Founded in 1809, while Quebec City had 16,500 inhabitants, the Québec City Chamber of Commerce is an integral part of the development of Québec City and its large region. Here are the main facts marking its history.
On the 21st of February, 1809, at the Hotel Union, on rue Sainte-Anne, seven merchants from Quebec City decided, as suggested by Halifax merchants, to found the Committee of Trade of Quebec.
In the first half of the nineteenth century, all the efforts of the Quebec merchants tended towards one goal: to make Quebec the center of distribution for British and Caribbean products for the Upper and Lower Canada. As such, the St. Lawrence pipeline to the Great Lakes is the essential instrument to fight American competition while ensuring trade between the two countries.
Until 1860, shipbuilding, the real engine of Quebec’s economy, occupies half the workforce available. However, rising costs, caused by rising prices and wage increases, place Quebec’s yards in a bad position. The Chamber was then called upon on several occasions to reconcile the first labor disputes between workers, timber merchants and shipbuilders.
The Great Black
Salvation, the business people of Quebec think, will come on two steel rails. In order for Quebec to become the great port of the Dominion, it must be connected by rail to the Maritimes and the rest of Canada. The House therefore submits to the federal government a plan to link the Grand Trunk branch from Lévis to Rivière-du-Loup to the Intercolonial, which provides the link between Rivière-du-Loup and the Maritimes. All that is missing is a junction between the North Shore and the South Shore, namely the Pont de Québec; which the House is going to focus on for several years.
At the turn of XX th century, the House supports the creation of technical and commercial schools and emphasizes its role in supporting, training and assistance to its members, establishing a living tradition.
The economic crisis of the 1930s hit our region hard. The Speaker of the House, AG Penny, stated in 1931: “… if we are to develop, Quebec must first be imbued with a new spirit of progress; we must be able to offer conditions of work and material life as favorable as those found elsewhere; we must conduct our municipal affairs on a business basis “.
In 1946, the House changed its administrative structures in depth and expanded its field of intervention to include all issues related to the economy of the Quebec City region. It accepts a greater diversity of members, as companies are now admitted in the same way as individuals.
In 1948, in order to extend the tourist season, she proposed the resurrection of the Carnaval de Québec.
In 1959, after contributing to its restoration, the Chamber moved to the Maillou house it occupies until now.