Buckingham is a town located in the Outaouais region in the western portion of the province of Quebec, Canada. Since 1 January 2002, it has been part of the amalgamated city of Gatineau, which merged five former municipalities, including Masson-Angers, Buckingham, Hull, Aylmer and Gatineau, into a single entity. According to the 2011 Census, the population of the town was 23,589.
It was in 1799, that land in this area was granted to John Robertson, a former member of a British regiment. The first people settled in Buckingham in 1823 and the first mill was built. More people moved to Buckingham in the years that followed.
Launch of the lumber industry
In 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte initiated a continental blockade which forced Great Britain to look to other sources for importing lumber. Soon, large wooded areas were discovered in Lower Canada, including the area that became the Outaouais region. The lumber industry was central to the region's economic development for over a century with wood pulp continuing to be important for several decades afterwards. In 1837, the first sawmill was built by Levi Bigelow.
Throughout its history, the city of Buckingham's economy has been dominated by the Albright and Wilson Co (ERCO), which employs most of the people in that area. The Maclaren family may have lived in Buckingham but their industry is part of Masson.
The Maclaren family, who have resided in the region since 1840, have dominated the lumber industry in the Outaouais for over a century. In 1864, James Maclaren launched the family's activities in Buckingham by building a sawmill. The company became J. MacLaren & Co. and later The James Maclaren Company Limited. James' two brothers acquired the company after his death in 1892 and then launched a match company in Buckingham in 1894 which was incorporated a year later. The Maclarens later gained control of the hydroelectricity market in the community and also real estate development and sports facilities. The company built a hydroelectric dam along the Du Lièvre River, just north of Buckingham, at the start of the Great Depression. They later built another one near Masson during the 1950s.
In 1902, the Maclaren group added the wood pulp industry to its activities by building a mill. They later expanded their activities across the region, adding mills in Masson, Mont-Laurier and Thurso located not too far from the Du Lièvre River. The Buckingham mill closed shortly before 1960.
Population growth has been relatively slow because of its location about 30 km from downtown Ottawa. However, due to suburban growth and amalgamation of the town in 2002, several residential developments were created and the population increased. Buckingham is becoming more of a suburban town while still keeping its traditional characteristics in the centre-town area.
Amalgamation with the city of Gatineau
On January 1, 2002, the city of Buckingham with its 12,000 residents became part of the new city of Gatineau. This was part of a massive merger movement created by the Parti Québécois' Bill 180, which was introduced in 2000 by the Municipal Affairs Minister Louise Harel after studies conducted by public agents.
In 2003, the Quebec Liberal Party, with Jean Charest as the leader, won the 2003 provincial election and promised a referendum would be held on the possibility of demerging municipalities. The referendum was held on June 20, 2004, but the majority of the population voted against the demerger and Buckingham thus remained part of the city of Gatineau.
The dairy industry was also a major economy asset in the community with Le Château having some of its operations in Buckingham. However, in 2006, Agrodor, a Saguenay-based company which owns the Chateau brand announced the shut-down of its operations in the Outaouais. The local business sector had launched measures to save the company which has operated in the region since 1943.
Buckingham en Fête
Each year since 1991, during the month of July, the Buckingham sector hosts Buckingham en Fête, its biggest annual event, which is held in the town's Maclaren Park. Several well-known artists in Quebec and in Canada, including Éric Lapointe, Marjo, Jean Leloup La Chicane, Amanda Marshall and April Wine, have performed over the years at the festival. However, due to financial difficulties, the festival nearly disappeared. According to the festival's website, the 17th edition in 2007 was still expected to go underway as planned.
Over its history, the festival has received numerous distinctions and awards both regionally and provincially.
Mayors of Buckingham (1868-2001)
- James Wilson (1867-1871)
- McPherson LeMoine (1872-1873)
- John Cosgrove (1874-1876)
- H.H. Sauvé (1877-1878)
- James Maclaren (1879-1882)
- H.H. Sauvé (1883-1885)
- James Maclaren (1885-1886)
- George L. Parker (1887-1892)
- William J. MacKenzier (1893)
- James Martin (1894-1895)
- Alexander Maclaren (1896-1897)
- John Cosgrove (1898-1899)
- J. Palma Lahaie (1900-1901)
- John Edward Vallilee (1902-1906)
- William H. Kelly (1907-1908)
- Aristide M. LaPierre (1909-1910)
- John F. Higginson (1911-1918)
- Désiré Lahaie (1918-1926)
- F.C. Dunscombe (1926-1928)
- Aristide M. LaPierre (1928-1930)
- Wolfe J. Costello (1930-1932)
- Philoxime A. Fournier (1932-1944)
- Philias Matte (1944-1948)
- Elzéar Malette (1948-1950)
- Philias Matte (1950-1956)
- Arthur Latour (1956-1958)
- Reginald Cameron (1958-1962)
- Ulysse Tremblay (1962-1967)
- Roger D'Aoust (1967-1974)
- Reginald W. Scullion (1975-1995)
- Jacques Lareau (1995-1999)
- Jocelyne Houle (1999-2001)
The Francophone school district Commission scolaire au Cœur-des-Vallées, headquartered in Buckingham, operates public schools in that district.
The Université du Québec en Outaouais has two pavilions in the Outaouais region, both located in Hull. Students wishing to pursue undergraduate studies also benefit from close proximity to University of Ottawa, although tuition fees tend to be much higher when compared to those in the province of Quebec for Quebec residents.
Health and social services
The Hôpital de Papineau is located on MacLaren East Street at the intersection of Bélanger Street. Services include outpatient clinics for mental health care, as well as many medical and surgical specialties such as internal medicine, orthopedics, general surgery and endoscopy. An emergency department with medical imaging and laboratory services is also available 24/7.
- Population counts, for census metropolitan areas and census agglomerations by urban core, urban fringe, rural fringe and urban areas, 2011 census
- Historique/ History Buckingham (Québec) Canada, Maclaren Etc Archived April 24, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
- "Un plan B pour la relance de la laiterie Château (Plan B for the relaunch of Château dairy)". Le Droit (in French). December 23, 2006. p. 5.
- "Soixante-trois ans d'histoire (Sixty-three years of history)". Le Droit (in French). December 29, 2006. p. 3.
- Verner, Stephanie (November 12, 2006). "Buckingham en Fête : plus en vie que jamais!". Le Bulletin de la Lievre. Buckingham. p. 3.
- "Ville de Buckingham (1867-2001)". City of Gatineau. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014.
- "Contactez-nous Archived 2016-10-11 at the Wayback Machine", Commission scolaire au Cœur-des-Vallées. Retrieved July 15, 2016. "Commission scolaire au Coeur-des-Vallées 582, rue Maclaren Est Gatineau (Québec) J8L 2W2" and "Le centre administratif de la Commission scolaire au Coeur-des-Vallées est situé à Gatineau (secteur Buckingham)".
- "CAMPUS FÉLIX-LECLERC". Cégep de l'Outaouais. Cégep de l'Outaouais. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
"CAMPUS GABRIELLE-ROY". Cégep de l'Outaouais. Cégep de l'Outaouais. Retrieved 29 August 2018.
- "CAMPUS LOUIS-REBOUL". Cégep de l'Outaouais. Cégep de l'Outaouais. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
- "Université du Québec en Outaouais". Université du Québec en Outaouais. Université du Québec en Outaouais. Retrieved August 29, 2018.
- "Hôpital de Papineau". Ministère de la santé et des services sociaux. Gouvernement du Québec, 2018. Retrieved 29 August 2018.