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National Parks

National parks have existed in Canada since the 1880s, when the construction of the trans-continental railway through the pristine wilderness of the Rocky Mountains awakened an awareness of the need to protect natural spaces, exceptional landscapes and assure public ownership of natural phenomena like the Banff Hot Springs.

Black and white photograph of the Gîte du Mont-Albert in 1950. The inn is an imposing rectangular building of 3 stories in the heart of a coniferous forest. The pronounced angle of the double slope roof gives it an architectural style that is somewhere between that of a Swiss chalet and a manor house.

 The Gîte du Mont-Albert was the first mountain lodge in the Quebec parks system, offering comfortable rooms in a remarkable setting at the base of Mont-Albert in the Gaspésie Provincial Park.


National parks are important actors in the tourism economy – but their objectives are not solely to attract visitors. Their role and mandate has evolved to encompass the protection of biodiversity and wildlife corridors.

Black and white photograph of the gannet population and their chicks. More than a thousand birds occupy the cliffside of Bonaventure Island.

The nesting site of the gannets on Bonaventure Island is one of the most important anywhere in the world.


The Gaspé region has four national parks, one administered by the Canadian government (Forillon National Park) and three operated by the government of Québec (Parc national de la Gaspésie, Parc national l’Île Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Percé and Parc Miguasha).

Map representing priority areas for tourism development in the regions of the Bas-Saint-Laurent, the Gaspé Peninsula and the Maritimes. The development zones are divided by a blue line. There is the Témiscouata, Trois-Pistoles, Le Bic, the coast between Métis-sur-Mer and Grande-Vallée, Les Chic-Chocs, Presqu'île and Forillon, Percé and the southern section formed of Saint-Omer and Carleton.

This map in the atlas produced for the Bureau d’aménagement de l’est du Québec (BAEQ) shows the various opportunities for tourism development in the region.


The Parc de la Gaspésie was the third park to be created by the Province of Québec in 1937 (after the Parc de la Montagne Tremblante, now the Parc national du Mont-Tremblant and the Parc des Laurentides, now the Parc national des Grands-Jardins). The creation of the park was inspired by the wish to protect a herd of endangered caribou and in recognition of the unique ecosystems and plants found on the summits of Mont Albert and the McGerrigle mountains.

Black and white photograph of a rocky cliff of impressive height. At the top of it is the tiny silhouette of a man. In the background the vast sweep of the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The dramatic landscapes of Forillon at the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula is what inspired the first visitors to explore its natural beauty.