The Hidden Treasures of Historic QuebecBy Private Islands Magazine • Sep 29th, 2008 • Category: Islands for Sale
Known across the globe for its eclectic cultural center of Montreal, the sprawling Canadian province of Quebec also hides some of the country’s most beautiful islands.
The international artistic capital of Montreal, Canada’s first colonial settlement of Quebec City, and of course, famous chanteuse Celine Dion- the province of Quebec evokes many associations, but they rarely include gorgeous private islands. Regrettably so, because outside of the cosmopolitan cities and charming little towns is an expansive wilderness that attracts tens of thousands of nature lovers each year, with many island-dotted rivers and lakes within just a few hours of Quebec’s urban and cultural attractions. This combination of wild beauty and sophistication is uniquely Canadian, and makes the province’s private islands highly attractive… even Celine Dion has one of her own.
Most of the islands currently available lie within just a few hours from Montreal or the US border, along the winding St. Lawrence River or in the hills of the Laurentian Mountains, known as the Laurentides. One of the most ancient mountain chains on the planet, it took more than five hundred million years to weather the Laurentides into the picturesque landscape that greets visitors today. Gentle valleys bordered by rounded hills are home to beautiful clear lakes, like the scenic Lac-des-Iles, less than two and a half hours from Montreal. Within, you’ll find Ile Major, one of the largest private islands available in the entire province. Covered in rich forests and with the additional option to purchase a charming mainland home, this 420 acre island has incredible potential for development, or preservation by a nature-loving new owner.
Also in the Laurentian hills, the appropriately-named Belle Ile is a wooded 51-acre island with an extraordinary stone residence. Painstakingly constructed in a historic style that reflects Quebec’s original 18th-century architecture, but with luxurious modern amenities, Belle Ile has a winning combination of both the new and old world. And found just a little closer to Montreal is Ravenscrag Island, a tiny micro-island of just half an acre in size, but with ample room for its elegant wood home inside a bordering forest. An hour from the province’s capital and also very close to the premier skiing destination of Mont-Tremblant, this gracious hideaway is a perfect place to enjoy both the province’s many outdoor and urban activities.
The one-acre Secret Island is also convenient to Montreal, just a pleasant 45-minute drive away- which may be why it’s one of Canada’s most popular island rentals, as well as offered for sale. The iconic snowy images of Secret’s cheerfully-painted cottage have been featured in many magazines, creating the image of a dream island retreat at any time of year. But the lakes of the Laurentides aren’t the only places where you can enjoy the pleasures of your own Québécois island. The St. Lawrence River was the method by which Canada’s earliest explorers first discovered the wealth the country had to offer, and within its banks is now the very rare island available for purchase. With a rustic cottage and pretty views, Sheep Island has international appeal- it’s both close to Montreal, and only 20 minutes from the American border at Malone, NY.
Quebec may be most known for its urban cafes and art galleries, but the province is truly one of the rare places where culture and nature combine, offering visitors the chance to experience some of the best that Canada has to offer. And your own island hideaway in this desirable region may be a surprisingly accessible. Ranging from $3M down to just a few hundred thousand dollars, Quebec’s islands are priced extremely well and more often than not, come in a developed state and ready to enjoy. What more could any island lover ask?
For more information on the islands featured here and others, please see: http://www.privateislandsonline.com/quebec.htm
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