In 1645, the three largest settlements in New France were Québec (later Québec City), (founded in 1608), Trois-Rivières (founded in 1634) and Ville-Marie (later Montréal) (founded in 1642). Although the territory of New France was quite large, the vast majority of the population was concentrated in these three cities, which were all located in the St. Lawrence Valley.

In Québec, the church was being expanded and streets were being made. Québec was becoming a small village. Trois-Rivières was still a very small trading post. Montréal had just been founded and was inhabited by only a few people, including a few missionaries who wanted to convert Native people to the catholic religion. Montréal’s first fort was just being built.

Trading posts

At the time in New France, one important reason for settling in a particular location was its potential for fur trading. Québec, Trois-Rivières and Montréal were all located in the St. Lawrence Lowlands, near waterways that made it easy to transport goods to Europe. They were also near Native populations, with whom fur was traded. These sites were also being settled because the land was fertile and good for farming.

From small village to big city

The settlements of Québec, Trois-Rivières and Montréal are still around today. What became of them? How have they changed?

Author: Alexandre Lanoix

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