La Malbaie, Quebec Canada

Discovering La Malbaie, Quebec: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

La Malbaie, Quebec, is a charming municipality nestled in the Charlevoix-Est Regional County Municipality. Located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River at the mouth of the Malbaie River, this town is a treasure trove of history and natural beauty.

A Glimpse into the History of La Malbaie, Quebec

La Malbaie's history dates back to 1605 when French explorer Samuel de Champlain named the bay Malle Baye, meaning "bad bay". The settlement began in 1688, initially focusing on lumber export to France, but soon shifted to the fur trade and beluga fishing.

In 1763, two Scottish officers of the British Army, John Nairne and Malcolm Fraser, received concessions in the area from the British Crown. They renamed the bay, settlement, and river “Murray Bay” after James Murray, a British general. However, the name La Malbaie remained in local use.

The 19th century saw the arrival of well-to-do visitors, marking the beginning of La Malbaie as a holiday destination. The luxurious 250-room Manoir Richelieu opened in 1899, catering to the influx of summertime visitors.

The 20th century brought more changes, with the town officially becoming La Malbaie in 1958. In 2018, La Malbaie's Manoir Richelieu hosted the 44th G7 summit, hosted by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Exploring the Geography of La Malbaie, Quebec

La Malbaie is located in the Charlevoix Seismic Zone, the most active seismic zone in Eastern Canada. Despite the high seismic risk, the region has not experienced a significant earthquake recently.

Understanding the Demographics of La Malbaie, Quebec

As per the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, La Malbaie had a population of 8,235. The majority of the population speaks French as their first language, accounting for 98.0%.

Attractions in La Malbaie, Quebec

La Malbaie's scenic beauty and closeness to nature have always been popular draws. Modern visitors enjoy a variety of activities, including hiking, cycling, golfing, skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

The town's most noted landmark is the Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu, a hotel known for its panoramic location on a cliff overlooking the St. Lawrence River. The Casino de Charlevoix is located next to the Manoir.

La Malbaie also boasts two golf courses and the Hautes-Gorges-de-la-Rivière-Malbaie National Park, popular with outdoor enthusiasts. The Musée de Charlevoix, a museum of history and popular art, is within walking distance of many local hotels and inns.

The Cap-à-l’Aigle sector of La Malbaie is a member of Quebec's association of most beautiful villages. With its many heritage residences and inns, it is a popular place to go for a stroll, particularly in June when its lilac trees are in full bloom.

Agrotourism is a big draw in La Malbaie and throughout Charlevoix, with many local producers welcoming visitors. The Observatoire de l’Astroblème de Charlevoix is an interpretation centre on the meteorite origins of Charlevoix's geography.

Although the whales don't often venture as far upriver as La Malbaie, the town is within easy driving distance of Tadoussac, where visitors can take a whale-watching tour and visit the Saguenay Fjord.