Baie-Comeau, Quebec

Introduction to Baie-Comeau

Baie-Comeau is one of Canada’s hidden gems, a small, yet attraction packed city with plenty to see and an interesting history and heritage to explore. 

Located on the banks of the beautiful Saint-Lawrence River and smothered with forests, this busy industrial city supplies Quebec with large quantities of hydroelectricity from the impressive Manicouagan Reservoir dam and produces large quantities of paper and aluminium that’s exported worldwide.

As you journey further into the city centre, away from the busy industrialised areas near the port you discover a calm, peaceful city where quaint cafes and pretty theatres await you. Arguably the city’s greatest attraction is the delightful old-town district, known as Vieux-Poste. Established in 1889, the old-town was formerly the village of Saint-Eugène-de-Manicouagan and is home to a couple of interesting churches: the Anglican church of St Andrew is built of oak and boasts a couple of superb stained-glass windows, as does the pink granite Sainte-Amélie Church.

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BEST OF BAIE-COMEAU

  • Discover the highlights of Baie-Comeau
  • Learn more about the forestry history of Quebec’s northern coastline
  • Take in the beautiful scenery

 

Price£30.00 - £40.00
DurationApproximately 2.75 hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included
  • Discover the highlights of Baie-Comeau
  • Learn more about the forestry history of Quebec’s northern coastline
  • Take in the beautiful scenery

This tour, combining history, nature and technology, is a great way to get an overview of Baie-Comeau!

Colonel Robert McCormick, the president of the Chicago Tribune, founded the city of Baie-Comeau in 1937 when he established a pulp and paper plant to control costs for his newspaper business. Today, Baie-Comeau is a high tech industrial hub for hydroelectricity and home to about 23,000 residents. On this tour you will learn about the rich religious and cultural heritage, as well as the strong character of the hearty souls living in this remote paradise.

Your tour begins with a short drive and a photo stop at the magnificent Havre St Pancrace lookout, 600 metres high. During Prohibition in the 1930’s, this isolated spot was a popular delivery point for contraband liquor.

You proceed to a forest interpretation centre known as Village Forestier d’Antan, which focuses on the forestry history of Québec’s northern coast. At Village Forestier you can learn about activities such as cutting, hauling and driving, and other aspects of life in the forest. The typical buildings, as well as yesteryear objects and photographs, illustrate the living conditions and lifestyle of the lumberjacks and their families. The visit will also allow you to find out more about Franquelin’s origin, which was named after J. B. Franquelin – the hydrographer who mapped the St Lawrence River. You will spend approximately 60 minutes at the village.

Finally, you can enjoy a short tour of Baie-Comeau, with a stop at Place La Salle, situated in Baie-Comeau’s heritage area. This quaint commercial artery, full of sites of historical interest, bustles with speciality food shops, souvenir stores, art galleries and fine restaurants. Here you will be given the opportunity to either stay in town or return with the bus to your ship.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2014

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This tour involves approximately 200 metres of walking at Village Forestier d’Antan over uneven, sloped, gravel and grassy terrain and 100 metres on a sloped boardwalk at Havre St Pancrace. At Havre St Pancrace there are approximately 100 steps to negotiate if you wish to reach the highest observation point. Please note that the ground at Village Forestier d’Antan can be slippery when wet. Guests wishing to remain in town at the end of the tour may do so, but should be aware it is their own responsibility to return to the ship in time for sailing. Please note that school buses may be used to operate this tour. Insect repellent is recommended.


HISTORIC WALKING TOUR OF BAIE-COMEAU

  • Discover Baie-Comeau’s history on foot
  • Admire the town’s heritage area, boutiques, art galleries, landmarks, and its beautiful natural setting

 

Price£20.00 - £30.00
DurationApproximately 3 hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included
  • Discover Baie-Comeau’s history on foot
  • Admire the town’s heritage area, boutiques, art galleries, landmarks, and its beautiful natural setting

Take in the highlights of Baie-Comeau during an insightful walking tour.

After a shuttle ride into town, your walking tour starts at Place La Salle, situated in Baie-Comeau’s heritage area. This quaint commercial artery, full of sites of historical interest, bustles with specialty food shops, souvenir stores, art galleries and fine restaurants.

Two churches are on your itinerary. St Amelie’s Church features the pink granite of Québec’s North Shore and here you can admire its 1,500 square metres of fresco paintings, the 30 stained-glass windows representing characters from the Bible, and the magnificent Casavant organ. Later in the tour, there is a stop at St Andrew’s Anglican Church. This remarkable church, built in 1937, was the first church in the Baie-Comeau area. Built in the Tudor style, it has imposing oak trim and lovely stained glass windows. The main window depicts local forest animals.

Your walking tour continues to Mance Lookout, where you can admire the magnificent scenery, and along Champlain Street, where the former Premier of Canada, Brian Mulroney, spent his childhood.

You will also have the chance to visit the town’s best known hotel – Manoir Baie-Comeau, where tea and cake will be served.

In 1937, the same year he founded the town of Baie-Comeau, Robert Rutherford McCormick built a sumptuous manor.  In 1965, the manor burned to the ground. The QNSL paper company rebuilt it on the same site, using stone instead of wood, and it was totally rejuvenated in 2004. Now a hotel with all the charm of an old French colonial manor, most of its rooms and meeting rooms, including the dining room, terrace and gardens, open onto spectacular views of the St Lawrence River.

Your walking tour will end at the Place La Salle, where you can either stay in town or return to your ship with your guide.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2014
 

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: Please note that this is primarily a walking tour covering approximately one and a half miles in total, and there will be some steps to negotiate. Therefore it is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. We would like to point out that it is quite easy to explore Baie-Comeau independently; however this tour is for those who appreciate the services of an English-speaking guide. Guests wishing to remain in town at the end of the tour may do so, but should be aware it is their own responsibility to return to the ship in time for sailing. Insect repellent is recommended.
 


HOLLOW GRAVITY DAM – MANIC 2

  • Visit the Manic-2 - a spectacular hollow-joint gravity dam
  • Learn more about the construction of the dam
  • Enjoy a brief sightseeing tour of Baie-Comeau

 

Price£25.00 - £35.00
DurationApproximately 3 hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
  • Visit the Manic-2 - a spectacular hollow-joint gravity dam
  • Learn more about the construction of the dam
  • Enjoy a brief sightseeing tour of Baie-Comeau

This tour takes in a visit to Manic-2, an important hollow-joint dam and the first one to be put in service at the Manic-Outardes complex. It was here that in 1965 Hydro- Québec operated the first 735,000-volt line in the world. This line has now become the international standard for high-voltage transmission. The line is linked to a generating station powerful enough to supply electricity to a city of 250,000 people.

During your visit here, you will tour the reception building, Georges-Dor Pavilion, which holds an actual turbine, an exhibit hall and a multimedia room that explains the construction and operation of the dam. There is then a guided tour in the heart of Manic-2 and a visit to one of the station’s powerful generators. This is the perfect opportunity to discover how electricity is produced and delivered to homes.

Finally there will be a short tour of Baie-Comeau, with a stop at Place La Salle, situated in Baie-Comeau’s heritage area. This quaint commercial artery, full of sites of historical interest, bustles with specialty food shops, souvenir stores, art galleries and fine restaurants. Following your tour, you can either choose to remain in town or return directly to your ship.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2014

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, and there will be some steps to negotiate, therefore it is not recommended for wheelchair users. Due to security regulations, you must bring your passport in order to tour Manic-2; no cameras are allowed. During your guided tour of Manic-2 you will have to wear safety headgear which will be provided for you. Please note that guests with pacemakers and pregnant woman are not allowed to enter the Manic-2 area. Guests wishing to remain in town at the end of the tour may do so, but should be aware it is their own responsibility to return to the ship in time for sailing. Please note that school buses may be used to operate this tour.


THE BOREAL ADVENTURE - 20,000 YEARS BENEATH THE ICE

  • Discover the last ice age in a truly unique way!
  • Explore a glacier from top to bottom
  • Visit the award-winning Glacier Exploration Centre

 

Price£45.00 - £55.00
DurationApproximately 3 Hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
  • Discover the last ice age in a truly unique way!
  • Explore a glacier from top to bottom
  • Visit the award-winning Glacier Exploration Centre

Located right in the heart of the Manicouagan-Uapishka Reserve, is the best immersive interactive and multi-sensory experience in Canada – the unique Garden of Glaciers. Here visitors can enjoy a unique encounter with the last ice age, and learn more about climate changes and the migration of the first people to ever set foot in North America.

This world class multimedia show allows you to explore a glacier from top to bottom and even gives you a glimpse of the old seas that lie beneath.

The Glacier Exploration Station is set up around a multimedia show that is divided into three acts composed of spectacular and unique projections. You will first admire the “Vastness of the Glaciers”, a 3D-inspired projection that flies you over a glacier that has evolved and has been shaped by the earth’s changing climate throughout history. You will learn that 20,000 years ago the Northern Hemisphere was, for the most part, covered in a thick layer of ice. You will then hop into a virtual elevator that will take you four kilometres underneath the glacier. There you will witness the perpetual movement of the ice mass and understand the impact it had on the North Shore of the St Lawrence River when it melted some 10,000 years ago. Finally, in the last act, you will discover the “Ancient Seas of Quebec”.

Following your visit, enjoy a short tour of Baie-Comeau, with a stop at Place La Salle, situated in Baie-Comeau’s heritage area. This quaint commercial artery, full of sites of historical interest, bustles with specialty food shops, souvenir stores, art galleries and fine restaurants. At the end of your tour, you can either remain in town or return directly to your ship.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2014
 

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This tour involves approximately 200 metres of walking at the Exploration Station and several steps are encountered with some of them dimly lit. Guests not wishing to negotiate the steps can still visit, but with limited access to the multimedia shows. All participants must be able to board the tour transport unaided. Guests wishing to remain in town at the end of the tour may do so, but should be aware it is their own responsibility to return to the ship in time for sailing. Please note that school buses may be used to operate this tour.
 


THE PIONEER'S ROAD

  • Examine the many facets of Baie-Comeau’s history
  • Discover the history of the lumber industry
  • Explore the history of navigation on the St Lawrence River in years past

 

Price£90.00 - £100.00
DurationApproximately 7 Hours
LimitationLimited Capacity
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included
Shopping time includedShopping time included
  • Examine the many facets of Baie-Comeau’s history
  • Discover the history of the lumber industry
  • Explore the history of navigation on the St Lawrence River in years past

Your first stop will be at the National Centre for the St Lawrence River Shipwrecks which tells the story of numerous strange and extraordinary shipwrecks at Baie-Trinité. A multimedia show at the centre allows you to revisit a moment in Québec’s history and “board” the Elizabeth and Mary, a ship from the fleet of Admiral William Phipps, which sank in 1690. Stories of other shipwrecks are also told. You may explore the artefact exhibit which regroups a collection of objects retrieved from shipwrecks or simply wander the beach where you can possibly observe whales, dolphins, or seals.

Then it is on to Pointe-des-Monts lighthouse, built on a rocky point at the mouth of the Gulf of the St Lawrence it is testament to a time when navigating this river was often a dangerous challenge. With an important increase in maritime traffic between the United Kingdom and Canada in the early 19th century, the number of shipwrecks also increased. A series of lighthouses were built to guide the way and to offer a site where survivors of shipwrecks could find warmth and provisions.

Opened in 1830 with a whale-oil lamp, this lighthouse underwent numerous improvements and operated until 1964. Here you will find exhibits on all seven floors of the lighthouse. These include furniture, interpretive panels, photos illustrating the living conditions of the guardians, and stories of shipwrecks and the survivors who sometimes had to stay here throughout the entire winter.

Then it is on to a forest interpretation centre known as Village Forestier d’Antan. The forest industry was crucial to the development of the 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 lumberjack’s living conditions and way of life of this period.

Finally there will be a short tour of Baie-Comeau’s heritage area, including Place La Salle - this quaint commercial artery, home of the Biosphere square, full of sites of historical interest, bustles with specialty food shops, souvenir stores, art galleries, fine restaurants, and nightclubs. Mance lookout is where visitors can admire the magnificent scenery and Champlain Street where the former Premier of Canada, Brian Mulroney, spent his childhood. If time permits you may choose to stay in town at the end of the tour or return to the ship with your guide.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2014

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES:  There is a moderate amount of walking involved with this tour. There is approximately 200 metres at the Village Forestier d’Antan which, if it has been raining, can be slippery. Approximately 100 metres at the Shipwreck Centre, 200 metres at the Lighthouse and 100 metres on a boardwalk to reach the Havre St Pancrace lookout. There are also approximately 100 steps to reach the highest observation point if you wish. Due to timing restrictions a packed lunch will be provided. Unfortunatley this tour is not suitable for guests in wheelchairs. Insect repellent is recommended.


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