Murdochville, Quebec Canada

Discover Murdochville, Quebec: A Town of History and Resilience

Introduction to Murdochville, Quebec

Murdochville is a unique town nestled in the heart of Quebec, Canada. It is one of the few inland communities on the Gaspé Peninsula. As of the 2016 census, the town had a population of 651. Murdochville is situated along Quebec Route 198 in the geographic township of Holland. It is 40 kilometres (25 mi) south of L'Anse-Pleureuse and 93 kilometres (58 mi) west of Gaspé. The town sits 535 metres (1,755 ft) above sea level and is surrounded by towering mountains.

The Rich History of Murdochville, Quebec

The history of Murdochville dates back to 1921 when copper ore was discovered in the area by the Miller brothers: Alfred, Sydney, Frederick, Angus, and Theophilus. However, it wasn't until 1950 that Noranda Mines began mining operations. The town was established and named after James Y. Murdoch, the owner of the mine and the first president of Noranda. In 1953, the town was officially incorporated.

The mining operation in Murdochville was extensive, starting with mining the raw ore and ending with a pure copper anode product. In the 1970s, the mining operation was large enough to support a population of 5,000 inhabitants. The town also played a significant role in shaping labor laws in Quebec. The 1957 Murdochville strike led to the adoption of several new laws protecting the rights of unionized workers.

In 1987, an underground fire partially destroyed the mine, and mining only resumed two years later. The mine eventually closed in 1999, leaving the town to fight for survival. Despite several close calls, the resilient town has fought back, working to reverse the economic uncertainty that has befallen it. This fight has included the creation of several large wind turbine projects and a diversification of the local economy, with a focus on tourism, such as winter skiing.

Murdochville, Quebec: A Snapshot of Demographics

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Murdochville had a population of 643 living in 327 of its 476 total private dwellings. This represented a slight decrease of -1.2% from its 2016 population of 651. With a land area of 60.84 km2 (23.49 sq mi), Murdochville had a population density of 10.6/km2 (27.4/sq mi) in 2021.

The Climate of Murdochville, Quebec

Murdochville experiences a warm-summer humid continental climate (Dfb). The town's summers are relatively cool and short, while winters are long and can be very cold with substantial snowfall. However, the brief summers are mild enough to keep September, the fourth-warmest month, right above the 10 °C (50 °F) isotherm for a humid continental climate.