Q:

What is the history of La Baie, Quebec?

A:

Quick Answer

Located where the mouths of the Mars and Ha! Ha! Rivers meet to form the Ha! Ha! Bay, La Baie became the first colony established in the Saguenay-Lac St. Jean region when the Societe des Vingt et Un settled there in 1838. The deep channels that permitted large ships to sail into the Ha! Ha! Bay, and the appearance of the first railroad in 1910, quickly led to the establishment of La Baie as the region’s largest harbor facility.

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Full Answer

The area’s natural resources, geography and shipping facility drew the attention of loggers in the 1800s, and the success of the timber, paper and pulp industries continued to fuel the economic and population growth of the city into the 20th century. Between 1976 and 2001, La Baie was known as the Town of La Baie and consisted of the three sectors of Grand-Baie, Port-Alfred and Bagotville. Aluminum manufacturing became a major industry during the 1980s. After Quebec underwent a municipal reorganization in 2002, La Baie became one of three boroughs of the city of Saguenay.

In 2004, city officials decided to transform La Baie into a tourist destination after one of the city’s main employers, the Abitibi Consolidated paper mill, shut down. By 2008, the city had become a major port of call for passenger cruise ships. The city is now home to a Royal Canadian Forces military base at Bagotville, which is the borough’s largest employer, as of 2015.

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