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Location within Avignon RCM.
Location within Avignon RCM.
Carleton-sur-Mer is located in Eastern Quebec
Location in eastern Quebec.
Coordinates: 48°06′N 66°08′W / 48.100°N 66.133°W / 48.100; -66.133Coordinates: 48°06′N 66°08′W / 48.100°N 66.133°W / 48.100; -66.133[1]
Country  Canada
Province  Quebec
Region Gaspésie–
RCM Avignon
Settled 1756
Constituted October 4, 2000
 • Mayor Denis Henry
 • Federal riding Gaspésie—
 • Prov. riding Bonaventure
 • Total 244.30 km2 (94.32 sq mi)
 • Land 221.38 km2 (85.48 sq mi)
Population (2011)[3]
 • Total 3,991
 • Density 18.0/km2 (47/sq mi)
 • Pop 2006-2011 Decrease 2.1%
 • Dwellings 2,120
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal code(s) G0C 1J0
Area code(s) 418 and 581
Highways Route 132

Carleton-sur-Mer is the fifth largest town of the Gaspésie's south shore, in southeastern Quebec, Canada, located on Route 132, along the Baie des Chaleurs.

The town's territory includes the communities of Biron, Caps-de-Maria, Carleton, Robitaille, and Saint-Omer.



Carleton, Gaspé, about 1897

Around 1756, 7 families of exiled Acadians arrived in Tracadigash[4] from Bonaventure and Restigouche following their deportation from Beaubassin, Nova-Scotia, in 1755. Charles Dugas and Benjamin LeBlanc (both from Grand Pré) were the original founders. In 1772 Abbé Joseph-Mathurin Bourg, first accredited Acadien priest, arrived from Quebec City. He conducted the very first census of Tragadigash (recensement Tracadigache 1777) where he listed the following family names:[5] Allard, Allain, Arseneau, Aubertin, Barriot, Bergeron, Berthelot, Boudreau, Bujold, Comeau, Cormier, Dugas, Francis, Landry, Leblanc, Poirier, Richard; totalling 177 persons. A later three page correspondence to the governor, dated 7 April 1784, stated described land use "Endorsed: A list of the inhabitants of Tracadigache and the quantity of land each inhabitant has improved" which averaged 3 to 12 arpents per man.

In 1787, American Loyalists found their way to Tracadigash which eventually resulted in the parish changing its name from Saint-Joseph de Tracadièche (Tracadièche is the French spelling of Tragadigash) to Saint-Joseph de Carleton in honor of General Guy Carleton.[6]

On October 4, 2000, the municipalities of Carleton and Saint-Omer were reunited after 100 years of separation and the new town thus formed was called Carleton–Saint-Omer.[1]

On May 7, 2005, the name was officially changed to Carleton-sur-Mer.[1][7]


After the arrival of the first Acadians in 1756, the territory of Saint-Omer was included in the Parish of Saint Joseph de Tracadièche and had a common history with Carleton. As more population shifted west, numbers eventually justified creating a new parish, and in 1899 the Parish of Saint-Omer came to be, approved by government in 1902.[8]

For 100 years, Saint-Omer fonctionned as a distinct parish, and municipality. Its economy depended largely on fishing, agriculture and forest. Saint-Omer had its own elementary schools but its teenagers attended Carleton's École Polyvalente (renamed École Antoine-Bernard in 1983).

On October 4, 2000, the municipalities of Saint-Omer and Carleton were reunited and named Carleton-Saint-Omer.[1]

Saint-Louis de Gonzague, Founded since 1864[edit]

Small agricultural and forestry village 8 kilometers north of Saint-Omer established by the Government of Quebec to encourage the economy and then shut down the Biron section by the same government in 1972. 5 people have remained residents and work the land. In 2002, the Gaspé union paysanne held its yearly Fête de l'union paysanne gaspésienne there.[9]



Historical Census Data - Carleton-sur-Mer, Quebec[12]
Year Pop. ±%
1991P 4,116 —    
1996P 4,267 +3.7%
Year Pop. ±%
2001 4,010 −6.0%
2006 4,077 +1.7%
Year Pop. ±%
2011 3,991 −2.1%
(P) pre-merger combined totals for the municipalities of Saint-Omer and Carleton.


Mother tongue:[10]

  • English as first language: 2.3%
  • French as first language: 96.3%
  • English and French as first language: 0.2%
  • Other as first language: 1.1%


Carleton's economy relied historically mostly on agriculture, fishing and forest products. The deep water wharf allowed for large international vessels to load lumber. Tourism was from the very beginnings a significant aspect of the economy due in large part to its beaches and warm water temperature.

Today tourism accounts for an even larger share of the economy, which has shifted to the point that 74% of employment is provided by the service sector.

  • Carleton-sur-mer started the first thalassotherapy treatment centre in North America.
  • The Carleton Wind Farm was commissioned in 2008 and is contributing electricity to Hydro-Québec's grid.


The École Antoine Bernard high school and its students were the subject of the 2014 documentary film, Guidelines.[13]

  • International "Maximum Blues" Festival attracts over 20,000 spectators to see local and international artists. The Blues festival started in 1992 and is currently in its 14th year.
  • The bilingual singer/songwriter Kevin Parent went to high school here at École Antoine-Bernard
  • Quai des Arts centre



  • École St-Joseph Grades 1-3[year needed]
  • École Normale Grades 3-4[year needed] (building now houses college/university offices)
  • Kindergarten (1965–1978) Now demolished small building located behind École Bourg


  • Figure skating club Les Myriades de Carleton
  • Nautical Club of Carleton inc.
  • Mont Carleton snowmobile club
  • Carleton-sur-mer kayak rentals
  • 18-hole golf course [1] and golfer association
  • Minor hockey association
  • Adult softball league
  • Bowling alley
  • Health club Carleton-Gest Mag

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Carleton-sur-Mer (Ville)" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2012-01-03. 
  2. ^ a b "Carleton-sur-Mer". Répertoire des municipalités (in French). Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l'Occupation du territoire. Retrieved 2012-01-03. 
  3. ^ a b c "Carleton-sur-Mer census profile". 2011 Census data. Statistics Canada. Retrieved 2012-01-03. 
  4. ^ 1755 documents of the University of Moncton
  5. ^ Recensement, Carleton (anciennement Tracadièche), Québec, 1777, University of Moncton
  6. ^ "Carleton" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2012-01-03. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ "Saint-Omer" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2012-01-03. 
  9. ^ Radio Canada, Fête de l'union paysanne à Saint-Louis de Gonzague |
  10. ^ a b "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-01-03. 
  11. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. Retrieved 2012-01-03. 
  12. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 census
  13. ^ van Hoeij, Boyd (24 February 2014). "Guidelines (La Marche a suivre): Berlin Review". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 3 June 2015. 


External links[edit]