Saint-Nicolas | The Canadian Encyclopedia



Saint-Nicolas, Quebec, population 23,675 (2019), 16,645 (2001 census). The city of Saint-Nicolas was originally incorporated in 1994 with the amalgamation of the municipalities of Bernières and Saint-Nicolas. Since 2002, Saint-Nicolas is part of the city of Lévis. Saint-Nicolas is located 17 km southwest of Quebec City. Saint-Nicolas is on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River and to the west of Rivière Chaudière. It is a thriving residential suburb of Quebec City. The area is 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 Quebec Bridge. (See also Quebec Bridge Disaster.)

The old parish of Saint-Nicolas was settled in the last quarter of the 17th century and founded in 1694. (See Population Settlement of New France.) The parish took its name from an old Normandy parish, Saint-Nicolas-de-la-Ferté. By the end of the 18th century, Saint-Nicolas had a population of 700. It became a parish municipality in 1855 and then a town in 1962.

The southern portion of the city is more industrial. The northern part edging the St. Lawrence and the old highway 132 (Route Marie-Victorin) is more agricultural. That area is also home to historic sites and heritage buildings. Tricentennial heritage farmhouses dot the landscape. A local cider is produced at the Cidrerie et Vergers Saint-Nicolas. The area is also active in vegetable farming.

Between the cities of Saint-Nicolas and Charny is Parc des Chutes-de-la-Chaudière. Here a 113 m long pedestrian suspension bridge hangs below Chaudière Falls. The bridge offers views of the cataracts and the twisted rock formations in all their magnificent splendour.