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Maps of Quebec / Cartes du Québec


Last revised:
20 August 2004


Map of the Colonization Regions of Quebec
Carte des régions de colonisation de la province

de Québec


The 1923 Atlas-géographie of primary schools of the Frères Maristes of the province of Quebec asked the question: "Is the territory of the Province of Quebec entirely colonized?" The answer provided was that "the province had barely one twentieth of its territory colonized, cleared and organized into municipalities; more than 15,000,000 acres of good fertile land were waiting to be tilled; that is why the provincial government was doing everything within its power to promote farming". Further, the same text assured the pupils that "those who left the province for the United States would do much better to go instead to one of the regions of colonization chosen by the provincial government; there, they would find more rapidly and more easily a modest affluence, independence and freedom since the peasant who owns the land he cultivates is like a small king on his domain ".

The colonization areas were (as described by the Atlas ):

  • Abitibi : the new transcontinental line of the Canadian National Railway (CNR) had opened opportunities. [The region was excellent for mining; a short growing season limited agricultural development.]
  • Lake Temiscaming : flat lands around the lake and a micro climate made agriculture possible, especially the dairy industry although markets were far.
  • The valleys of the Gatineau and the Lièvre rivers: these sub regions of the Ottawa Valley contained flat land close to the rivers. Good forest reserves permitted lumbering. Inevitably, the "industrie agro-forestière" developed in this setting.
  • The basin of the river Matawin : The Atlas of 1923 declared this valley to be one of the most fertile in the province.
  • Lac St.-Jean : "whose soil is of an inexhaustible fertility" according to the Atlas .
  • The townships of south-east Quebec : alongside the transcontinental line of the CNR "parishes are springing-up as if by magic".
  • The Valley of the Matapedia: "a magnificent agricultural region capable of sustaining 400,000 souls".
While these regions clearly offered some opportunities, it is evident that the editors of the Atlas greatly overestimated their potential. They evidently suffered from agriculturalism.

Source of the map: Les Frères Maristes, Atlas-Géographie. Étude physique - Politique, Économique du Canada et de la Province de Québec , Montreal, Granger Frères Ltée, 1930 [1923], p. 49

© 2004 Claude Bélanger, Marianopolis College