Le secrétaire de la rédaction
Transformations récentes de l’agglomération québécoise : fonctions, population et organisation de l’espace
Over the last ten years the Québec City agglomeration has been subject to numerous transformations despite the city's rather mediocre economic development and a rate of increase of population which is lower than that of most large cities of Canada. These transformations present differing characteristics in the various sectors of the city and of its suburbs.
The central zone of the agglomeration, where the population is decreasing, has been the locale of rather extensive urban renewal despite the many problems posed by historic buildings and an outmoded lot structure. A second zone, termed « peripheral » by the writer, contains the areas exhibiting the greatest increase of population of the agglomeration ; this zone is characterised by a disorderly spatial structure, typical of recently urbanised areas. Finally, the third zone, termed sub-urban, gives the appearance of having been subjected to the minimum amount of change. Here, however, farms are rapidly disappearing as a result of land speculation and incipient urbanisation.
Relief features of interest to the geomorphologist are numerous in the Québec City district. Among the more striking are the fault-line scarps at Montmorency Falls and on the island of Orléans and the various Champlain sea terraces among which Goldthwait's « 110-foot » and « Micmac » terraces are particularly well developed. A possible pre-Pleistocene section of the Montmorency river channel bas been suggested but still remains to be definitely established.
The region of Québec comprises nine counties and at the time of the 1961 census had a total population of 643,843 inhabitants. The author briefly describes the physical characteristics of the region and shows that its unity resides in the dominating influence of Québec, regional capital. In the study of the settlement, the author's analysis is devoted particularly to a criticism of the « rang » System of rural settlement. The growth of the population is rather appreciable even though all of the counties except Québec experience a net migration loss. The pattern of urban influence seems unbalanced. The Québec agglomeration alone includes more than half of the population of the region. Aside from Québec, the region has only small towns with population smaller than 5,000. In order to retain its importance, the region needs to undergo development in all sectors of its economy, particularly in that of secondary industry, which is currently somewhat retarded.
The Saguenay - Lake Saint-Jean region was only settled during the past one hundred years but now contains a population of approximately 260,000 (1961). This rapid growth of population is explained in great measure by an exceptionally high rate of natural increase. Much urbanisation bas recently occurred, particularly in the upper Saguenay area where the conurbation consisting of Chicoutimi, Jonquiere, Kénogami, Arvida, Bagotville and Port-Alfred now bas a population of over 110,000.
The regional economy is based to a certain extent upon agriculture, with a specialisation in dairy farming. However, the principal emphasis is upon the aluminium and paper industries, which are supported by the great local hydro-electric power resources. The local economy is, however, dangerously subject to fluctuations of the international market.
Peter Clibbon and Robert Bergeron
Le lac Saint-Jean est situé à l'intérieur du Bouclier aux sources du Sague-nay. Il occupe la partie sud-est d'une dépression structurale d'environ 65 milles de long par 35 milles de large, limitée sur trois côtés par des escarpements de faille. Le sous-sol de ces basses terres est constitué de calcaires et de schistes paléozoïques recouverts d'épais dépôts d'argile et de sable. Trois séries de terrasses marines bien définies encerclent la cuvette.
Les hautes terres environnantes sont plus ou moins accidentées selon les endroits, avec une altitude relative moyenne d'environ 500 pieds. Des paragneiss, des gneiss mélangés, des anorthosites, des roches charnockitiques et des granits, tous d'âge précambrien, constituent le sous-sol de ce plateau. Les zones les plus accidentées correspondent en grande partie aux roches charnockitiques, aux granités et aux anorthosites massives, tandis que les zones gneissiques ne sont que légèrement ondulées. Des tills d'origine locale tapissent les pentes et d'épais dépôts fluvioglaciaires remplissent les vallées principales.
Two maps of the agricultural ecumene of the Lake Saint-Jean region are presented, the first showing the extent of cleared land as determined from air photos and the second indicating the present legal status of all surveyed parcels of land. The present land use is discussed in relation with the physical environment and the history of colonisation. In some areas the limits of the agricultural ecumene correspond to the contact between the alluvium-blanketed lowland and the surround-ing Precambrian upland ; in other areas the system of land allocation bas determined the limits of the ecumene, for the advance of colonisation was often brought to a halt by the establishment of for est reserves on Crown lands. The pioneer fringe municipalities of Saint-Ludger-de-Milot and Lac-Bouchette are located in such regions of arrested settlement.
The writer concludes that throughout the Lake Saint-Jean area the lands presently under cultivation are bordered by territories unsuitable for farm settlement — consequently, it appears that the agricultural ecumene of the region bas attained its furthest extension.
The mixed forest of the St. Lawrence valley, which presents jour successive landscapes during its seasonal rhythm, bas been the dorsal spine of Eastern Canada s economy since the establishment of the French colony.
The various people who have successively inhabited this forest have either used it as members of the bio-sociological unit or tried to modify its ecology, depending on their traditional culture. It was occupied soon after the glacier recession by the Red-ochre Man, who was followed by the Algonkian forest hunters. Later, the same territory was inhabited by Iroquoian tribes, who brought with them their agriculture which had evolved in the South, but was reoccupied by the Algonkian tribes just before the foundation of Québec. At this time it became a country of European settlers, who carried with them their Old World agriculture and tried to reconstruct in a new continent their Normandie or Poitou landscape. For a newly established agriculturist, the land hardly produced enough for a living. The exploitation of Canadian forests was unpopular amongst the LaRochelle merchants who preferred to trade in the Baltic regions. The first important economic resource was the fur trade. Later, when Napoleon Bonaparte set up a blockade in the Baltic sea, England had to look elsewhere to save and develop her navy and found in the forests of Eastern Canada the pine-trees she needed. Finally, the increase in the number of news-papers, which was largely a consequence of the French revolution, developed another type of forest industry, the production of spruce pulp.
The development of geography in the province of Québec and its establishment as a course of study at Université Laval are described. For the province of Québec the writer defines five major periods of development of geography ; pre 1830 ; 1830-1880 ; 1880-1910 ; 1910-1945 ; and 1945 to the present. The last period represents the organisational phase of geography in the province and is by far the most important. Among other things, the reasons for the late appearance of geography are analysed and the present state of teaching and research in the province are outlined. Outside influences upon Québec geography are also discussed.
The establishment of modem geography at Université Laval is outlined under three beadings :
a) 1942-Sept. 1948 — the precursors.
b) 1948-1954 — the establishment of geography in the program of the Faculté des lettres (teaching begins in September, 1948, the Cahiers in May, 1952, and summer courses in July, 1954).
c) 1955 to the present —• the period of autonomy and expansion (organisational changes, periodicity of the Cahiers, the Mélanges Blanchard, symposia at the provincial level, and the establishment of the Centre d'études nordiques).
In enterprise and achievement Laval bas played a leading role in the French-Canadian school of geography. The writer concludes by proposing a short term program for geography in Québec and at Université Laval.
Tous droits réservés © Cahiers de géographie du Québec, 1962