L'Isle-aux-Allumettes is a municipality in the Outaouais region, part of the Pontiac Regional County Municipality, Quebec, Canada. The municipality consists primarily of Allumette Island (in French Île aux Allumettes), and also includes Morrison Island, Marcotte Island, and some minor islets, all in the Ottawa River north of Pembroke.

Location within Pontiac RCM
Location in SW Quebec
Coordinates: 45°52′N 77°04′W[1]
ConstitutedDecember 30, 1998
  MayorWinston Sunstrum
  Federal ridingPontiac
  Prov. ridingPontiac
  Total234.20 km2 (90.43 sq mi)
  Land186.02 km2 (71.82 sq mi)
  Density7.2/km2 (19/sq mi)
  Pop 2011-2016
Time zoneUTC−5 (EST)
  Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Postal code(s)
J0X 1M0
Area code(s)819
Highways Route 148

In the past, the island and municipalities have been spelled in French in various ways:[4]

  • Isle-des-Allumettes
  • L'Île-Allumettes
  • Île-aux-Allumettes


Allumette Island is 22 kilometres (14 mi) long and 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) wide, making it the largest island within the Ottawa River along its entire course. At this point the Ottawa River has widened into a lake, called Allumette Lake, which is 52 km (32 mi) long and has a total surface area of 120 km2 (46 sq mi).[5]

The municipality consists mostly of agricultural land. Its population centres are Chapeau, Desjardinsville, Demers Centre, and Saint-Joseph.[6]


The Kichesipirini Algonquins first occupied the site in order to maintain control of trade on the Ottawa River. For this reason, Samuel de Champlain named it Isle des Algoumequins during his trip of 1613. In 1650, this native population was almost entirely exterminated by the Iroquois.[5]

In his memoirs written during the second half of the 17th century, Nicolas Perrot made mention of the "One-Eyed Island otherwise called Allumette Island" ("Isle du Borgne autrement ditte l'Isle des Allumettes"). The name "One-Eyed" was a reference to the disability of Tessouat, an Algonquin chief in the region. The name "Allumettes" (literally meaning "matches") was first given to the rapids south-east of the island. A map from 1680 refers to these as Sault des Allumettes (Allumette Falls).[5]

It was not until 1818 that Europeans began to settle on the island. They worked mostly as loggers or for the Hudson's Bay Company which had a fur trading post just upstream at Fort William. The preferred transport route was still the river, so most families build their homes south on the island where the church of Saint-Alphonse-de-l'Île-aux-Allumettes Parish was built in 1840.[5] The Île-aux-Allumettes Township was formed in 1847,[7] and its first mayor was Andrew Whelan.[6]

An intense fire destroyed almost all the buildings in 1853 and, thereafter, the population rather settled in the northern part, on the current site of Chapeau village.[5] In 1874, the village of Chapeau separated from the township and became an incorporated municipality,[8] with Patrick Cunningham as the first mayor.[6]

In 1910, the parish of Saint-Joseph-de-l'Île-aux-Allumettes was established on the eastern part of the island, leading to the formation of the Municipality of L'Isle-aux-Allumettes-Partie-Est in 1920.[9]

On December 30, 1998, the municipality of Chapeau Village and the township municipalities of L'Isle-aux-Allumettes and L'Isle-aux-Allumettes-Part-East were merged into the new Municipality of L'Isle-aux-Allumettes.[4]

UFO Landing Incident

On May 11, 1969, near Chapeau, a farmer by the name of Leo-Paul Chaput was awakened at 2 am, and witnessed a brilliant white light emanating from a flat-bottomed domed craft, resembling a French WWI military helmet. The next morning, a 32 feet (9.8 m) wide circular imprint was found in the ground, with a ring of scorched grass 2.5 feet (0.76 m) wide, containing three indentations forming an equilateral triangle, with sides 15 feet (4.6 m) long, each dent 8 inches (20 cm) wide and 3 inches (7.6 cm) deep, suggesting a "landing tripod". A second smaller circle was also found, with a ring of scorched grass, but the triangle of indentations was smaller and not equilateral. A third scorched marking, although a semicircle, contained a pile of rocks. An explanation was offered that the circles were fairy rings, but this seems unlikely as they take years to achieve such a size and the witness insisted the markings were not there the day before.[10]



Canada census – L'Isle-aux-Allumettes community profile
2016 2011 2006
Population: 1,334 (-0.8% from 2011) 1,345 (-6.8% from 2006) 1,443 (+4.2% from 2001)
Land area: 186.02 km2 (71.82 sq mi) 185.87 km2 (71.76 sq mi) 185.87 km2 (71.76 sq mi)
Population density: 7.2/km2 (19/sq mi) 7.2/km2 (19/sq mi) 7.8/km2 (20/sq mi)
Median age: 50.6 (M: 49.8, F: 51.3) 47.7 (M: 47.3, F: 47.9) 43.7 (M: 43.5, F: 44.1)
Total private dwellings: 1,126 1,122 1,112
Median household income: $54,400 $.N/A $33,868
Notes: 2011 Income data for this area has been suppressed for data quality or confidentiality reasons. – References: 2016[11] 2011[12] 2006[13] earlier[14]
Historical Census Data - L'Isle-aux-Allumettes, Quebec
1986 1,430    
1991 1,430+0.0%
1996 1,482+3.6%
2001 1,385−6.5%
2006 1,443+4.2%
2011 1,345−6.8%
2016 1,334−0.8%
Population amounts prior to 1998 are total of L'Isle-aux-Allumettes CT, L'Isle-aux-Allumettes-Partie-Est CT, and Chapeau VL.
Source: [15]


Mother tongue:[3]

  • English as first language: 76.7%
  • French as first language: 21.4%
  • Other as first language: 1.9%

See also


  1. Reference number 350425 of the Commission de toponymie du Québec (in French)
  2. "L'Isle-aux-Allumettes". Répertoire des municipalités (in French). Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l'Occupation du territoire. Retrieved 2011-06-22.
  3. "(Code 2484082) Census Profile". 2016 census. Statistics Canada. 2017.
  4. "Municipalité de canton L'Isle-aux-Allumettes" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
  5. "Île aux Allumettes" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
  6. "Allumettes Island". Pontiac MRC Gateway. Archived from the original on October 7, 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-21.
  7. "Canton d'Île-aux-Allumettes" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
  8. "Municipalité de village de Chapeau" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
  9. "L'Isle-aux-Allumettes-Partie-Est" (in French). Commission de toponymie du Québec. Retrieved 2008-04-14.
  10. Chris Rutowski and Geoff Dittman, The Canadian UFO Report: The Best Cases Revealed, 2006, ISBN 1-55002-621-6
  11. "2016 Community Profiles". 2016 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 21, 2017. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  12. "2011 Community Profiles". 2011 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. July 5, 2013. Retrieved 2014-02-01.
  13. "2006 Community Profiles". 2006 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2012-04-03.
  14. "2001 Community Profiles". 2001 Canadian Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012.
  15. Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 census

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