Lac-Beauport is a rather important city in Quebec, located about 20 km north of Quebec City. It has a population of about 7,000 and was incorporated in 1853 as Saint-Dunstan-du-Lac-Beauport, but the name was shortened in 1989. The community lies around a lake of the same name – Beauport Lake, in the Laurentian Highlands.
The Beauport seigneury, created in the middle of the 17th century, was the oldest in Quebec and in Canada. Its first seignior was Robert Gifford, the first doctor in Canada. For the first two centuries, most farmers worked land near the St. Lawrence River, leaving the back country undeveloped. In the early 19th century, the territory was opened up to exploit the forest resources.
The first settlers were of English origin. By the 1820s the area around Lac Beauport was known as Waterloo Settlement. The early arrivals on Waterloo Settlement were listed as farmers. In 1844, lumber Baron Peter Patterson, who owned a mill at Montmorency Falls, became the ninth owner of the land.
Since 1930 Lac-Beauport has gained a reputation as a year-round tourist destination. In fact, the first of two downhill ski resorts - Mont-Murphy, now Le Relais Ski Resort, was opened that year. The ski resort attracted hotel and restaurant development. Today, there is a wide range of outdoor recreational activities in Lac-Beauport. At Mont Tourbillon there is a golf course and cross-country skiing trails. Recreational activities around the lake include swimming, sailing, skating and cross-country skiing. Although settled by English-speaking settlers, Lac-Beauport is now predominately French-speaking.
The majority of those residents who do not work in the recreation-service sector, commute to jobs in Quebec City.
A few heritage estates from the 19th century are worth a visit here, such as the Bignell House, located at 12 Chemin de l’Ancetre, built circa 1848, It was used as a residence and later as a summer villa.