St-Raymond: Boom Town

Saint-Raymond Travel Blog

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St-Raymond downtown main, typical boom town architecture
St-Raymond is the most populous town in the county and the service spot for the Eastern northern part of Portneuf. As my hometown place of Lac-Sergent is on the county's administration bordering edge, St-Raymond was the nearest settlement to go to within the county (Ste-Catherine-de-la-Jacques-Cartier being the other but it is in the Jacques-Cartier County) at a 10km distance.  It is therefore the nearest place I could go to school to and where I did so up until my high school. St-Raymond also has a municipal ski centre, which is publicly owned and quite the smallest in the whole Quebec Region, but that makes it the best place to enroll for skiing class and that is what I did from when I was 5 years old.

My link with St-Raymond was quite a purely winter one, both for the activities and school.
St-Anne River Vallee Overview from the Mt Laura Belvedere
On summer I would always exclusively spend my childhood in my hometown and end up here only to buy stuff. So I ended up having 2 groups of friends, the school winter ones and the kayaking buddy at the lake. One childhood element, was that back then St-Raymond was a bit of a red neck mentality city. So you weren't really welcome unless you were living in the vicinity (which in catholic's Portneuf County we called the Church Bell's conflict) and I was from Lac-Sergent.

The only luck was that Lac-Sergent, being a resort with closest tie with it's neighbour in Jacques-Cartier County and Quebec city itself, was not having a big say on this hegemonic conflict for the county's first bestest place. Children from Pont-Rouge, Donnacona, St-Raymond especially would dislike each other to the point of never hanging together.
St Bartholomew Chapel in BourgLouis
Lac-Sergent was not taken into account and more a neutral, no word to say and not interested in saying one some sort of entity.  I, on the other hand, hanged with people from all three and beyond when I was in high school.

This sort of mentality conflict was just a reflexion of the political power going on within Portneuf county itself. Still a proud county which anybody would feel themself as different than the rest of the province or only tied with the St-Lawrence north shore with which rythm we live or feeling the bound with Quebec city. But certainly not with other far away places. St-Raymond did win the balance of power on the local scene when it comes to the number of population. But that eager need to be the number one did scar that town situated along the northern Ste-Anne river shore.
Cascade of Delaney Waterfall
As its southern competitor finally aimed at a higher culture development and stronger tie with Quebec city, the county council also ended up sprawling most of the entities in the more neutral villages which played no role and had no say in the past in the local representation. When I look at it, I am at least happy as it sound to me as a gradual movement from the darkness of self interest to a winning movement of light cultural equity development. As long as the villages historic cultural view remains, though with a touch of openmindness, and that the county keep its cultural identity in the face of the rest of the province of Quebec, out of the strong influence of Quebec city and even more evilish ones from Montreal. The county should keep its amazingness.
Notre-Dame Rang overview on the Ste-Anne River vallee


About St-Raymond itself, the town was founded by the mid 19th century by three pionneer family who moved north from the southern historic villages (Neuville, Pont-Rouge) and some others to acquire land and develop it. The settlement, located in the deep valley of the Ste-Anne river developped well surrounded by a vast hinterland of forest which was awaiting to be exploited. Therefore the local economy developped in regard of the lumbering industry and the bottom of the valley was taken by the farmers and cattle keepers. The whole Portneuf county was developping itself according to those industry, the forest in the north and the land in the south and that situation remained until today. This explains pretty much the reasons why the county was unspoiled by sprawl development and out of the tourist path until today.
River Ste-Anne Vallee in the ZEC Batiscan-Neilson (Public Land)

The town developped as a service area for the hinterland and became an example of Boom town architecture in the east.

Today, the wood industry is dropping and St-Raymond has developped a major outdoor industry, which is eagerly awaiting the visitors. Though the product is there, the service town built along the route 367 is the gateway to the north with access to the public land and Faunic Reserve. It is also located just at the footstep of the Laurentian hill shield which grow quickly at low mountains and offer a majestuous landscape of mountains, forest, rives and waterfalls.

There are many waterfalls on the municipality territory, most remains only known to locals though the most famous is the Cascade Delaney situated in the Ice Age Valley of the Bras-du-Nord.
An Overview on the Vallee of St-Anne River (and St-Raymond) from the Mt Laura sightseeing
In the past that long falling waterfall along a 90m high escarpment deep into the Ice Age valley was only accessible by canoe and hike. The sort of pilgrimmage I did once a year with friends when I was young. In the recent years a pedestrian bridge has been built over the Bras-du-Nord river so that hiker can cross the river to access the waterfall a few km downstream.
The Valley of the Bras-du-Nord is still at the moment an unspoiled and protected landscape, the view there is amazing and you can easily see the historic power of the Ice cap in shaping the land.

The Valley continue northward into the Public land and the mountains are getting higher and higher. For those living in urban area, it becomes hard to conceive the fact of driving hours on dust road between the mountains and around falling rocks as big as a truck just to reach one of the thousand lake offering a calm silent landscape or a high point where you discover the rounding top of the Laurentian hills going on with their greeness till the horizon.
Cascades on Portneuf River in Lac-Sergent area


The upper Ste-Anne valley also bear the trace of similar landscape as the Ice cap marks are all the shaping element in those land. Though it is clearly in the Bras-du-Nord Valley that you see and can imagine the remains of a glacier advancing stopping where the moraine stands, just a tiny push of sand for a glacier which forms a high summit to pass across by car and figuratively 'eating' the rocks from the surrounding mountains creating a deep escarpment.

The village also has an interesting architecture and interesting buildings. Of course it also bear the mark of the 50s-60s and later suburban style development but the historic centre is of high interest. It was renewed in the late 90s, making the horrid make and covering put in place during the recession years of the 70s and 80s away bringing the buildings back to their original bricklay and gradually turning back to a more living street mentality.
View of Delaney Waterfall, about 100m drop along a mountainous cliff
Though it still has made one of the most horrible mistake in its development in the year 2000 by allowing purely the destruction of historic houses for the sake of an horrid, no taking account of the local community type of development, mega supermarket Provigo. The developpers and political council should be ashame and history will surely end up being harsh on them.

The church, like in every single Portneuf County town, is the main building, it is surrounding by a few convent building all holding historic and architectural masterpiece style for the local community. The Church used to be a powerful element both in the county and in the whole eastern part of the country. It showed it grandiose magnificence power through the quality of its architecture.
Bras-du-Nord Vallee at the Delaney Waterfall
It certainly might seem just as a tiny element for a european but for the local history and local identity it is paramount element. In Portneuf county but most certainly in other part of the province too, the local population is proud of their church. It is the jewel of the community and usually the first thing they will show to a visitor or a strange. Why is that? It is because all their ancestry, the wealth, ideals and prosperity of the local community rely within this building. The Church as an institution is no more, but the building and what it represents and what was its aspiration are still what drives those local communities... the moral did remain. So they are proud of it as it is their identity they are showing you.
Having travelled abroad, having seen cathedral, castle and many other features; I can understand that many foreigner would see no interest in such building, but these people who may have not travelled out of their border are simply showing their pride and identity.
Dusty Road on the Public Land at Gate Ste-Anne in Batiscan-Neilson ZEC
It would be slightly insulting to them to have their offer and enthousiasm turned down and you would lack a strong step into what is the local identity and culture. Just follow them and try to get impregnated from their, hopefully enthousiastic approach.

Also, why many will show you more pride into their buildings, church instead of the surrounding natural wonders... because the forest, the natural wonder are all around us yet part of our local identity and history. But it is also pointing out the harshest elements of developping the land, of building the society you have now out of purely a bunch of people with their bare hand. The nature represent the labour and its harshest element, we respect it. The architecture and the townscape represent what we accomplished, our way into civilisation and as a major character in the world.
Waterfall on Talayarde River


The next stop is further north along the Route 367, more along the Holiday maker route now really into the Laurentian piedmont.

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St-Raymond downtown main, typical …
St-Raymond downtown main, typical…
St-Anne River Vallee Overview from…
St-Anne River Vallee Overview fro…
St Bartholomew Chapel in BourgLouis
St Bartholomew Chapel in BourgLouis
Cascade of Delaney Waterfall
Cascade of Delaney Waterfall
Notre-Dame Rang overview on the St…
Notre-Dame Rang overview on the S…
River Ste-Anne Vallee in the ZEC B…
River Ste-Anne Vallee in the ZEC …
An Overview on the Vallee of St-An…
An Overview on the Vallee of St-A…
Cascades on Portneuf River in Lac-…
Cascades on Portneuf River in Lac…
View of Delaney Waterfall, about 1…
View of Delaney Waterfall, about …
Bras-du-Nord Vallee at the Delaney…
Bras-du-Nord Vallee at the Delane…
Dusty Road on the Public Land at G…
Dusty Road on the Public Land at …
Waterfall on Talayarde River
Waterfall on Talayarde River
Bourglouis Waterfall on River Port…
Bourglouis Waterfall on River Por…
Farmland view in BourgLouis
Farmland view in BourgLouis
Belvedere Nosny overview on the Ic…
Belvedere Nosny overview on the I…
A view on the Bras-Du-Nord Ice Age…
A view on the Bras-Du-Nord Ice Ag…
Ste-Anne River in Chute-Panet
Ste-Anne River in Chute-Panet
Overview from Belvedere Nosny on t…
Overview from Belvedere Nosny on …
A view on the Bras-Du-Nord Ice Age…
A view on the Bras-Du-Nord Ice Ag…
River Neilson - ZEC Batiscan-Neils…
River Neilson - ZEC Batiscan-Neil…
Cliche on River Talayarde
Cliche on River Talayarde
Saint-Raymond Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Ti-Oui Snack Bar
A classic cult Snack Bar lunch with fried chicken and poutine speciality. Infamous and extremely crowded on sunny summer day, the snack bar is usual o… read entire review
Saint-Raymond
photo by: maplefanta