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A Fragile Ribbon in a Wild Landscape

The Gaspé highway is a fragile ribbon in a wild landscape. Once built, the highway was constantly being repaired and rebuilt. Maintaining the Gaspé highway required constant vigilance and massive public investment.

Photograph showing the winding Boulevard Perron in the municipality of Marsoui. Perron Boulevard crosses a rocky cape and is bordered by a white painted wooden fence.

The roads of the Gaspé were spectacular enough to be featured on many postcards of the region – confirming they were one of the region’s main attractions.


Building such a long road, so close to the river (in this area we already speak of the sea), at the time, posed huge engineering challenges. Even today, the high tides cause a lot of worries to elected officials and engineers, both on the north side of the peninsula and on the coast on either side of Percé.

Set of 12 souvenir photographs by the photographer H.V. Henderson, sold in cardboard packaging on which is written: Over & Around the Hill of Gaspé P.Q. on St. Lawrence Coast. Route 6 - 12 choice Real Photos for 25 cents – For you view album or mailing to friends.

Roadways require maintenance and maintenance crews to keep roads clear and safe for drivers.


Traversing many streams and rivers and hugging the St. Lawrence for much its length, the roadway was often the victim of natural disasters that mobilized emergency crews to undertake repair work.

Photograph in black and white of a two-story house at the entrance of a seaside village. The house is on the beach strangely tilted on one side, it appears that it has been moved on the beach side of the road by the waves.

A wind and wave storm on December 6, 1949 caused damage to eleven houses on Highway 6, between Cap-Chat and Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.


With an expanding road network, the Ministère de la Voirie became one of the largest and most important ministries. It was also the one most often criticized. Governments found that responding to critics was a good way to win votes. Roads were often improved more rapidly in counties that voted the right way in elections. And road crews always seemed more present as election day approached.