Grosse Ile
Historic Sites • Islands
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This island historically served as a quarantine station for 19th-century European immigrants, and is presently a museum documenting their plight.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
73 reviews
Excellent
58
Very good
11
Average
2
Poor
0
Terrible
2

diane p
49938360 contributions
Bought a cruise with croisiere Lachance, did not know what to expect... So so incredible, 5 hours of fully organised visits back in time with costumed characters and great guides who know their history, we loved it
Written August 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

michaelvanturnhout
Dublin, Ireland151 contributions
This is an attraction with a difference. You can only get here via a boat trip, which includes access to the island, which is run by Parks Canada. The boat trip is by Croisières Lachance. We were there in September, and the little harbour at Berhier sur Mer was quite windy. There was on little shop with some nice souvenirs for sale (as well as the usual junk). The boat departed bang on time and was comfortable enough, with some helpful explanation of the main points of interest while en route.

On the island the group was divided in subgroups. We first went into the disinfection building which was constructed at the end of the 19th Century and through which all immigrants who were aboard a ship with a sick person among them had to pass.

We also went to the cemetery and Irish cross. This dates from the time of the famine, when the small quarantine station opened in 1832 (cholera epidemic) was overwhelmed and over 5,000 people died on the island alone.

Other areas we visited were the "hotels". The people mentioned at the start, who were not sick but someone on their ship was, were given a better treatment from the early twentieth century with three hotels, first, second and third class. Nowadays you would not want to stay in the first class hotel.

There is also a village, from the 1870's, to accommodate staff. And on the eastern part of the island the remains of a "fever shed" (to house Irish immigrants during the famine), later converted into a hospital.

It is clearly not an uplifting story, but very interesting and a different type of experience. Well worth it.
Written October 1, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Martine Gagné
Quebec City, Canada185 contributions
Family
It was our fourth visit to Grosse Ile. Our last visit was over 10 years ago and we were amazed with the additional exhibits. They now offer tours based on 3 different themes which is awesome: Irish Immigrants, Science or Life on the Island. You see all the same sites but receive different informative briefings based on your interests. This is a perfect place to bring your family and also visitors to Canada. It is an important part of our heritage! You will not be desapppointed. It is a 7 hour tour including boat ride so plan for it. Also pack a lunch or buy lunch boxes with the cruise company as there is no restaurants on the Island. We bought lunch boxes for 15$ and they were great!
Written August 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Nathalie Ferland
Montreal, Canada21 contributions
Couples
I went there because my Irish ancestor past there when they came to Canada. I loved our guide Gabrielle. It is a great place to go if you like history. I simply loved my visite.
Written July 3, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Karen M
Oshawa, Ontario, Canada20 contributions
Great tour via Croisieres Lachance. When we went only the Doctor who worked at the Quarantine Inspection Station was there but he made the experience so amusing and informative. Apparently in high season there are more people to represent the different occupations.Didn't know the research station history - check it out.
Written June 15, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

margot223
North Vancouver, Canada5 contributions
I am of Irish Heritage and I have wanted to visit Grosses Ile for years! I finally was able to visit in June. It was an outstanding, memorable day and we were lucky to have a wonderful guide by the name of Amelie. She was attentive, knowledgeable and and so personable. She made the trip! I highly recommend this trip for everyone - whether of Irish Heritage or not! A most visit!
Written June 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

marcusCalgary_Canada
London, Canada56 contributions
Friends
I must admit I knew very little about Grosse Ile until I visited Ireland in July. It was highlighted in a tour I took of a 'famine ship', which sparked my curiosity to find out more about Grosse Ile when I returned to Canada. I was able to arrange my visit to Quebec City in order to see Grosse Ile just before it closed for the season on Thanksgiving weekend. There were only four visitors in the English-speaking group, which made for a more personal tour. The experience of the Irish emigrants and the large number of deaths at the Grosse Ile quarantine facility was dreadful to say the least, and this sad chapter of Canadian history is not as well-known as it should be. Kudos to Gabriel, who was an excellent guide, and the other Parks Canada staff, some of whom were role-playing and added some touches of humour.
Written October 10, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Miles S
8 contributions
Family
I’ve been there twice and it was historical both times. I can’t imagine that people went troo all of that.... It was a bad Time for the Irish people..God bless you all.
Written October 2, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Mar J
Bancroft, Canada371 contributions
Couples
I have to admit that when my husband first mentioned going to Grosse Ile--a quarantine station in the 1800s, I was less than enthusiastic. However I loved my time here! This island attempted to keep deadly infectious diseases from entering the 'new world' for 105 years. Initially medical science didn't even understand the disease process. However, over the years several medical breakthroughs were made here.

The island lays a short distance east of Quebec City in the St. Lawrence River. Ferry ride is approx 30-45 minutes each way. There is a shuttle that takes visitors to various sites on the island with stops for in-character narratives. There is a hike up to the monuments (5000 Irish died in 1847 attempting to survive the potato famine). There is an interactive experience wherein visitors have a medical 'exam'. These three attractions take about 4 hours. Narration is in English and French. No restaurant on island but some snacks are available...as well as on the ferry which also has a small selection of sandwiches, etc.

Who said learning can't be fun?
Written August 9, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Giannifox
Gatineau, Canada197 contributions
Friends
I left for Grosse-Ile from the Montmagny area, and it was a lovely half-hour cruise to get there. Once you've arrived, you can choose from three short tours: the west side with the Memorial Cross, a train ride through the Old Village and to the old hospital, or the reception and disinfection ward. I did all three, and they all have their charms. For example, in the disinfection ward, two people dressed as a 19th-century doctor and nurse demonstrated how they checked the new arrivals for contagious diseases, and how they cleaned and disinfected the arrivals' clothes and belongings. There's also the school teacher, the parish priest, and an Irish guest of the first-class hotel on the island.
So if you are a big history buff, this is a must.
(P.S. No restaurants on the island; bring your own lunch.)
Written July 18, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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