Vanier, Qué, City, pop 11 054 (2001c), 11 174 (1996c), 10 833(1991c), area 4.59 km2, inc 1916, was originally named Québec-Ouest until 1966, when it was changed to Vanier in honour of Governor-General Georges-Philéas VANIER. A member of the Québec Urban Community, Vanier, like its Ontario namesake, is an enclave of a larger capital city, in this case, QUÉBEC CITY. Bound to the south by the Rivière Saint-Charles, the northwest half of the municipality is a large industrial park that caters to the needs of hundreds of manufacturing establishments.
The early history of Vanier is uneventful. Its southern portion, close to the river, called Petite rivière sans bruit, "small, silent river," first attracted summer residents looking for quiet open spaces. Short-lived housing projects were launched in that area at the turn of the century but the municipal administration was slow to organize sewer, water and electric utilities. These were developed in the 1920s. Population growth then accelerated during the Great Depression because the community's cheaper housing attracted the unemployed. As a result, the total population more than tripled from 1928 to 1933, growing from 600 to 2132 inhabitants. The difficulties encountered during those formative years eventually were overcome and Vanier has grown to become one of the Québec Urban Community's most important members.