Discovering La Baie, Quebec: A Blend of History and Tourism

La Baie, Quebec, a borough nestled in the city of Saguenay, Canada, is a captivating blend of history and tourism. Established during Quebec's municipal reorganization in 2002, La Baie was formerly known as the Town of La Baie from 1976 to 2001. This municipality was composed of the Grande-Baie, Bagotville, and Port-Alfred sectors.

The Historical Journey of La Baie, Quebec

The Early Settlement and Exploration of Ha! Ha! Bay

La Baie, Quebec, is situated on the bank of the Ha! Ha! Bay, at the mouths of the Ha! Ha! River and the Mars River. The first colony in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region, La Baie was founded by the Société des Vingt et un, who settled the area in 1838. The depth of the banks of the Ha! Ha! Bay's waterways facilitated the rapid development of the region's largest harbour facilities after the railways were built in 1910.

The borough's main sources of socio-economic development have been the logging and the pulp and paper industries since the nineteenth and twentieth centuries respectively. Aluminum production began in the early 1980s. After the Abitibi-Consolidated paper mill, one of the main employers of the borough, shut down in 2004, Saguenay's elected officials decided to invest in La Baie's tourism industry by building and operating a port of call for cruise ships in 2008.

The Evolution of Grande-Baie and Bagotville

The Société des vingt et un arrived in what is now the Grande-Baie sector on June 11, 1838. After surveying the forest and assessing its potential, the colonists built the first lock on the Ha! Ha! River. In October of that same year, they completed the first sawmill and created the foundation of what would become Grande-Baie. The first families arrived during the fall, and jack pine and Eastern white pine logging operations began in 1839.

Industrialization of Port-Alfred and Development from 1900 to 1976

The Saguenay region experienced a new phase of economic development after the arrival of railways in Chicoutimi in 1893. Journalist Joseph-Dominique Guay and banker Julien-Édouard-Alfred Dubuc founded the Compagnie de Pulpe de Chicoutimi in 1898. Because its activities soon became too extensive for Chicoutimi's port facilities, the company's directors decided to build a loading port on the Ha! Ha! Bay to ship pulp.

The Modern Era of La Baie, Quebec

The Town of La Baie (1976–2001)

The Town of La Baie was founded on January 1, 1976. It was the result of the merger of the Towns of Bagotville and Port-Alfred and the Parish Municipalities of Grande-Baie and Bagotville. After the 1977 elections, Laurier Simard, the former mayor of Port-Alfred, became the Town of La Baie's first mayor.

The City of Saguenay and the La Baie Borough

La Baie was merged into the City of Saguenay on January 1, 2002. Despite everything that was proposed and done to keep the Abitibi-Consolidated mill open in Port-Alfred, it was temporarily shut down on December 10, 2003, as part of a major restructuring plan. It was officially closed on January 26, 2004; 640 jobs were lost.

The Geography of La Baie, Quebec


La Baie is located in the eastern part of the city of Saguenay. It lies between upper and lower Saguenay and surrounds Ha! Ha! Bay. The borough borders the Saguenay River to the north, Saint-Félix-d'Otis to the east, Ferland-et-Boilleau to the southeast, La Zec Mars-Moulin to the south, the Laterrière sector to the southwest, and the Chicoutimi Borough to the west.


Like most cities alongside the Saguenay River and east of St-Jean Lake, La Baie has a continental climate that is milder than the surrounding Laurentian Plateau. La Baie has an average annual temperature of 2.3 °C (36.1 °F) with temperatures varying between −44 and 36 °C (−47 and 97 °F).

The Borough of La Baie, Quebec

The La Baie Borough, which was created on February 18, 2002, accounts for 3 of 19 electoral districts and 13.3% of the city's voters. It is governed by a borough council that elects a president who also serves as one of three municipal councillors. The borough's director and clerk of court hold the other two municipal council seats.

The Culture and Society of La Baie, Quebec

Arts and Entertainment

La Baie, Quebec, is a vibrant hub of arts and entertainment. The borough is home to a variety of cultural events and festivals that attract both locals and tourists alike.

Sports, Parks, and Recreation

La Baie offers a wide range of sports facilities, parks, and recreational activities. The Jean-Claude-Tremblay Arena hosts the annual La Baie Pee-Wee hockey tournament. The arena was named after Jean-Claude Tremblay, a Bagotville native and former defenseman for the Montreal Canadiens and the Quebec Nordiques.

Transportation in La Baie, Quebec

La Baie, Quebec, is well-connected with a robust transportation network. The borough is served by a variety of transportation options, including public buses, taxis, and a well-maintained network of roads and highways. The Bagotville Airport, the main civilian airport in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, is also located in La Baie.

Discover the charm of La Baie, Quebec, a borough that beautifully blends history and tourism. Whether you're a history buff, a nature lover, or a culture enthusiast, La Baie has something for everyone.