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Matane

Trip Planner Canada  /  Quebec  /  Gaspesie Region  /  Matane
(4/5 based on 160+ reviews for top 10 attractions)
Things to do: parks, wildlife areas, sightseeing
Matane is a town on the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, Canada, on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River at the mouth of the Matane River. The town is the seat for the La Matanie Regional County Municipality.In addition to Matane itself, the town's territory also includes the communities of Petit-Matane and Saint-Luc-de-Matane.There is a ferry service which crosses the river to Baie-Comeau and Godbout on the north shore as well as a rail ferry service to Baie-Comeau and Sept-Îles.EtymologyThe name Matane was first assigned to the river by Samuel de Champlain as "Mantanne" in 1603. Its meaning is open to different interpretations, with the most common one being that it comes from the Mi'kmaq word mtctan meaning "beaver pond", since the region had an abundant beaver population. It could also come a Maliseet word for "spinal cord", referring to the course of the Matane River; or from the word Mattawa/Matawin, meaning "meeting of the waters". Finally, it could be an abbreviation of the word matandipives, meaning "shipwreck".HistoryIn 1603, Samuel de Champlain visited the area and considered the location as "pleasant enough". In 1616 merchants known as the Rochelais from La Rochelle were the first Europeans to spend the winter. Matane was used as a trading post for the Rochelais who were exchanging European goods for furs with the Mi'kmaq people. In 1672, the land on both sides of the Matane River was granted as a seignory to Mathieu D'Amours, which led to the first settlements shortly after. The Mi'kmaq people lived there until 1845.
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