Throughout Quebec, new life is being breathed into religious sites that have found innovative ways to reinvent themselves. To preserve and revitalize this rich heritage, many citizens, community groups, towns and entrepreneurs have used remarkable creativity and innovation to transform these buildings, all while keeping their legacy alive. The Quebec Religious and Spiritual Tourism Association invites you to explore some of the province’s converted heritage buildings and learn more about their new purposes.
Flavours, hospitality and adventure in Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean
While the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region is known for its serene nature, its architectural heritage buildings, some of which have been repurposed, are also noteworthy. In Alma, the former Sainte-Marie-de-l’Isle-Maligne church, which already houses the charming Saint-Crème ice cream shop, will also become the home of L’Autel-Relais in the summer of 2023, a one-of-a-kind hotel with a shared space where you can admire the Stations of the Cross and the preserved stained-glass windows of this 1938 building. For active visitors, the Beta Crux centre, located in Saguenay’s former Christ-Roi church, offers bouldering walls, a rope climbing structure and a beautiful relaxation area highlighting the building’s height and natural light.
Museum and co-working space in Charlevoix
A unique concept, Maison Mère Baie-Saint-Paul is a true heritage gem that was been converted into a creative and innovative space in 2017. Since then, this former convent has housed organizations with diverse missions harmoniously coexisting and bringing this history-filled building to life. The transformation has resulted in the creation of a co-working space, a museum area called Parcours muséal and more. There, you can learn more about the Little Franciscans of Mary congregation through five immersive zones that highlight the important legacy of these nuns to the Charlevoix community.
Literature and spiritual well-being in Québec City
Québec City is home to many places steeped in spirituality and history which have been converted but still retain their timeless aura and bear witness to the capital’s rich past. The Maison de la Littérature, located in the former Wesley Temple in the heart of Old Québec City, is one of them. The building, which now houses a library as well as a meeting and creative space, has undergone an impressive transformation and its architectural heritage, including its ogive-shaped windows, is still beautifully showcased.
Photo credits: Parcours muséal, Maison Mère Baie-Saint-Paul / Le Monastère des Augustines, André-Olivier Lyra