Sillery, Quebec City
Sillery is a former city in central Quebec, Canada. Located just west of old Quebec City, Sillery was among the many outlying municipalities amalgamated into an expanded Quebec City on January 1, 2002. Its former territory now forms part of the borough of Sainte-Foy–Sillery–Cap-Rouge. The name Sillery is still used to refer to the affluent neighbourhood.
Sillery was named for Noël Brûlart de Sillery (1577–1640), Knight of Malta. A wealthy and successful French diplomat, he renounced worldly goods and became a Catholic priest. He provided the funds for the establishment in 1638 of a settlement for Native American (First Nations) converts to Catholicism.
The community, Canada's first native reservation, was established at a cove where the Algonquin fished for eels. Originally named in honour of St. Joseph, the settlement became the home of up to 40 Algonquin Christian families, who lived there most of the year, excluding the hunting season. Missionaries to New France, such as Jacques Gravier, studied with the natives at Sillery to learn their languages before going to more distant settlements. By the early 18th century, he had compiled a nearly 600-page dictionary of Kaskaskia Illinois-French. Many of the community's natives fell victim to epidemics of new infectious diseases, to which they had no natural immunity. The settlement was largely depopulated by the late 1680s.
Renamed Sillery in honor of its founder, the town later became important as a port for the lumber industry. The city of Sillery's motto was: "Non multa, sed multum," meaning, "Not many things, but much," a fit descriptor for the small enclave. From the land at the water's edge, the community spread up to the top of the heights overlooking the Saint Lawrence River.
Commanding the bluffs just west of the city of Québec, in modern times Sillery was known principally for its quiet tree-lined streets, its historic churches, its views of the river, and several very old schools run by a variety of religious institutes. Its coat of arms (see link below) consisted of a red shield with a white Maltese cross in the upper right hand corner and a three-masted ship in the lower left.
On January 1, 2002, as part of a legislated amalgamation of cities across the Province of Quebec, Sillery ceased operations. Its territory is now a part of the Sainte-Foy—Sillery—Cap-Rouge Borough of the City of Quebec. Of the former municipalities that now comprise Quebec City, Sillery was relatively linguistically diverse. It had more anglophone citizens (4%) than the norm and the greatest proportion of allophones (5%) in the region.
According to the Canada 2006 Census:
- Population: 11,803
- % Change (2001–2006): -0.9
- Dwellings: 4,856
- Area (km²): 6.7 km²
- Density (persons per km²): 1,761.3