Musée du Bas-Saint-Laurent

Rubbing shoulders

Socializing was one of the great attractions of the resorts, though it took different forms if you were a tourist or summer resident. Québec newspapers regularly listed the figures on holiday in the region, enhancing the prestige of these places in tourists’ eyes. Businessmen debated the pros and cons of the different watering places, as the relationships established there could change the course of a career!

Experienced vacationers knew that each resort had its own personality and chose their summer holiday spot accordingly. For instance, members of the French-speaking bourgeoisie flocked to Kamouraska, a seaside resort known for its good times. However, progressive American visitors gravitated to La Malbaie, while McGill University professors and administrators preferred to take holidays in Le Bic and Métis, in the sector then known as Little Metis. 

Summer inhabitants shared values. While adolescents enjoyed freedoms they lacked in the city, their amusements never took place far from the watchful eyes of adults who held them to good manners in the summer colony. If a young man and woman had to travel, they could expect a chaperone. Many romances bloomed nonetheless, whether for just a summer or a whole lifetime!

Each community developed its particular traditions: sports tournaments, craft sales to benefit the Red Cross or plays to raise money for a local church. These traditions strengthened ties between summer residents, who already shared an attachment to the same locale.

A family enjoys the summer, behind an opulent house. A child rides a bike, others play tennis or chat.

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