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Gaspé Peninsula

Gaspé Peninsula or Gaspésie (gäspāzēˈ) [key], tongue of land, E Que., Canada, between the estuary of the St. Lawrence River on the north and Chaleur Bay on the south, and extending eastward into the Gulf of St. Lawrence. It is c.150 mi (240 km) long and from 60 to 90 mi (97–145 km) broad. Its backbone is an extension of the Appalachian mountain system and is known in its highest part as the Shickshock Mts. Mt. Jacques Cartier, or Tabletop Mt. (4,160 ft/1,268 m), is the highest elevation in SE Canada. The interior of the peninsula is a mountain wilderness, completely forested, and with numerous mountain streams and lakes, offering excellent hunting and fishing. Copper is mined near Murdochville. Settlement is almost wholly confined to the coastal rim, where there is a succession of picturesque villages whose residents live by combining agriculture with fishing (chiefly cod) and lumbering. The inhabitants on the north and northeast are chiefly French Canadian, Acadian, Scottish, Irish, and English. The coast, with its combination of mountain and sea and its many bold headlands, is famed for its beauty. The chief towns are Gaspé, Matane, Percé, Chandler, and New Carlisle. Gaspesian Provincial Park is in the Shickshock Mts., and there are bird sanctuaries off the east coast. Jacques Cartier landed on the peninsula in 1534.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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