The pilots village
On the south shore of Île d’Orléans, Saint-Jean is recognized as one of the most beautiful villages in Quebec, notably due to its row of neoclassical houses from the mid-19th century. About 940 inhabitants share an area of 43 km2, including the Royal Road which runs along the river for 15 km. The Mauvide-Genest Manor and the stone church with its marine cemetery were built in 1734 and are classified heritage buildings, as are some ancestral homes.
Saint-Jean, whose motto is “The land and the sea have shaped it”, is today a mainly agricultural territory where dairy farms coexist with fruit and vegetable crops, including potatoes and strawberry. Along its flats, a string of houses and chalets reminds that Saint-Jean was once a Mecca for vacationing in the region. The famous Orleans beach attracted vacationers who came to enjoy the river. The land and the river have always been the engines of the local economy and the soul of Saint-Jean.