Poll: barometer of Quebecers’ favorite natural sites

Every week, The newspaper, in collaboration with the firm Léger, unveils a probe on a variety of subjects that affect you from near or far. Our Barometer thus measures what makes you vibrate or frown as a Quebecker, young and old, francophone, anglophone or allophone, in Montreal or in the region.

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The question: Among the following Quebec natural sites, which are your three favorites?

1. Mont Tremblant: 17%

2. The Mount Royal: 15%

3. The St. Lawrence River: 13%

4. The Percé Rock: 13%

5. Montmorency Falls: 11%

6. The island of Orleans: 11%

7. The Magdalen Islands 10%

8. The Plains of Abraham: 9%

9. The Saguenay Fjord: 9%

10. Mont Saint-Sauveur: 8%

11. The Massif de Charlevoix: 7%

12. Gaspésie National Park: 6%

13. The Lachine Canal: 6%

14. Bic National Park: 5%

15. Mont Saint-Hilaire: 5%

16. Gatineau Park: 5%

17. Chaleur Bay: 5%

18. Saint Helena Island: 5%

19. Omega Park: 5%

20. Bonaventure Island: 5%

21. Mont-Orford National Park: 4%

22. Jacques-Cartier National Park: 4%

23. Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park: 4%

24. The Saint-Maurice river: 4%

25. Forillon National Park: 4%

Methodology

The survey was carried out in two stages. LEO (Leger Opinion) panelists were asked an open question to submit their favorite natural sites. Then, a scientific survey was carried out among a thousand representative Quebeckers from December 11 to 13, 2020 on the basis of the most mentioned natural sites. Each respondent could choose up to three natural sites. Only the 25 preferred natural sites are shown.

  • Philippe Leger, The Journal of Montreal

The finding

Quebec has been explored, cleared, plowed, erected and inhabited, but we still know too little about it. All regions have their own natural wonders. We surveyed 70. In the end, Mont Tremblant (1st) is the favorite natural site of Quebecers. Mount Royal (2nd) is our natural landmark in our bustling metropolis, like East Central Park in New York or the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris. The St. Lawrence River (3rd) is more of our national compass, where we divide our territory in two and where our adventure in America began.

The surprise

Many Quebecers received a call from the Gaspé this summer because of the pandemic. It is also the region most represented in the barometer, with six natural sites out of 25. It is difficult to remain impassive in front of the majestic Percé rock (4th), the wild side of Forillon Park (25th), as well as the natural beauty. Magdalen Islands (7th) and Gaspésie Park (12th). If Quebec has a haven of peace, it is the Gaspé.

Disappointment

Some regions are not represented in the top 25. Lanaudière, Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Nord-du-Québec and Côte-Nord do not find any wonder of their region in the top. These regions, however, contain magnificent treasures that are underestimated. The Mingan Islands in the North Shore, the Île des Moulins in Lanaudière or the Aiguebelle Park in Abitibi are dazzling places, but still little known to Quebecers.

We like what we know

  • Laure Waridel, The Journal of Montreal

The love of Quebeckers for their natural sites is combined in the plural. Our preferences are scattered over a vast territory. We cherish our mountains, our river, the sea and many national parks.

The results of this survey testify to the diversity of our attachments to the beauty of the land we inhabit and which inhabit us. These places are part of our deep identity. We would benefit from seeing them more.

No consensus

Thus, unlike other barometers, the gap is relatively small between the first position of our favorite sites (Mont Tremblant 17%) and the 25th (Forillon National Park 4%).

Many are in or near urban areas. This is the case of Mount Royal (2nd position), Montmorency Falls (5th), Île d’Orléans (6th), the Plains of Abraham (8th) and the Lachine Canal (13th).

We also notice that we like what we know and that we know better what is near us or on the routes marked by vacationers. This is also true of what we protect.

Out of sight…

Imagine the outcry if we considered backfilling the lake of Mont Saint-Hilaire (15th position) with mining waste? The idea wouldn’t even occur to mind.

Yet this is what we are considering doing on the North Shore at the Bloom Lake mine. Nobody talks about it. Out of sight out of mind.

I would be very curious to know what percentage of respondents have already been to the Chic-Chocs mountains in Gaspésie, Anticosti or the Mingan Islands, compared to the Alps or the beaches of Florida.

Our territory is so vast that we know little about it. How many of our 4,500 rivers and half a million lakes are we able to name?

These fabulous natural resources are beyond us. However, we would gain so much from knowing them better, the better to love and protect them. It would be taking care of us.

We deserve this, it seems to me: to love each other a little more!

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