Lévis, Quebec

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Lévis
City
Ville de Lévis
Lévis as seen from Terrasse Dufferin
Lévis as seen from Terrasse Dufferin
Flag of Lévis
Flag
Coat of arms of Lévis
Coat of arms
Motto: Toujours à l'Avant-Garde
Location with surrounding municipalities.
Location with surrounding municipalities.
Lévis is located in Southern Quebec
Lévis
Lévis
Location in southern Quebec.
Coordinates: 46°48′N 71°11′W / 46.800°N 71.183°W / 46.800; -71.183Coordinates: 46°48′N 71°11′W / 46.800°N 71.183°W / 46.800; -71.183[1]
Country  Canada
Province  Quebec
Region Chaudière-Appalaches
RCM None
Constituted January 1, 2002
Boroughs
Government[2]
 • Type Lévis City Council
 • Mayor Gilles Lehouillier
 • Federal riding Lévis—Bellechasse and Lotbinière—Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
 • Prov. riding Bellechasse and Lévis and Chutes-de-la-Chaudière
Area[2][3]
 • Total 497.00 km2 (191.89 sq mi)
 • Land 449.31 km2 (173.48 sq mi)
Population (2011)[3]
 • Total 138,769
 • Density 308.8/km2 (800/sq mi)
 • Pop 2006-2011 Increase 6.7%
 • Dwellings 59,024
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code(s) G6V to G6Z, G7A
Area code(s) 418 and 581
Website www.ville.levis.qc.ca

Lévis is a city in eastern Quebec, Canada. It is located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, opposite Quebec City. A ferry links Old Quebec with Old Lévis, and two bridges, the Quebec Bridge and the Pierre Laporte Bridge, connect western Lévis with Quebec City. The Société de transport de Lévis is responsible for public transportation by bus.

The population in 2011 was 138,769.[4] Its current incarnation was founded on January 1, 2002, as the result of a merger among ten cities, including the older city of Lévis founded in 1861.

Lévis is also the name of a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality (TE) and census division (CD) of Quebec, coextensive with the city of Lévis. Its geographical code is 25 as a census division, and 251 as an RCM-equivalent territory.

History[edit]

First Nations people are said to have favored the Pointe-Lévy (currently named Lévis) area long before French settlement due to its ideal location, at the junction of the St-Lawrence and the Chaudière rivers. Many archeological sites reveal evidence of human occupation for about 10,000 years. Some historians theorize that Pointe-Lévy could have been one of the main centres of Native American population development in the Quebec province.

In 1636, approximately 28 years after the foundation of Quebec City, The seignory of Lauzon was founded on the eastern part of the actual territory. In the following years, other seignories were founded near the St-Lawrence river. Pointe-Lévy was mainly an agricultural domain in which several lords ("Seigneurs") controlled their part of land in a medieval feodal way.

The land of the Lauzon seignory remained unoccupied until 1647, when Guillaume Couture became the first European settler installed in front of Quebec City. Couture was at the time first Administrator, Chief Magistrate, Captain of the Militia, member of the Sovereign Council and was widely considered a hero in New France. Couture was however not the first seignor of the Lauzon Seignory, as the land was owned by Jean de Lauzon (French Governor between 1651 and 1657).

During the Seven Years' War in the summer of 1759, General James Wolfe established a camp in the territory of Pointe-Lévy and laid siege to Quebec City. The siege succeeded and after firing cannons from the hills of Pointe-Lévy for three months and the battle on the plains in front of the walls, Quebec fell to the British. During this time, Pointe-Lévy served as the main camp to sustain the British army in the Quebec area. The constant cannon firing between Quebec City and Pointe-Lévy also served as a way to stop the French and British ships from going farther on the St. Lawrence river thus preventing reinforcement to other major cities like Montreal. In 1763, Marie-Josephte Corriveau was hanged in Quebec City for killing her husband, and, in accordance with English practice, her body was displayed in a cage for several weeks in St-Joseph-de-la-Pointe-Lévy (old part of the former City of Lauzon). This was an unusual punishment used for the first time by the British government in North America and reserved for persons found guilty of particularly heinous crimes. This punishment was practised in England since the Middle Ages.

Notre-Dame-de-la-Victoire de Lévis Church, built in 1851

From 1854, the railroad appeared in Pointe-Lévy making the city a major transportation centre for commerce and immigration. Being on the south shore of the St. Lawrence river, Pointe-Levy could be connected through rail to Ontario, Maine (and from there the whole United States) and the Maritime Provinces.

Many years later, between 1865 and 1872 while the city was still under control of Britain, a series of three forts were built to protect Quebec and the surroundings from the threat of American invasion. The forts were never really used for their intended purpose. One of these forts (Fort no.1) still remains today and can be visited.

The City of Lévis was born in 1861. The founder of this new city was Mgr. Joseph-David Déziel (1806–1882). Many municipalities in the territory of present-day Lévis were merged between 1861 and 2002. Many towns were created and the Village of Pointe-Levy (or St-Joseph-de-la-Pointe-Lévy) became the Village of Lauzon in 1867 and then the City of Lauzon in 1910.

In the late 19th and beginning of the 20th century, Alphonse Desjardins, pioneered the foundation of the credit union movement and founded the first caisse populaire in Lévis. He also began a long process to create what later became the Desjardins Group by travelling everywhere in Quebec helping people in other cities to start their own credit union.

Legacy[edit]

On 28 June 1985 Canada Post issued 'Fort No.1, Point Levis, Que.' one of the 20 stamps in the “Forts Across Canada Series” (1983 & 1985). The stamps are perforated 12½ x 13 and were printed by Ashton-Potter Limited based on the designs by Rolf P. Harder.[5]

Geography[edit]

Lévis covers an area of 444 km2 (171 sq mi): 10% urban, 48% farmlands, 36% forests and 6% wetlands. In addition to the Saint Lawrence River, the Etchemin and Chaudière Rivers also run through the city before ending their journey in the Saint Lawrence. The Chaudière River also boasts a fall with a suspended bridge, which can be accessed from Autoroute 73.

Lévis County existed until the 1980s when it was divided into Desjardins Regional County Municipality and Les Chutes-de-la-Chaudière Regional County Municipality.

On January 1, 2002, ten cities were merged by the Quebec provincial government to form the new city of Lévis. Previously, the former cities of Lauzon and Saint-David-de-l'Auberivière had been merged to Lévis in 1989.[6] The regional county municipalities which these cities were a part of ceased to exist. The new city, however, was divided into three boroughs:[7] Desjardins, Les Chutes-de-la-Chaudière-Ouest and Les Chutes-de-la-Chaudière-Est, which correspond to most of the territory of the former RCMs (however, Saint-Henri and Saint-Lambert-de-Lauzon remained independent and did not amalgamate into Lévis).

The ten former municipalities are today districts (secteurs) within the city; each of the three boroughs is composed of either three or four districts.

Former Municipalities (10)[edit]

The pre-2002 Lévis had already merged with Lauzon and Saint-David-de-l'Auberivière in 1989.

Demographics[edit]

Population[edit]

Lévis in winter
Historical Census Data - Lévis, Quebec[9]
Year Pop.   ±%  
1871 20,850 —    
1881 23,996 +15.1%
1891 22,319 −7.0%
1901 22,750 +1.9%
1911 25,579 +12.4%
1921 30,102 +17.7%
1931 32,335 +7.4%
Year Pop.   ±%  
1941 34,749 +7.5%
1951 40,046 +15.2%
1956 42,967 +7.3%
1961 47,603 +10.8%
1966 53,684 +12.8%
1971 57,805 +7.7%
1976 69,982 +21.1%
Year Pop.   ±%  
1981 86,994 +24.3%
1986 95,757 +10.1%
1991 108,523 +13.3%
1996 118,344 +9.0%
2001 121,999 +3.1%
2006 130,006 +6.6%
2011 138,769 +6.7%
[10][11]

The city of Lévis' population grew by an estimated 1.3 per cent in 5 years. Lévis is an old community in terms of population as the proportion of youths is lower than the national average and the proportion of those over 65 years of age is higher than the national average. Some 14.5 per cent is under 14 years of age, while those over 65 number 15.7 per cent. The city is one of the most homogeneous in Canada: around 99 per cent of the population are of European ancestry, while over 97% of residents speak French as their mother tongue.

Economy[edit]

First Caisse Populaire in Lévis

Although a relatively small city, Lévis is not a typical suburb. The presence of several large employers has allowed many citizens to both live and work in Lévis. It is home to the Ultramar refinery, one of the largest in eastern Canada, Frito-Lay and Davie Shipbuilding are located in Lauzon Area (former city). The Desjardins Group and its subsidiary Desjardins Financial Security are headquartered in the city. The founder of the latter, Alphonse Desjardins, lived in Lévis and ran with his wife, Dorimène Roy Desjardins, the first Caisse Populaire from their home. The city is also a major agricultural business research and development center. More and more high technology companies, such as Creaform (3D), are established in Lévis.

Lévis is home to the enclosed regional shopping mall, Les Galeries Chagnon which has 106 stores.

There are many schools of different levels, including the Cégep de Lévis-Lauzon and a UQAR campus (Université du Québec à Rimouski). A lot of small business and entertainment developed in the city during the last decade and finalized the transformation from a Quebec City suburb into a small city.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]