Coordinates: 48°09′N 69°43′W / 48.150°N 69.717°W / 48.150; -69.717
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Totouskak (Innu)
Gtatosag (Mi'kmaq)
Location within La Haute-Côte-Nord RCM.
Location within La Haute-Côte-Nord RCM.
Tadoussac is located in Côte-Nord region, Quebec
Location in the Côte-Nord region of Quebec.
Coordinates: 48°09′N 69°43′W / 48.150°N 69.717°W / 48.150; -69.717[1]
RCMLa Haute-Côte-Nord
ConstitutedOctober 10, 1899
 • MayorRichard Therrien
 • Federal ridingMontmorency—Charlevoix
 • Prov. ridingRené-Lévesque
 • Total194.10 km2 (74.94 sq mi)
 • Land52.73 km2 (20.36 sq mi)
 • Total814
 • Density15.4/km2 (40/sq mi)
 • Pop 2016–2021
Increase 1.9%
 • Dwellings
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
Postal code(s)
Area code(s)418 and 581
Highways R-138

Tadoussac (French pronunciation: [tadusak]) is a village in Quebec, Canada, at the confluence of the Saguenay and Saint Lawrence rivers. The indigenous Innu call the place Totouskak (plural for totouswk or totochak) meaning "bosom", probably in reference to the two round and sandy hills located on the west side of the village. According to other interpretations, it could also mean "place of lobsters", or "place where the ice is broken" (from the Innu shashuko). Although located in Innu territory, the post was also frequented by the Mi'kmaq people in the second half of the 16th century, who called it Gtatosag ("among the rocks"). Alternate spellings of Tadoussac over the centuries included Tadousac (17th and 18th centuries), Tadoussak, and Thadoyzeau (1550).[1] Tadoussac was first visited by Europeans in 1535 and was established in 1599 when the first trading post in Canada was formed there, in addition to a permanent settlement being placed in the same area that the Grand Hotel is located today.[4][5]


Tadoussac in about 1612, illustrated by Samuel de Champlain
Tadoussac, 1900

Jacques Cartier came to the site in 1535 during his second voyage. He found Innu people using it as a base for hunting seal. Later that same century, Basques conducted whaling expeditions on the river, as well as engaging in hides trade with the natives based in the shore at the mouth of the Sagueney.[1]

Tadoussac was founded in 1599 by François Gravé Du Pont, a merchant, and Pierre de Chauvin de Tonnetuit, a captain of the French Royal Navy, when they acquired a fur trade monopoly from King Henry IV.[6] Gravé and Chauvin built the settlement on the shore at the mouth of the Saguenay River, at its confluence with the St. Lawrence, to profit from its location. But the frontier was harsh and only five of the initial sixteen settlers survived the first winter.[7] In 1603, the tabagie or "feast" of Tadoussac reunited Gravé with Samuel de Champlain and with the Montagnais, the Algonquins, and the Etchimins." In 1615, the Mission of L'Exaltation-de-la-Sainte-Croix-de-Tadoussac, named in memory of a cross planted by Jean de Quen, was founded by the Récollet Order. Their missionary brothers sang the first Mass there two years later.[1]

Tadoussac remained the only seaport on the St. Lawrence River for 30 years. Historians believe the St. Lawrence Iroquoians, who inhabited the St. Lawrence valley upriver to the west, were defeated and pushed out by the Mohawk before the early 17th century. By the late 17th and early 18th century, Tadoussac was the centre of fur trade between the French and First Nations peoples. Competition over the fur trade increased among the nations. Colonists from the Tadoussac area were involved in whaling from 1632 until at least the end of the century.

In the 19th century, with industrialization reaching other parts of Canada, tourists discovered the appeal of this rural village. Wealthy Québécois built a number of vacation villas. A Victorian hotel called the Hotel Tadoussac was built in 1864; it was expanded around 1900 and demolished in 1942, and replaced by a newer Hotel Tadoussac.

In 1855, the geographic township of Tadoussac was established. In 1899, it was incorporated as a village municipality. In 1937, the Parish Municipality of Tadoussac was formed, but dissolved in 1949 because it had less than 500 inhabitants.[1]

Present day[edit]

Tadoussac as seen from the St. Lawrence

The modern village of Tadoussac lies close to the site of the original settlement at the mouth of the Saguenay River. It is known as a tourist destination because of the rugged beauty of the Saguenay fjord and its facilities for whale watching. The authority for the Port of Tadoussac was transferred in April 2012 to the Municipality of Tadoussac.[8]

The entire area is either rural or still in a wilderness state, with several federal and provincial natural parks and preserves nearby which protect natural resources. Tadoussac encompasses the first marine national park of Canada. The nearest urban agglomeration is Saguenay about 100 km (62 mi) west.

Representation in other media[edit]

Old chapel, built 1747–1750


Tadoussac is the north-east terminus of the Baie-Sainte-Catherine/Tadoussac ferry which offers free and frequent service across the Saguenay River. The ferry is part of Quebec Route 138 and the main link to Sept-Îles. The village is considered the gateway to the Manicouagan region.

Bus service to and from Quebec City and Montreal is offered by Intercar, twice a day, seven days a week.[9]

Tourism and attractions[edit]


According to the 2021 census conducted by Statistics Canada, Tadoussac had a population of 814 living in 397 of its 514 total private dwellings, a change of 1.9% from its 2016 population of 799. With a land area of 52.73 km2 (20.36 sq mi), it had a population density of 15.4/km2 (40.0/sq mi) in 2021.[11]

Population trend:[12]

  • population in 2021: 814 {2016 to 2021 population change: 1.9%}
  • population in 2016: 799 {2011 to 2016 population change: -1.7%}
  • Population in 2011: 813 (2006 to 2011 population change: -4.4%)
  • Population in 2006: 850 {2001 to 2006 population change:-2.2%}
  • Population in 2001: 870 {1996 to 2001 population change:-4.7%}
  • Population in 1996: 913 {1991 to 1996 population change:8.8%}
  • Population in 1991: 832

Mother tongue:

  • English as first language: 1.8%
  • French as first language: 92.3%
  • English and French as first language: 1.8%
  • Other first language: 4.1%


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Tadoussac (Municipalité de village)" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2010-06-11.
  2. ^ a b Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l'Occupation du territoire – Répertoire des municipalités: Tadoussac Archived 2012-05-01 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ a b "Census Profile, 2021 Census: Tadoussac, Village [Census subdivision], Quebec and Quebec [Province]". Statistics Canada. 9 February 2022.
  4. ^ Canadian Geographic. "The Canadian Atlas Online".
  5. ^ "Tadoussac – Historique". Municipalité de Tadoussac.
  6. ^ Morley, William F. E. (1979) [1966]. "Chauvin de Tonnetuit, Pierre de". In Brown, George Williams (ed.). Dictionary of Canadian Biography. Vol. I (1000–1700) (online ed.). University of Toronto Press.
  7. ^ Conrad, Black (2017-03-07). Rise to greatness : the history of Canada. McClelland & Stewart. ISBN 978-0-7710-1356-0. OCLC 974528236.
  8. ^ tc.gc.ca: "Transport Canada – Deproclamation Notice Subsection 2(1)" Archived 2016-08-15 at the Wayback Machine
  9. ^ bonjourquebec.com: "Intercar (Montréal – Québec – Charlevoix – Côte-Nord)"
  10. ^ [1] Archived September 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  11. ^ "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), Quebec". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved August 28, 2022.
  12. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016, 2021 census

External links[edit]