The Gaspésie (official name), or Gaspé Peninsula, the Gaspé or
Gaspesia, is a peninsula along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence
River to the east of the
Matapédia Valley in Quebec, Canada, that
extends into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. It is separated from New
Brunswick on its southern side by the
Baie des Chaleurs
Baie des Chaleurs (Chaleur Bay)
and the Restigouche River.
The origin of the name "Gaspé" comes from the Mi'kmaq word gespe'g,
meaning "end", referring to the end of the land. A Basque linguist
has instead suggested "Gaspé" comes from a mutation of the Basque
word "geizpe", meaning "shelter", but this view is disputed.
Peninsula is slightly larger than Belgium, at 31,075 square
kilometres (11,998 sq mi). The population is 140,599 as
of the 2011 census. It is also noted as being the only region
Channel Islands to contain native speakers of Norman
5 See also
7 External links
Sea cliffs dominate the peninsula's northern shore along the St.
Lawrence River. Cap Gaspé, jutting into the Gulf of St. Lawrence,
is the easternmost point of the peninsula.
Percé Rock (or Rocher
Percé), an island pierced by a natural arch, is located just offshore
of the peninsula's eastern end. The peninsula's interior is a rugged
northward continuation of the
Appalachian Mountains called the
Mont Jacques-Cartier at 1,268 metres (4,160 ft)
the peninisula's highest peak.
Mount Albert (Mont Albert) at 1,151 m (3,776 ft) is
another high mountain in the Chic-Chocs. Its summit, an alpine area
above the tree line, is a nearly flat plateau about 13 km
(8 mi) across composed of serpentine bedrock and supporting a
quite unusual flora. The ascent of Mount Albert from near sea level
is challenging, but popular with hikers, offering a view of the St.
Lawrence and the Côte-Nord, the river's north shore, part of the
ancient bedrock of the Canadian Shield.
The interior portions of the peninsula are dominated by the Chic-Choc
Mountains, part of the Notre Dame Mountains, an extension of the
The town of Murdochville, at about 660 metres (2,170 ft) above
sea level, has had a varied history, and is now home to several wind
turbines. It is reached by Route 198, which extends inland from the
northern shore of the peninsula, soon climbing into the mountains and
entering vast forests, crossing several small rivers before reaching
the town. From Murdochville, Route 198 follows the York River to the
city of Gaspé on the peninsula's eastern tip.
Mont Albert, in the
Chic-Choc Mountains of the Gaspé Peninsula.
Rocher Percé, circa 1900.
Explorer Jacques Cartier landed in Gaspe, claiming it for the King of
France in 1534. Expelled from Acadia, some exiles fled to nearby
Gaspé in 1775. About 400 English speaking Loyalists fled the
American Revolutionary war and its fall out in the colonies and
settled in the area in 1784.
The economy of the peninsula has historically been focused on fishing,
agriculture and forestry. However, primary resource based industries
are suffering due to overfishing, overexploitation and fewer numbers
of farmers in business, forcing the region to move towards tourism and
the services industry.
The peninsula is one of Quebec's most popular tourism regions. The
Gaspé National Park (Parc national de la Gaspésie) is located in the
Forillon National Park
Forillon National Park is at the peninsula's
northeastern tip. A section of the International Appalachian Trail
travels through the peninsula's mountains. Bonaventure National Park
is located here.
Quebec Route 132 circles the peninsula, with one branch following the
coast and the other cutting across it at Sainte-Flavie.
List of people from the Gaspé Peninsula
List of regions of Quebec
Canada Population and dwelling counts, for Canada,
provinces and territories, and economic regions, 2011 and 2006
censuses - 100% data
^ Commission de toponymie
^ Rayburn, Alan (2001). Naming Canada: Stories about Canadian Place
Names. Toronto, Canada: University of Toronto Press.
^ Its area is determined by adding the area of two federal electoral
Haute-Gaspésie—La Mitis—Matane—Matapédia and
Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine, while subtracting that of the
^ The population of the Gaspe
Peninsula is determined by adding the
population of two federal electoral districts, Haute-Gaspésie—La
Mitis—Matane—Matapédia and Gaspésie—Îles-de-la-Madeleine,
while subtracting that of the Magdalen Islands.
^ Fernald, M.L. (1932). "Botanizing on the Gaspé sea-cliffs". Harvard
Alumni Bulletin. 36: 1–7.
^ Gouvernement du Québec (2011). "Mont Albert" (in French).
Commission de toponymie. Retrieved 4 Jan 2011.
^ Scoggan, H.J. (1950). The
Flora of Bic and the Gaspé Peninsula,
Quebec. Ottawa, Canada: National Museum of Canada. p. 399.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gaspé Peninsula.
Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Gaspé Peninsula.
Municipalities and cities of Gaspé region
"Gaspé". Encyclopedia Americana. 1920.