La Tuque, Quebec

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Not to be confused with El Tuque.
"La Tuque" redirects here. For La Tuque (disambiguation), see La Tuque (urban agglomeration).
La Tuque
Downtown La Tuque
Downtown La Tuque
Coat of arms of La Tuque
Coat of arms
Motto: Industriis et labore cresco
(Industry and work to grow)
Location within Les Chenaux RCM.
Location within Les Chenaux RCM.
La Tuque is located in Central Quebec
La Tuque
La Tuque
Location in central Quebec.
Coordinates: 47°26′N 72°47′W / 47.433°N 72.783°W / 47.433; -72.783Coordinates: 47°26′N 72°47′W / 47.433°N 72.783°W / 47.433; -72.783[1]
Country  Canada
Province  Quebec
Region Mauricie
RCM None
Settled 1850s
Constituted March 26, 2003
 • Mayor Normand Beaudoin
 • Federal riding Saint-Maurice—Champlain
 • Prov. riding Laviolette
 • City 28,098.60 km2 (10,848.93 sq mi)
 • Land 25,113.70 km2 (9,696.45 sq mi)
 • Urban[4] 25.84 km2 (9.98 sq mi)
Population (2011)[3]
 • City 11,227
 • Density 0.4/km2 (1/sq mi)
 • Urban[4] 9,506
 • Urban density 367.9/km2 (953/sq mi)
 • Pop 2006-2011 Decrease 5.0%
 • Dwellings 7,373
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code(s) G9X
Area code(s) 819
Highways Route 155
Website www.ville.
The paper mill in La Tuque.

La Tuque is a city located in north-central Quebec, Canada, on the Saint-Maurice River, between Trois-Rivières and Chambord. The population was 11,227 at the Canada 2011 Census, most of which live within the urban area

While the urban area of La Tuque is relatively small, as of 2012, its entire territory is the largest municipality in Canada. It consists of almost all the entire former regional county municipality of Le Haut-Saint-Maurice, and includes the settlements of Carignan, La Croche, Fitzpatrick, Oskelaneo, Parent, Rapide-Blanc, Rivière-aux-Rats, and Sanmaur. Enclosed by but administratively not part of the city are the three Indian Reserves of Coucoucache, Obedjiwan, and Wemotaci.

The local economy centres on pulp and paper; the city has a pulp-milling centre as well as a major hydroelectric station. As the gateway to the upper Mauricie, La Tuque's economy also offers outdoor tourism opportunities and caters to hunting and fishing trips in its large hinterland; the city is known as the Queen of Haute-Mauricie and the Classique internationale de canots de la Mauricie canoeing race begins at La Tuque.


The name, which dates to the eighteenth century, originates from a nearby rock formation which resembles the well-known French-Canadian hat known as the tuque (toque).

The hat-shaped mountain which gaves its name to the town of La Tuque, is located between the Saint-Maurice River (left bank) and paper mill Smurfit-Stone plant. The summit of this mountain is about 245 metres. It is located 200 metres from the river and about 400 metres upstream (northeast side) of the La Tuque hydroelectric power plant.

In 1823-24, the explorer François Verreault described the location as:

un Portage nommé Ushabatshuan (le courant trop fort pour le sauter). Les Voyageurs le nomment la Tuque, à cause d'une Montagne haute, dont le pic ressemble à une Tuque. Ce portage est d'une lieue, avec des fortes côtes à monter.

"a portage named Ushabatshuan ('the rapids too strong to jump'). The voyageurs call it La Tuque, due to a tall mountain whose peak resembles a "tuque" (toque). The portage is a league long, and climbs steep slopes."[1]

Throughout Canada, a "toque" ("tuque" in French) is a wool cap, usually with a tassel at the top, used in winter to cover the head. This term has used for a long time. In the US, the term is virtually unknown. The closest approximations are watch cap and knit cap.


The territory of La Tuque was originally inhabited by Atikamekw indigenous people. In the early 1850s, settlers were drawn to the area to exploit the forest resources. The La Tuque Post Office opened in 1887, but the area remained isolated from the rest of the Mauricie until the early 1900s when the National Transcontinental Railway was built, prompting industrial development and the growth of a community on the east bank of the Saint-Maurice River where there was a large set of falls.[1]

On November 15, 1909, the Village Municipality of La Tuque was incorporated, with Achille Comeau as first mayor. A few months later on April 4, 1910, the Village Municipality of La Tuque Falls was formed, with Wenceslas Plante as first mayor. Less than one year later in March 1911, both villages merged to form the Town of La Tuque, with Wenceslas Plante as first mayor.[1][5]

In the 1940s, the hydro-electric generating station on the Saint-Maurice River was built, requiring the partial destruction of the rock formation that gave the town its name.[1]

In 1972, the Municipality of Haute-Mauricie was formed out of portions from the unincorporated Carignan and Malhiot Townships, in the proximity of the Saint-Maurice Wildlife Reserve. However, its low population and constantly rising administrative costs led to the merger of Haute-Mauricie with La Tuque in August 1993.[1]

On March 26, 2003, Le Haut-Saint-Maurice Regional County Municipality was dissolved and all its municipalities and unorganized territories were amalgamated into the new City of La Tuque, thereby becoming the largest municipality with city status in land area in Quebec, and largest in Canada (38,000 km2). On January 1, 2006, the municipalities of La Bostonnais and Lac-Édouard separated and were reestablished.[1]

In May 2010, some 120 forest fires broke out around La Tuque, burning until June. Smoke from these fires reached portions of Eastern Ontario and southern Quebec, including the cities of Ottawa and Montreal, as well as the northern US states.



Historical Census Data - La Tuque, Quebec[8]
Year Pop. ±%
1991 12,577 —    
1996 12,102 −3.8%
Year Pop. ±%
2001 11,298 −6.6%
2003A 12,488 +10.5%
Year Pop. ±%
2006 11,821 −5.3%
2011 11,227 −5.0%
(A) adjustment due to boundary change.


Canada Census Mother Tongue - La Tuque, Quebec[8]
Census Total
French & English
Year Responses Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop %
10,455 Decrease 5.6% 94.96% 180 Decrease 5.3% 1.63% 50 Increase 150.0% 0.45% 325 Increase 8.3% 2.95%
11,080 Increase 3.6% 95.60% 190 Increase 5.5% 1.64% 20 Decrease 66.7% 0.17% 300 Increase 33.3% 2.59%
10,695 Decrease 6.2% 95.83% 180 Decrease 53.8% 1.61% 60 Increase 100.0% 0.54% 225 Increase 60.7% 2.02%
11,405 n/a 95.32% 390 n/a 3.26% 30 n/a 0.25% 140 n/a 1.17%


The main highway is Quebec Route 155 that connects La Tuque with Shawinigan to the south and the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region to the north. Numerous forest roads provide access to remote hunting and fishing camps, and the village of Parent is accessible by a 175 kilometres (109 mi) long gravel road from Mont-Saint-Michel in the Laurentides region.

The Canadian National Railway dissects La Tuque's territory. This railway, built in 1910 by the National Transcontinental Railway, connected Quebec City to the Canadian Prairies and goes through vast wilderness areas of northern Quebec and Ontario. While it was intended to ship grain from the prairies to the Port of Quebec and to open up virgin territories, it never carried much rail traffic but is still serviced by Via Rail at the La Tuque railway station and Parent railway station, with request stops at Fitzpatrick, Oskelaneo, and Clova. Other sidings along the line are Casey, Hibbard, Cann, Sanmaur, Vandry, Windigo, and Rapide-Blanc-Station.

The La Tuque Airport is located directly south of the town's centre on Route 155.

List of mayors[edit]

The Mayor is the municipality's highest elected official. La Tuque has had fifteen mayors, since its incorporation as a city.[9]

# Mayor Taking Office Leaving
1 Wenceslas Plante 1911 1915
2 Alphondor Roy 1915 1920
3 Donat E. Hardy 1920 1921
4 Wellie Juneau 1921 1921
5 Réal Gravel 1921 1923
1 Wenceslas Plante 1923 1927
6 François-Xavier Lamontagne 1927 1935
7 Joseph-Omer Journeault [10] 1935 1944
8 Omer Veillette 1944 1947
7 Joseph-Omer Journeault 1947 1951
9 Léo-Joffre Pilon [11] 1951 1955
10 J.-Onésime Dallaire 1955 1961
11 Lucien Filion [12] 1961 1985 [13]
12 Clément Filion 1985 1985
13 André Duchesneau 1985 1991
14 Gaston Fortin [14] 1991 2003
15 Réjean Gaudreault [15] 2003 2009
16 Normand Beaudoin 2009

Famous residents[edit]

See also[edit]

La Tuque in 2010
La Tuque Railroad Station





Indian Reserves



  1. ^ a b c d e f g "La Tuque (Ville)" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2010-03-04. 
  2. ^ a b Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l'Occupation du territoire - Municipalité: La Tuque - Répertoire des municipalités du Québec, retrieved 2010-03-04
  3. ^ a b c "(Code 2490012) Census Profile". 2011 census. Statistics Canada. 2012. 
  4. ^ a b La Tuque (Population Centre), Quebec census profile, 2011
  5. ^ Ville de La Tuque - Liste des maires 1909 à 2013 PDF
  6. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  7. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. Retrieved 2014-04-27. 
  8. ^ a b Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 census
  9. ^ Liste des maires, Ville de La Tuque, 1909 à 2009
  10. ^ Journeault ran as a Bloc Populaire candidate in the provincial election of 1944 in the district of Laviolette. He finished third.
  11. ^ Pilon ran as a Liberal candidate in the 1952 and the 1956 provincial elections in the district of Laviolette. He was each time defeated by incumbent Romulus Ducharme.
  12. ^ Lucien Filion ran as a Union Nationale candidate in the provincial election of 1970 in the district of Laviolette. He finished third.
  13. ^ Lucien Filion dies in office on September 22, 1985.
  14. ^ Fortin ran as a Union Nationale candidate in the provincial election of 1976 and as a Liberal candidate in the provincial election of 1994 in the district of Laviolette. Each time he lost to Jean-Pierre Jolivet.
  15. ^ Gaudreault admits that he generally supports the Parti Québécois in provincial elections, even though municipal elections in La Tuque are officially on a non-partisan basis. Patrick Vaillancourt, Le maire Gaudreault approché par le PQ, L'Hebdo Mékinac des Chenaux, November 13, 2008

External links[edit]