February 16, 2024

FEB 16, postal places, Canada: La Tuque, QC

Authors' Note:  QC is the official abbreviation for the Canadian province of Quebec, in which La Tuque, population 11,000, is situated beside the St-Maurice River, 170 km (105 miles) north of the Saint Lawrence. The town's iconically shaped low mountain, resulting in its name (Fr. tuque is a soft wool hat), was partly destroyed in construction of a hydro-electric installation 80 years ago.

In each of the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario, administrative rearrangements resulted in a handful of "cities" and "regional municipalities" with extensive areas that had low population densities, contrary to the usual expectation for urban centres. In this regard La Tuque heads up the pack, its central town surrounded by a vast forested area of 28,000 km2 giving it a population density of 0.4/km2, compared to Montreal, QC, and Quebec City, QC, with densities of 2,700 and 1,600/km2 respectively.

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