Percé, Quebec

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Percé
City
The village and the famous Percé Rock, from nearby Mont-Sainte-Anne.
The village and the famous Percé Rock, from nearby Mont-Sainte-Anne.
Coat of arms of Percé
Coat of arms
Location within Le Rocher-Percé RCM.
Location within Le Rocher-Percé RCM.
Percé is located in Eastern Quebec
Percé
Percé
Location in eastern Quebec.
Coordinates: 48°32′N 64°13′W / 48.533°N 64.217°W / 48.533; -64.217Coordinates: 48°32′N 64°13′W / 48.533°N 64.217°W / 48.533; -64.217[1]
Country  Canada
Province  Quebec
Region Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine
RCM Le Rocher-Percé
Settled 1800s
Constituted January 1, 1971
Government[2]
 • Mayor André Boudreau
 • Federal riding Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine
 • Prov. riding Gaspé
Area[2][3]
 • Total 550.30 km2 (212.47 sq mi)
 • Land 432.39 km2 (166.95 sq mi)
Population (2011)[3]
 • Total 3,312
 • Density 7.7/km2 (20/sq mi)
 • Pop 2006-2011 Decrease 3.1%
 • Dwellings 1,907
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code(s) G0C 2L0
Area code(s) 418 and 581
Highways Route 132
Website www.ville.perce.qc.ca

Percé is a small city near the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, Canada. Within the territory of the city there is a village community also called Percé.

Percé, member of the association of Most Beautiful Villages of Quebec, is mainly a tourist location particularly well known for the attractions of Percé Rock and Bonaventure Island.

In addition to Percé itself, the town's territory also includes the communities of Barachois, Belle-Anse, Bougainville, Bridgeville, Cap-d'Espoir, Cannes-de-Roches, Coin-du-Banc, L'Anse-à-Beaufils, Pointe-Saint-Pierre, Rameau, Saint-Georges-de-Malbaie, and Val-d'Espoir.

Percé is the seat of the judicial district of Gaspé.[4]

History[edit]

The area was within the traditional homelands of the Mi'kmaq people, who called the place Sigsôg ("steep rocks" or "crags") and Pelseg ("fishing place"). In 1603, Samuel de Champlain visited the area and named the famous rock Isle Percée ("Pierced Island"). During the 17th century, the place was used primarily as a stop-over for ships travelling to Quebec.[1]

"A view of the Pierced Island, a remarkable rock in the Gulf of St. Laurence - two leagues to the southward of Gaspée Bay Vüe de l'Isle Percée, rocher remarquable dans le Golfe St. Laurent a 2 lieues au sud de la Baye de Gaspe" by Hervey Smyth, 1760.

Used as a seasonal fishing centre during the New France era, permanent settlement began in the early 19th century with the arrival of Irish, French Canadian, and Jersey natives. In 1801 the Parish of Saint-Michel-de-Percé was founded.[1] Percé became the most important fishing location on the Gaspé Peninsula[citation needed] after Charles Robin, a native of Jersey, began his fishing establishment. Old buildings of the Charles Robin Company can still be seen there.

In 1842, the geographic township of Percé was formed, and 3 years later, the place was incorporated as a township municipality.[1]

In 1942, the Royal Canadian Navy made a decision to expand Direction Finding and wireless intercept at Cap D'Espoir to a 24 hour basis in order to provide more bearings on German U-boats and to intercept enemy radio traffic. The Department of Transport placed its facilities at the disposal of the RCN. On May 21/45, the Canadian Naval Service approved the closing down and disposal of Harbour Grace and Cap D'Espoir intercept stations.

In 1971, Percé was greatly expanded and gained ville (town) status when it amalgamated with these 5 surrounding municipalities (with year of original incorporation):[1]

  • Municipality of Barachois (1953)
  • Municipality of Bridgeville (1933)
  • Municipality of Cap-d'Espoir (1935)
  • Municipality of Saint-Pierre-de-la-Malbaie N°1 (1876)
  • Municipality of Saint-Pierre-de-la-Malbaie N°2 (1876)

Demographics[edit]

Population[edit]

Historical Census Data - Percé, Quebec[7]
Year Pop. ±%
1991 4,028 —    
1996 3,993 −0.9%
Year Pop. ±%
2001 3,614 −9.5%
2006 3,419 −5.4%
Year Pop. ±%
2011 3,312 −3.1%

Language[edit]

Canada Census Mother Tongue - Percé, Quebec[7]
Census Total
French
English
French & English
Other
Year Responses Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop %
2011
3,310
2,595 Decrease 3.7% 78.40% 665 Increase 3.1% 20.09% 40 Increase 166.7% 1.21% 10 Decrease 84.6% 0.30%
2006
3,420
2,695 Decrease 6.9% 78.80% 645 Decrease 7.9% 18.86% 15 Steady 0.0% 0.44% 65 Increase n/a% 1.90%
2001
3,610
2,895 Decrease 8.7% 80.19% 700 Decrease 0.7% 19.39% 15 Decrease 75.0% 0.42% 0 Decrease 100.0% 0.00%
1996
3,950
3,170 n/a 80.25% 705 n/a 17.85% 60 n/a 1.52% 15 n/a 0.38%

Tourism[edit]

Percé with Percé Rock and Bonaventure Island in the background.
Percé Rock.

Percé Rock is a natural rock formation located close to the shore facing the town. It is a natural tourist attraction for its size, color, and unusual door-like hole at one end the rock. It can be seen from any of the belvederes in the area including Mount Joli, Mount Sainte-Anne and Pic de l'Aurore. Tourists can walk up to the hole in the rock at low tide.

Bonaventure Island occupies an area of 4.16 square km facing the town of Percé. It is populated by one of the most important gannet colonies in the world and many other species of birds such as puffins, cormorants and murres also use the island as a home and breeding ground.[8]

Further inland from Percé lies Mount Blanc which has a deep crevasse, as well as many other belvederes that overlook Cannes-de-Roches. Mount Sainte-Anne, with a height of 375 metres, provides views of the sea and, during times of good visibility, Miscou Island in New Brunswick can be seen.

Transportation[edit]

Percé can be accessed via Route 132, coming either from the north or the south, and by Via Rail's Montreal – Gaspé train which stops at the Percé railway station. It is also reachable by air from the nearby Du Rocher-Percé Airport via private or charter aircraft - there is no scheduled air service to this airport.

Behind the magnificent St. Michael’s Church of Perce, walking trails lead up past panoramic lookouts to the summit of Mont Saint-Anne of 348 metres (1,142 ft), the Grotto of mother mary with a beautiful waterfall and Crevasse. Another high hill, Mont-Blanc, offers a spectacular view of the region.

In the coastal waters, visitors can observe various species of marine mammals, such as seals and whales. The region is home to thousands of marine birds, which crowd the rocks of the Parc national de l’Ile-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Perce facing of the town, just 2 miles off the coast of Perce.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Percé (ville)" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2011-12-07. 
  2. ^ a b "Percé". Répertoire des municipalités (in French). Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l'Occupation du territoire. Retrieved 2011-12-07. 
  3. ^ a b c "Percé census profile". 2011 Census data. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2011-12-07. 
  4. ^ Territorial Division Act. Revised Statutes of Quebec D-11.
  5. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2011-12-07. 
  6. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. Retrieved 2011-12-07. 
  7. ^ a b Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 census
  8. ^ "Canadian Important Bird Areas". Ibacanada.ca. Retrieved 2012-12-05. 

External links[edit]