Authentic "Company Town" of the 1920s
Discover what makes Val-Jalbert a Canadian signature experience by traveling in the 1920s in this unique open-air museum, showcasing an authentic company village with over forty original buildings.
Jump aboard the Balade (trolleybus) where you’ll hear an array of true stories and revealing anecdotes about the activities of the workers, the region’s history and daily life in the village. The experienced team of actors portraying real townspeople from Val-Jalbert history will enlighten, entertain and move you. You can even experience citizenship yourself by sleeping in one of the beautifully renovated original houses at the heart of the village.
The highlight of the tour remains the impressive Ouiatchouan Falls, located by the pulp mill, which are higher than Niagara Falls at an impressive 236 feet. Five viewpoints and many stairs and trails surrounding the Ouiatchouan Falls allow visitors to admire the roaring Falls. Following the guided tour, you can ride the cable car to the summit of the mountain and discover the breathtaking panorama of Lake St-John.
There’s no time to get bored on this old trolleybus, where you’ll hear an array of true stories and revealing anecdotes about the activities of the workers, the region’s history and daily life in the village. The tour includes presentations featuring typical characters: Val-Jalbert’s mayor, Superintendant Lapointe, Mr. and Mrs. Thibeault from the plateau, the school-convent nuns, the village priest, the workers and many more. The highlight of the tour remains the impressive Ouiatchouan Falls located near the pulp mill. A practiced eye might even see the Province of Québec!
Visitors can explore the village at their own pace on the picturesque trails. Whether the trails follow the river, climb up to the plateau or cross the village, they will lead you naturally toward the different landmarks of the site, where costumed characters will help you discover the heritage buildings and teach you about the village’s history and the daily life of its inhabitants.
Take your time and admire the wonders of nature along the canyon trail: the undergrowth, the mini-canyon dug by the river, the silver birch surrounding the church’s foundations… Less than a kilometre long, this trail can be accessed at the exit of the visitor centre and is perfect for any hiker, regardless of their level of ability.
Almost a hundred years ago, Val-Jalbert was a technological flagship. Twenty-five years before the rest of Québec, the village’s residents enjoyed electricity and running water. Dozens of workers bustled about in the barking hall and boiler room and around the mill’s gigantic presses. Wood pulp was produced and sent to the USA to be transformed into paper. The mill is now became an interpretive centre on the technology of that time period.