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Sainte-Pétronille is a village in the Capitale-Nationalemarker region of Quebec, Canada, part of the L'Île-d'Orléans Regional County Municipalitymarker. It is situated on the south-western tip of Orléans Islandmarker, facing Quebec Citymarker.

Former notable residents include the Boswell family, who owned the Boswell Brewery in Quebec City from 1843 to 1952, and painter Horatio Walker, whose workshop is still extant.


In 1651, Jesuit missionaries came to the island and established a mission for Huron Indians who were displaced by attacking Iroquois. In 1759, General James Wolfe installed his headquarters there to monitor Quebec City and the two river channels of the Saint Lawrence Rivermarker. After his victory at the Battle of the Plains of Abrahammarker, the area became inhabited by well-to-do English colonists who were attracted by its romantic landscapes and its renowned microclimate. Consequently the cottage-style houses and garden landscaping gave the place an particularly English character.

Since the topography was not well-suited for agriculture, the place became a fashionable summer resort by the mid 19th century. Hundreds of daytrippers would travel to Sainte-Pétronille by ferry for a Sunday stroll. In 1868, it became home to North America's first golf course, a three-hole course.

The religious parish of Sainte-Pétronille de Beaulieu was formed in 1870, named after Saint Petronilla (a Roman martyr of the first century), and honouring Jacques Gourdeau, sieur de Beaulieu et de la Grossardière, feudal lord of the area in the mid-17th century. The post office opened a year later under the name Beaulieu. In 1874, the Village Municipality of Beaulieu was established by separating from Saint-Pierremarker, becoming the youngest of the 6 municipalities on Orleans Island.

Since the village itself was almost exclusively called Sainte-Pétronille in common use, the municipality was renamed to its current name in 1980. The post office followed suit in 1991.


  • Population in 2006: 1060 (2001 to 2006 population change: 2.1 %)
  • Population in 2001: 1038
  • Population in 1996: 1090
  • Population in 1991: 1128

Private dwellings occupied by usual residents: 450 (total dwellings: 499)

Mother tongue:
  • English as first language: 2.8 %
  • French as first language: 94.8 %
  • English and French as first language: 0 %
  • Other as first language: 2.4 %


  1. Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006 census

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