History of the Chronicle-Telegraph | Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph Online

History of the Chronicle-Telegraph

A brief history of North America's oldest newspaper

Compiled by the QCT staff

The Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph has enjoyed a very long and most distinguished history in Quebec City. This newspaper is a descendant of several newspapers published during the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries in Quebec. The first, The Quebec Gazette, was founded on June 21, 1764. From that year to 1842, the newspaper published both French and English editions. It started as a weekly, but in May, 1832, it began appearing in English on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and in French on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Founded by William Brown, the Quebec Gazette had 150 subscribers in 1764. It encountered a number of problems during the first years of publication, and briefly ceased printing during the siege of Quebec in November 1775.

When William Brown died in 1789, the newspaper remained in his family, being taken over by two of his nephews, John and Samuel Neilson.

John Neilson published the Quebec Gazette until February 1848, then was replaced for a year by Roland Macdonald. Robert Middleton succeeded Macdonald and remained with the paper until 1873. In 1873 the Quebec Gazette joined with the Morning Chronicle to become the Quebec Chronicle and Quebec Gazette.

The Morning Chronicle, founded in 1847 by Robert Middleton and Charles St. Michel, also saw many changes, especially in its content. Upon Middleton's death in 1873, J.J. Foote, who had become publisher of the paper in 1863, ended the competition between the Quebec Gazette and the Morning Chronicle by combining the two.


This photo montage clearly shows where the
Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph offices were located,
at 27 Buade Street. Though the Chronicle-Telegraph
sign is hidden beneath an awning on du Tresor Street,
some say if you pass there, when the wind is right,
you can still smell the ink!

Two years after the amalgamation, the Quebec Daily Telegraph was founded by James Carrel on November 9, 1875. Contrary to the Quebec Chronicle and the Quebec Gazette which was a Conservative newspaper, the Daily Telegraph defended popular opinion and published as a Liberal newspaper.

The competition between these two newspapers was disastrous. On July 2, 1925, the two joined under the name of the Chronicle-Telegraph and was renamed the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph in 1934. The new paper was controlled by William Price and James Carrel (William Price had purchased the Morning Chronicle in 1922). The offices of the newspaper were located on Buade Street.

In September 1959, the business moved to St-Malo Industrial Centre and a new proprietor, The Thomson Company, took control.

The newspaper, which had been a daily since it was founded, became a weekly in 1972.

The Thomson Company then sold the newspaper to publisher Herb Murphy.

On December 16, 1979, a group composed of lawyers David Cannon, Jean Lemelin and Ross Rourke, along with broadcaster Bob Dawson, saved the paper from a certain demise. A few years later, David Cannon acquired sole ownership of the paper.

On January 1, 1993, it was bought by Karen Macdonald and François Vezina.

On August 1, 2007, Pierre Little, a New Brunswick native, took over officially from the former publishers.

In November 2010, majority shares were sold to Raymond Stanton of Ontario. His wife, Stacie Stanton, is the current editor and publisher. 

With each change in ownership, the paper found itself in new offices: from its humble beginning on St. Louis Street to the grand office on the corner of Buade and du Tresor in the 1920s, and a move to the St-Malo industrial park in 1959. The Chronicle-Telegraph was also published out of the (former) Wax Museum, suburban Sainte-Foy and the medical clinic building at the Jeffery Hale Hospital.

The office of the QCT is now located in an office building on rue Belvédere near the corner of René Lévesque in Quebec City.  

The Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph is published every Wednesday and has a circulation of 2,200. 

On June 21, 2014, the newspaper will celebrate its 250th anniversary as North America's Oldest Newspaper. 

Information about QCT archives can be found here

You can subscribe here