What to do

LITTLE RED SCHOOL HOUSE MUSEUM

Come and discover a place where time stands still. The Little Red School House museum, in the heart of the village of Old Harry on Grosse-Île, is part of CAMI’s Historical Heritage Complex. Located in a bright, welcoming former one-room schoolhouse, the museum is a reminder of simpler times, when students of all ages gathered to learn their daily lessons.

Mon-Fri 9:00am – 5:00pm

787, chemin Principal

While you are here, don’t forget to stock up on baked goodies at GRANDMA’S BAKERY 

The Little Red School House allows visitors to visualize the old classroom—the original chalkboard and hardwood floor have been preserved, as have two of the original desks. Over the years, the museum’s collection has grown and evolved to include old photographs, examples of oral history and culture, and artifacts that help depict bygone days.

Along with the tours offered by insightful and knowledgeable local guides, the museum’s collection is a window back in time, and offers a glimpse of the English-speaking community and of Magdalen Islanders’ way of life.

Don't miss

Don't miss

VETERAN’S MUSEUM

In any war, and certainly in the major global conflicts that riddled the twentieth century, small towns perhaps feel the human cost more sharply: the lives lost ripple through families, and through communities.

The Veterans’ Museum in the CAMI Heritage Complex is dedicated to the memory and historical role of English- and French-speaking Magdalen Islanders who served in World War I, World War II, and the Korean War.

Mon-Fri 9:00am – 5:00pm

787, chemin Principal

The museum collection includes interpretative panels, artifacts, letters, and medals, and notably features the diary of William Welsh, which he kept while he was in a prisoner-of-war camp in Hong Kong.

The intimacy of history is further exemplified by the contributions of museum tour guides, whose anecdotes and local lore, often gleaned through word of mouth from relatives and friends, lend a personal authenticity to the broader, universal sweep of history. Located beside the Veterans Museum, the Memorial Park honours the brave men and women from the Magdalen Islands who died during World War II.

“A People of the Sea” exhibit

As anyone who lives by the sea will tell you, coastal life is both fortunate and fraught. As long as humans have been coming to the Magdalen Islands archipelago, the sea has been a source of sustenance: initially, the Mi’kmaq came to the islands seasonally to hunt walrus, and the earliest settlers who came from England, Scotland, Ireland, the Channel Islands, and France lived largely off bountiful fish. The sea also provides transport, and many ancestors of today’s Magdalen Islanders sought refuge on the islands from famine or instability elsewhere.

Yet the waves, storms, and shoals can also be dangerous. Over a thousand vessels have wrecked in the sandy banks and shallow waters of the archipelago. In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries especially, heavier navigation, combined with strong currents and the absence of lighthouses, meant many vessels were lost in the area, each with its own legends and lore, which have become part of the Islands’ history over the years.

The former Anglican church of St.-Peters-by-the-Sea, in the village of Old Harry, was built with wood salvaged from shipwrecks. Given the building’s origins, it is fitting that today the deconsecrated church is home to a permanent exhibit that tells the stories of many of the Magdalen Islanders who have perished by the waters, including in shipwrecks.

The moving “A People of the Sea” exhibit features photographs, interpretative panels, and artifacts that bear witness to losses that have touched every family on the Islands at one time or another.

ST. PETERS BY THE SEA

Always open

866, chemin Principal

Old Harry Beach

The miles of pristine white sand and picturesque landscape of the world-renowned beach at Old Harry is sure to please every member of your family. Relax, soak up the sun, take a nice long walk, or, on a quiet day, go for a swim in the cool water.

Note that the currents can be extremely dangerous, and swimmers should exercise caution, and avoid the water on windy days.

If you walk all the way to the end, you might even catch sight of seals frolicking in the waves. There are many services available on the site—washrooms, showers, parking, and a boutique—and the nearby Grandma’s Bakery has plenty of sweet treats to tempt beachgoers to stay awhile.

Visitors are also asked to be mindful of restricted areas designated to protect sensitive ecosystems.

“A Wreck at Old Harry” exhibit

To live on an island is to live with the ocean—its bounty, its beauty, and its storms. The shores and shoals of the Magdalen Islands have seen hundreds of shipwrecks over the years, most in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, before the advent of modern navigation.

This interactive exhibit recounts the voyage of one of these ships, the Miracle, through the eyes of a fictional character, whose story echoes those of the ship’s real passengers. The historical and contextual information that shaped the narrative of the exhibit was inspired by the book To Find But a Grave: The Wreck of the Miracle, by local historian Byron Clark. Experience the exhibit at St.-Peters-by-the-Sea church.

ST. PETERS BY THE SEA

Always open

866, chemin Principal

“A Wreck at Old Harry” exhibit

To live on an island is to live with the ocean—its bounty, its beauty, and its storms. The shores and shoals of the Magdalen Islands have seen hundreds of shipwrecks over the years, most in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, before the advent of modern navigation. This interactive exhibit recounts the voyage of one of these ships, the Miracle, through the eyes of a fictional character, whose story echoes those of the ship’s real passengers.

The historical and contextual information that shaped the narrative of the exhibit was inspired by the book To Find But a Grave: The Wreck of the Miracle, by local historian Byron Clark. Experience the exhibit at St.-Peters-by-the-Sea church.

ST. PETERS BY THE SEA

Always open

866, chemin Principal

EAST CAPE NATIONAL WILD LIFE AREA

The East Point national wildlife reserve is the only ecosystem of its kind in Québec, and includes all the habitats that make up the Magdalen Islands: red sandstone outcrops, fixed and mobile dunes, beach grass, crowberry barrens, saline prairies, coniferous forests, marshes, and freshwater, brackish, and saltwater ponds.

The reserve is protected by Environment Canada: it is home to 150 species of birds and 10 species of mammals, and provides a crucial stop for migrating shorebirds and ducks, and the area is a breeding ground for the endangered piping plover and the horned grebe. Two nature trails, La Camarine and L’Échouerie, total 8.5 kilometres through the reserve, and can be explored alone or with a guide. There are also launch sites for sea kayaking, kitesurfing, and windsurfing.

Holy Trinity Church

I am text block. Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

This is custom heading element

Saint-Peter's-By-the-Sea Church

The Anglican church of the rural 19​ century style was built in
1916. An Original building, with the exception of the exterior redone in vinyl siding (the original exterior was wood shingles), consists of a wooden interior, pointed windows, and a small belfry. The roof was redone in asphalt shingles. The foundation is in good condition with some cracks. Half of the windows need replacing. Major modifications: at the end of the 1950s were that the pews were replaced, the ceiling lowered, and a stained-glass window added to the side; in the 80s sculpted doors were added; in the 90s the exterior was redone in vinyl siding.
The church was built in large part with wood salvaged from a shipwreck in 1915. At the request of the minister at the time, parishioners donated the salvaged wood to build the church. The builders were Symond Taker and Colin Turnbull. The interior was built by Wilson Chenell. The altar, altar cross, and harmonium were donated by the Reverend Reeves before he parted for the war. The original communion rail has disappeared. It came from Trois-Rivières. The cemetery is well maintained. All of the pioneers of Old Harry are buried there.
In 1913, with the growth of the tiny population of Old Harry, the Diocesan Board of Missions granted $300 for the construction of a church. In 1914, the people of the village collected another $100 during a fundraising picnic. They continued to attend services in Grosse-Île, except in very bad weather. Services would then be held in a home in Old Harry or in the schoolhouse.
In 1914, the Reverend Norman R. Ward purchased a plot of land from Daniel Dunn. It was consecrated that same year for the construction of a church and for the burial of the dead. An infant was buried in Old Harry in 1915 before the church had been constructed. The child’s tombstone read: “A little child shall lead them.” The church was built between 1915 and 1916 and the first service was held on the first Sunday of Advent in December 1916, even though the interior of the church was not yet complete. The Anglican Mission of the Magdalen Islands was founded in 1850 by the Right Reverend Jacob Mountain. The record of his voyage to the islands illustrates well the conditions Magdalen Islanders were living at the time.
Something is wrong.
Instagram token error.
Load More