Camping: Can You Pitch a Tent Anywhere You Want?

In the News

This year many Quebecers will spend their vacations in Quebec. Due to Quebec’s many natural spaces, the province is great for camping. Here’s a short guide to where you can (and can’t) pitch your tent. 

Attention: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you must respect public health measures while you’re camping. For example, keep two meters apart from people you don’t live with. 

Camping on public lands

Did you know you’re allowed to camp on some public lands? They’re part of our collective heritage and belong to all Quebecers.

When camping on public lands, you must use temporary and mobile equipment, and take it with you when you leave. Of course, you must also clean up the site and take away your garbage!

Important: Some municipalities have their own rules, like the regional county municipalities (RCM) of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Portneuf, Sept-Rivières and Matawinie. Find out which rules apply before camping on public lands in their territory. 

You’re not allowed to camp on some islands belonging to the city of Varennes, even if their land is considered public: Île au Bœuf, Île au Cochon, Île aux Crapauds, Île aux Hérons, Île Sainte-Thérèse, Île aux Vaches and Île au Veau.

Choosing a recognized campground

Looking for something a little less rustic?  You can stay at a campground. Before choosing one, make sure it has a classification certificate, as required by law. Camping Québec issues the certificate, and it must be displayed at the main entrance of the campground or at the visitor’s reception area.

No camping in municipal parks and rest areas

Thinking about camping on Mount Royal for a few days, or even one night? Don’t! Camping is not allowed on the mountain. The fine for breaking this rule is $100 to $1,000. The same applies to most Montreal parks.

Each municipality sets its own rules, but overnight camping in parks is often prohibited.

You can’t camp at a rest area either. The longest you can stay is four hours.

Before you leave, make sure you pack your car carefully. Don’t let anything block the driver’s view or interfere with driving. And any items on the roof of your car need to be tied down securely.