Heritage city tour

Interested in exploring the city of Alma? If you're travelling by bus, bring our guide on board for a historical tour of Alma's most beautiful heritage neighborhoods; 

- Ile Sainte-Anne, site of the city's first settlement 
- Vestiges of the farming village of Saint-Joseph d’Alma 
- Place de la fabrique, the institutional heart of the town 
- Riverbend, company town 
- Isle-Maligne, company town

Length of the tour : 1h 
Price: 100$/bus 
Reservation required at least 2 weeks in advance

The Isle-Maligne district circles the Odyssée des Bâtisseurs Theme Park. It was a company town built during the construction of the hydroelectric plant which holds the same name. The distinguished architecture of Isle-Maligne is reminiscent of the American East Coast of the beginning of the century. 

Stroll down the streets and observe the numerous traces marking the transformations and progress in the lives of the people of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. The size and force of Lake Saint-Jean’s major weir, Grande Décharge River, is astonishing.
Riverbend was a company town built during the construction of the pulp and paper mill. This district is among the jewels of the heritage built in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean. Come discover the architectural treasures that are the pride of the residents. The uniqueness of Riverbend’s awe-inspiring beauty charms visitors every time.

Contact information

Parc thématique l'Odyssée des Bâtisseurs
1671, avenue du Pont Nord
Alma (Québec) G8B 5G2

Phone: 418 668-2606
Fax: 418 668-5851 
Toll-free: 1 866 668-2606

Treasures Buried for over 500 Million Years in Lake Saint-Jean!

Quartz crystals were discovered in the region at the end of the 70s. A team of prospectors became interested in this phenomenon and studied the possibility to mine for quartz crystals. After intensive searches covering more than 6 km2 on a mountain slope, a quartz zone, fit for artisanal and tourist mining, was discovered in the heart of Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix. It is the family-run business Cristal du Lac that operates the site, which is unique in Canada. This enterprise aims at the long-term sustainability of the resource and promotes respect for the environment.

Mohs Hardness Scale

Quartz crystals can be found either raw or in the form of colorless, colored or smoky crystals. According to the Mohs scale, quartz crystals have a hardness of 7, diamonds, 10, and, granite, 5. In fact, it takes 10,000 years for a quartz crystal to grow 1 cm.

An Energy Stone

This stone serves to balance a person’s aura as an energy amplifier. Quartz crystals are associated with balance, protection, and imagination. Crystal facilitates interpersonal communication and is used, among others, in communication devices.

Discover the fascinating world of aluminium by visiting the Rio Tinto Alcan Alma works.

From June 25th to August 23rd, there can be up to two departures a day (12 PM and 2 PM), from Monday to Friday. Tours depart from Alma's visitor information centre.

Visits are free and places are limited. Advance booking is required (418 668-3611).

Important : Participants must be at least 12 years old. Pregnant women and people with a pacemaker will not be allowed into the facility.


Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean flag

The colours and the meaning of their positioning on the flag are not haphazard:

  • The green stands for the lush boreal forest, a major player in our environment and bearer of economic activity. It is placed on top to represent its ancient heritage, its notoriety.
  • Agriculture is at the bottom of the flag, in golden yellow, to show that agriculture supports and produces life.
  • The aluminium industry was already a major player and its future seemed promising. That is the reason behind the silvery colour at the centre of the flag. It also represents industry and commerce as a whole.
  • The colour red, for its part, represents the vitality, the living force of the regional population who, despite their ordeals, past and future, will always stand tall.

The last two colours, silver and bright red, are set in a cross pattern to remind us of our Christian past.

The flag, initially intended for the Saguenay area of the region, subsequently came to represent the entire Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region. The first to adopt a flag, Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean is still today the only region in Québec with its own banner.

Lac-Saint-Jean flag


  • Blueberries: us, the people of the Lac-Saint-Jean region ("Jeannois")
  • Yellow: the agriculture
  • White: the industry
  • Blue: the Pekuakami (Ilnu language)
  • Red: the great fire of 1870

And of course, the waves of our great lake.

There came a time when elected officials and many "Jeannois" began to think that the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean flag did not rightfully represent their region. They entrusted the graphic design of a new flag to our father Jean-Marie Fortin, a Roberval artist. The new design was adopted as the official emblem in 1971.

Public works of art walking tour in Alma

For the citizens of Alma, public works of art have always been an integral part of the landscape. These pieces of art bear witness to the area's history and are representative of its people.

Few people know that some pages of art history have been written here, in Alma. Both in 1965 and 1966, Alma hosted international sculpture symposiums that attracted a number of prominent artists. Thus, artists from everywhere across the province of Quebec came to Alma and implanted their creations throughout the city, changing its face forever. To this day, the "Almatois" scenery can testify to these events.

The interest of Alma for the arts is still alive and well. Indeed, the city remains faithful to its tradition of investing in arts and culture by acquiring paintings and sculptures that embellish the urban landscape.

The city of Alma now wishes to revive its public works of art by instigating a walking tour that regroups and showcases its entire collection. This project takes on the form of an open-air museum, which everyone can visit for free of charge. With this walking tour, passers-by will be able to experience, first-hand, Alma's priceless heritage.

With this unique artistic route, there is now a brand new way to enjoy the city of Alma!

Walking tour maps are available at the visitor information centres located in Alma and Hébertville.  


An Artistic Deployment throughout the Land

The duo of contemporary artists Alain Laroche and Jocelyn Maltais were inspired by the animal emblem of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and created a symbol that would spread throughout the land. This 140 km-long by 40 km-wide artistic concept comprises 60 sculptures, which represent the land-locked salmon, the "Ouananiche".The individual pieces are called "Tacon-Site" (Site of Young Salmon), and can be seen every 5 kilometres across the perimeter of this impressive emblem. Laroche and Maltais named this project "La Grande Marche des Tacons-Sites" (The Great Walk of the Sites of Young Salmon). The work as a whole forms a permanent installation stretching throughout Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean and stands as a unifying symbol of pride and solidarity for the people of the region. 

A Sense of Community

This imaginative project has involved the citizens and the community's resources in its creation process. The knowledge and expertise of the people, the historical and geographical singularities of the sites chosen, as well as the citizens' intellectual and material heritage, have all been taken into consideration during the creation of this work of art. The objective was to provide every community with the opportunity to affirm its belonging to a specific culture and to celebrate its traditions.        

The mission of the "Société d'histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean" (Lac-Saint-Jean Historical Society) is to promote our heritage and make it accessible to visitors. The organisation seeks to protect and make accessible to the public everything that once shaped the history of the region and its inhabitants.

The Objectives

  • Acquire, preserve, process, and make readily available different historical documents and other testimonials of the past, such as books, files, archive data, and artifacts, throughout the territory of the Lac-Saint-Jean-Est Regional County Municipality.
  • Raise awareness for historical preservation and promotion, by the publication of documents of various formats and through quality educational exhibitions for the people of Lac-Saint-Jean and its visitors.
  • Use history to teach and ignite children's and adults' interest for historical research by organising pedagogical activities and workshops, with the help of the genealogy service.
  • Contribute to the preservation of the SARP's heritage. The SARP works in partnership with the community to offer a consultation service, as well as tools, to help homeowners renovate their homes while preserving their authentic character.
  • Stimulate the development of complementary services that increase the self-financing ability of the organisation while staying true to its mission statement.
  • Generate and support community initiatives with regards to the safeguarding, restoration, and promotion of regional culture and heritage.

Contact information

Société d'histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean
1671, avenue du Pont Nord
Alma (Québec) G8B 5G2

Phone: 418 668-2606
Fax: 418 668-5851 
Toll-free: 1 866 668-2606

Découvrez cette destination

  • Heritage City Tour
  • Quartz Crystals
  • Rio Tinto Alma Industrial Visit
  • Regional Flags
  • Public works of art walking tour and «Tacon-Site»
  • Cultural tourism map
  • Société d'histoire du Lac-Saint-Jean
1 km d'Alma

Circuit patrimonial d’Alma

1671, avenue du Pont Nord 
Alma (Québec) G8B 5G2 
Téléphone : 418 668-2606
Sans frais : 1 866 668-2606 
+ Détails
1 km d'Alma

Langage Plus

555, rue Collard
Alma (Québec) G8B 5W1
Phone : 418 668-6635
+ Détails
1 km d'Alma

Industrial visit at Rio Tinto Alma’s factory

1682, avenue du Pont Nord
Alma (Québec) G8B 5G3
Phone: 418 668-3611
           1 877 668-3611
+ Détails
13 km d'Alma

Camp Musical du Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean

1589, route 169 
Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix (Québec) G8G 1A8 
Phone : 418 349-2085 
Toll-free : 1 888 349-2085 
+ Détails
6 km d'Alma

Centre de villégiature Dam-en-Terre ****

1385, chemin de la Marina 
Alma (Québec) G8B 5W1 
Phone : 418 668-3016 
Toll-free : 1 888 289-3016
+ Détails
39 km d'Alma

Cristal du Lac

795, route des Laurentides 
Métabetchouan-Lac-à-la-Croix (Québec) 
Phone: 418 213-0702 
+ Détails
21 km d'Alma

Jardin Scullion

1985, rang 7 Ouest 
L’Ascension (Québec) G0W 1Y0 
Phone : 418 347-3377 
Toll-free : 1 800 728-5546 
+ Détails
20 km d'Alma

Circuit patrimonial d’Hébertville

251, rue Turgeon (presbytère) 
Hébertville (Québec) G8N 1S2
Phone: 418 344-1803
+ Détails
35 km d'Alma

Le Poste de traite Métabetchouan de Desbiens

243, rue Hébert 
Desbiens (Québec) G0W 1N0 
Phone : 418 346-5341
+ Détails
1 km d'Alma

Parc thématique l’Odyssée des Bâtisseurs

1671, avenue du Pont Nord 
Alma (Québec) G8B 5G2 
Phone : 418 668-2606
Toll-free : 1 866 668-2606 
+ Détails
8 km d'Alma

Miel des Ruisseaux

2924, route du Lac Ouest 
Alma (Québec) G8B 5V2 
Phone: 418 668-7734
+ Détails