Saint-Nicolas, Qué, City, pop 16 645 (2001c), 15 594 (1996c), 14 431 (1991cA), area 95.09 km2, inc 1994 with the amalgamation of the municipalities of Bernières and Saint-Nicolas. The city is located 17 km southwest of QUÉBEC CITY on the South Shore of the St Lawrence River and to the west of Rivière CHAUDIÈRE. It is a thriving residential suburb of Québec City, linked to the city of SAINTE-FOY, on the opposite shore of the St Lawrence, by the Pierre-Laporte suspension bridge and the old, cantilever Québec Bridge.
The old parish of Saint-Nicolas, settled in the last quarter of the 17th century and founded in 1694, takes its name from an old Normandy parish, Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Ferté. Saint-Nicolas, which had a population of 700 at the end of the 18th century, was set up as a parish municipality in 1855. It became a town in 1962.
The southern portion of the city is more industrial whereas the northern part edging the St Lawrence and the old highway 132 (Route Marie-Victorin) is more agricultural and richer in historic sites and architectural heritage. Tricentennial heritage farmhouses dot the landscape. A local cider is produced at the Cidrerie et vergers Saint-Nicolas, and there is much market gardening produce. Between the cities of Saint-Nicolas and CHARNY is Parc de la Chute-de-la-Chaudière. Here a 113 m long pedestrian suspension bridge hangs below Chaudière Falls, offering views of the cataracts and the twisted rock formations in all their magnificent splendour.