First Permanent Settlement in Canada

Pierre de Chauvin, Sieur de Tonnetuit, was the first European to build a residential house in Canada. In 1600, Sieur de Tonnetuit, a rather powerful merchant (he had four ships of his own), who had turned to commercial interests after a long military career, sailed up the St. Lawrence to engage in the fur trade. He landed at Tadoussac, where he built a house.

This happened four years before the founding of Acadia. Historians thus believe that Tadoussac is the oldest site of continuous European settlement in Quebec and in Canada.

The building was actually used as a trading post. Later, Samuel de Champlain drew this house on one of his maps. He identified the structure as “dwelling place of Captain Chauvin from the year 1600.” Today, a replica of the house exists at exactly the same spot where the remains of the original stockade, once burnt to the ground, were found in the 20th century.

Visitors are offered an exhibition that covers pre-history of Quebec, meeting of the two nations, trading, oil trade (whale hunting), and the trading post. Pierre de Chauvin, Sieur de Tonnetuit, died in 1603. His commission passed to Aymar de Chaste, governor of Dieppe, France. The governor put Francois Grave, Sieur du Pont, in charge of continuing the mission of developing contacts with the new French possession in North America. Francois Grave du Pont engaged his friend and companion Samuel de Champlain to go with him on a new expedition. This was the beginning of the colonization of Canada.

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