Baie-Comeau, Quebec, Canada
Located in the Côte-Nord region of the province of Quebec, Canada, the city of Baie-Comeau is nestled on the shores of the Saint Lawrence River near the mouth of the Manicouagan River, and is the seat of Manicouagan Regional County Municipality. The city is comprised of two urban centres, Baie-Comeau proper and Hauterive. The landscape of the Baie-Comeau region has been shaped by glacial retreats and other natural phenomena. Important geological features include the Manicouagan and St. Lawrence rivers in the Manicouagan-Uapishka World Biosphere Reserve, and the immense Manicouagan crater, which was formed by a meteorite.
The oldest part of Baie-Comeau is the Old Post, or Vieux-Poste, an area near the mouth of the Amédée River. In 1889, the Saint-Eugène-de-Manicouagan Mission was founded by Eudists, and the first sawmill in the Côte-Nord region was built in 1898. In 1916, Route 138 was extended to Saint-Eugène-de-Manicouagan and in 1929, its post office opened with the English name of Comeau Bay. Eastern Baie-Comeau was founded in 1936 with the construction of a paper mill. The region's burgeoning timber, pulp and paper industries prompted remarkable growth, and the town of Baie-Comeau was incorporated the following year. In 1950, the village of Saint-Eugène-de-Manicouagan was incorporated as the Municipality of Hauterive. In 1982, Hauterive was merged into Baie-Comeau.
As a result of its deep-water seaport and access to forestry, energy and mining in northeast Canada, Baie-Comeau combines sustainable industrial development with a thriving natural ecosystem. In fact, few others cities around the world possess a major industrial complex at the heart of a global reserve like the World Reserve Biosphere of Manicouagan-Uapishka. The Baie-Comeau region also boasts engineering masterpieces in the realm of hydroelectricity, including the Jean-Lesage Generating Station, Manic 2Central Dam, Manic 5 Generating Station and Daniel Johnson Dam. The development of the Baie-Comeau region was bolstered by the industrialization of modern Québec by means of its natural resources. The presence of the Saint Lawrence River, forestry, the creation of saw and paper mills, and the emergence of a world-class aluminum smelter all led to the expansion of the territory.
Baie-Comeau and its environs are ideally-suited for a variety of popular inland and coastal excursions. Its proximity to the confluence of the Manicouagan and St. Lawrence rivers in the Manicouagan-Uapishka World Biosphere Reserve offers easy access to a vast natural paradise replete with exceptional geological phenomena, incredibly rich wildlife and forest habitats. Explore the exquisite coast and crystal-clear waters teeming with marine mammals and undersea treasures whilst boating, kayaking, scuba diving, fishing, and hunting. In the summer, an abundance of activities include golf, cycling and hiking trails, beaches, parks, flight-seeing, and more. Winter is no less exciting; the region's abundant snowfall is ideal for downhill skiing at the Centre de ski du Mont-Tibasse, and cross-country skiing and ski-skating at Sentier Norfond and Les Sentiers de la Rivière Amédée.
Due to its compact size, Baie-Comeau can be easily explored in just a single day.
Going Ashore in Baie Comeau
The ship is scheduled to dock at the Baie-Comeau Pier. Baie-Comeau's city centre can be reached via a 0.9-mile (1.5-kilometre) taxi-ride.
In addition to its three shopping centres, Baie-Comeau offers a wealth of boutiques specialising in woven goods, pottery, paintings, and more. Included are the commercial arteries of the Plateau and Place La Salle, Les Galeries Baie-Comeau, Centre Manicouagan and Centre d'achat Laflèche. The local currency is the Canadian Dollar.
Baie-Comeau's cold, clean coastal waters and fertile land offer a wealth of sumptuous dining selections. Among the many local favourites are seafood, sea urchins, Stimpson's surf clams, fish, and venison, along with wild berries and Canadian dishes. Popular restaurants in-and-around Baie-Comeau include La Cache d'Amélie for gourmet food, fine dining, regional specialities, seafood, and table d'hôte, and the Resto-Pub L'Orange Bleue for grilled dishes, paninis, seafood, pasta, and regional specialities.
Baie-Comeau's city centre is easily accessible by taxi. It features historical buildings, charming boutiques, restaurants and renowned local landmarks.
Symposium de Peinture de Baie-Comeau
Baie-Comeau is a friendly and welcoming community offering a wide array of cultural activities; its Symposium de Peinture de Baie-Comeau is renowned throughout the province and country, and has been North America's largest painting symposium for the past two decades.
Centre des Arts de Baie-Comeau
This cultural complex is the hub for performing arts in Baie-Comeau, from classes to rehearsals to presentations. Audiences enjoy a rich variety of theatre, song, dance, jazz and other music, as well as productions for younger spectators.
Galerie d'art Claude Bonneau
One of Québec's most distinctive galleries, the Galerie d'art Claude Bonneau features paintings by artist Claude Bonneau displayed in a unique setting.
Located north of Baie-Comeau in Manicouagan, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is a vast forested territory that includes Monts Groulx, the massive Manicouagan meteorite crater, Île René-Levasseur, and enormous hydroelectric facilities such as the breath-taking Barrage Daniel-Johnson.
Parc des Pionniers
Starting at the pier, visitors can take a delightful stroll along the shore of this beautiful park, which ranks among the most popular sites in Baie-Comeau.
Garden of the Glaciers
Located by the St. Lawrence River in the heart of a world biosphere reserve, Baie-Comeau's Garden of the Glaciers is a unique integrated site for interpretation, exploration and education. Journey through geological time to observe the evolution of the planet during the last Ice Age via activities such as Tyrolean traverses, hiking, sea kayaking, and interpretive cruises.
Departing from the Maison du Patrimoine, a walking tour through the Patrimonial Quarter offers an ideal opportunity to discover Baie-Comeau's heritage area. The tour highlights history, architecture and several important landmarks interspersed with interesting boutiques and colourful art galleries.
Manic-2 Hydroelectric Facilities
Manic-2 is an important hollow-joint gravity dam and the first to be put in service at the Manic-Outardes complex. Tour the reception building, Georges-Dor Pavilion, which holds an actual turbine, Exhibit Hall, and a Multimedia Room that explains the construction and operation of the dam. Afterward, take a guided tour to the heart of Manic-2 and visit one of the station's powerful generators.
Village Forestier d'Antan
The forest industry was crucial to the development of Baie-Comeau's north shore. Activities such as cutting, hauling, driving and other aspects of life in the forest are presented at this interpretation centre. =Typical buildings, period objects and old photographs illustrate the lumberjacks' living conditions and way of life in this period.
Boisé de la Pointe-Saint-Gilles
Located in the heart of Baie-Comeau, this wooded area offers 11 vast walking paths amidst vegetation, ancient trees, rest-stops, sculptures, carved panels, La Fontaine's fables, wooden sidewalks, and more.
Phare de Pointe-des-Monts
Built on a rocky point at the mouth of the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, the Pointe-des-Monts Lighthouse is testament to a time when navigating this river was often a dangerous challenge. Exhibits can be viewed on all seven floors of the lighthouse; view furniture, interpretive panels and photos illustrating the living conditions of the guardians, and learn about the shipwrecks and survivors who sometimes had to stay here throughout the entire winter.
Centre National des Naufrages du Saint-Laurent
The National Centre for the St. Lawrence River Shipwrecks tells the story of numerous strange and extraordinary shipwrecks in the area. View a multimedia show, explore the artefacts exhibit, or simply stroll along the beach in search of whales or seals.
Argile eau Mer
The sea mud at this site contains particles purported to have important medicinal properties. Learn how the company's various products are made, and can contribute to one's health, beauty and vitality.
Baie-Comeau's spectacular natural beauty combine to create a wonderful array of outdoor activities, including nature-watching, cycling, hiking, bird-watching, hunting, golfing at the Club de Golf de Baie-Comeau, and flight-seeing via the Labrador Air Safari. The city's scenic coast, beaches and teeming coastal waters are ideally-suited for kayaking, scuba diving, whale-watching and fishing.
Private arrangements for independent sightseeing may be requested through the Shore Concierge Office on board the ship.