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Trip Report DRUMMONDVILLE: an autoroute 20 idea for a Montreal to Quebec City pitstop

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Even though I don’t live too far away in Montreal, Drummondville had not called to me. Most people in Montreal think of the town as an exit or train stop between Montreal and Quebec City and no more. No one had ever said anything that tempted me to go and in fact I probably may never have gone had I not started seeing someone in the 95% French-speaking town of 60,000 – 70,000 souls.

Anyhow, all Montreal- Quebec City VIA Rail trains stop in Drummondville, so it ended up taking me exactly 1 hour to arrive at the terminus. While the pretty generic “suburbs” are extensive (people had described the city to me as one giant suburb) it’s true, there actually *is* a center and thankfully the VIA Rail station (also bus station) is right close to the heart.

Some town centers have a lengthy street or a few streets where the buzz of activity is located. I’d describe this core of downtown Drummondville rather as perhaps a 3-block by 3-block square (Lindsay, Brock and Heriot streets right near the train station) where one sees a greater congregation of people. Of historic note, the Eglise Saint Fred with its lovely steeple and interior is found here as well as the Anglican St. George church (with its cemetery of English names, a reminder of the town’s English heritage) built in 1855; both are quite lovely. Yesterday and today, there was a book fair going on at a central green and folks were sitting out chatting at some cafés surrounding the central square (which had an small amphitheatre for entertainment). A few handsome Victorian era homes, a number of restaurants that my friend liked were located close to this center, as well as the nearby Ludovic bakery which carried quality breads & pastries. Parc Woodyatt nearby has a small green expanse that offers views of the rapids of Rivière Saint-François; picnickers and football throwers were out admiring the congregation of ducks the day I went.

In summary, downtown Drummondville seemed a quiet and unassuming place, possibly completely devoid of tourists despite being about halfway between the major tourist draws of Montreal and Quebec on the major autoroute. While not the most charming downtown of Quebec towns, it's not devoid of charm either. There’s not much to see beyond the central downtown square and park I mentioned (the rest is mostly modern & residential). My thought is that if you’re driving on the Autoroute 20 between Montreal and Quebec and your stomach is growling, with expectations set appropriately I certainly would not hesitate to recommend making a lunch stop in the pleasant central Drummondville core I mentioned (even though the center is not RIGHT off the autoroute).

Happy travels! Daniel

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