diving are all great activities Salaberry-de-Valleyfield.

  • Watercraft Rentals: Various rental companies on the island.
  • Cycling: Grand Boucle Circuit on the shoreline offers 140 meters of trails.
  • Swimming: Delpha-Sauvé Park outdoor aquatic complex or the beach at Parc régional des Îles-de-Saint-Timothée.
  • Scuba Diving: Salaberry-de-Valleyfield's Nautical Centre (an underwater part with wrecks and various nature features).

Shopping And City District In Salaberry-de-Valleyfield

Between Salaberry-de-Valleyfield and Grand Ilê, there are several shopping malls for visitors to indulge in some retail therapy. Spread between the two are various boutique shops, as well.

  • Malls: Centre Valleyfield, Carrefour Monseigneur-Landlois, and SmartCentres Valleyfield

Dining In Salaberry-de-Valleyfield

Visitors will find no shortage of places to dine in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. There are plenty of restaurants offering a wide array of flavors and cuisines for any tastebuds, from classic French to fusion.

Breakfast: Ben & Florentine

  • Menu: Modern French with a variety of Egg Benedicts, healthy, and local ingredients.

Lunch: Charcuterie Jacques-Cartier

  • Menu: More than 200 varieties of cheese, patês, charcuterie, and hot meals ready to go.

Dinner: La Demande Générale

  • Menu: Worldly, elevated cuisine with a modern twist, chic Montreal style restraurant on the waterfront.

Related: Poutine Pit Stop: Where To Find The Best In Montreal

Where To Stay In Salaberry-de-Valleyfield

Those looking to stay in the heart of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield have four hotels to choose from, each offering unique accomodations with varying price points


This floating hotel was constructed from recycled shipping containers and offers a unique experience on the water like no other. It's an eco-friendly option with a total of six rooms featuring private terraces.

  • Price/night: $268USD

Hotel Plaza Valleyfield

Affordable accomodations in the heart of Salaberry-de-Valleyfield. The hotel features waterfront views and a bit of history, as well as close proximity to downtown.

  • Price/night: $120USD

Lac St-Louis Motel

This motel is located on the opposite (northern) end of Grand Ilê, but offers simple and affordable accomodations on the island. It's surrounded by farms on one side and faces the river on the other, with sweeping views of the surrounding landscape.

  • Price/night: $79USD

Motel Grande-Ilê

This hotel is close to downtown and offers close proximity to the bike path, as well. According to Destination Salberry-de-Valleyfield, it was voted the best value for a traveler's money in regard to accomodations.

  • Price/night: $63-$78USD

Next: New York To Canada: The Guide To Every City And Border Crossing