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In the early decades of the 19th century, the geographic location of the City of Québec made it a major commercial, military and political centre. People and goods from Europe flowed through its port every navigation season.
In 1832, authorities were forced to establish a quarantine station to prevent Asiatic cholera, which was ravaging Europe, from entering Canada. Grosse Île, located near Québec, became a mandatory stop for all ships from Europe. As contagious diseases continued to run rampant in Europe, and public health protection remained a concern for Canadian authorities, the station remained in operation until 1937. Consequently, many of the nearly four million passengers passing through the Québec port had to stay at Grosse Île.
This section draws on a rich collection of letters, photographs, maps, drawings and records to describe life in quarantine, and the buildings, facilities, employees and services of the Grosse Île quarantine station from 1832 to 1937.