Passes-Dangereuses

Discovering Passes-Dangereuses, Quebec: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

The Geography of Passes-Dangereuses, Quebec

Passes-Dangereuses is an unorganized territory nestled in the Canadian province of Quebec. It is strategically located between the Peribonka River on the east and the Mistassibi River on the west. This territory is part of the regional county municipality of Maria-Chapdelaine and spans a land area of 15,579.11 km2 (6,015.13 sq mi). As of the Canada 2021 Census, Passes-Dangereuses is home to 210 residents, all of whom reside in the village of Sainte-Élisabeth-de-Proulx, situated north-east of Dolbeau-Mistassini in the geographic township of Proulx.

The Historical Toponymy of Passes-Dangereuses, Quebec

The territory of Passes-Dangereuses was established in January 1981, initially known as "Lac-Saint-Jean-Ouest, partie Chute-des-Passes". This name was later shortened to Chute-des-Passes in August 1986. To avoid confusion with the hamlet of Chute-des-Passes in the neighbouring Unorganized Territory of Mont-Valin, the territory was renamed to Passes-Dangereuses on May 23, 2009.

The name Passes-Dangereuses, French for "dangerous pass", refers to a series of rapids and chutes that stir up the Peribonka River for about 15 km (9.3 mi) from Lake Peribonka's outlet downstream. This section of the river flows through impressive escarpments over 100 m (330 ft) high. The area was first identified as "the nasty portage" by Jesuit Pierre-Michel Laure on his map of 1731. The following year, this missionary used the First Nations name Katchiskataouakigs, also used by Bellin on his map of 1744. A map of Jonathan Carver from 1776 indicated "Falls and Rift" to characterize the place. The current toponym began to appear on survey maps only at the end of the 19th century. In 1941, Alcan built a dam called Chute-des-Passes at the head of these rapids, forming Lake Peribonka behind it. The dam's name also refers to the nearby hamlet that formed the east side of the river, and was the former name of Passes-Dangereuses Territory.

Demographics of Passes-Dangereuses, Quebec

The population of Passes-Dangereuses has seen a steady trend over the years. The population in 2021 was recorded at 210, marking a 14.1% increase from 2016. The population in 2016 was 184, slightly down from 226 in 2011. The population in 2006 was 174, down from 188 in 2001 and 192 in 1996. The population in 1991 was 207. The territory has 151 total dwellings, with 104 occupied by usual residents.

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