If You’re Not French, Don’t Stay Here

As part of our trip along the 401 highway, we stopped off for 10 days at Camping Mirabel, in Ste. Therese, Quebec, which is just north of Laval, which itself is just north of Montreal. It’s a pretty town that grew out of the Seigneuriale land allocation system of the 1600’s and today is a well laid out bedroom community with lots of leafy subdivisions and some quaint and ancient inner-village streets where you can almost feel the centuries peel back.

We stayed at Camping Mirabel. It’s a  nicely laid out park. Lots of residentials in well-kept permanent trailers, and a good space for transient RVs with level pull throughs and many shade trees. It’s reasonably quiet throughout the day, and reliable power and water pressure. Those are the good points.

The problem? We never felt welcome there.

This is a park for French Canadians and no one else. Most parks we have visited, people wave and say “hi,” enjoying the camaraderie of the RV lifestyle. But here, once they see your out-of-province license plate, they look away. That includes the management. We have traveled to many parks across the North America, and my wife and I both lived in Quebec for many years. We are fluently bilingual, and for what it’s worth, we understand the cultural issues that Quebecers feel. But never have I felt so unwelcome and so scrutinized in an RV park.

Camping Mirabel. Nice park. Shame about the people.

And they charge $60 a night for the privilege! Also, the walking of dogs is forbidden anywhere in the park. You have to walk them on the road leading to the site. And yes, the one time I accidentally broke that rule, I was confronted by a resident who said to me, in French, “you don’t have the right to walk your dogs here.”

When you add the atrocious condition of Montreal roads, I would suggest you just keep going.


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