At Canopée Lit, near Sacré-Coeur on the Saguenay Fjord north of Tadoussac, things are up in the air.
As we travelled the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River near the whale-watching mecca of Tadoussac, I asked our friend at the tourism office to suggest some interesting places to stay in the area. One of her suggestions read simply, “Treehouse with bathroom”.
How could we pass that up? So after taking the ferry across the Saguenay River we took a left and headed up the fjord. Not far past Sacré-Coeur we pulled in to the basecamp of Canopée Lit to experience “Cabins Perched In The Forest”.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Frankly, I was tired from the road and my cell was almost dead. I wanted a shower, some decent wi-fi and a little Me Time. I was hoping for more Chateau Frontenac than left coast eco-chic. Turns out Canopée Lit has both.
We checked in at the basecamp office with cheerful young people who were obviously familiar with (and properly dressed for) working in the bush and enjoying every minute of it. We were briefed on the setup. Flashlights are provided for those who don’t carry their own!
I should have accepted the golf cart valet service but instead elected to schlep all my gear in on foot.
Once we arrived at the site I was very pleasantly surprised (Yes! There is electricity). All the basics of a good life are there including running, hot and cold water, a shower, towels etc. A fully equipped mini kitchen included cutlery, a hot plate, coffee maker, kettle, coffee, tea and hot chocolate. This is more than a “Glamping” alternative to the old pup tent. It’s more like Tiny House Culture with pampering. Small touches were impressive: there were wine glasses for white AND red wine, two sizes of cups for coffee AND tea. Not a chip or dent to be found. I will call the design esthetic #RepurposedWood.
I started to relax and contemplate the beautiful vista of the Saguenay Fjord through the treetops of large birch and spruce. I had found my daily redoubt.
We retired to the cozy loft with a double bed. Twins on the main floor did double duty as sofas. Bedding was included. A light rain lulled us to sleep as it danced on the metal roof.
Breakfast was delightful. It was delivered in complete silence by a guy in a golf cart and left outside the door in an indestructible metal lunch box. When we opened it we found a cloth hiding warm french bread, scones, homemade jams and honey, plus granola and yogourt served in mason jars.
It was the attention to detail that charmed us. All very well thought out. No doubt we owe this attention to the owners’ French roots.
The story of how a couple from France ended up here in Canada can be found on the Canopée Lit website.
Jeremie was vacationing with his mother in Canada. They were staying in Tadoussac at a little hotel. His mother is a hotelier back in France.
He happened upon what was then a bistro and is now the main basecamp of Canopée Lit… began yakking with bistro owners… was going to go back to his hotel but they said “no, stay here”, so he stayed. They talked through the night. He ended up staying a couple of nights, experiencing incredible red sky sunsets like nothing he’d ever seen. Nearby land was “Foret a vendre” (Forest for sale), so within three days he had fallen in love with the place and the rest, as they say, his history.
Many of the clients here are French from France but the Quebecois LOVE les boules (“le glamping”). The boules bubbles have air pumped into them constantly to keep them filled like a balloon. These are seasonal only. Fantastic for stargazing… just lie back in your comfortable bed and watch the stars. The same with the one-room cabins. They have dome windows above the beds.
Basecamp offers wi-fi, laundry facilities and a lunch room open most of the day where you can get coffee and relax.
The nearby Saguenay River Fjord offers beluga whale watching, kayaking and spectacular views for photography.
Roadstories was a guest of Quebec Maritime.