RimouskiRimouski, Qué, City, pop 31 305 (2001c), 31 773 (1996c), 30 873 (1991c), 29 672 (1986c), area 76.18 km2, inc 1869, is located on the S shore of the ST LAWRENCE R, 300 km NE of Québec City. Greater Rimouski, with 46 210 (1986c) inhabitants, is the most populous area of eastern Québec. The charming city is built on 3 levels, in the shape of an amphitheatre. A seigneury was granted here in 1688, but it was not settled until 1696.
In the 18th century, agriculture and seasonal fishing were the only occupations, but the area experienced some growth when Québec City merchants, including William Price, began to develop the forest resources and built several sawmills.
The parish of St-Germain was established 1829; a courthouse was added in 1857 and a bishop's seat in 1867. The arrival of the railway made the town a centre for expansion into the GASPÉ and Matapédia. Its economy was based on the forest industry and services such as trade, teaching and government and church administration.
After a terrible fire in 1950, the town experienced more rapid growth. It became the regional capital when several federal and provincial government departments opened offices to serve the Lower St Lawrence and the Gaspé.
Today the economy is based largely on long-standing activities: schools, a university, and health and social services. The town is now a major centre for oceanographic research.