Authorities moved in early Wednesday to the so-called Millennaire tent camp on Paris' edge alongside a canal used by joggers and cyclists. Picture: Thibault Camus/AP

Paris - Paris's largest illegal migrant camp was evacuated by police on Wednesday, with authorities saying that short-term housing had been found for 1 017 people.

Some 1 570 migrants were thought to be living in tightly-packed rows of tents along the banks of the Canal de Saint-Denis in the north of the capital.

Aid organizations and the migrants themselves repeatedly decried the poor conditions in the camp, and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo had called on President Emmanuel Macron's government to find a solution.

The evacuation of the area, known as the Millenaire camp, took place without incident, authorities said.

The migrants would be offered a "social and health check-up," Paris police and the regional prefecture said in a joint statement.

Their legal situation would also be examined and appropriate longer-term housing offered on that basis.

The so-called Millennaire tent camp is the largest of several around Paris. Two migrants drowned this month in canals along the encampments. Picture: Thibault Camus/AP

Interior Minister Gerard Collomb last week promised action to evacuate migrant camps in Paris, after a weeks-long stand-off with Hidalgo.

The mayor was calling for accommodation to be found for the migrants but rejected the idea of an operation that could involve arrests and deportations.

"This shelter operation is good news: this evening, 1,016 people, who had come to seek refuge in France because of war or misery in their countries, will have a roof over their heads," Hidalgo tweeted on Wednesday.

Migrants gather by the canal as French police evacuate hundreds of migrants living in makeshift camps in Paris. Picture: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

More than 800 migrants are still thought to be living in four other rough camps around the city.

Many of those living on the streets have little hope of gaining residency in France, because their details have been logged in other European Union countries that they passed through first.

Under EU law, that country then becomes responsible for dealing with any asylum claim.

But aid workers say others are asylum seekers and even recognized refugees, who in theory are entitled to accommodation.

Two weeks before the evacuation, one young man from the Central African Republic in the Millenaire Camp, who said he was in the process of applying for political asylum, said conditions were dire.

"There is no security or anything, there's no police," Mohammed Hassan told dpa.

Migrants wash themselves at a public tap as French police evacuate hundreds of migrants living in makeshift camps in Paris. Picture: Benoit Tessier/Reuters

"I came to France because it is a land of rights," he added, saying he had been arrested and tortured in his home country.

The operation comes days after another young migrant, Mammadou Gassama from Mali, was hailed as a hero for scaling the outside of an apartment building to rescue a child who was dangling from a fourth-floor balcony.

Gassama was invited to the Elysee Palace by Macron, who told him that he would be granted legal residency and should apply for French nationality.

Macron has promised better conditions for refugees in France but also more effective policies to deport undocumented migrants and failed asylum seekers.