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Saint-François-de-l'Île-d'Orléans, Quebec (Canada)

Capitale-Nationale Region

Last modified: 2021-04-17 by rob raeside
Keywords: saint-françois-de-l'île-d'orléans | quebec |
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[Saint-François-de-l'Île-d'Orléans] image by Ivan Sache, 29 March 2021

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Saint-François-de-l'Île-d'Orléans (527 inhabitants in 2016; 2,896 ha) forms the northeastern most part of Orléans Island.
Orléans Island (7,082 inhabitants in 2016; 19,300 ha), located on river Saint-Lawrence, east of Quebec downtown, is self-styled "Traditional Quebec's microcosm and birth place of French-speaking people in North America". The island was named by Jacques Cartier and a tribute to King of France Henry II, Duke of Orléans.
The poet and singer Félix Leclerc (1014-1988) settled in 1970 in Orléans Island, where his ancestors had a domain. He composed in 1975 "Le tour de l'île", an ode to the island and also an independentist manifesto.
Félix Leclerc, Le tour de l'île

Saint-François was established in 1679 in a part of the island where wild vines grew profusely, therefore the name of Bacchus Island originally coined by Cartier. The parish of Saint-François-de-Sales was established in 1714. The municipality of the parish of Saint-François was established in 1855, to be transformed to the municipality of Saint-François-de-l'Île-d'Orléans on 20 December 2003.
The municipality's civil namesake is François Berthelot, Count of Jouy and Saint-Laurent, Councillor at the Paris Parliament and lord of Orléans Island in 1675.
Commission de toponymie Québec
Ivan Sache, 29 March 2021


A proposal of flag for Saint-François-de-l'Île-d'Orléans was submitted in March 2021 by a committee appointed in May 2019 by the Municipal Council.
Named "Point of fertile land moving forward into the estuary", the design uses graphic elements from the municipal coat of arms, the leek and the traditional house. The leek is allegorically represented as if it had grown to a tree whose shade protects the traditional house. The green field represents the fertile land, while the Saint-Lawrence is represented by the field in "Quebec" blue. The two oval spots represent île aux Ruaux and île Madame, two islands that are part of the municipality of Saint-François-de-l'Île-d'Orléans.
The golden outline represent the foreshore, that is the intertidal zone above water level at low tide and underwater at high tide. These areas, known as "battures" ("estrans" in European French) are a significant ecosystemic component of the estuary of the Saint-Lawrence, highlighted by Félix Leclerc in "Le tour de l'île":
"Et en juillet
Le fleuve est tiède
Sur les battures"
("And in July
The river is mild
On the foreshore").
L'Autre Voix, 26 March 2021

The arms of Saint-François-de-l'Île-d'Orléans are "Quarterly, 1. Or a leek sable, 2. Or a traditional house sable, 3. Or five strawberries sable in saltire, 4. Or a blue flag (purple iris) sable. A chief vert a map of Orléans Island of the same fimbriated or in fess. The shield surmounted by a roaster and leopard sable affronty ensigned by a crown of the same. Above a scroll or inscribed with the name of the municipality in letters sable. Below a scroll or inscribed with the French motto 'Contre vents et marées' [Against Winds and Tides] in letters sable."

Mostly grown in the northern part of the municipality, leek is the nickname (French, "poireau"; pl., "poireaux") of the inhabitants of Saint-François-de-l'Île-d'Orléans.
Municipal website

Image from L'Autre Voix, 26 March 2021
Ivan Sache, 29 March 2021