Lap of Québec
An 1850km circular tour of the Province of Québec on 100-series highways.
The Lap was devised to celebrate ten years of ownership of a 1992 Toyota Levin GT-Apex, imported from Japan to Canada in 2008. The 26-year old sport compact completed the Lap in 36 hours including an overnight camp in Chibougamau.
The Lap encompasses the broadest circular route on 100-series highways within the Province of Québec (without ferry crossings), passing through Montréal, Sherbrooke, Québec, Lac St-Jean, Chibougamau and Gatineau.
The route crosses two world-record-holding bridges, skirts the battleground where French North America was lost, and traverses national parks and wildlife reserves with plenty of remote boreal forest in between.
Photos and videos captured during the Lap.
The Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) car that inspired the Lap
Until 2009, it was possible to import 15+ year old right-hand drive cars into Québec. The Levin arrived in 2008, likely as a crate-filler among more desirable early-90s Skylines and Imprezas.
August 2018 marks a decade of ownership of a car that was never expected to survive so long, and for which sourcing parts is often all but impossible. The Lap was a celebration and testament to the reliability of the Toyota, which still provided a highly enjoyable and comfortable drive!
|Platform:||AE101 (Corolla), front-wheel drive|
|Engine:||4A-GE "Silvertop", 1.6L twin cam 20 valve with VVT and 7,800rpm redline|
|Output (nominal):||158hp at 7,400rpm | 119ft-lb torque at 5,200rpm|
There's much to see along the route if one takes the time!
The Victoria Bridge was erected between 1854 and 1859. When completed, it was the longest bridge in the world. The stone piers from 1860, slightly altered in 1897, still testify to the excellent original engineering. — Wikipedia
Sherbrooke is the sixth largest city in the province of Quebec, and, in proportion to its population, has the largest concentration of students in Quebec. — Wikipedia
The Québec Bridge remains the longest cantilever bridge span in the world since its completion in 1919. The project took over 30 years to complete, including two failures, at the cost of 88 lives. — Wikipedia
The scene of the pivotal 1759 battle between the French and British which subsequently resulted in the conquest of New France by Britain. — Wikipedia
The second largest city in the province as well as its capital. Founded in 1608, it is one of the oldest cities in North America. The ramparts surrounding Old Québec are the only fortified city walls remaining in the Americas north of Mexico. — Wikipedia
Host to one of the most beautiful glacial valleys in Québec where the Jacques Cartier River has sliced a 550-metre-deep channel into the plateau. — Sépaq
Relatively large lake with surrounding region known for blueberries and offering a variety of tourist activities. — Destination Lac St-Jean
Authentic company town of the 1920s, originally powered by the Ouiatchouan Falls, higher than Niagara Falls. The village is maintained as a full-featured tourist destination. — Val-Jalbert
The majority of the route is within the Ashuapmushuan Wildlife Reserve which offers a variety of outdoor activities including hunting, fishing and canoe-camping. — Sépaq
A few kilometers north of the junction of Routes 113 and 167 lies the town of Chibougamau at the northernmost point on the Lap which is also the approximate halfway point from Montréal. There are a variety of restaurants, grocery stores, hotels and campsites.
Encompassing nearly 15,000km2, Senneterre has the distinction of being the largest town by land area in Québec. Despite a population of only 3,000, it has thrice-weekly train service to Montréal. — Via Rail
The majority of the route is within the Vérendrye Wildlife Reserve which includes countless lakes and reservoirs and offers a variety of outdoors activities. — Sépaq
The picturesque village of Wakefield features a covered bridge over the Gatineau River as well as the highest bungee jump in Canada in neighbouring Chelsea. — Destination Wakefield
Gatineau is the fourth largest city in Québec and located across the river from Ottawa, the capital of Canada. The government-run Casino du Lac-Leamy is located just off Route 105. — Casino Lac-Leamy
The Canadian Museum of History explores Canada's 20,000 years of human history and, with roots stretching back to 1856, is one of North America's oldest cultural institution. Moreover it offers beautiful views of Parliament Hill across the Ottawa River. — Canadian Museum of History
Home to the largest log structure ever built, the world-famous Château Montebello resort, the village is a picturesque stop to stretch one's legs. — Fairmont Château Montebello
Route 117 traverses Laval, the third largest municipality in Québec, crossing the Lachapelle Bridge to Montréal of which it is a suburb.
The Lap completes along Le Mille Carré where, at its peak (1850-1930), the residents included the owners and operators of the majority of Canadian rail, shipping, timber, mining, fur and banking industries. From about 1870 to 1900, 70% of all wealth in Canada was held by this small group of approximately fifty men. — Wikipedia
Note that Route 138, which traverses 1420kms, has its western terminus featured in New Orleans, No Interstates and its eastern terminus featured in the Trans-Labrador road trip, both of which are linked below.