How to get to Jonquiere, Quebec
April 22, 2005 1:53 PM   Subscribe

My partner is going on a Summer Language Bursary program to a Cegep in Jonquiere, Quebec (Canada), but we can't find an airport that flies there! We found an airport code for the city (XJQ), but no airline seems to fly there. Can you help us find a way to travel from Lethbridge, AB to Jonquiere, QC. We are willing to depart from Calgary if need be.
posted by arcticwoman to Travel & Transportation around Saguenay, QC (12 answers total)
This document has a section on arriving at the college on page 10. It indicates that you need to fly into Saguenay Airport, not the on in Jonquiere, which will most likely be a regional flight from Montreal. I found this with a web search, so you'll want to contact them and confirm, most likely.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:10 PM on April 22, 2005

I have a feeling you might have to fly in to Quebec City and then drive or bus. It shouldn't be more than a few hours. Maybe about the same as Lethbridge - Calgary.
posted by sauril at 2:11 PM on April 22, 2005

An alternative to flying is the train. It's a long ride (8 hrs 56 mins) according to the via rail website. They have a Montreal to Jonquiere train. I'm sure you could find a flight to Montreal. The train seems to be fairly cheap (<90$). I don't mind the train for long distance. At least you can get up and walk around, even hit the bar cart if that's your thing.
posted by cm at 2:22 PM on April 22, 2005

VIA Rail operates train service from Montreal to Jonquiere for around $45 (for a student fare). For the train schedule in PDF, click here.
posted by ori at 2:25 PM on April 22, 2005

You probably will need to fly out of Calgary (or fly to Calgary before connecting to cross-Canada flight). There are very few flights to very few destinations out of Lethbridge. In my SLBP experience, it's probably easier (and cheaper) to get the train to your final small-city Quebec destination as opposed to trying to fly there.

It's not too difficult to get from the airport to the train station (there's a low-cost shuttle) but going to Jonquiere via Montreal also will allow your partner to spend a couple of days in Montreal before continuing on to Jonquiere (which I would highly recommend). Cheap and centrally located accommodation can be had in university halls (McGill and UQAM are probably the best choices) and there's loads to do in Montreal in the summer time.

Lastly, the SLBP is a fantastic program. I hope your partner has a wonderful time!
posted by lumiere at 2:35 PM on April 22, 2005

Lumiere, where did you do for your program? In fact, how many Mefi's have done this program? I'm going this summer to Cegep Trois Rivieres.
posted by phyrewerx at 4:43 PM on April 22, 2005

I applied this year, but didn't make the lottery. I think it's because I wanted Quebec City and wasn't willing to compromise. Oh well, next year.
posted by ori at 5:19 PM on April 22, 2005

Phyrewerx: I went to the Universite du Quebec a Trois-Rivieres last year (a different program than the CEGEP program but at the same time). Trois-Rivieres is very much a francophone city--great for practicing French!--but not necessarily the most interesting of cities (as compared to, say, Montreal or Quebec). That being said - the city centre is vibrant (especially in the evenings and on the weekends), its on the St. Lawrence river (huge! amazing!), try to rent a bike to get a bit further afield, and do spend weekends in Montreal or Quebec (the bus is ~$20 return). The best thing about the program, honestly, is the people: I found the SLBP to be attended by interesting, intelligent people from across the country who do all sorts of neat things.

I'm happy to go on at length about things to do in Trois-Rivieres and area as well as my experiences with the SLBP (this year I'm going to Laval!) - my email address is in my profile.
posted by lumiere at 6:31 PM on April 22, 2005

I believe last time we went there, we flew into Chicoutimi(?) or thereabouts and drove in. That place, Jonquiere, is beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. The food was spectacular. Everyone speaks French. Very cosmopolitan. I'd vacation there again in a heartbeat.
posted by arimathea at 8:58 PM on April 22, 2005

I went on the program at a CEGEP in north Montreal in the summer of 1981. It was a blast! My French was mediocre before the program, but the combo of mornings of formal instruction, afternoon workshops, and just plain hanging about various spots in Montreal, got me to dream-in-French fluency and the ability to carry on a decent conversation for several minutes.

I highly, highly recommend the program. You learn French, you meet great people from all across the country, and you get to know your host area pretty well. I'm damn glad this program is still being funded.
posted by maudlin at 10:08 PM on April 22, 2005

I did it twice! Universite de Moncton, and Laval. Great program, and you can make lifelong friends while learning French. Have a great time. The Saguenay is very beautiful and very pur laine Quebecois.
posted by Rumple at 12:08 AM on April 23, 2005

Arimathea has it correct: Fly into Chicoutimi, Jonquiere is quite near-by.

So from Lethbridge fly (or drive) to Cowtown, get on a plane to Chicoutimi (forget about direct non-stops though!). Alternatively, fly into Quebec and train or bus it, as suggested above.

Bienvenue au Royaume du Saguenay!
posted by bumpkin at 4:15 PM on April 23, 2005

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