Shop for vibrant renderings of the Charlevoix region in Baie-Saint-Paul, an artist’s colony of sorts with well over a dozen art galleries. One of the quaintest is the Maison René-Richard (entrance $4; 418-435-5571), the perfectly preserved cottage of the region’s best-known artist, packed with oil paintings of Canada’s frozen frontier. Two blocks away, Galerie Beauchamp stocks a seemingly limitless catalogue of canvases, including vertical landscapes in electric colors by Yvon St-Aubin. The neighboring Galerie Iris shows a smaller selection of works, most notably some exquisitely colored oil paintings by Guy Paquet. Once you’ve scored your new piece, hit the road back to Quebec City, stopping at Érablière Sucre d'art (8516, avenue Royale, Château-Richer; 418-824-5626), an authentic cabane au sucre (“sugar shack”). Pick up maple butter, maple mustard, and gallons of syrup at a fraction of the Greenmarket price, or just do as locals have been taught and pour hot syrup onto snow to make instant taffy.
5. Oddball Day
Published on Dec 12, 2007 as a web exclusive.