CFB Valcartier

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Canadian Forces Base Valcartier is located 25 km north of Quebec City and is home to 5th Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.


Postcard of the tents hastily erected to accommodate thousands of troops during the First World War
"Le chez nous du soldat" - a solders' canteen in 1918
The Governor General and his prime minister inspecting troops in 1940

CFB Valcartier was originally erected as a military training camp in August 1914 as part of the mobilization of the Canadian Expeditionary Force at the onset of World War I.[1] The site was also used as an internment camp for "enemy aliens," mainly eastern Europeans. The name Valcartier comes from the town of St. Gabriel de Valcartier, of which a large section was expropriated in order to create the military training camp.[2] Due to its proximity to the port of Quebec, Valcartier became the largest military camp on Canadian soil, including some 32,000 men and 8,000 horses.[3]

In 1968, after unification, the title 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group was assigned to the brigade group established in CFB Valcartier.

Military presence

Currently, Valcartier Garrison is home to 5 Canadian Mechanized Brigade Group.

The following units are stationed at Valcartier:

The base also houses 430 Tactical Helicopter Squadron, 5 Service Battalion (which also provides services from the St-Jean and Montreal garrisons), CI SQFT (Land Force Quebec Area Training Centre), in addition to providing training facilities for most Quebec-based reserve units. The Myriam Bédard Biathlon Training Centre is also located on the base.

CFB Valcartier is also home to a Defence Research & Development Canada (DRDC) location, which conducts military research for the Canadian Forces.


ASU Valcartier is also home of the Army Cadet Summer Training Centre Valcartier, which trains Royal Canadian Army Cadets of the Eastern Region / Province of Québec.

In July 1974, an explosives safety training accident involving "D" Company killed 6 cadets and injured over 50. A coroners inquiry found the instructer criminally responsible.

Contaminated water

In 1997 a cancer-causing chemical, trichloroethylene, was found in the water supply of CFB Valcartier and the nearby town of Shannon, Quebec. Trichloroethylene, which has been linked to liver cancer, was used for degreasing metal parts at the base in the 1970s. The Department of National Defence, which was accused of a cover-up, reached a legal settlement with the town in 2004.[4][5][6]


Coordinates: 46°53′35″N 71°29′35″W / 46.893°N 71.493°W / 46.893; -71.493