Located between Île d'Orléans and île-aux-Coudres, Grosse île is one of 21 islands forming the Isle-aux-Grues archipelago. Both a port of entry to Québec and a quarantine station from 1832 to 1937, the site is today a memorial. Tens of thousands of immigrants passed through here upon arrival in the country. More than 5,000, mostly Irish, lost their lives during typhus and cholera epidemics.
While breathing in the fresh air of the open spaces, immerse yourself in the moving stories of these newcomers. Stop in front of the memorial where their names are inscribed. The role played by the quarantine station personnel and the adoptive parents who took in and treated immigrants is also explained. This little-known page of history is worthy of a re-read.