Things to do in Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec

Havre-Saint-Pierre is a charming Municipality located on the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the Côte-Nord region of Quebec, Canada. Settled in 1857, it was historically known as an Acadian fishing community and was later renamed in 1930. 


The village serves as a titanium ore transshipment port, transporting ore from mines at Lac Allard to ships bound for Sorel-Tracy. 


With a population of around 3,460, Havre-Saint-Pierre offers a picturesque setting surrounded by the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve.


The park features stunning sandy beaches, limestone islands, and granite islets. The region is rich in natural beauty, boasting diverse wildlife such as whales, marine birds, and unique plant life. 


Visitors can immerse themselves in the local Innu culture, enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and boating, and explore attractions such as the Maison de la Culture Roland-Jomphe and Place des Artisans. 


Havre-Saint-Pierre is a vibrant destination that combines cultural richness with breathtaking natural landscapes, making it a must-visit location in Quebec, Canada.


History of Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, Canada

Havre-Saint-Pierre has a rich history dating back to the mid-19th century. In 1857, a group of Acadian families from the Magdalen Islands were deported to Savannah, Georgia, USA, and settled on Eskimo Point (Pointe aux Esquimaux). The first mass was held on June 29, 1857, the feast day of Saint Peter.


In 1872, the Parish of Saint-Pierre-de-la-Pointe-aux-Esquimaux was officially established, and its post office opened under the name Esquimaux Point. The following year, 1873, the place was incorporated as a municipality.


In 1924, the post office changed its name to Havre-Saint-Pierre, followed by the town in 1927, to focus on the harbor, which characterizes the area, while retaining the original parish name. Havre-Saint-Pierre remained the largest town on the North Shore until 1936 when it was overtaken by Baie-Comeau.


Since 1948, the Quebec Iron and Titanium Company has been mining deposits of ilmenite, a mineral composed of iron and titanium, at a site some 40 kilometres (25 mi) north. The Chemin de fer de la Rivière Romaine brings the ore by rail cars to Havre-Saint-Pierre for transshipment.


As early as 1877, the town council of Pointe-aux-Esquimaux — now known as Havre-Saint-Pierre — was already working to establish a regular shipping service to Québec City.


Geography of Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, Canada

Havre-Saint-Pierre is located on the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in the Côte-Nord region of Quebec, Canada. It lies on a sandy point that offers panoramic views of the gulf. The town is 1000 km east of Montreal, 870 km northeast of Quebec City, and 200 km from Sept-Îles.


The Havre-Saint-Pierre—Mingan region is located in the geological province of Grenville. It features rocks of Precambrian and Ordovician age. 


The Precambrian is represented by metamorphosed and intrusive sedimentary rocks, while the Ordovician rocks belong to the Mingan Iceland group, divided into the Romaine Formation and the Mingan Formation.


The area is known for its diverse geology, with morpho-sedimentological units formed by erosion, sedimentation, climatic events, and the action of the sea and its estuary. 


Other notable geographical features include the Romaine River to the northwest, Manitou Falls on the Manitou River to the west, Île du Havre less than 1 km from the coast, and Anticosti Island, visible on clear days.


Despite its maritime position just above the 50th parallel, Havre-Saint-Pierre has a relatively harsh subarctic climate, with cold winters and cool summers, high precipitation, and significant snowfall in winter.


Demographics of Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, Canada

According to the 2016 Census data, Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, was 2,925. This population is divided into 1,450 males and 1,475 females. 


The age demographics of Havre-Saint-Pierre show that 500 individuals aged 0 to 14 years, with 275 males and 230 females in this age group, were in the town. 


Additionally, the town had 310 migrants, 145 males and 160 females. Havre-Saint-Pierre's population density is approximately 1,399.4 individuals per square kilometre, reflecting its relatively small size.


Economy of Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, Canada

Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, Canada's economy has evolved from its historical roots in fishing and lumbering to a more diverse mix of industries today.


Historically, Havre-Saint-Pierre was settled in 1857 as an Acadian fishing community. It served as a fishing and lumbering center for many years.


Today, the city hospital is the major employer in the region. Due to the town's proximity to the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, tourism also contributes significantly to the local economy. 


The park encompasses many islands known for their unique flora and fauna, such as puffins and the rare Mingan Thistle, as well as distinctive geological features called "monoliths."


Havre-Saint-Pierre also serves as a seaport, handling ilmenite, an iron-titanium ore transported by rail from a mine 40 km northwest on the Romaine River. 


This industry has been active since 1948, when the Quebec Iron and Titanium Company began mining the deposits.


Other economic activities in the area include excellent fishing for snow crab, scallops, lobster, salmon and trout in the numerous rivers and lakes. The town is also known for its cross-country skiing, cycling, ATV riding, and snowmobiling.


Transport System of Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, Canada

The transport system of Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, Canada, is an integral part of the region's infrastructure, facilitating local, interprovincial, and international trade flows. The town is served by various modes of transportation, including air, marine, and rail networks.


Air Transport:

  • Havre-Saint-Pierre is home to an airfield owned and operated by Transport Canada. This aerodrome facilitates air travel in the region.


Marine Transport:

  • The town is part of Quebec's network of ports along the St. Lawrence River, which includes five port authorities and a mix of private and public facilities. This network supports marine transportation and trade activities in the area.


Rail Transport:

  • The Quebec Region has three Class I railroads, including Canadian National, Canadian Pacific, and VIA Rail, operating over 5,300 kilometres of track. These railroads are crucial in transporting goods and passengers in and out of the region.


Overall, the transport system in Havre-Saint-Pierre is well-connected and contributes significantly to the town's economic development and connectivity with other regions in Quebec and beyond.


Living in Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, Canada

Living in Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, Canada, offers a unique experience in a picturesque seaside village on the North Shore of Quebec's Côte-Nord region. 


With a population of around 3,337 in 2021, the town is known for its rich history, diverse economy, and stunning natural surroundings. 


The community is strongly connected to its Acadian roots, evident in its dialect and historical settlement by Acadian families in the 19th century.


The town's economy has evolved from fishing and lumbering to include industries like titanium ore transshipment and tourism. It serves as a seaport handling ilmenite ore and is close to the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve. 


The region's geological features, including the Mingan Iceland group and the Romaine River, add to the area's natural beauty and diversity.


Regarding demographics, Havre-Saint-Pierre had a population of 2,925 in 2016, with a population density of approximately 1,399.4 individuals per square kilometre. 


The town offers a range of amenities, including a municipal campground for outdoor enthusiasts and a tourist information office where visitors can explore the attractions of the Côte-Nord region.


The town's transport system includes air, marine, and rail networks, which provide connectivity to other regions and support trade activities. 


Havre-Saint-Pierre's subarctic climate brings cold winters and cool summers, with high precipitation and significant snowfall in winter.


Living in Havre-Saint-Pierre offers a blend of cultural heritage, economic opportunities, natural beauty, and outdoor activities, making it an appealing destination for those seeking a unique coastal living experience in Quebec, Canada.


Tourist places of Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, Canada

Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, offers several notable tourist attractions and places of interest:


Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve

The Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve is a major draw for visitors to Havre-Saint-Pierre. The park encompasses over 40 islands in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, featuring unique geological formations called "monoliths," diverse flora and fauna like puffins and the rare Mingan Thistle, and excellent opportunities for hiking, whale watching, and exploring.


Havre-Saint-Pierre Reception and Interpretation Center

The Havre-Saint-Pierre Reception and Interpretation Center provides tourist information on the attractions and services of the Côte-Nord region. It has a rating of 4.6 stars from 171 reviews.


Maison de la culture Roland-Jomphe

The Maison de la Culture Roland-Jomphe is a cultural center where visitors can explore the history of the Havre-Saint-Pierre community.


Other notable attractions include the Havre-Saint-Pierre Peat Bogs, the Salle de diffusion de la Shed-à-Morue screening center, and the municipal bike paths. The town's picturesque setting along a sandy point with panoramic views of the Gulf of St. Lawrence is a major draw for visitors.


Local Food of Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, Canada

The local food scene in Havre-Saint-Pierre, Quebec, Canada, offers various seafood delicacies and regional specialties. Here are some highlights based on the sources provided:

  • Seafood: Havre-Saint-Pierre is known for its seafood offerings, with dishes featuring lobster, fish, shrimp, and scallops. Simple preparations allow the seafood's natural flavours to shine, with broiled lobster being a popular choice. Seafood platters, seafood pizza, and lobster club sandwiches are among the seafood-centric options available in local restaurants.
  • Cloudberry: A local specialty in the area is cloudberry, a fruit native to the boreal forests of Quebec. Cloudberry pie is a must-try dessert in Havre-Saint-Pierre, offering a unique and delicious taste experience.
  • Local Jams and Condiments: Visitors can enjoy tastings of local jams, including the signature cloudberry jam, and explore a great selection of local treats and condiments in the area.
  • Ice Cream: La Molle Ice Cream Shop in Havre-Saint-Pierre offers a variety of ice cream flavours, including soft-serve and traditional options, providing a sweet treat for visitors.


Overall, Havre-Saint-Pierre's culinary heritage reflects the town's coastal location and rich seafood offerings, making it a paradise for seafood lovers and those looking to savour unique local flavours in Quebec, Canada.


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