Chibougamau (French pronunciation: ​[ʃibuɡamo]) is the largest town in Nord-du-Québec, central Quebec, Canada. Located on Lake Gilman it has a population of 7,504 people (2016 Canadian Census).[4] Chibougamau is surrounded by, but not part of, the local municipality of Eeyou Istchee James Bay Regional Government.

Chibougamau
Chibougamau main street
Chibougamau main street
Flag of Chibougamau
Coat of arms of Chibougamau
Chibougamau is located in Quebec
Chibougamau
Chibougamau
Location in Quebec
Chibougamau is located in Canada
Chibougamau
Chibougamau
Chibougamau (Canada)
Coordinates (650, 3e Rue[1]): 49°55′N 74°22′W / 49.917°N 74.367°W / 49.917; -74.367Coordinates: 49°55′N 74°22′W / 49.917°N 74.367°W / 49.917; -74.367[2]
CountryCanada
ProvinceQuebec
RegionNord-du-Québec
RCMNone
Settled1952
ConstitutedNovember 8, 1952
Government
 • MayorManon Cyr
 • Federal ridingAbitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou
 • Prov. ridingUngava
Area
 (2021)[1][3]
 • Total1,039.89 km2 (401.50 sq mi)
 • Land698.13 km2 (269.55 sq mi)
 • Water341.76 km2 (131.95 sq mi)
Population
 (2021)[3]
 • Total7,233
 • Density10.4/km2 (27/sq mi)
 • Change (2016–21)
Decrease3.6%
 • Dwellings
3,557
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (EDT)
Postal code(s)
Area code(s)418 and 581
ClimateDfc
Websitewww.ville.chibougamau.qc.ca

Due to its remoteness from Lac Saint-Jean (over 200 km (124 mi) south-east) and Abitibi-Témiscamingue (over 250 km (155 mi) south-west) areas, Chibougamau provides services for a few smaller communities surrounding it (Mistissini, Oujé-Bougoumou and Chapais) and for the regional resource-based industries. Despite Chibougamau's remoteness, it is only about as far north as Winnipeg, and is south of any part of the mainland of England.

Nearby are Lake Aux Dorés, which is fed by the Chibougamau River from the larger Chibougamau Lake, after which the town was named. Chibougamau means "Gathering place" in the Cree language. The neighbouring Cree village of Oujé-Bougoumou has the same name with a more traditional Cree spelling.

The area surrounding Lake Gilman is Obalski Park. Its amenities include a beach, pier, picnic tables, cabins, among others. The many trails allow for hiking, cycling, cross-country skiing, or even snowmobiling through the park's boreal forest.

Access to the town is by Route 167 from Lac Saint-Jean and by Route 113 from Lebel-sur-Quévillon. Chibougamau's airport is along Route 113, about halfway to Chapais.

Flag of Chibougamau waving

HistoryEdit

The area has long been part of the Cree territory. It was in the early 17th century that French explorers and traders, including Charles Albanel in 1671, came to the Lake Chibougamau area. However, no permanent European settlements were established at that time.

Only in the late 19th century did the area attract the interest of mining prospectors. When gold was discovered in 1903, there were periods of intense exploration. Due to difficulty of access,[5] no lasting development took place at that time. Not until 1949 was copper first exploited,[6] with the opening of a multi-metallic mine in the area, and a permanent community was established in 1952.[6] Chibougamau started out as a company town but soon after, in 1954, it was incorporated as a municipality. Many mines have exploited the area since. While still thought of as a mining town, Chibougamau is now also the centre of a large logging and sawmill[6] industry.

From 1962 to 1988, the Royal Canadian Air Force operated CFS Chibougamau, a radar station in Chibougamau that was part of the Pinetree Line. The complex has now been transformed into a golf complex and an office for a mining company.

Since December 2001, the mayor of Chibougamau is also part of the municipal council of Municipality of Baie-James.

The city is home to an annual "Folies frettes" festival ("Cold Follies") and a snowmobile rally.[6]

DemographicsEdit

Historical populations
YearPop.±%
19918,855—    
19968,664−2.2%
20017,922−8.6%
20067,563−4.5%
20117,541−0.3%
20167,504−0.5%
20217,233−3.6%
[7]

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Chibougamau had a population of 7,233 living in 3,190 of its 3,557 total private dwellings, a change of -3.6% from its 2016 population of 7,504. With a land area of 694.87 km2 (268.29 sq mi), it had a population density of 10.4/km2 (27.0/sq mi) in 2021.[8]

The median age is 40.8, as opposed to 41.6 for all of Canada. French was the mother tongue of 92.5% of residents in 2021. The next most common mother tongues were English at 3.0%, followed by Cree-Innu languages at 1.6%. 0.9% reported both English and French as their first language. Additionally there were 0.2% who reported both French and a non-official language as their mother tongue.

As of 2021, Indigenous peoples comprised 7.8% of the population and visible minorities contributed 3.9%. The largest visible minority groups in Chibougamau are Black (1.5%), Filipino (1.1%), and Arab (0.8%). The region is home to 555 recent immigrants (i.e. those arriving between 2016 and 2021).

In 2021, 67.7% of the population identified as Catholic, while 22.8% said they had no religious affiliation. Pentecostals were the largest religious minority, at 1.3% of the population, while Muslims were the largest non-Christian religious minority, making up 0.8% of the population.[1][3]

Counting both single and multiple responses, the most commonly identified ethnocultural ancestries were:

Ethnic origin 2021
Canadian 33.8%
French 22.1%
Québécois 16.6%
French Canadian 10.7%
First Nations 4.4%
Cree 4.2%
Irish 3.9%
Italian 1.3%
Métis 1.2%
Filipino 1.1%

(Percentages may total more than 100% due to rounding and multiple responses).

Visible minority and Aboriginal population (Canada 2021 Census)[9]
Population group Population % of total population
White 6,310 88.3%
Visible minority group South Asian 0 0%
Chinese 25 0.3%
Black 110 1.5%
Filipino 80 1.1%
Arab 55 0.8%
Latin American 0 0%
Southeast Asian 0 0%
West Asian 0 0%
Korean 0 0%
Japanese 0 0%
Visible minority, n.i.e. 0 0%
Multiple visible minority 0 0%
Total visible minority population 280 3.9%
Aboriginal group First Nations 350 4.9%
Métis 170 2.4%
Inuit 0 0%
Aboriginal, n.i.e. 10 0.1%
Multiple Aboriginal identity 30 0.4%
Total Aboriginal population 560 7.8%
Total population 7,150 100%

EducationEdit

French-language schools in Chibougamau, past and present, are:

  • École Bon-Pasteur
  • École Vatican II
  • École Notre-Dame-du-Rosaire
  • École La Porte-du-Nord
  • École Vinette (closed 1994)
  • Centre de formation professionnelle de la Baie-James
  • Centre d'études collégiales Chibougamau

The English-language school is MacLean Memorial School.[10] formerly Chibougamau Protestant School. There also used to be a Catholic English-language school called Holy Family School.

ClimateEdit

Chibougamau has a subarctic climate (Köppen climate classification Dfc), despite being located just south of 50 degrees latitude. Winters are long, cold, and snowy with a January high of −13.5 °C (7.7 °F) and a low of −24.2 °C (−11.6 °F). Summers are warm though short with a July high of 22.2 °C (72.0 °F) and a low of 10.5 °C (50.9 °F). Overall precipitation is high for a subarctic climate with an average annual precipitation of 996 mm (39 in) and 313 cm (123 in) of snow per season. Precipitation is significant year round though February through April are drier.[11]

Climate data for Chapais (1981−2010) (49°47′N 074°51′W / 49.783°N 74.850°W / 49.783; -74.850 (Chapais)) approximately 37 km (23 mi) southwest
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 8.5
(47.3)
9.0
(48.2)
16.0
(60.8)
28.0
(82.4)
31.5
(88.7)
34.5
(94.1)
35.0
(95.0)
33.3
(91.9)
29.0
(84.2)
24.4
(75.9)
17.8
(64.0)
11.0
(51.8)
35.0
(95.0)
Average high °C (°F) −13.5
(7.7)
−10.3
(13.5)
−3.3
(26.1)
5.2
(41.4)
13.9
(57.0)
20.0
(68.0)
22.2
(72.0)
20.5
(68.9)
14.2
(57.6)
6.7
(44.1)
−1.9
(28.6)
−9.3
(15.3)
5.4
(41.7)
Daily mean °C (°F) −18.8
(−1.8)
−16.2
(2.8)
−9.5
(14.9)
−0.3
(31.5)
8.1
(46.6)
14.1
(57.4)
16.4
(61.5)
15.0
(59.0)
9.7
(49.5)
3.1
(37.6)
−5.2
(22.6)
−13.6
(7.5)
0.2
(32.4)
Average low °C (°F) −24.2
(−11.6)
−22.2
(−8.0)
−15.5
(4.1)
−5.7
(21.7)
2.2
(36.0)
8.2
(46.8)
10.5
(50.9)
9.5
(49.1)
5.2
(41.4)
−0.5
(31.1)
−8.5
(16.7)
−18
(0)
−4.9
(23.2)
Record low °C (°F) −43.3
(−45.9)
−42.8
(−45.0)
−38
(−36)
−27.2
(−17.0)
−16.1
(3.0)
−5.6
(21.9)
−0.6
(30.9)
−2.2
(28.0)
−6
(21)
−13.3
(8.1)
−30
(−22)
−42
(−44)
−43.3
(−45.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 61.9
(2.44)
39.4
(1.55)
50.3
(1.98)
56.6
(2.23)
82.4
(3.24)
100.1
(3.94)
124.3
(4.89)
100.2
(3.94)
129.7
(5.11)
93.9
(3.70)
93.2
(3.67)
63.5
(2.50)
995.5
(39.19)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 3.2
(0.13)
2.4
(0.09)
8.8
(0.35)
28.7
(1.13)
75.5
(2.97)
100.1
(3.94)
124.3
(4.89)
100.2
(3.94)
128.6
(5.06)
70.9
(2.79)
36.7
(1.44)
5.0
(0.20)
684.4
(26.93)
Average snowfall cm (inches) 58.8
(23.1)
37.0
(14.6)
41.6
(16.4)
29.5
(11.6)
6.9
(2.7)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
1.2
(0.5)
23.0
(9.1)
56.5
(22.2)
58.5
(23.0)
313
(123.2)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 18.1 13.6 12.1 12.3 14.8 16.3 17.4 17.1 20.2 19.8 19.9 19.3 200.9
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 0.55 1.1 2.4 6.7 13.6 16.3 17.4 17.1 20.1 14.5 6.1 1.3 117.15
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 18.0 12.9 10.4 7.9 2.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.47 7.4 16.1 18.5 94.17
Mean monthly sunshine hours 90 122 170 164 202 234 233 208 113 84 46 66 1,732
Source 1: Environment Canada[11]
Source 2: The Weather Network(sunshine data only).[12]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d "Geographic code 99025 in the official Répertoire des municipalités". www.mamh.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation.
  2. ^ "Reference number 13148 in Banque de noms de lieux du Québec". toponymie.gouv.qc.ca (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec.
  3. ^ a b c "Chibougamau census profile". 2021 Census data. Statistics Canada. 25 October 2022. Retrieved 2022-12-14.
  4. ^ "Census Profile, 2016 Census Chibougamau, Ville [Census subdivision], Quebec and Nord-du-Québec, Census division [Census division], Quebec". 8 February 2017. Retrieved 2019-12-26.
  5. ^ St.-Hilaire, Marc. "Chibougamuau", in The Canadian Encyclopedia (Edmonton: Hurtig Publishing, 1988), Volume 1, p.407.
  6. ^ a b c d St.-Hilaire, p.407.
  7. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011, 2016 census
  8. ^ "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), Quebec". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved August 29, 2022.
  9. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (2022-02-09). "Profile table, Census Profile, 2021 Census of Population - Chibougamau, Ville (V) [Census subdivision], Quebec". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved 2022-12-13.
  10. ^ "MacLean Memorial School". Archived from the original on 2006-06-20. Retrieved 2006-06-18.
  11. ^ a b "Chapais 2". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. 25 September 2013. Retrieved December 26, 2019.
  12. ^ Statistics, Accessed 10 March 2012.

SourcesEdit

  • St.-Hilaire, Marc. "Chibougamuau", in The Canadian Encyclopedia, Volume 1, p. 407. Edmonton: Hurtig Publishing, 1988.
  • Allen, H. D. (May 30, 1965). "The Call of the North". Teachers' Magazine. Provincial Association of Protestant Teachers of Quebec. XLV (227): 8–18.

External linksEdit