The first seigneuries granted in the St. Lawrence Valley constitute the oldest nucleus of population. At the close of the 17th century, this region was densely populated compared to the rest of the colony. The layout of the farmland was determined by the desire to make waterways accessible to the greatest number of inhabitants. This parcelling of land into rectangular holdings fronting on the water resulted in a scattered settlement. The star-shaped villages of Charlesbourg and Bourg-Royal are rare examples in New France of grouped dwellings in a rural milieu.

The Inhabitants of Québec
Carte des environs de Québec en la Nouvelle-France France [Map of the vicinity around Québec in New France] showing the names of the inhabitants and the dwellings, by Robert de Villeneuve, king's engineer, 1688
FR CHAN Marine 6JJ 61 pièce 32