Place:Vaudreuil-Soulanges RCM, Montérégie, Québec, Canada

NameVaudreuil-Soulanges RCM
TypeRegional county municipality
Coordinates45.35°N 74.217°W
Located inMontérégie, Québec, Canada     (1982 - )
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Vaudreuil-Soulanges is a regional county municipality or RCM in the Montérégie region of southwestern Québec, Canada. It is located on a triangular peninsula extending from the border with the province of Ontario to the Ottawa River to the north and northeast, and the St. Lawrence River to the south.

The map in Wikipedia shows the location of Vaudreuil-Soulanges RCM in relation to Québec as a whole. The RCM covers 1,019.70 km2 (393.71 sq mi) and in the Canadian census of 2011 it had a population of 139,353.

Prior to the British conquest, the region was divided into several seigneuries populated by French colonists. The seigneurial system was finally abolished in 1854. (The seigneuries are outlined in Wikipedia.)

Vaudreuil-Soulanges is the only RCM in Quebec south of the Ottawa River. When the division between Upper Canada (now Ontario) and Lower Canada (Quebec) was made in 1791, the French-speaking population of the area wished to remain in Lower Canada. It is also geographically isolated from the Montérégie region of which it is a part, being its only section north of the St. Lawrence River.

Its name comes from the historical division of the area into two counties: Vaudreuil County -- (named after Pierre François de Rigaud, Marquis de Vaudreuil-Cavagnal, governor of New France) -- for the communities along the Ottawa River, and Soulanges County -- (named after Pierre-Jacques Joybert de Soulanges from Soulanges, Marne, France) -- for the communities along the St. Lawrence (Soulanges is a name of Québécois derivation referring to its southerliness.)

Since the RCM formation on 14 April 1982, the division of the county into "Vaudreuil" and "Soulanges" is still salient. The "Vaudreuil" area (consisting of the municipalities of Dorion, Saint-Lazare-de-Vaudreuil, Hudson, Île-Perrot, and others) is closer to Montreal and therefore more suburban, populous, and economically and ethnically diverse, compared to the Soulanges area (including the municipalities of Saint-Polycarpe, Saint-Zotique, Coteau-du-Lac, Rivière-Beaudette and Les Coteaux) which is solidly rural, agricultural, and ethnically French-Canadian.


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French names for places

Because French is the one official language of Québec, WeRelate employs the French names for places within the province. Many placenames will be similar to their counterparts in English, with the addition of accents and hyphens between the words. The words "Saint" and "Sainte" should be spelled out in full. Placenames should be made up of four parts: the community (or parish, or township, or canton), the historic county, Québec, Canada. You may find placenames red-linked unless you follow these conventions.

Local government structure

The Province of Québec was made up of counties and territories. Counties in Québec were established gradually as the land was settled by Europeans. Each county included communities with some form of local governement (often church-based). Territories referred to the undeveloped sections under the control of the government in charge of the whole province at the time. The communities included townships and/or cantons, depending on the English/French makeup of the county concerned, and also included ecclesiastical parishes with somewhat different boundaries which could overlap with local townships or cantons. Ecclesiastical parish registers have been retained and are available to view (online through Ancestry). Since the 1980s many small townships and parishes are merging into larger "municipalities", often with the same name as one of their components.

Beginning in 1979 the historic counties of Québec were replaced by administrative regions and regional county municipalities (abbreviated as RCM in English and MRC in French). Regional county municipalities are a supra-local type of regional municipality, and act as the local municipality in unorganized territories within their borders. (An unorganized area or unorganized territory is any geographic region in Canada that does not form part of a municipality or Indian reserve. There is a list in Wikipedia.) There are also 18 equivalent territories (TEs) which are not considered to be RCMs. These are mostly large cities with their suburbs, but include 4 very large geographical areas where the population is sparse.

The administrative regions (above the RCMs in the hierarchy) are illustrated on a map in Wikipedia. The regions are used to organize the delivery of provincial government services and there are conferences of elected officers in each region. The regions existed before the change from historic counties to regional county municipalities.

The above description is based on various articles in Wikipedia including one titled Types of municipalities in Quebec

NOTE: WeRelate refers to Québec communities as being within their historic counties because this is the description which will be found in historical documents. FamilySearch and Quebec GenWeb follow the same procedure. However, it is always wise to know the current RCM as well in order to track these documents down in local repositories and also to describe events which have taken place since 1980.

Because the former or historic counties and the modern regional county municipalities can have the same names but may cover a slightly different geographical area, the placenames for Regional County Municipalities or "Territories Equivalent to regional county municipalities" are distinguished by including the abbreviation "RCM" or "TE" following the name.

Historic counties (which were taken out of use in about 1982) were made up of townships or cantons. The two words are equivalent in English and French. Eventually all the Québec cantons in WeRelate will be described as townships. Many townships disappeared before 1980 with the growth of urbanization.

If the word parish is used, this is the local ecclesiastical parish of the Roman Catholic Church. Parish boundaries and township or canton boundaries were not always the same.

The WeRelate standard form for expressing a place in Québec is township/canton/parish, historic county, Québec, Canada,
or local municipality, administrative region, Québec, Canada for places established after the changes of the 1980s.

Other Sources

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Vaudreuil-Soulanges Regional County Municipality. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.