Fragmentation and Regrouping
As a composite milieu spread over a wide area, La Malbaie has undergone numerous processes of subdivisions and mergers in its history. When the municipality was created in 1855, its territory was bounded on the east by that of Saint-Fidèle and on the west by those of Sainte-Agnès and Saint-Irénée. It is more than a section of the old seigneury of La Malbaie created under the French regime. However, this municipality was to know many changes at the municipal level.
The first occurred on December 28, 1876, when the marked tourist development of the Pointe-au-Pic sector led to the creation of a municipality. Several tourist establishments arose then in Pointe-au-Pic and in this context, the location knows a development distinct from the rest of La Malbaie where the influx of foreign visitors is not so predominent.
The main reason for subdivisions is of course the distinction between the rural sector and the village agglomeration, becoming more important over time. Consequently, in March 1896, the Municipality of La Malbaie (Village) was founded. It will become the Municipality of La Malbaie (City) in January 1958. During this period, the territorial division of La Malbaie is accentuated: in August 1916 the Municipality of Cap-à-l'Aigle is born as well as that of Rivière-Malbaie in November 1938. These are essentially agricultural sectors - although there is a little resort in Cap-à-l'Aigle - which then seek to assert their own identity. The separation of the Municipality of Clermont on February 16, 1935 is explained, for its part, by the emergence of an industrial activity with the presence of the Donahue Pulp and Paper Factory making this locality a working sector rather than agricultural. As of November 1938, there remains only one sector of the former Municipality of La Malbaie parish. Rivière-Mailloux will eventually join La Malbaie (City) in August 1964.
At the end of the 20th century, mergers begin to form. The economic fragility of the various detached municipalities and declining demographics now encourage union rather than division. In February 1995, the Municipality of Pointe-au-Pic merges with that of La Malbaie (City). Then, in December 1999, the Municipalities of Saint-Fidèle and Sainte-Agnès created in 1855 join La Malbaie. In the same movement, the Municipalities of Cap-à-l'Aigle and Rivière-Malbaie are regrouping again with La Malbaie and a city of 8,958 inhabitants (in 2006) is thus born on a territory of 471 square kilometers.
Société d’histoire de Charlevoix