Best Things To Do In Trois-Rivières: Enjoy a Fun Weekend in Mauricie, Québec

things to do in trois-rivières

Are you searching for your next weekend getaway location? For travellers who are unfamiliar with the Mauricie region, Trois-Rivieres may be nothing more than a rest stop on the map between the popular French-Canadian destinations of Montréal and Québec City. But don’t let this city’s smaller size fool you!

Steeped in history and European charm, Trois-Rivières offers the perfect blend of a vibrant culture and breathtaking natural beauty.

Founded in 1634, the city played a critical role in the development of New France. Today, it continues to captivate visitors with a vibrant culinary scene, inspiring arts community, memorable historic sites, and scenic outdoor attractions.

In this guide, you’ll discover the best things to do in Trois-Rivieres during your visit. I’ll also help you plan the key details for your trip, including how to travel to the city and where you will stay. 

Trois-Rivières

Travelling to Trois-Rivières

If you are already planning a trip to the area, you are in luck. Trois-Rivières is a little over one hour west of Montréal or two hours east of Québec City. It’s close enough for a quick day trip, or add a couple of days to your trip to really embrace all the area has to offer.

For those who are travelling just to see the historic city, there are several options for reaching your destination. This includes travelling by car, bus, plane, or train. 

By Car

There are two main routes from Toronto to Trois-Rivières. The fastest route involves following Hwy 401 E to Rue St-Roch. This route will take approximately 6 ½ hours. If you’re looking for an alternative, you can take Highway 7/Trans-Canada Highway.

By Bus

If you would prefer to take public transit, there are options available. However, no bus route will bring you all the way to your destination. Megabus offers a route from Toronto to Montréal starting at $49.99 per person. You can then transfer to the Orleans Express for the trip from Montréal to Trois-Rivières for $29 per person.

By Train

Travelling by train is a great way to enjoy the scenery on your way to Trois-Rivières. However, like the bus, it will only take you as far as Montréal. VIA Rail offers a route from Toronto to Montréal starting at $62 per person. As mentioned above, you will then need to take the Orleans Express for the last leg.

By Plane

Flights are available from Toronto to Montréal, but this option will significantly increase travel costs. Tickets start at $152 per person, one way. After landing in Montréal, the final part of your trip will still require another option, like the Orleans Express. 

toronto to trois-rivières

Where to Stay: Hotels in Trois-Rivières

There are many unique accommodations to suit any style, from beautiful historic buildings to sleek and modern builds. For those interested in “ruffing it,” there are even picturesque places to pitch a tent for the night. To help you find the perfect place to unwind at the end of the day, I have highlighted three of my favourite hotels in the area.

Auberge du Lac Saint-Pierre

10911 Notre-Dame Ouest

Ideally situated on the shores of the St. Lawrence River, Auberge du Lac Saint-Pierre offers breathtaking views from its comfortable rooms and suites. In addition to the beautifully decorated rooms, guests of this hotel can also enjoy golf/show packages, a massage therapy service and fine dining at the on-site restaurant.

This historic building was previously known as the Tomaqua Beach Resort, operating from 1920-1960. It then stood, forgotten until 1988, when the new owners, Jean Guy Morisette and Gisèle Poliquin, took on the task of meticulously updating and transforming the property into what you see today.  

Gouverneur Hôtel Trois-Rivières

975 Rue Hart

Are you travelling with a dog? If so, this hotel is an excellent option. The Gouverneur Hôtel allows up to 2 dogs under 45 lbs to stay in their standard pet-friendly rooms (suites are off-limits). It also offers an incredibly convenient location in the heart of downtown Trois-Rivières, with popular local attractions like the Musée Pop just a short walk away.

From the outside, the hotel looks like a standard modern hotel. However, you will quickly discover this hotel’s unique charm once you pass through the door. My favourite part of this hotel is the acclaimed Rouge Vin restaurant. Not only does it feature a delicious menu, but it also boasts a rooftop terrace with a swimming pool and a jacuzzi.

Hôtel Oui Go!

1413 Rue Notre-DameCentre

This hotel is a great example of the city’s history. It is housed in the Balcer Building, a cornerstone of Trois-Rivières’ heritage. Hôtel Oui Go! seamlessly blends its landmark architecture with a chic and upscale interior. The result is a charming boutique hotel that promises a first-class experience. Le Brun en Ville (a general store) is on-site if you accidentally forgot any basic toiletries. You can also purchase local products, sweets, and knick-knacks.

hotel trois-rivières
Hotels in Trois-Rivieres
Hotels in Trois-Rivieres

When you wake up, grab breakfast at one of my favourite spots, Le Gaufré 1908, conveniently connected to the hotel. Hotel guests are given a breakfast ticket as part of their stay. I loved starting my morning with a hot breakfast, choosing from a selection of breakfast plates or homemade waffles. If you’re not staying at the hotel, the restaurant is also open for lunch and dinner. 

restaurant trois-rivières

16 Things to Do in Trois-Rivières and the Mauricie Region

With a rich history and vibrant energy, Trois-Rivières is an incredible city to explore. In fact, with so much to see, a weekend simply isn’t enough to explore it all.

If you plan to casually stroll the city streets, there are two key areas to be aware of. Rue Notre-Dame Centre is home to many bars, cafés, and shops. The other area of the city you should be sure to visit is Rue des Forges. You will find many restaurants, bars, and other attractions along the street. If you visit during the summer, the street is open to foot traffic only (no vehicles).

Here are some of my favourite Trois-Rivières attractions and activities (as well as a few in the greater Mauricie region): 

Start the Day with a Speciality Coffee

If you’re a coffee drinker, you know your morning brew can set the tone for the day ahead. With a menu featuring an assortment of specialty coffees, Café Morgane Notre Dame (100 Rue Forges) is sure to offer something for everyone. The cozy atmosphere of the café was warm and welcoming, and my coffee was well worth the visit.

Are you new to the specialty coffee scene? The café offers discovery boxes, which allow you to sample a range of coffee blends to find your favourites. 

Browse the Exhibits at Manoir Boucher de Niverville

Dedicated to daily life during 18th-century New France, this museum brings to life the morals, customs, and fascinating realities of the time. The Manor was classified as a historic monument in 1960. Eleven years later, the Commission des Monuments Historique du Québec restored the building and converted it into the museum we see today. This restoration process offered a glimpse into the construction of the building and the techniques used at the time.

trois-riviéres

Stop by the on-site gift shop, Boutique de l’Intendant du Manoir, when you are done browsing the exhibits. Here, you’ll find your typical souvenir items as well as artisanal and recycled products, including indigenous creations and local Québec-made products. 

trois-riviéres

Surround Yourself in the Area’s Natural Beauty

Whether you’re interested in Trois-Rivières or Mauricie camping opportunities or looking to discover local hiking trails, there are several great opportunities to get out and enjoy the fresh air.

la mauricie national park

I highly recommend that outdoor lovers make a trip to visit La Mauricie National Park. With 150 lakes and vast forest areas, the park presents the perfect place to immerse yourself in nature. If you’re lucky, you’ll spot local wildlife, such as red foxes, beavers, loons, moose, or black bears. Depending on the time of year you visit, Mauricie Park offers hiking, canoeing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, guided tours, camping, and overnight accommodations.

la mauricie national park
la mauricie national park

Another great local natural destination is Île Saint-Quentin. Here, you’ll find a unique blend of natural and urban environments, creating a fun spot for the whole family. In the summer, they offer camping, hiking, cycling paths, a swimming pool, and a beach. Enjoy snowshoeing, winter hiking, or skating on the designated skate trail in the winter. 

Explore the Area’s Religious History at Cap-de-la-Madeleine

Standing proudly as a testament to faith, Cap-de-la-Madeline has become a beacon for spiritual seekers. The church was first built in 1659 as a simple wooden building. However, like many structures of its era, it succumbed to time. In its place, a second church was built in 1720 with sturdy fieldstone. Now known as the Old Shrine, it is Canada’s oldest church to continuously celebrate daily Mass.

While the structure itself is worth seeing, the real reason I enjoyed my visit was learning the many stories and “miracles” that are told about the area. Legend has it that an ice bridge was formed across the St. Larence River in response to prayers from the people of the church, allowing them to transport large stones across the river that were necessary for building a larger church to accommodate their growing numbers. To honour this event, the Bride of Rosaries was built.

Another miracle I was told during my visit centred around the Statue of the Virgin Mary. Three separate men testified that while praying to the statue, she opened her eyes and looked out into her surroundings. They described her as having a “look of true compassion.”

trois-riviéres
trois-riviéres
trois-riviéres
trois-riviéres

Hearing of this incredible event, many would visit the area on pilgrimage to see the church and the Statue of the Virgin Mary. The growing traffic to the area led to the building of the Notre-Dame-Du-Cap Basilica, a larger church to handle their needs. The basilica still stands on the property. I was moved by the beautiful display created inside by its large stained glass windows when the sun’s rays hit them.  

Take the Perfect Instagram-Worthy Photo at One of These Picturesque Spots

Are you looking to capture the essence and magic of Trois-Rivières with some beautiful Instagram-worthy photos? If so, there are a few locations I highly recommend visiting. Not only are they the perfect backdrop for a selfie or family vacation photo, but they also embody the city’s aesthetic and energy.

Middle School Marie-De-l’Incarnation is a local school operating in a beautiful historic building. Named after Marie de L’Incarnation, an Ursuline nun who took her vows in 1633, it is a perfect example of the area’s historic architecture.

trois-rivières attractions

Another picture-perfect example of construction and architecture is the Pon Laviolette Bridge. This large arch bridge is the longest metal frame bridge in Québec, connecting Trois-Rivières to Bécancour.

trois-rivières attractions

Finally, make sure to stop by the impressive Cogeco Amphithéâtre, which can accommodate up to 3,500 people in the stand and an additional 5,500 in the grassy esplanade. Its large capacity has made it the perfect location for everything from an indoor-only cabaret in the winter to large international performances like Cirque du Soleil. This is also the location of the large Trois-Riviéres letters, a bucket list photo for many visiting the city. 

trois-riviéres

Visit the Nearby City of Shawinigan

This is an excellent spot for those interested in extending their adventures with a day trip to another location in Mauricie, Québec. Shawinigan is only 30 minutes from Trois-Rivières, meaning it’s close enough for a day trip or an overnight getaway. I took a quick one-night trip to the city but definitely could have stayed longer.

mauricie québec
mauricie québec

After driving to Shawinigan, I stopped at Le Chenapan, a local bistro. Their menu features a selection of traditional bistro foods, including vegetarian and gluten-free options. They also have a drink menu with a wide assortment of fun cocktails and wine selections.

restaurant trois-rivières
restaurant trois-rivières
restaurant trois-rivières

Next, we explored the many immersive activities and exhibits at La Cité de l’Énergie. This large museum is dedicated to sharing the history of Shawinigan and the surrounding region, as well as encouraging a love of science and technology. While there are many incredible exhibits to see, my favourites included the multimedia show and the Planet Energy exhibition. I also recommend taking in the breathtaking view of the Mauricie area from the Hydro-Québec Observation Tower, the second-highest observation tower in Québec.

mauricie québec
mauricie québec
mauricie québec
mauricie québec
mauricie québec
mauricie québec

If you plan on spending the night in Shawinigan, extending your visit, check out Nature Nature. Here, I had the opportunity to stay in an adorable 2-person micro-cabin (Cabin MICRO 01). Not only was the cabin incredibly comfortable, but it offered beautiful views from inside the cabin and the outdoor terrace, a wood fireplace, a kitchen with all the appliances you need for your stay, and a private bathroom. For those travelling with a furry friend, the cabin is also dog-friendly.

mauricie camping
mauricie camping
mauricie camping

Finally, I recommend grabbing lunch at Le 2800 du Parc before returning to Trois-Rivières. This cozy cabin-style restaurant is a beautiful nod to the property’s past, built from wood that was salvaged when a 100-year-old barn on the property was removed. I enjoyed the delicious food and also had an opportunity to speak with the owner’s daughter to learn more about the history and development of their business. 

mauricie camping
restaurant trois-rivières
restaurant trois-rivières
restaurant trois-rivières

Tour the Exhibits and Learn About Québec History at the Musée POP

History enthusiasts don’t want to miss touring this museum, which is dedicated to the province’s history and culture. Here, you’ll learn about many key moments throughout Québec’s history and its beautiful folk culture, including exhibits showcasing the magnificent works of François Bertrand and the incredible transformation brought about by The Quiet Revolution.

trois-rivières attractions

An exhibit about the history of the Old Prison offers a glimpse into how the prison operated over the years. One fact that I found interesting was that they used to keep the female prisoners separate from the men because they believed women were more trouble.

trois-rivières attractions
trois-rivières attractions
trois-rivières attractions
trois-rivières attractions

You can tour the Musée POP & Vieille Prison de Trois-Rivières at your own pace or take a guided tour.

Grab a Bite to Eat at One of the Many Incredible Restaurants in Trois-Rivières

If you are a foodie, you’re in luck. Trois-Rivières has a thriving culinary scene, including a wide assortment of options for every taste. Whether you’re looking for a fine dining establishment to celebrate your anniversary on a romantic trip or a quick bite to eat to fuel a busy day of exploring the city, there are plenty of options. Here are a few of my favourites from my last visit:

  • Les Contrebrandiers Coissonnerie Gourmande (300 rue des Forges): This restaurant’s unique atmosphere will take you back to the prohibition era. The menu is a blend of the classics and creative new flavours. I tried both Deer Medallion and Duck for the first time here. I should note that the serving sizes here are large enough that you may wish to share with your partner if you’re travelling together.
restaurant trois-rivières
restaurant trois-rivières
  • Le Pot Papilles et Cocktails (326 Rue des Forges): For travellers preferring a healthier menu, check out this restaurant. Their menu includes poke bowls, sandwiches and salads. They are best known for their specialty cocktail menu, or, if it’s more your taste, you can choose from their assortment of beers, wines, and spirits.
  • Bistro l’Ancêtre (603 Rue des Ursulines): Built inside an ancestral house, this bistro-style restaurant is a great spot to enjoy soup, salads, pasta, seafood, grills, and more. You can also pair your meal with a wine from their diverse wine list.
  • Le Sacristain (300 Bonaventure): This one-of-a-kind lunch stop is found in the former Wesleyan church. Here, you can enjoy specialty soups, stews, sandwiches, and salads. Finish your meal with a “homemade” dessert. If you need something on the go, you can order take-out or grab one of their lunch boxes.
restaurant trois-rivières
  • Le Buck: Pub Gastronomique (142 Rue Saint-François Xavier/1579 Rue Badeaux): The main location on Rue Saint-François Xavier is an upscale restaurant with a menu featuring high-end options like duck, fresh oysters, and Nagano pork. Their second location on Rue Badeaux is a fast lunch counter where you can grab quick meals like soup and sandwiches.
  • Café Frida (15 Rue de Forges): If you are looking for a vegan restaurant in Trois-Riviéres, Café Frida is worth a stop. It boasts a 100% vegan menu, including breakfast, soups, sandwiches, and more. In addition to good food, they showcase artwork from local artists on the walls and sometimes bring in local musicians for a live performance. 
restaurant trois-rivières
restaurant trois-rivières

View Mauricie from the Sky with Hydravion Aventure

I am always looking for fun and unique ways to experience the different destinations I visit. Hydravion Aventure (428 Rang des Grès, Saint-Étienne-des-Grès) is a great example. Book a scenic flight by seaplane or helicopter, taking in the beauty of the Mauricie region from the sky. In addition to a bird’s-eye view of the city, you will also see the impressive scale of La Maurice National Park. I took a helicopter tour, which is one of my favourite memories from my trip.

Treat yourself to a gourmet excursion, like the Gastronomic Flight, which includes the seaplane tour and a gourmet meal in the forest. You can enjoy a special menu prepared by chef Fred Chappuis de Fredelys while taking in the breathtaking view of the mountains. Vegetarian meals are available on request. 

mauricie
la mauricie national park
mauricie

Learn About the History of the Pulp and Paper Industry

The pulp and paper industry played a pivotal role in the development of Trois-Rivières and the country as a whole. Recognizing and honouring this history, the former filtration plant of the Canadian International Paper Company (CIP) now stands as a museum and tribute to those who lost their lives on the job, including log drivers, lumberjacks and other workers.

While visiting Boréalis, you will learn about life working in the logging industry and the log drive process. An immersive cruise along the Saint-Maurice River features a soundtrack that walks you through the area’s evolution and how that ties into the industry’s growth and development. After browsing the interactive exhibits, consider refuelling at the on-site restaurant, Terrace at Confluents. 

Relax and Be Pampered at This Nordic Spa in Mauricie

Schedule some time to be pampered and experience the full Nordic spa experience at KiNipi (8210 Bd des Forges). Whether you’re looking for an afternoon getaway or a full spa day, there are many packages and options to choose from.

The traditional thermal experience involves a combination of cold baths and saunas designed to cause thermal shock, a state of relaxation that has been associated with many health benefits, including:

  • Improving circulation
  • Boosting the immune system
  • Relaxing your muscles
  • Eliminating toxins from the body
  • Improving sleep quality

Thermotherapy isn’t recommended for people with cardiovascular diseases, diabetics, or pregnant women. Instead, you may be interested in booking a relaxing Swedish massage. An upscale restaurant on-site is the perfect place to enjoy a delicious meal to finish the day. 

Get a Feel For Life at the Ursuline Monastery

A Roman Catholic religious order specifically for women, the Ursulines played a pivotal role in the history of Trois-Rivières. The women of the Ursuline Monastery were devoted to ensuring that all girls in the area received a proper Catholic education, founding the first school for young girls in 1697. They were also responsible for creating the first hospital in the city.

At the Musée des Ursulines, you can browse several exhibits showcasing different aspects of life for the Ursulines, including visiting the historic chapel, touring the gardens of the Monastery, and learning about their historic contribution, from their initial arrival until they stopped operating in the area in 2019. 

trois-rivières attractions
trois-rivières attractions
trois-rivières attractions

Grab a Drink at a Local Microbrewery

Beer lovers, while you’re in Trois-Rivières, stop by one of the city’s local microbreweries for a cold drink and a bite.

Ô P’tit Quai des Breasseurs (1435 Rue Notre-Dame Centre) is a corner terrace with a nice view of the city’s downtown. Here, you can pair authentic Mexican cuisine, such as tacos, nachos, churros, quesadillas, and flautas from Mezcal Taqueria, with a cold beer from the microbrewery Ô Quai de Brassseurs.

Another excellent spot for a cold brew, Le Temps d’une Pinte (1465 Rue Notre-Dame Centre) is a microbrewery, roastery, and restaurant in one. Depending on your schedule, they offer a lunch and dinner menu. Before you head out, grab your favourite beers or some coffee to take home and enjoy later. 

restaurant trois-rivières
restaurant trois-rivières

Embrace the Local Arts Scene and Support Local Talent

If your idea of the perfect weekend getaway involves taking in the creativity and talent of local artists, there are several great opportunities within the city. These include visual arts, performance arts, and music.

Les Petitis Chanteurs de Trois-Rivières has been offering children’s music education and fostering a love of music, more specifically coral singing, for 75 years and counting. Their educational programs are available for children from kindergarten through secondary school. Throughout the year, you can enjoy musical performances by the children or take part in their adult programming.

Theatre lovers can see an avant-garde performance at La Fabrique de Théâtre Insolite. This art space is dedicated to encouraging and empowering those creating new, marginal, unconventional, or peripheral work.

Finally, stop by the EMA Expérience Métiers d’Art. This showroom and boutique has two distinct zones. On one side, you can view and purchase work by more than 40 professional local artists. On the other side, you can witness artists creating their work and displaying their talent. Check the website when planning your visit, as they often host interactive events and workshops led by local artists. 

trois-riviéres

Discover the City’s Rich History

As I mentioned, the city of Trois-Rivières has a rich history, playing a vital role in the development of Québec and Canada as a whole. This can be seen with the area’s many historic sites and attractions. While I could write a whole guide focused just on local historical tourism (and I may), here are a few of the monuments and historical buildings I recommend you check out:

  • Monument des Braves (1285 rue Notre Dame Center): This monument is dedicated to all soldiers who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War. Erected in 1921, it features a bronze statue of an infantryman during battle, his bayonet in hand. The most moving part of this statue is the passionate and emotional look on the soldier’s face.
  • St. James Anglican Church: Built by the first missionaries to arrive in New France, this church has actively served as a place of worship since at least 1823. The building is currently closed for renovations, but you can still tour the grounds and enjoy the beautiful display of historic architecture.
trois-riviéres
  • Hommage au Sacré-Coeur: This historic monument features a statue constructed in the exact location where Sacré-Codie once stood. The church and a large portion of the downtown were destroyed by fire on June 22, 1908. Behind the statue, brown benches represent the exact location where the parishioners once worshiped.
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  • Parc Du Platon (42 rue des Casernes): The entrance to this city park features an X on the floor, marking the spot where the city was initially founded. A statue was erected within the park to honour the city’s founder. But it wasn’t actually modelled after the founder himself, as no one knew what he looked like. Instead, the sculptor modelled it after the historian credited with discovering the founder’s identity.
trois-riviéres
  • Rue des Ursulines: Located in the city’s historic district, this is the oldest street in Trois-Rivières. I don’t have an organized tour or agenda to recommend. However, I encourage you to walk the street and admire the beautiful historic buildings.  
trois-riviéres
trois-riviéres
trois-riviéres

View the Beautiful Spectacle of Lights at Pierre-Boucher Place

At first glance, the Pierre-Boucher Place Fountain may not look that interesting, but it is more than your standard city fountain. This landmark uses lights, sounds, and movement to create an impressive display that captures the attention of anyone visiting the area.

There are three different displays showcased throughout the day, ranging from 15 minutes to 30 minutes in length. The vivid colours of the lights and rhythms of the fountain are used in creative ways, such as replicating fireworks or telling the story of the history and key events that transpired in this location.

Stop by on your way through the area to take in one display, or check the schedule on the Tourisme Trois-Rivières website to time your visit for a specific program. 

trois-riviéres

Experience Natural Beauty, History, and Culture in Trois-Rivières & Mauricie, Québec

Discover a unique blend of the past and present in the city of Trois-Rivières. Having played a vital role in the development of New France, the area was responsible for many essential contributions to the province of Québec as we know it today. This rich history shines through in every corner of the city, creating a unique and fascinating experience. It’s also a hub for outdoor travel, with the beautiful La Mauricie National Park just a short drive away.  

Whether you’re a history buff, lover of the arts, or outdoor adventurer, you are sure to find many incredible things to do in Trois-Rivières and the greater Mauricie region. You may just discover a new favourite road trip destination. 

things to do in trois-rivières
Things to Do in Trois-Rivières2

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