Saguenay Lac Saint-Jean region, Canada

This vast region is named after the river Saguenay and the great lake, Lac Saint-Jean, which it links to the St. Lawrence river. The river winds through a majestic fjord whose breathtaking rocky walls hold their own special fascination. To the north extends a vast wilderness of forests and lakes simply brimming with adventure. No roads go north from the area into the wilderness; the last roads north end just a short distance from the city—still within the Lac St-Jean area. There are no human settlements due north of Saguenay all the way to the Canadian Arctic islands, except for a few isolated Cree and Inuit villages.

The initial settlement of the Saguenay Lac-Saint-Jean region occurred between 1838 and 1911. From a total of 28,656 settlers who moved there during that time, 75 percent originated from the neighbouring Charlevoix region. The settling of the Charlevoix region itself started in 1675 when 599 founders of mostly French descent moved to this region from the Quebec City area. Today, most of the 275,000 local residents live in Saguenay and riverside towns that are also home to a lively cultural scene.

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