Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec Canada

Discover Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec: A Blend of History and Modernity

Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec, is a charming city nestled on the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River. With a population of 20,118 as of 2021, it serves as the seat for the Rivière-du-Loup Regional County Municipality and the judicial district of Kamouraska. As one of the largest cities in Bas-Saint-Laurent, it offers a unique blend of history, culture, and modern amenities.

The Rich History of Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec

The city's name, which translates to "Wolf's River" in French, is derived from the nearby river. The origin of the name is believed to be either from a native tribe known as "Les Loups" ("The Wolves") or from the numerous seals, known in French as loup-marin (sea wolves), that once populated the river's mouth.

Rivière-du-Loup was established in 1673 as the seigneurie of Sieur Charles-Aubert de la Chesnaye. It was incorporated as the village of Fraserville in 1850, in honor of early Scottish settler Alexander Fraser, and gained city status in 1910. The city reverted to its original name, Rivière-du-Loup, in 1919.

Between 1850 and 1919, the city experienced a significant increase in its anglophone population, most of whom had left the region by the 1950s. Today, only 1% of the population speaks English as their first language.

In a darker chapter of its history, Rivière-du-Loup was the site of a nuclear accident in the fall of 1950. A United States Air Force B-50, while returning a nuclear bomb to the United States, released the bomb due to engine troubles. The bomb was destroyed in a non-nuclear detonation before it hit the ground, scattering nearly 100 pounds (45 kg) of uranium (U-238).

Demographics of Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Rivière-du-Loup had a population of 20,118 living in 9,482 of its 10,045 total private dwellings. This represented a change of 3.1% from its 2016 population of 19,507. With a land area of 83.74 km2 (32.33 sq mi), the city had a population density of 240.2/km2 (622.2/sq mi) in 2021.

Transportation in Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec

Rivière-du-Loup is a traditional stopping point between Quebec City, the Maritimes, and the Gaspé Peninsula. The Trans-Canada Highway turns south here, transferring from Autoroute 20 to Autoroute 85 and continuing southwards to Edmundston, New Brunswick.

The city offers a ferry service that crosses the river to Saint-Siméon on the north shore. It is also served by the Rivière-du-Loup Airport (IATA airport code YRI). Additionally, the city can be reached by Via Rail on the train named The Ocean, which runs between Montreal and Halifax.

Culture in Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec

Rivière-du-Loup is known for its vibrant cultural scene. Notable events in the city include the annual Festival Vues dans la tête de... film festival, which showcases a variety of films from different genres and countries. This event, along with the city's rich history and modern amenities, makes Rivière-du-Loup a must-visit destination in Quebec.