Shawville, Quebec

Clarendon, Quebec Pontiac Regional County Municipality Outaouais
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Shawville main street
Shawville main street
Location within Pontiac RCM
Location within Pontiac RCM
Shawville is located in Western Quebec
Location in western Quebec
Coordinates: 45°36′N 76°29′W / 45.600°N 76.483°W / 45.600; -76.483Coordinates: 45°36′N 76°29′W / 45.600°N 76.483°W / 45.600; -76.483[1]
Country Canada
Province Quebec
ConstitutedJanuary 1, 1874
 • MayorSandra Murray
 • Federal ridingPontiac
 • Prov. ridingPontiac
 • Total5.40 km2 (2.08 sq mi)
 • Land5.39 km2 (2.08 sq mi)
 • Total1,587
 • Density294.5/km2 (763/sq mi)
 • Pop 2011-2016
Decrease 4.6%
 • Dwellings
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Postal code(s)
Area code(s)819
Highways Route 148
Route 303 Edit this at Wikidata

Shawville is a town located in the Pontiac Regional County Municipality in the administrative region of Outaouais in western Quebec, Canada.


At the end of the 1860s, a group of citizens from Clarendon Centre, under the leadership of James Shaw (1818-1877), separated the municipality from the township of Clarendon. While they had originally planned on naming the new entity "Daggville," after the name of a pioneer family, they opted instead to name it "Shawville" after James Shaw promised to donate 0.8 ha of land to the new municipality. Shawville was officially established in 1874 and was populated by Irish Protestant immigrants. Shaw, who had settled in the area in 1843, was the first mayor, serving from 1856 to 1877.

The municipality has a Methodist church that was built in Shawville in 1835, while the Catholic Parish of Saint-Alexandre-de-Clarendon opened its doors in 1840. This church would later be renamed as Sainte-Mélanie, and still later as Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur in 1917.[1]

In recent times, Shawville has been the site of several conflicts between local shopkeepers and the Office québécois de la langue française over the province's language laws.[4]


The town is completely enclosed within the municipality of Clarendon. Shawville is situated approximately 75 kilometres (47 mi) west of Gatineau and 35 kilometres (22 mi) southeast of Fort-Coulonge.




Shawville is an overwhelmingly anglophone (with 85 percent of its residents listing English as their first language in the Canada 2006 Census) and Protestant (75%) community.[7] This is unusual in Quebec, a province that is overwhelmingly French-speaking and Roman Catholic. The population has been known to quite literally run the so-called "language police" "out of town"[10] in defiance of the Charter of the French Language.

Mother tongue language (2016)[3]
Language Population Pct (%)
English 1,285 85.4%
French 180 12.0%
English and French 15 1.0%
Other languages 25 1.7%


The town is characterized by its red-brick buildings, and unlike nearly every other municipality in Quebec, it has no Catholic church. Shawville is home to an elementary school, a high school, a regional hospital, and the SRPC national head office. Its businesses are mostly small and family-run.

The Shawville Fair, held the first weekend in September, is the town's major event. It has run every year since 1856 and includes typical county fair features such as livestock shows, auctions, truck pulls, demolition derbies, art/craft/hobby shows, diverse food stands and a midway. In recent years, it has drawn headline entertainers such as Terri Clark, Stompin' Tom Connors, Paul Brandt, April Wine, Dean Brody and Corb Lund, with total attendance reaching around 50,000. It will not run for the first time in its history in 2020, amid fears of Covid-19.


Shawville is represented in the Eastern Ontario Junior B Hockey League by the Shawville Pontiacs.

Notable people

Famous people from Shawville include the former general manager of the Ottawa Senators, Bryan Murray, Terry Murray (current assistant coach of the Buffalo Sabres and former coach of the L.A. Kings), Tim Murray (former general manager of the Buffalo Sabres), NHL legend Frank "The Shawville Express" Finnigan and race horse owner and lawyer Clay Horner. Former NHL referee Blaine Angus also comes from the area. Ray Harris, a prominent singer-songwriter in the Ottawa area, was raised in Shawville and later wrote the song Shawville Girl. In addition to this, former Canadian Prime Minister Joe Clark has a residence on Main Street and volunteers at the annual fair.[11]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Shawville (Municipalité)" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
  2. ^ a b "Shawville". Répertoire des municipalités (in French). Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l'Occupation du territoire. Retrieved 2011-06-22.
  3. ^ a b c "(Code 2484010) Census Profile". 2016 census. Statistics Canada. 2017.
  4. ^ "'Shawville posse' language incident goes to court". 19 December 2003. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  5. ^ "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 21, 2017. Retrieved 2019-11-22.
  6. ^ "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
  7. ^ a b "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-02.
  8. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012.
  9. ^ Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 census
  10. ^
  11. ^ Harris, Ray. "Shawville Girl". Bandcamp. Retrieved 20 January 2017.