Gaspé, Quebec

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Gaspé
City
Gaspé Centre-ville Nord.JPG
Location within La Côte-de-Gaspé RCM
Location within La Côte-de-Gaspé RCM
Gaspé is located in Eastern Quebec
Gaspé
Gaspé
Location in eastern Quebec
Coordinates: 48°50′N 64°29′W / 48.833°N 64.483°W / 48.833; -64.483Coordinates: 48°50′N 64°29′W / 48.833°N 64.483°W / 48.833; -64.483[1]
Country  Canada
Province  Quebec
Region Gaspésie–
Îles-de-la-Madeleine
RCM La Côte-de-Gaspé
Constituted January 1, 1971
Government[2]
 • Mayor Daniel Côté
 • Federal riding Gaspésie—
Îles-de-la-Madeleine
 • Prov. riding Gaspé
Area[2][3]
 • Total 1,343.40 km2 (518.69 sq mi)
 • Land 1,121.07 km2 (432.85 sq mi)
Elevation[4] 34.10 m (111.88 ft)
Population (2011)[3]
 • Total 15,163
 • Density 13.5/km2 (35/sq mi)
 • Pop 2006-2011 Increase 2.2%
 • Dwellings 6,897
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code(s) G4X
Area code(s) 418 and 581
Highways Route 132
Route 198
Website www.ville.gaspe.qc.ca

Gaspé is a city at the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula in the Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine region of eastern Quebec, Canada. It is known for its large snow falls during winter and high gusts of wind year-round. Gaspé is located about 650 kilometres northeast of Quebec City, and 350 kilometres east of Rimouski. As of the Canada 2011 Census, the city had a total population of 15,163.[3]

In addition to Gaspé itself, the city's territory also includes the communities of Cap-aux-Os, Cap-des-Rosiers, Douglastown, Haldimand, Jersey Cove, L'Anse-à-Fugère, L'Anse-à-Valleau, L'Anse-au-Griffon, Penouille, Petit-Cap, Petite-Rivière-au-Renard, Pointe-Jaune, Rivière-au-Renard, Rivière-Morris, Sandy Beach, Saint-Majorique, Saint-Maurice-de-l'Échouerie, Wakeham, and York Centre. The city's territory occupies 1440 square kilometres and borders the sea and the St-Lawrence River for some 130 km. French is the first language learnt by most of Gaspé's population where over half the population is Canadien.

Gaspé is where Jacques Cartier took possession of New France (now part of Canada) in the name of François I of France on July 24, 1534.[citation needed]

Etymology[edit]

The most common assumption is that "Gaspé" may come from the Mi'kmaq word Gespeg which means "Land's end". However, other theories hold that the name may be a mutation of the Basque word geizpe or kerizpe which means "shelter" or "place of refuge". Another theory is that it is named after Portuguese explorer Gaspar Corte-Real, who explored the Labrador in 1500.[1]

In 1600, Englishman Richard Hakluyt used the name Gaspay in his translation of Cosmosgraphie by Jean Alfonse, which became the common spelling in the early 17th century. Thereafter, many other spellings appeared such as Gachepé, Gachepay, Gaschepay, Gaspey, Gaspèche, and Gapèche.[1]

History[edit]

Gaspé claims the title of "Cradle of French America", because on June 24, 1534, Jacques Cartier halted in the bay after losing an anchor during a storm and officially took possession of the area by planting a wooden cross with the king's coat of arms and the sentence Vive le Roi de France (meaning "Long live the King of France"). Cartier met there an indigenous tribe that referred to the territory as Honguedo, probably a Mi'kmaq word meaning "meeting place".[1]

Following the Treaty of Paris in 1763, British officers and soldiers acquired free land in Gaspé. And in 1784, they were joined by many Loyalist settlers. From then on, Gaspé became an important commercial fishing centre, especially of cod. In 1804, its post office opened.[5]

Gaspé was first incorporated as a village municipality in 1855.[1] From 1861 to 1866, the port of Gaspé was a duty-free port, making shipping the primary economic activity. With some 40 to 50 European ships docking annually, many countries opened consulates in Gaspé, including Italy, United States, Brasil, Portugal, and Norway. By 1911, the railroad reached Gaspé. But the town's ambition to become an international shipping and transportation hub ended with the growing importance of the Montreal and Halifax harbours.[5]

During World War II, some 3000 soldiers were stationed at a naval base built at Sandy Beach, in order to patrol the Gulf of Saint Lawrence against German submarines.[5]

In 1959, Gaspé gained city status. In 1971, the city was greatly expanded when it amalgamated these 11 surrounding municipalities (with year of original incorporation):

In subsequent years, the city's area was further expanded by absorbing large tracts of adjacent unorganized territory.[1]

A representation of a small village, with a dozen houses serving as a historical site, was constructed[when?] in front of the Place Jacques Cartier mall and above the boardwalk along the York River. The village is a monument to Jacques Cartier and serves as a museum for tourists and locals.[citation needed]

Demographics[edit]

Population[edit]

Historical Census Data - Gaspé, Quebec[8]
Year Pop. ±%
1991 16,402 —    
1996 16,517 +0.7%
Year Pop. ±%
2001 14,932 −9.6%
2006 14,834 −0.7%
Year Pop. ±%
2011 15,163 +2.2%

Language[edit]

Canada Census Mother Tongue - Gaspé, Quebec[8]
Census Total
French
English
French & English
Other
Year Responses Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop %
2011
15,010
13,090 Increase 5.2% 87.21% 1,695 Decrease 10.1% 11.29% 170 Increase 61.9% 1.13% 55 Decrease 63.3% 0.37%
2006
14,585
12,445 Decrease 2.1% 85.33% 1,885 Increase 4.7% 12.92% 105 Decrease 8.7% 0.72% 150 Increase 233.3% 1.03%
2001
14,670
12,710 Decrease 7.9% 86.64% 1,800 Decrease 19.5% 12.27% 115 Increase 666.6% 0.78% 45 Decrease 78.0% 0.31%
1996
16,250
13,795 n/a 84.89% 2,235 n/a 13.75% 15 n/a 0.10% 205 n/a 1.26%

Cross of Gaspé[edit]

Main article: Cross of Gaspé
Monolithic granite cross in Gaspé

In 1934, the Federal Government commissioned the installation of a monolithic granite cross in Gaspé, for the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Jacques Cartier in Gaspé as of July 24, 1534. This 32 feet (9.8 m) high monolithic cross had been cut in 1934, from a block of gray granite extracted from the stone quarry of Augustus Dumas, in Rivière-à-Pierre in the Portneuf region, on North Shore of the Saint Lawrence river. This Cross of Gaspé that weighs more than 42 tons, was transported by two railcars of the Canadian National Railway from Rivière-à-Pierre. Then the cross was carried on a coaster to Gaspé wharf. This cross was erected on its base using a rail system of pulleys and cables, driven by the strength of many horses. The original craftsmen would be listed at the top of the cross.[9] This cross is the largest monolithic granite cross crafted in Canada.

A commemorative plaque located at the foot of the Cross in Gaspé was inaugurated on 23 August 2009, in memory of artisans from Rivière-à-Pierre who extracted and cut this block of granite.

A replica of the Cross of Gaspé was crafted by Rivière-à-Pierre craftmen and erected in the heart of the village of Rivière-à-Pierre. This granite cross is half the height of the original cross.

Economy[edit]

The regional hospital is the main employer in the city. Another big employer is the factory that makes the windmill blades to then have them transported elsewhere. The windmill factory is a tourist attraction where tourist can see the big size of the blades and have the opportunity to take a picture next to one. Tourism is a very important part of the city and the region's economy. Thousands flock to the city every summer to enjoy the environment and the surrounding attractions, such as Forillon National Park that is fully within the city's boundaries. One of the main summer attractions for tourists is salmon fishing. The York River, Saint John's River, and the Dartmouth River are where tourists and locals alike come to fish. It is not required to have a guide while fishing these rivers but a private guide can be hired upon request. Other tourist attractions include Haldimand Beach, Jacques Cartier's Cross (stone monument), and a local museum which shelters the WWI & WWII cenotaph commemorating Gaspesian veterans.

Transportation[edit]

Gaspé is accessible by automobile or Orleans Express bus service via Quebec Route 132, and the Michel-Pouliot Gaspé Airport.

The town is also accessible by Quebec Route 198 that passes through the interior of the peninsula. Select travellers can also access the town during the winter via one of the many snowmobile trails the run through the interior and connect with many other towns on the northern and southern coats of the peninsula. In the summer the same trails are open to all terrain vehicle travellers as well.

Via Rail's Montreal – Gaspé train was terminated due to unsafe trackage sometime in 2013. The VIA Rail Train to Gaspe was being turned in New Carlisle, 104 Miles west of Gaspe. VIA was offering bus service between New Carlisle and Gaspe. The line was undergoing repairs since December 2011. At present time VIA has no plans to reinstate service on this line.

The Port of Gaspe has a two-sided wharf; on the one, it measures 175 metres, with a depth of 8m, and on the other measures 180m and 10m. The Port of Gaspe is accessible year-round with the occasional help of an ice-breaker.[10]

Its near neighbour Chandler, Quebec is a port of call for the Le Vacancier, a ferry which links Montreal to les Iles de la Madeleine.[11]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Gaspé Airport
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high Humidex 11.5 13.5 16.9 28.8 33.6 42.3 43.1 43.9 40.4 27.9 24.8 13.4 43.9
Record high °C (°F) 10.9
(51.6)
13.7
(56.7)
18.2
(64.8)
27.5
(81.5)
30.0
(86)
33.9
(93)
34.8
(94.6)
34.1
(93.4)
33.2
(91.8)
25.0
(77)
22.2
(72)
13.3
(55.9)
34.8
(94.6)
Average high °C (°F) −6
(21)
−4.7
(23.5)
0.5
(32.9)
6.0
(42.8)
13.8
(56.8)
19.9
(67.8)
23.0
(73.4)
22.3
(72.1)
17.3
(63.1)
10.4
(50.7)
3.5
(38.3)
−2.8
(27)
8.6
(47.5)
Daily mean °C (°F) −11.9
(10.6)
−10.8
(12.6)
−5
(23)
1.4
(34.5)
7.6
(45.7)
13.2
(55.8)
16.6
(61.9)
15.9
(60.6)
11.1
(52)
5.2
(41.4)
−0.6
(30.9)
−7.6
(18.3)
2.9
(37.2)
Average low °C (°F) −17.6
(0.3)
−16.7
(1.9)
−10.4
(13.3)
−3.3
(26.1)
1.3
(34.3)
6.4
(43.5)
10.2
(50.4)
9.4
(48.9)
4.9
(40.8)
0.0
(32)
−4.6
(23.7)
−12.3
(9.9)
−2.7
(27.1)
Record low °C (°F) −35.5
(−31.9)
−32
(−26)
−29.2
(−20.6)
−20.1
(−4.2)
−11.7
(10.9)
−3.9
(25)
1.7
(35.1)
−1.9
(28.6)
−5
(23)
−11.8
(10.8)
−21.1
(−6)
−32.2
(−26)
−35.5
(−31.9)
Wind chill −47.2 −46.0 −37.7 −27.9 −14.3 −4.6 1.1 −1.5 −7.1 −14.5 −28.7 −40.2 −47.2
Precipitation mm (inches) 89.8
(3.535)
59.0
(2.323)
104.4
(4.11)
103.8
(4.087)
90.8
(3.575)
73.4
(2.89)
107.7
(4.24)
91.2
(3.591)
70.0
(2.756)
111.3
(4.382)
102.9
(4.051)
112.8
(4.441)
1,117.1
(43.98)
Rainfall mm (inches) 21.0
(0.827)
8.4
(0.331)
27.9
(1.098)
58.7
(2.311)
85.5
(3.366)
73.4
(2.89)
107.7
(4.24)
91.2
(3.591)
70.0
(2.756)
105.2
(4.142)
66.1
(2.602)
37.2
(1.465)
752.2
(29.614)
Snowfall cm (inches) 76.8
(30.24)
56.1
(22.09)
75.7
(29.8)
42.6
(16.77)
4.9
(1.93)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
4.9
(1.93)
38.0
(14.96)
81.1
(31.93)
380.0
(149.61)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 13.9 11.2 14.2 13.5 13.5 12.0 15.0 12.7 11.4 14.2 14.1 15.9 161.5
Avg. rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 2.7 1.6 4.2 8.8 13.2 12.0 15.0 12.7 11.4 13.6 8.1 3.7 106.9
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 12.6 10.5 11.7 7.4 1.4 0 0 0 0 1.7 8.2 14.5 68.0
 % humidity 74.9 74.5 78.0 80.1 78.1 78.3 82.7 86.0 87.2 84.9 81.7 79.4 80.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 108.6 125.7 150.1 159.0 212.9 235.5 248.3 231.8 174.9 131.4 94.5 88.7 1,961.2
Source: Environment Canada[4]

International relationships[edit]

Gaspé is twinned with:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f "Gaspé (ville)" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  2. ^ a b "Gaspé". Répertoire des municipalités (in French). Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l'Occupation du territoire. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Gaspé census profile". 2011 Census data. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  4. ^ a b Environment Canada - Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000, accessed 06 April 2012
  5. ^ a b c "À propos de Gaspé" (in French). Ville de Gaspé. Retrieved 2011-12-05. 
  6. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  7. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
  8. ^ a b Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 census
  9. ^ Journal Le Soleil, August 22, 2009, journalist Johanne Martin, article "Croix de Gaspé: des origines reconnues"("Cross of Gaspé: origins recognized"), describing the unveiling of August 23, 2009 a commemorative plaque located at the foot of the cross of Gaspé, in memory of the craftsmen who made the cross in 1934. (French)
  10. ^ qsl.com: "PORT DE GASPÉTerminal SANDY BEACH" accessed Aug 2014
  11. ^ gouv.qc.ca: "Traverses et dessertes maritimes du Quebec"

External links[edit]