La Tuque, Quebec Canada

Discovering La Tuque, Quebec: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

Introduction to La Tuque, Quebec

La Tuque, Quebec, is a city nestled in north-central Quebec, Canada, on the Saint-Maurice River, between Trois-Rivières and Chambord. With a population of 11,129 at the 2021 Canadian census, the city spans over 28,000 km2 (11,000 sq mi), making it the largest city in Canada by area. The city is also known for the Classique internationale de canots de la Mauricie canoeing race that begins at La Tuque.

The Etymology of La Tuque, Quebec

The name "La Tuque" dates back to the eighteenth century and originates from a nearby rock formation that resembles a French-Canadian knitted cap known as the tuque. The hat-shaped mountain that gave its name to the town of La Tuque is located between the Saint-Maurice River and the WestRock paper mill. The summit of this mountain is about 245 m (804 ft) high and is located 200 m (660 ft) from the river and about 400 m (1,300 ft) upstream of the La Tuque hydroelectric power plant.

The History of La Tuque, Quebec

The territory of La Tuque was first inhabited by Atikamekw Indigenous people. In the early 1850s, settlers were drawn to the area to exploit the forest resources. The La Tuque Post Office opened in 1887, but the area remained isolated from the rest of the Mauricie until the early 1900s when the National Transcontinental Railway was built. This prompted industrial development and the growth of a community on the east bank of the Saint-Maurice River where there was a large set of falls. The Village Municipality of La Tuque was incorporated on November 15, 1909, with Achille Comeau as the first mayor. In the 1940s, the hydro-electric generating station on the Saint-Maurice River was built, resulting in the partial destruction of the rock formation that gave the town its name.

The Geography of La Tuque, Quebec

While the urban area of La Tuque is relatively small, its entire territory is the largest city in Canada. It consists of almost all the entire former regional county municipality of Le Haut-Saint-Maurice, and includes the settlements of Carignan, Clova, La Croche, Fitzpatrick, Kiskissink, Oskélanéo, Parent, Rapide-Blanc, Rivière-aux-Rats, and Sanmaur. Enclosed by but not administratively part of the city are the three First Nations reserves of Coucoucache, Obedjiwan, and Wemotaci. Notable bodies of water in La Tuque are Gouin Reservoir, Lake Edouard, Lake Kiskissink, Lake Wayagamac, Grand Lake Bostonnais, and Ventadour Lake. Notable rivers in La Tuque are Saint-Maurice, Vermillon, Manouane, Croche, Bostonnais, Little Bostonnais, and Trenche.

The Climate of La Tuque, Quebec

La Tuque, Quebec, has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb) with warm summers and cold, snowy winters.

The Demographics of La Tuque, Quebec

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, La Tuque had a population of 11,129 living in 5,543 of its 6,930 total private dwellings, a change of 1.2% from its 2016 population of 11,001. With a land area of 24,809.4 km2 (9,579.0 sq mi), it had a population density of 0.4/km2 (1.2/sq mi) in 2021.

The Territorial Equivalent of La Tuque, Quebec

The population of the La Tuque territorial equivalent according to the Canada 2021 Census is 15,038.

Transportation in La Tuque, Quebec

The main highway is Quebec Route 155 that connects La Tuque with Shawinigan to the south and the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region to the north. Numerous forest roads provide access to remote hunting and fishing camps, and the village of Parent is accessible by a 175 kilometres (109 mi) long gravel road from Mont-Saint-Michel in the Laurentides region. The Canadian National Railway dissects La Tuque's territory. This railway, built in 1910 by the National Transcontinental Railway, connected Quebec City to the Canadian Prairies and goes through vast wilderness areas of northern Quebec and Ontario. The La Tuque Airport is located directly south of the town's centre on Route 155. La Tuque Water Aerodrome is located just north of the city centre.