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Jacques Cartier, the discoverer of Canada

Jacques Cartier (1491-1557), the discoverer of Canada

In 1534, Jacques Cartier was commissioned by king Francis the 1st to sail from Saint-Malo heading west to discover a passage way to Asia

During his first trip, he explored the Gulf of Saint-Lawrence where he encountrered natives tribes and took possession of the land in the name of the King of France.


In 1535-1536, Jacques Cartier navigated the Saint-Lawrence River and reached Stadacone (Québec) and later Hochelaga (Montréal). Forced to stay in Canada by a harsh winter, he had to combat sickness and scurvy.


His voyage of 1541, under the leadership of Jean-François de la Roque de Roberval, marked the beginning of the first settlement in this new land. Jacques Cartier chose a location upstream from Stadacone : Cap-Rouge. Thinking that he had found gold and diamonds, he left for France leaving Roberval behind. To his disappointment, what had appeared to be gold and diamonds were in fact pyrite, quartz and mica. This turned out to be his last trip.




Following these voyages, Jacques Cartier remained a well known personality for the people of Saint-Malo.