Île d'Orléans

Île d'Orléans (French pronunciation: ​[il dɔʁleɑ̃]; English: Island of Orleans) is located in the Saint Lawrence River about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) east of downtown Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. The island was one of the first parts of the province to be colonized by the French, and a large percentage of French Canadians can trace ancestry to early residents of the island. The island has been described as the "microcosm of traditional Quebec and as the birthplace of francophones in North America."[1]

The island is accessible from the mainland via the Île d'Orléans Bridge from Beauport. Route 368 is the sole provincial route on the island, which crosses the bridge and circles the perimeter of the island. At the village of Sainte-Pétronille toward the western end of the island, a viewpoint overlooks the impressive Chute Montmorency (Montmorency Falls), as well as a panorama of the St. Lawrence River and Quebec City.

Île d'Orléans is twinned with Île de Ré in France.

Satellite image of Île d'Orléans in the Saint Lawrence River
St-Pierre-Ile-Orleans QC 2
Île d'Orléans' pastoral character is well preserved.


The Island of Orleans is situated between the Laurentian Plateau or Canadian Shield to the north and the Appalachian Mountains to the south. Its north-eastern point marks the boundary between the St. Lawrence River and its estuary (the largest in the world), where fresh water begins to mix with salt water.[1]

Of irregular form with jagged coves and capes, the Island of Orleans is 34 kilometres (21 mi) long and 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) wide at the widest point. It is 75 kilometres (47 mi) in circumference, with a total surface area of 190 square kilometres (73 sq mi). It has a hilly relief, small valleys, and gradual crests that reach a maximum height of about 150 metres (490 ft) at Sainte-Pétronille and Saint-Laurent in the south.[2][3]


Administratively, the island is within Quebec's Capitale-Nationale region, and constitutes the L'Île-d'Orléans Regional County Municipality. It is further subdivided in the municipalities of:

The entire island is part of the Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord federal electoral riding, and the Charlevoix–Côte-de-Beaupré provincial electoral riding.


Beaupre Jean Bourdon 1641
Map from 1641 of Île d'Orléans

The island had long been inhabited by the indigenous tribes. The Huron called it Minigo (meaning "Enchantress", because of its charm).[1] The French explorer Jacques Cartier first set foot on the island in 1535 near the present-day village of Saint-François. He called it Île de Bascuz (from Bacchus) because of the abundance of wild grapes growing on the island. Officials later changed the name to Île d'Orléans in honour of the second son of King Francis I, Henri II, the Duke of Orléans. The island was also known as Grande Île, Sainte-Marie, and Saint-Laurent for certain periods in the 17th and 18th centuries.[2]

Early French settlers, immigrating mostly from the Normandy and Poitou regions in France, were attracted to the island because of its fertile soil. They colonized it according to the seigneurial system of New France, which is still evident in its layout, featuring residences close together, with outlying long, narrow fields and a common.[1] In 1661, the first parish of Sainte-Famille was founded, followed by another four parishes in 1679/1680. By 1685, there were 1205 mostly French inhabitants and 917 livestock.[4]

In 1744, colonists completed the 67 kilometres (42 mi) Chemin Royal (Royal Road), which encircles the entire island.[4] Jean Mauvide, a surgeon for the King of France, built the Manoir Mauvide-Genest in 1734 as his residence. In 1759 it was occupied by British General Wolfe when his forces occupied the island shortly before the Battle of the Plains of Abraham during the Seven Years' War. Great Britain was victorious.

In the 19th and early 20th century, several boat-building yards operated on the island, especially in Saint-Laurent-de-l'Île-d'Orléans. Together with the thriving fishing industry of that era, it gave the Island of Orleans a maritime character.[5]

The Island of Orleans retained its traditional rural way of life until 1935, when construction was completed on the Pont de l'Île bridge, allowing much more traffic. The crossing connects to the Chemin Royal, which was set to music in 1975 by francophone singer Félix Leclerc, in his song "Le Tour de L'île." In spite of this, the island has maintained its pastoral image and historic character, with more than 600 buildings classified or recognized as heritage property. In 1990, the entire island was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.[1][2][4][6]

Today the island is a mix of suburban communities and farms. It is a popular destination for daytrippers and bicyclists.


Chalouperie (Île d'Orléans)
Parc Maritime Saint-Laurent: an old boat yard, now a tourist attraction.

Since the days of the first French settlers, agriculture has been the main economic activity. The island, known as the "Garden of Quebec",[1] is still an essentially rural place famous locally for its produce, especially strawberries, apples, potatoes and wineries. Sugar maple stands produce maple syrup and other products.

While the old trades of fishing and boat building have been abandoned, the island's rich cultural heritage and pastoral scenery has led to a flourishing tourism industry. It attracts more than 600,000 visitors each year. Numerous bed-and-breakfast inns, regional cuisine restaurants, roadside fruit stands, art galleries and craft shops also attract visitors.[1][2]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Welcome to Île d'Orléans". Île d'Orléans Tourism. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
  2. ^ a b c d "Île d'Orléans" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2009-10-27.
  3. ^ Statistics Canada 2006 Community Profile: L'Île-d'Orléans Regional County Municipality, Quebec
  4. ^ a b c "Discover the Island". Courtepointe et Cafe Association of B&Bs on the Island of Orleans. Retrieved 2009-10-29.
  5. ^ "Saint-Laurent-de-l'Île-d'Orléans (Municipalité)" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2009-10-26.
  6. ^ Île d'Orléans Seigneury. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 31 March 2012.

External links

Coordinates: 46°55′06″N 70°58′35″W / 46.91833°N 70.97639°W

Achille Larue

Achille Larue (October 27, 1849 – May 1, 1922) was a lawyer and political figure in Quebec. He represented Bellechasse in the House of Commons of Canada from 1878 to 1881 as a Liberal member.

He was born in St-Jean, Île d'Orléans, Canada East, the son of Nazaire La Rue and Adelaide Roy. Larue was educated at the Séminaire de Quebec and the Université Laval. He was admitter to the Quebec bar in 1872 and set up practice in Quebec City. Larue was an unsuccessful candidate for a seat in the House of Commons in an 1875 by-election. He was elected in the 1878 federal election; his election was overturned in 1881 after an appeal. He was president of Le Club Canadien. Larue died in Quebec City at the age of 72.

Adrien Pouliot

Adrien Pouliot, (January 4, 1896 – March 10, 1980) was a Canadian mathematician and educator.

Born in Île d'Orléans, Quebec. He got married to Laure Clark and was cousin of André Hudon. he obtained a B.A. in applied sciences from the École Polytechnique de Montréal in 1919. He helped to create the department of mathematics at Université Laval where he began teaching in 1922. He was president of the Canadian Mathematical Society from 1949 to 1953. He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1972. He was head of the Faculty of Science at Laval from 1940 to 1956. A building on the Laval campus has been named in his honour.

The Canadian Mathematical Society's Adrien Pouliot Award is named in his honour.

Alexis Godbout

Alexis Godbout (1799 – October 22, 1887) was a merchant and political figure in Quebec. He represented Orléans in the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada from 1834 to 1838.

He was born at Saint-Pierre on the Île d'Orléans, the son of Pierre Godbout and Marie-Anne Leclerc. In 1830, he married Julie Gauvreau. Godbout was elected to the legislative assembly in an 1834 by-election held after François Quirouet was named to the legislative council. He voted in support of the Ninety-Two Resolutions. In 1856, Godbout was named registrar for Dorchester County, serving in that post until 1868. He died at Lac-Etchemin at the age of 88.

Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix

Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix (formerly Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord and Charlevoix—Montmorency) is a federal electoral district in Quebec, Canada, that has been represented in the House of Commons of Canada since 2004. An earlier Charlevoix—Montmorency riding was represented in the House of Commons from 1917 to 1925.

Following the Canadian federal electoral redistribution, 2012, the riding was renamed Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix from Montmorency—Charlevoix—Haute-Côte-Nord, with the eastern part of the riding becoming a part of the neighbouring riding of Manicouagan.


Beauport—Limoilou is a federal electoral district in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada, that has been represented in the House of Commons of Canada since 2004.

The riding was created in 2003 as "Beauport" from parts of Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île-d'Orléans, Quebec and Quebec East ridings. It was renamed "Beauport—Limoilou" after the 2004 election.

Charles Blouin

Charles Blouin (November 3, 1753 – August 21, 1844) was a farmer and political figure in Lower Canada. He represented Orléans in the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada from 1810 to 1820.

He was born in Saint-Jean on the île d'Orléans, the son of Joseph Blouin and Marie-Joseph Blais. Blouin, like his father, served as a captain in the militia. He was married twice: first to Marie-Joseph Tremblay, a relative, in 1778 and then to Marie-Ursule Blouin, also a relative, in 1816. Blouin did not run for reelection to the assembly in 1820. He died at Saint-Jean at the age of 90.

Hélène Vachon

Hélène Vachon (born 1947) is a Canadian writer living in Quebec.She was born in Quebec City and studied modern French literature at the Université de Paris X and textual criticism at Laval University. She then worked for the Quebec Ministry of Culture and Communications. Vachon lives on the Île d'Orléans.

Jean Langlois

Jean Langlois (February 16, 1824 – March 8, 1886) was a Quebec lawyer, professor and political figure. He represented Montmorency in the House of Commons of Canada as a Conservative member from 1867 to 1878.He was born in Saint-Laurent on the Île d'Orléans in 1824, the son of Jean Langlois and Marie Labrecque, and studied at the Séminaire de Québec. He was called to the bar in 1847 and became a Queen's Counsel in 1867. Langlois was partner in a law firm in Quebec City with Louis-Napoléon Casault. He was professor of criminal law at Université Laval from 1858 to 1867. He was elected to the House of Commons in an 1867 by-election after Joseph Cauchon was named to the Senate.In 1870, Langlois married Mary Josephine Macdonald. He died in Quebec City at the age of 62.

Joseph-Pierre Turcotte

Joseph-Pierre Turcotte (May 21, 1857 – January 6, 1939) was a lawyer, journalist and political figure in Quebec. He represented Quebec County in the House of Commons of Canada from 1908 to 1911 as a Liberal.He was born in Saint-Jean, Île d'Orléans, Canada East, the son of François-Xavier Turcotte and Élisabeth Rousseau. Turcotte was admitted to the Quebec bar in 1881 and practised in Quebec City. He was an unsuccessful candidate for a seat in the Quebec assembly in 1886 and 1896. He contributed to a number of publications including the Petit Journal, the Revue de Québec and the Électeur. In 1910, he was named King's Counsel.

L'Île-d'Orléans Regional County Municipality

L'Île-d'Orléans is a regional county municipality in central Quebec, Canada, in the Capitale-Nationale region. Its seat is Sainte-Famille. The population in the 2011 census was 6,711 persons.

The RCM consists solely of the Île d'Orléans, an island in the Saint Lawrence River just east of Quebec City. It is the smallest RCM in Quebec in terms of land area (though not in total area including water).

Montmorency (electoral district)

Montmorency (also known as Montmorency—Orléans, Beauport—Montmorency—Orléans, and Beauport—Montmorency—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île-d'Orléans) was a federal electoral district in the province of Quebec, Canada, that was represented in the House of Commons of Canada from 1867 to 1917, and from 1968 to 2004.

Pierre Langlois (politician)

Pierre Langlois (June 14, 1750 – January 2, 1830) was a merchant and political figure in Lower Canada. He represented Dorchester in the Legislative Assembly of Lower Canada from 1808 to 1814.

He was born in Saint-Laurent on the île d'Orléans, the son of Jean Langlois and Éléonore Nolin. His father was captured at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham and sent to England where he later died. He was in business at Quebec City. Langlois was an unsuccessful candidate for the Buckingham seat in 1795. He did not run for reelection to the assembly in 1814. Langlois died in Quebec City at the age of 79.

Quebec Route 368

Route 368 is a 72 km two-lane east/west highway in Quebec, Canada, which is located on Île d'Orléans and includes the Pont de l'Île which connects the island to the mainland. It starts at the junction of Autoroute 40 at exit 325 in Beauport, now part of Quebec City, crosses the bridge and it follows around the island's perimeter, passing through all 6 villages on the island.

On Orleans Island, the route is also known as Chemin Royal (Royal Road) which was completed in 1744.


Saint-Pierre-de-l'Île-d'Orléans is a municipality in the Capitale-Nationale region of Quebec, Canada, part of the L'Île-d'Orléans Regional County Municipality. It is situated on the west side of Orléans Island, and accessible by Quebec Route 368 and the Île d'Orléans Bridge which connects Saint-Pierre with the Beauport borough of Quebec City. Until 1997, it was known simply as Saint-Pierre.

The Quebec poet and songwriter Félix Leclerc (1914-1988) is buried in this town, having lived there from 1958 to his death.

Sainte-Famille, Quebec

Sainte-Famille is a parish municipality in the L'Île-d'Orléans Regional County Municipality, Quebec, Canada, part of the administrative region of Capitale-Nationale. It is situated along the western shores of Orléans Island.

Founded in 1661, Sainte-Famille is the oldest settlement on the île d'Orléans and has one of the most important concentrations of houses of the old French regime.

Sylvie Boucher

Sylvie Boucher (born December 18, 1962 in Victoriaville, Quebec) is a Canadian politician of the Conservative Party who was elected Member of Parliament for the riding of Beauport—Limoilou, Quebec in the 2006 election by a margin of 812 votes over her Bloc Québécois opponent.

On February 7, 2006, Boucher was appointed as parliamentary secretary to Prime Minister Stephen Harper. On April 10, 2007 she also became Parliamentary Secretary for La Francophonie and Official Languages. On October 10, 2007 she was appointed Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister and for Status of Women. She was re-elected in the 2008 election, but was defeated in the 2011 election by Raymond Côté of the New Democratic Party.

Boucher has studied office systems technology, gerontology, information technology and literature. Before politics, she worked in the private sector and specialized in marketing and sales. Later, she worked in the National Assembly of Quebec with various jobs; she also served as Assistant Chief of Staff to the Canadian Minister of Tourism.

She returned to parliament in the 2015 election and defeated incumbent Jonathan Tremblay in the new riding of Beauport—Côte-de-Beaupré—Île d'Orléans—Charlevoix.

Édouard Bouffard

Édouard Bouffard (August 30, 1858 – December 12, 1903) was a lawyer and political figure in Quebec. He represented Montmorency in the Legislative Assembly of Quebec from 1896 to 1900 as a Conservative.

He was born in Saint-Laurent, Île d'Orléans, Canada East, the son of David Bouffard and Françoise Chabot, and educated at the Séminaire de Québec. He was called to the Quebec bar in 1884 and set up practice in Quebec City. He was first elected to the Quebec assembly in an 1896 by-election held after Thomas Chase-Casgrain was elected to the House of Commons. Bouffard was reelected in 1897 but defeated when he ran for reelection in 1900. In 1901, he married Mary Ann Bennet. He died in Quebec City at the age of 45.

Île d'Orléans, Louisiana

Île d'Orléans (French for "Isle of Orleans") was the historic name for the New Orleans area, in present-day Louisiana, U.S.A..

In 1762, France, anticipating that Great Britain would take Louisiana at the end of the French and Indian War, in the Treaty of Fontainebleau transferred to Spain all of Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, as well as a newly-defined area east of the Mississippi which included New Orleans, called the Isle of Orleans.

As the French had expected, in the Treaty of Paris (1763) the British took all of Louisiana east of the Mississippi, except for the Isle of Orleans, and incorporated it into their colony of West Florida, with the capital at Pensacola. Spanish possession of Louisiana west of the Mississippi River, and of the Isle of Orleans, was also confirmed in the Treaty of Paris. (Pugliese 2002)

The Isle of Orleans was bounded by the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico, Lakes Pontchartrain and Maurepas as well as Bayou Manchac, previously known as Iberville River, and the Amite River.

The Isle of Orleans was included in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase. It formed the southern border of the short-lived Republic of West Florida, a few years later.

Île d'Orléans Bridge

The Île d'Orléans Bridge, known locally as the Pont de l'Île, is a suspension bridge that spans the Saint Lawrence River between the Beauport borough of Quebec City and Île d'Orléans (Orléans Island) in the Canadian province of Quebec. It is part of Quebec Route 368 and connects to Autoroute 40 on the north side.

The island was originally accessible only by ferry or by ice bridge during the winter. An electoral promise made by Premier Louis-Alexandre Taschereau to Montmorency County for a job-creation project during the Great Depression led to the construction of this bridge in 1934. It was completed in 1935 and initially named Taschereau Bridge.The bridge, which uses under-deck trusses on the approaches to the main suspension-type span, is the farthest downstream of the Saint Lawrence River's fixed crossings, but it does not cross the entire river.

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