Le Soleil (Quebec)

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Le Soleil
Type Daily newspaper
Format Compact
Owner(s) Power Corporation of Canada
Founded 1896
Political alignment Liberal
Headquarters 410, boulevard Charest Est
3rd Floor
Quebec City, Quebec
G1K 8G3
Circulation 74,681 daily, 101,237 Saturday, 80,019 Sunday in 2011[1]
Website lesoleil.com

Le Soleil is a French-language daily newspaper in Quebec City, Quebec. It was founded on December 28, 1896 and is published in compact format since April 2006 (it had traditionally been printed in broadsheet). It is distributed mainly in Quebec City; however, it is also for sale at newsstands in Ottawa, Montreal, New Brunswick and some places in Florida, where many Quebecers spend the winter. Its main competitor is the tabloid Le Journal de Québec, which enjoys higher circulation. It is owned by Power Corporation of Canada.

On weekdays Le Soleil contains four sections : the front section (Actualités), containing local and international news coverage; the Arts & Life, or "B" section (Arts & Vie); the Business, or "C" section (Économie); and the Sports, or "S" section. The Saturday edition contains many more special sections.


Le Soleil rose from the ashes of L'Électeur, the official newspaper of the Liberal Party of Canada, which shut down in December 1896. The first edition was published on December 28, 1896. one day after the disappearance of its predecessor, which shut down because the Catholic clergy had forbidden it to parishioners when the newspaper criticized the Church's electoral interference. It was renamed Le Soleil in reference to Le Soleil a daily newspaper based in Paris by the same name.

In 1957, Le Soleil (then owned by Oscar Gilbert) cut ties to the Liberal Party of Canada in order to concentrate on news coverage. Daily circulation rose past 100,000 in the 1960s, and over 150,000 in the 1970s.

Beginning in 1973, many large corporations began to express interest in acquiring Le Soleil. Controversy was stirred when Paul Desmarais's Power Corporation of Canada announced its intention to buy the daily. It provoked the intervention of then-Quebec premier Robert Bourassa because such a transaction would have concentrated 70% of Quebec francophone daily newspapers in the hands of a single company. Eventually the paper was bought by Unimédia.

In 1987, Conrad Black's Hollinger Inc. acquired the newspaper. It would eventually pass into the hands of Groupe Gesca, which also owns several Quebec newspapers, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Power Corporation of Canada.

In 2006, the newspaper had switched to a tabloid format at the same time as Sherbrooke's La Tribune and Trois-Rivières's Le Nouvelliste, all owned by Gesca. Recent declines in readership due to competition by Le Journal de Québec was the main explanation of the switch from a broadsheet format.

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  1. ^ Audit Bureau of Circulations e-Circ data for the six months ending September 30, 2011. Retrieved February 16, 2012.