Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Canada
Reload this Page >

Saint Jean sur Richelieu by Public Transit from Montreal

Saint Jean sur Richelieu by Public Transit from Montreal

Old Aug 15th, 2020, 12:16 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,126
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Saint Jean sur Richelieu by Public Transit from Montreal

HI all,

I love seeing some place I've never seen before, it's one of my favourite things in life. Like most people, my original summer plans evaporated into thin air. With Canada having quarantine laws in place for most destinations and my own feeling that getting on a packed airplane for might not be the greatest idea, I knew that travel would be near my home of Montreal in Ontario and Quebec. Alas, the adaptation to online teaching has been intense, so I felt I didn't even have time for a long weekend away.

So, knowing I was limited, a day trip it turned out to be. I knew from a friend that there are commuter buses that run to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu with fair regularity (roughly hourly during the day with an express bus every 2 hours as it turns out), a community about halfway between Montreal and the US border. I had gotten a glimpse of Saint Jean from the Amtrak train that runs from Montreal to New York City and thought it looked sort of charming, but the area by the tracks I find never give a full sense of a place. Long and short, the town had piqued my curiosity but never enough that I said to myself, let's do this...as is often the case, we tend to prioritize things further afield. So, I biked out to the bus station in Montreal (not the main bus station by the way on Berri) at 1000 de la Gauchetiere, paid the $10.75 on board to the bus driver, with plenty of room for distancing since there were only 4 passengers on a large Greyhound-size bus (maybe 10 passengers on the return?). Masks are law here on public transit and indoors. Given that I was on the express bus, in less than 40 minutes, I arrived in Saint Jean.

The bus station in Saint Jean is in an industrial area, but is a hub for Saint Jean sur Richelieu city buses, which are running for free until the end of August due to CoVid. I caught the blue line, which in addition to the yellow line, runs from the intercity bus terminal to Vieux Saint Jean, a walkable historic district of the small city; the ride passed by a lovely stone College (Cegep Saint Jean I think it's called) before reaching Vieux Saint Jean. This historic area is small (about 6 blocks by 3 blocks roughly from what I could tell), but I found it charming, especially appreciating that the city had placed tables spaced nicely outdoors for people to sit in a park next to the Richelieu River equipped with disinfectant and wasp-catchers, where people could bring meals purchased from Vieux St. Jean restaurant establishments, as I similarly did. This park had some mist-producers to cool down and was lovingly tended with plants; I was charmed! The architecture reminded me of some of the older communities in upstate New York or New England; I doubt the architecture is such that visitors from afar will declare the town a 'must see' but I nevertheless found the historic side of things appealing and I was glad that I had chosen to visit for the day. I really enjoyed also seeing views overlooking the Richelieu River on the Pont Gouin, particularly the views of the Saint Athanase church across the river from Vieux Saint Jean, in an area known as Vieux Iberville. I would recommend as well a visit to the Upper Richelieu Museum, which looks at the history of the region. I had no idea that Saint Jean was known for its ceramics in the 19th century and Singer sewing machines in the 20th.

All in all I found my half-day in Saint Jean lovely and just what the doctor ordered.

Best wishes, Daniel
Daniel_Williams is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2020, 12:24 PM
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,126
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts

Vieux Saint Jean

Vieux Iberville

Vieux Saint Jean
Daniel_Williams is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2020, 08:01 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 67,305
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
The town looks lovely. Nice to see a real TR about a nice excursion and not an argument about how the covid is being handled/mishandled.
janisj is offline  
Old Aug 16th, 2020, 08:16 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1,004
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Daniel, I always enjoy your posts and TRs. Thanks for this one close to your home.
BowenLinda is offline  
Old Aug 16th, 2020, 02:17 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,126
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks for reading BowenLinda and janisj!

Daniel_Williams is offline  
Old Aug 19th, 2020, 04:01 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 9,267
Likes: 0
Received 21 Likes on 2 Posts
Thanks Daniel. Nice to read something new. Since last autumn, we are all missing Québec.
maitaitom is offline  
Old Aug 20th, 2020, 07:05 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,126
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thanks maitaitom.

I sometimes forget it but we’re pretty lucky in the Montreal area with some lovely areas surrounding to visit, with an assortment of options that have a unique history and character. Close as they are, even going from multicultural Montreal to (94% French as mother tongue) Saint Jean, where they were playing popular Québécois tunes at the park overlooking the river, felt like an interesting change. I’m glad you like my home province and thanks again for your recent Montreal/Quebec City trip report. It’s always interesting to read perceptions from elsewhere.

Best wishes, Daniel
Daniel_Williams is offline  
Old Sep 6th, 2020, 06:15 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,531
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Saint Jean sur Richelieu was the very first town we visited in Canada many years ago. I've always liked this little city. Fabulous bicycling along the canal and in the surrounding countryside, and a nice hotel (Auberge Harris) geared towards bicyclists. We miss not being able to visit Quebec!
zootsi is offline  
Old Sep 7th, 2020, 05:35 AM
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 3,126
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Hi Zootsi,

I've biked in years past as far as Chambly (took me a little over 2 hours 15 minutes to get there) on the south shore of Montreal and I remember seeing signs on the bike path to Saint Jean, so I knew Saint Jean was well-connected by Quebec's Route Verte bike path network. I'd like to do that bike ride along the canal between Chambly and Saint Jean some time. I miss being able to see family and friends in the States, elsewhere world and even other parts of Canada such as Atlantic Canada.

Thanks for reading and best wishes,

Daniel Williams
Daniel_Williams is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
PalenQ
Europe
4
Aug 3rd, 2010 02:16 PM
Gina
United States
6
May 24th, 2002 01:20 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information