OTTAWA—In 1791, after a century of habitation in the flat plains along the Saint Lawrence River, an earthquake hit the parish of Kamouraska, Que., damaging the church and some of the town’s buildings. The priest at the time, Joseph-Amable Trutault, called it a “sign from God” the parish should move. However, he had an ulterior motive: he had experienced the annual flooding that hit the low-lying town each year when the Saint Lawrence and the nearby Kamouraska River overflowed their banks. When he built the next church on higher ground a few kilometres away, the town’s people followed.
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