Pointe-au-PèrePointe-au-Père, Québec, city, pop 4171 (2001c), 4145 (1996c), 4001 (1991c), pop 3685 (1986c), area 18.22 km2, inc 1989, is 300 km downstream of Québec City in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region. It stretches 7 km along the south bank of the St Lawrence River and has developed a maritime character.
In 1663, the Jesuit priest Henri Nouvel landed on the south bank of the St Lawrence River and conducted the first mass. In 1696 this territory was the seigneurie de Lessard, granted to Pierre Lessard and Barbe Fortin, his wife. In 1882 this land was declared the parish of Pointe-au-Père, and in 1989 became the city of Pointe-au-Père.
From 1859 to 1960, it had one of the most significant navigational aide stations in Canada: the Pilot Station du Saint-Laurent. The pilot station consists of outbuildings and the lighthouse. The phare de Pointe-au-Père is one of the highest lighthouses in Canada with 128 steps to the top.
On 29 May 1914, the EMPRESS OF IRELAND sank, 11 km off Pointe-au-Père, claiming 1012 lives. This is one of the worst maritime disasters to occur in Canadian history, the tragic event depicted at le Musée de la Mer de Pointe-au-Père.
Demographic growth was very slow. In 1971, the population was less than 1000 but has since quadrupled. This growth is attributed to young families searching for an urban area within natural surroundings. Residential and commercial construction has increased dramatically to meet consumer demand.
Pointe-au-Père's strategic location gives it the potential to realize new projects. Industries benefit from the proximity to the airport and the port at Rimouski-Est. Furthermore, Pointe-au-Père is the site of the Station Aquicole de l'Institut National de Recherche Scientifique. This facility conducts research on sea water.