Lévis, Quebec

Levis
—  City  —
Ville de Lévis
Lévis as seen from Terrasse Dufferin


Motto: Toujours à l'Avant-Garde
[[Image:|250px|Levis is located in ]]
Location in Quebec, Canada
Coordinates: 46°48′N 71°11′W / 46.8°N °W / 46.8; -71.183
Country  Canada
Province  Quebec
Established January 1, 2002
Government
 - Mayor Danielle Roy-Marinelli
 - Governing body Levis City Council
 - MPs Steven Blaney, Jacques Gourde
 - MNAs Gilles Lehouillier, Marc Picard
Area
 - Land
Population (2006)
 - Total 130006
 Density
 - Urban density
 - Rural density
 - Metro density
 -  Density
 -  Density
Time zone EST (UTC−5)
 - Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−4)
Postal Code G6, G7
Area code(s) 418
Website www.ville.levis.qc.ca

Lévis is a city in eastern Quebec, Canada. It is located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, opposite Quebec City. A ferry links Old Quebec with Old Lévis, and two bridges, the Quebec Bridge and the Pierre Laporte Bridge, connect western Lévis with Quebec City. The Société de transport de Lévis is responsible for public transportation by bus.

The population in 2006 was 130,006.[1] Its current incarnation was founded on January 1, 2002, as the result of a merger among ten cities, including the older city of Lévis founded in 1861.

Lévis is also the name of a territory equivalent to a regional county municipality (TE) and census division (CD) of Quebec, coextensive with the city of Lévis. Its geographical code is 25 as a census division, and 251 as an RCM-equivalent territory.

Contents


Geography

Lévis County existed until 1980s when it was divided into Desjardins regional county municipality (RCM), Chutes-de-la-Chaudière-Ouest Regional County Municipality, and Chutes-de-la-Chaudière-Est Regional County Municipalities, which are now equivalent to current districts within the current Lévis.

On January 1, 2002, ten cities were merged by the Quebec provincial government to form the new city of Lévis: Charny, Lévis, Pintendre, Sainte-Hélène-de-Breakeyville, Saint-Étienne-de-Lauzon, Saint-Jean-Chrysostome, Saint-Joseph-de-la-Pointe-de-Lévy, Saint-Nicolas, Saint-Rédempteur, and Saint-Romuald. Previously, the former cities of Lauzon and Saint-David-de-l'Auberivière were merged to Lévis in 1989.[2] The three RCMs which these cities were a part of ceased to exist. The new city, however, was divided into three districts:[3] Desjardins, Chutes-de-la-Chaudière-Ouest and Chutes-de-la-Chaudière-Est, which have the same boundaries as the former RCMs.

Lévis covers an area of : 10% urban, 48% farmlands, 36% forests and 6% wetlands. In addition to the Saint Lawrence River, the Etchemin and Chaudière Rivers also run through the city before ending their journey in the Saint Lawrence. The Chaudière River also boasts a fall with a suspended bridge, which can be accessed from Autoroute 73.

History

First Nations people are said to have favored the Pointe-Lévy (currently named Lévis) area long before French settlement due to its ideal location, at the junction of the St-Lawrence and the Chaudière rivers. Many archeological sites reveal evidence of human occupation for about 10,000 years. Some historians theorize that Pointe-Lévy could have been one of the main centres of Native American population development in the Quebec province.

In 1636, approximately 28 years after the foundation of Quebec City, The seignory of Lauzon was founded on the eastern part of the actual territory. In the following years, other seignories were founded near the St-Lawrence river. Pointe-Lévy was mainly an agricultural domain in which several lords ("Seigneurs") controlled their part of land in a medieval feodal way.

The land of the Lauzon seignory remained unoccupied until 1647, when Guillaume Couture became the first European settler installed in front of Quebec City. Couture was at the time first Administrator, Chief Magistrate, Captain of the Militia, member of the Sovereign Council and was widely considered a hero in New France. Couture was however not the first seignor of the Lauzon Seignory, as the land was owned by Jean de Lauzon (French Governor between 1651 and 1657).

During the Seven Years' War in the summer of 1759, General James Wolfe established a camp in the territory of Pointe-Lévy and laid siege to Quebec City. The siege succeeded and after firing cannons from the hills of Pointe-Lévy for three months and the battle on the plains in front of the walls, Quebec fell to the British. During this time, Pointe-Lévy served as the main camp to sustain the British army in the Quebec area. The constant cannon firing between Quebec City and Pointe-Lévy also served as a way to stop the French and British ships from going farther on the St. Lawrence river thus preventing reinforcement to other major cities like Montreal. In 1763, Marie-Josephte Corriveau was hanged in Quebec City for killing her husband, and, in accordance with English practice, her body was displayed in a cage for several weeks in St-Joseph-de-la-Pointe-Lévy (old part of the former City of Lauzon). This was an unusual punishment used for the first time by the British government in North America and reserved for persons found guilty of particularly heinous crimes. This punishment was practised in England since the Middle Ages.

From 1854, the railroad appeared in Pointe-Lévy making the city a major transportation centre for commerce and immigration. Being on the south shore of the St. Lawrence river, Pointe-Levy could be connected through rail to Ontario, Maine (and from there the whole United States) and the Maritime Provinces.

Many years later, between 1865 and 1872 while the city was still under control of Britain, a series of three forts were built to protect Quebec and the surroundings from the threat of American invasion. The forts were never really used for their intended purpose. One of these forts (Fort no.1) still remains today and can be visited.

The City of Lévis was born in 1861. The founder of this new city was Mgr. Joseph-David Déziel (1806–1882). Many municipalities in the territory of present-day Lévis were merged between 1861 and 2002. Many towns were created and the Village of Pointe-Levy (or St-Joseph-de-la-Pointe-Lévy) became the Village of Lauzon in 1867 and then the City of Lauzon in 1910.

In the late 19th and beginning of the 20th century, Alphonse Desjardins, pioneered the foundation of the credit union movement and founded the first caisse populaire in Lévis. He also began a long process to create what later became the Desjardins Group by travelling everywhere in Quebec helping people in other cities to start their own credit union.

Economy

Although a relatively small city, Lévis is not a typical suburb. The presence of several large employers has allowed many citizens to both live and work in Lévis. It is home to the Ultramar refinery, one of the largest in eastern Canada, Frito-Lay and Davie Shipbuilding are located in Lauzon Area (former city). The Desjardins Group headquarters. The founder of the latter, Alphonse Desjardins, lived in Lévis and ran with his wife, Dorimène Roy Desjardins, the first Caisse Populaire from their home. The city is also a major agricultural business research and development center. More and more high technology companies, such as Creaform (3D), are established in Lévis.

There are many schools of different levels, including the Cégep de Lévis-Lauzon and a UQAR campus (Université du Québec à Rimouski). A lot of small business and entertainment developed in the city during the last decade and finalized the transformation from a Quebec City suburb into a small city.

Demographics

The city of Lévis' population grew by an estimated 1.3 per cent in 5 years. Lévis is an old community in terms of population as the proportion of youths is lower than the national average and the proportion of those over 65 years of age is higher than the national average. Some 14.5 per cent is under 14 years of age, while those over 65 number 15.7 per cent. The city is one of the most homogeneous in Canada, around 99 per cent of the population are of European ancestry, while over 97% of residents have a French mother tongue.

People born in Lévis

See also

References