Baie-Comeau, Quebec Canada

Discover Baie-Comeau, Quebec: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

Baie-Comeau, Quebec, a city with a population of 20,687 as of the 2021 census, is a hidden gem nestled in the Côte-Nord region of Quebec, Canada. Located approximately 420 km north-east of Quebec City, Baie-Comeau sits on the shores of the Saint Lawrence River near the mouth of the Manicouagan River. The city is the seat of Manicouagan Regional County Municipality and is divided into two urban area population centres: Baie-Comeau proper and Hauterive.

The Rich History of Baie-Comeau, Quebec

The oldest part of Baie-Comeau, known as Vieux-Poste, is located near the mouth of the Amédée River. This area is home to the Saint-Eugène-de-Manicouagan Mission, founded by Eudists in 1889. The first sawmill in the Côte-Nord region was built here in 1898 by the Jalbert brothers, marking the beginning of the city's economic development.

Baie-Comeau itself was founded in 1936 when a paper mill was constructed by Colonel Robert R. McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune. The city experienced remarkable growth and was incorporated the following year. The establishment of hydro-electric power stations, an aluminum smelter, and Canada's largest grain warehouses further boosted the city's economy.

In 1950, the village of Saint-Eugène-de-Manicouagan was incorporated as the Municipality of Hauterive. This municipality was merged into Baie-Comeau in 1982, taking effect on January 1, 1983. Today, Baie-Comeau is the seat of the judicial district of Baie-Comeau.

Demographics of Baie-Comeau, Quebec

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Baie-Comeau had a population of 20,687 living in 9,554 of its 10,163 total private dwellings. This represented a change of -3.9% from its 2016 population of 21,536. With a land area of 334.83 km2, it had a population density of 61.8/km2 in 2021.

The city is predominantly French-speaking, with 20,840 residents reporting French as their first language in the 2016 census. English was reported by 4,415 residents, while 550 reported other languages.

Transportation in Baie-Comeau, Quebec

Baie-Comeau is located along Route 138, about 100 km east of Forestville and about 230 km west of Sept-Îles. The town is linked to Matane on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River by a ferry service of the Société des traversiers du Québec and a rail ferry service of the COGEMA. Baie-Comeau is also the southern terminus of Route 389, which leads to the Daniel-Johnson Dam, the town of Fermont, and the Labrador region of Newfoundland and Labrador. The Baie-Comeau Airport, located in neighbouring Pointe-Lebel, offers scheduled flights from Air Liaison and Pascan Aviation.

The Climate of Baie-Comeau, Quebec

Despite being at the same latitude as Vancouver or Paris, Baie-Comeau has a borderline humid continental climate, just above the subarctic climate. Influenced by the cold Labrador Current, the Gulf of St. Lawrence is very cold, which cools the weather during summer. The city's maritime location results in marginal warming of the winters. With moist northeasterly winds coming in from the Icelandic Low, Baie-Comeau experiences heavy snowfall, averaging around 342.9 cm per year. The greatest average snow depth is around 56 cm in March, with the extreme snow depth recorded at 226 cm on January 10, 1969.