Autumn hot spots / Les points chauds d’automne

The Laurentians. Photo: Patricia Maunder

The Laurentians. Photo: Patricia Maunder

I have been pondering hard about what the subject of this post should be: autumn has been so outstanding this year, but I’m wary of overdoing the seasons-are-so-amazing-in-Québec thing. However, I’m hoping an autumn hot spots post may prompt a few locals to suggest where I ought to make a beeline come late-September next year, as it will be my last living in this neck of the woods. And besides, locals need reminding about just how special the fiery natural wonder on their doorstep is, and folks from further afield need to be persuaded to see for themselves – apart from America’s New England states, there’s nothing like it! So, whether you’re near or far, read on for some of the best places to enjoy autumnal splendour in Québec … Continue reading

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An ode to autumn / Une ode à l’automne

The view from Mont Tremblant in the Laurentians. Photo: Patricia Maunder

The view from Mont Tremblant in the Laurentians. Photo: Patricia Maunder

Something I was particularly looking forward to about living in Canada was seeing the autumn colour. There’s nothing to speak of in Australia in that regard: the indigenous flora is evergreen, and imported deciduous trees don’t grow in most places (desert, sub-tropical and tropical). There are quite a lot of northern hemisphere trees in the temperate climate around my home state of Victoria, but they’re mostly the kind of trees that drop their leaves without fanfare. If you’re lucky, you might see the blazing red of a solitary Japanese maple, or the golden yellow of a few beeches.

I discovered that the peak time for ‘leaf peeping’ here is around the (Canadian) Thanksgiving long weekend, so I planned a getaway to the Laurentians (Laurentides in French) – my research had also revealed that this mountain region north-west of Montreal is one of the best places in the world for autumn colour, as luck would have it. As the weekend drew near, I saw glimpses of autumnal beauty around Montreal, but nothing – not photos, not high expectations – prepared me for the splendour spread out before us as my beau and I drove up into the Laurentians. From pale yellow through vivid orange and deep red, with speckles of green from evergreens and trees yet to turn, the leaves glowed in the sunshine like a massive Monet canvas. Hillside after hillside, this riot of exuberant autumn hues rose up before us, filling the sky. My eyes opened wide in wonder as I tried to take it all in. Continue reading