name =Shawinigan, Quebec
settlement_type = City
official_name = Ville de Shawinigan
nickname = The City of Electricity
motto = Age Quod Agis ("Do what you are doing")
image_caption = Downtown Shawinigan
flag_size = 225px
mapsize = 200px
map_caption = Location of Pagename
dot_x = |dot_y =
subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_type1 = Province
subdivision_type2 = Region
established_title = Founded
established_date = 1901
established_title2 = Incorporated (town)
established_date2 = 1902
established_title3 = Incorporated (city)
established_date3 = 1958
unit_pref = Metric
area_land_km2 = 733.27
area_urban_km2 = 109.94
area_metro_km2 = 962.69
population_as_of = 2006
population_footnotes = [ [http://www12.statcan.ca/francais/census06/data/popdwell/Table.cfm?T=302&SR=1&S=3&O=D&RPP=25&PR=24 Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2006 and 2001 censuses - 100% data] - Statistics Canada, retrieved
september 22 2007]
population_total = 51904
population_density_km2 = 70.8
population_blank1 =French (98%)
timezone = EST
utc_offset = −5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = −4
latd= |latm= |lats= |latNS=
longd= |longm= |longs= |longEW=
area_code = 819
website = [http://www.ville.shawinigan.qc.ca/ Shawinigan official site]
footnotes = Shawinigan is a city located on the
Saint-Maurice Riverin the Mauriciearea in Quebec, Canada. It has a population of approximately 51,904 people (2006).
Shawinigan is also a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality (TE) and census division (CD) of
Quebec, coextensive with the city of Shawinigan. Its geographical code is 23.
Before Shawinigan Falls was established, the local economy had been largely based on
In the late 1890s, Shawinigan Falls drew the interest of
foreignentrepreneurs such as John Joyceand J. E. Aldred of the Shawinigan, Water & Power Company(SW&P), and of Hubert Biermansof the Belgo Company because of its particular geographic situation. Its falls had the potential to become a favorable location for the production of hydroelectricity. [ [http://www.rsc.ca/files/publications/transactions/2004/lambert.pdf Transactions 2004: Life, Learning and the Arts] , The Royal Society of Canada, November 19, 2004]
In 1899, the SW&P commissioned
Montrealengineering firm Pringle and Son to design a grid planfor a new industrial town on the banks of the Saint-Maurice River, providing the ground work for what would become downtown Shawinigan. [ [http://www.cca.qc.ca/pages/Niveau3.asp?page=power&lang=eng Power and Planning: Industrial Towns in Québec, 1890-1950] , CCA, 1996]
In 1901, Shawinigan Falls was incorporated and became the site of the first production of
aluminumin Canadian history. [ [http://www.alcan.com/web/publishing.nsf/Content/Alcan+Celebrates+100+Years+of+Aluminum+Production+in+Canada_FR Alcan célèbre le centenaire de la production d'aluminium au Canada] , Alcan Inc., November 1, 2001] Other industries included pulp and paper, chemical production and textiles.
Shawinigan Falls also became one of the first Canadian cities with electric
For decades, the local pulp and
paper, chemical and textile industries created thousands of jobs. The city steadily grew eastward and northward. Meanwhile on the other side of the river, Shawinigan-Sud(then Almaville) developed as a residential hub.
Shawinigan Falls also had a vibrant
English-speakingcommunity, which at times comprised more than 30% of the population. Early on, members of the French-speakingmajority and the more privileged English-speaking minority settled in segregated neighbourhoods.
Local prosperity was interrupted by the
Great Depressionin the 1930s. Many plants were forced to temporarily reduce or stop their production, which left many residents jobless. Many families needed public assistanceto survive. The City Council enacted a public worksprogram to help families.
World War II
World War IIput Shawinigan Falls, and many others cities in Canada, back on the path of economic recovery.
The Shawinigan-based 81st Artillery Battery was called to active duty during World War II. Its members were trained in
Ontarioand the United Kingdomfrom 1940 to 1944 and contributed to the Allies' effort in the Normandy Landings in 1944-45, which led to the Liberation of France. [J.J. Bellemare, 60 ans d'artillerie en Mauricie, Shawinigan, 1996]
In 1948, a
cenotaph, known as Monument des Braves, was erected in downtown Shawinigan at the intersection of Fourth Street and Promenade du Saint-Maurice (then Riverside Street) near the Saint-Maurice River, in honour of soldiers who died during that conflict as well as World War I.
Because of its large labor population, Shawinigan became a hot bed for
trade unionactivities. The workers of the Belgo pulp and paper plant went on strike in 1955.
Duplessis responded by refusing to approve the construction of a new bridge between Shawinigan and Shawinigan-Sud. The new bridge was not built until after the Liberal Party won the 1960 election.
In the 1950s, Shawinigan Falls entered a period of decline that would last for several decades.
Technological improvements made industries less dependent on Shawinigan's geographic location. Therefore, many employers would relocate nearby larger cities or close down.
As a reaction to declining opportunities, many residents, many of whom were English-speakers, left the area. Shawinigan High School is the only remaining English-language school in the city following the closure of St. Patrick's (closed circa 1983).
In 1963, the provincial government of
Jean Lesagenationalized eleven privately owned electricity companies including SW&P. While benefiting the population in general, the decision may have been damaging to local interests.
Emerging hospitality industry
Following numerous failed attempts to jump start the local economy, an effort has led to the development of the
hospitality industry. The most notable example of that initiative is the establishment of La Cité de l'Énergie, a theme park based on local industrial history, with a 115 metre high observation tower. Since it opened in 1997, it has attracted thousands of visitors to the area.
In 2001, Shawinigan amalgamated with much of the Regional County Municipality of Le Centre-de-la-Mauricie. The following municipalities were part of the merger:
Children who meet
Charter of the French Languageguidelines can attend "Shawinigan High School". Its campus is located at 1125, rue des Cèdres and is affiliated to the "Central Québec school Board".
Shawinigan is also home of the
Séminaire Sainte-Marie, a private institution that provides the secondary curriculum and of the Collège Shawinigan: a CEGEPwhose main campus is located at 2263 Avenue du Collège;
Many of the oldest streets of Shawinigan were numbered, like the streets of
Manhattan, New York. Similarly, Avenue Broadway was named after the famous thoroughfare, located in the same borough.
Several other streets and avenues were named to honor famous people, including:
Samuel de Champlain
* Dollard des Ormeaux
Peter Julian Eymard
* Comte de Frontenac
* King George V
Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville
* Marshal Joseph Joffre
Pope John XXIII
* Curé Labelle
* Monsignor Louis-François Laflèche
* Sieur de La Salle
* Marquis de Montcalm
* Basile Routhier
* Major General Georges Vanier
Landmarks and notable institutions
* The Trou du Diable (Devil's Hole): this mysterious location consists of a swirl in the
Saint-Maurice Rivernearby the falls. Legend has it, the Trou du Diable has no bottom, making it impossible to rescue anyone who falls into it; [ [http://www.vif.com/users/spongiana/trou.html Brasserie Le Trou du Diable] ]
* Parc Saint-Maurice: located in downtown Shawinigan, it was part of the city's original plan.
62nd (Shawinigan) Field Artillery Regiment: a militia unit of the Canadian Armywhich was called to active duty during World War II;
La Cité de l'Énergie;
Shawinigan Cataractes: the only QMJHLfranchise to have stayed in the same city since the league's inception in 1969. They play at the Arena Jacques Plante(855 Rue Broadway);
* the Shawinigan-Sud Tax Center;
The city is home to:
Peter Blaikie, a prominent lawyer;
Jean Chrétien, who was Prime Minister of Canadafrom 1993 to 2003;
Louise Forestier, who is a singer and an actress;
* Martin Gélinas, a
National Hockey League(NHL) player;
Jacques Lacoursière, a renowned historian;
Carole Laure, an actress;
Jacques Plante, an NHL goaltender
Camil Samson, who was Member of the provincial legislature for the district of Rouyn-Norandaand the Leader of the Ralliement créditiste du Québec;
* The "Classique internationale de canots de la Mauricie": a prestigious marathon canoe race, held annually since 1934.
Fête nationale du Québeccelebration: consisting of a bonfire and a live performance from local musicians, its audience arguably ranks among the largest crowds in the Mauriciearea. It takes place at the Parc de la rivière Grand-Mère. [ [http://www.voir.ca/actualite/actualite.aspx?iIDArticle=42484 La fête nationale en Mauricie] , Karine Parenteau, Voir, June 22, 2006] The tradition goes back decades ago. [ [http://www.lhebdodustmaurice.com/article-78625-Vandalisme-dans-le-parc-de-la-riviere-GrandMere.html Vandalisme dans le parc de la rivière Grand-Mère] , Clin d'oeil historique, L'Hebdo du St-Maurice, February 23, 2007]
*The word "Shawinigan" means "portage at the crest" in
Algonquian, referring to the nearby waterfall. Before 1958 the city was known as Shawinigan Falls.
*Traditionally, residents of Shawinigan have made a distinction between "downtown" (bas de la ville) and "uptown" (haut de la ville) Shawinigan. Downtown consists of the oldest and lowest section of town, near the river. Other sections, such as Saint-Marc and Christ-Roi (Christ the King) neighborhoods are built on higher ground and are considered uptown. Côte Saint-Marc is considered the transition between both.
*Likewise, Shawinigan-Sud has been divided into "Almaville-en-Bas" (down) and "Almaville-en-Haut" (up) in popular culture.
*Until the early 1950s, children under 16 years old had to observe a 9:00 p.m.
curfeweveryday. [Fabien LaRochelle, Shawinigan depuis 75 ans, 1976]
*Rue Mercier (Mercier Street), which is located in downtown Shawinigan, was named to honor Premier
*Until 2001, Shawinigan contained one of the tallest guyed masts in Canada, the
* [http://www.ville.shawinigan.qc.ca/ Shawinigan official site]
* [http://www.tourismemauricie.com/ Tourisme Mauricie] Regional tourist office
Administrative divisions of Quebec region|Mauricie
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