Havre-Saint-Pierre (population 3500, 2016) is a tiny seaside village in a remote corner of Quebec's North Shore, directly north of Anticosti island and 200 km (120 mi) east of Sept-Îles on Route 138. This article covers a large rural area east of Sept-Îles to the end of the road at Kegasha, much of it uninhabited or parkland.
Havre-Saint-Pierre is on Pointe-aux-Esquimaux on the Quebec North Shore (Côte-Nord). It began as a fishing and lumbering town when settlers arrived from the Magdalen Islands in the 19th century. The dialect spoken is more closely related to Acadian French than to Quebec French.
The city hospital is the major employer in the region. Tourism contributes significantly to the local economy due to the town's position near the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, a park encompassing a large number of islands in Mingan Archipelago of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. It is noted for the unique variety of flora and fauna to be found there, such as puffins and the rare Mingan Thistle, and for the unique geological features on many of the islands referred to as "monoliths".
The town is a seaport handling ilmenite, an iron-titanium ore brought by rail from a Quebec Iron and Titanium Company mine 40 km (25 miles) northwest on the Romaine River.
Its many rivers and lakes include the Romaine River to the northwest and Manitou Falls on the Manitou River to the west. The town is also noted for the excellent fishing, being made up largely of snow crab, scallops, and lobster, with excellent salmon and trout to be found in the numerous rivers and lakes.
In 1857, a group of Acadian families from the Magdalen Islands, who had been deported from Savannah (Georgia, USA), settled on Eskimo Point (Pointe aux Esquimaux). The first mass was held on in 1857, on the day of the feast of Saint Peter (Saint Pierre).
In spite of its maritime position just above the 50th parallel, Havre-Saint-Pierre has a relatively harsh subarctic climate, with cold winters and cool summers. It has high precipitation with a lot of snowfall in winter.
It is 1 km north of l'Île du Havre and is the closest mainland point to Anticosti by ship or aeroplane.
Route 138 from Sept-Îles is the only road in the region; it continues through Havre-Saint-Pierre east to Natashquan (154 km) and Kegashka (an additional 48 km), where it reaches an abrupt dead end. The route re-appears 450 km later at Vieux-Fort, near Blanc Sablon.
Relais Nordik operates a weekly coastal ferry departing Rimouski on Monday and Blanc Sablon on Fridays (schedule varies seasonally), stopping for an hour or two in each coastal village to unload much-needed supplies. This ship provides access to Anticosti and to coastal villages with no road, but passenger and vehicle spaces must be reserved far in advance.
- 1 Havre-Saint-Pierre Airport (YGV IATA). Operates various scheduled flights to other towns in Québec from its one 4500-foot runway. It is 3 km north of the town, and has Thrifty and Discount car rentals available.
- Services Maritimes Boréale, ☏ , toll-free: (Qc), fax: . Seasonal ferry (June-Sept) from 1010 promenade des Anciens, Havre-Saint-Pierre to the Mingan archipelago.
- Maison de la Culture Roland Jomphe (Cultural centre), 957, rue de la Berge, ☏ . Mid-Jun to early Sep: daily 09:00-21:00. In this old general store near the tourist sector, it houses a permanent exhibit entitled L’Autre Roman (the Other Tale), which relates the history of Havre-Saint-Pierre since 1857.
- Petite Ile au Marteau Lighthouse, Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve (boat trips provided by Boreale Services Maritimes late Jun to mid-Aug).
- Cross-country skiing
- Quad - ATV. Snowmobiling
- 1 Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve, 1340 de la Digue Street, ☏ , toll-free: . Park encompassing a large number of islands in the Mingan Archipelago of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence with unique geological features (monoliths). Flora and fauna include puffins and the rare Mingan Thistle. $5.80/person (not including boat transportation to the islands).
- Mignan Island Cetacean Study, ☏ . June-Sept: daily departure at 7:30AM, weather permitting. Full-day trips (6-8 hours) on small craft with whale biologists in the Mingan Archipelago, participating in field research. An exposure suit is provided. $125/person.
- Pourvoirie Baie-Johan-Beetz, 1321, Rte 153, Saint-Tite, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Salmon fishing outfitter with seven-room inn 66km east of Havre-Saint-Pierre. Baie-Johan-Beetz is one of the last villages before Route 138 ends.
- Souvenirs Archipel Mingan, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . Souvenir shop, café-bistro, cabin and motel rooms, whale and lighthouse tours.
- Restaurant la Promenade, 1197 Promenade des Anciens, ☏ . M-F 11:00-20:30, Sa 07:00-21:00, Su 07:00-20:30. Seafood, pizzas and pub food.
- Chez Julie, 1023 Rue Dulcinee, ☏ . Daily 16:00-22:00. Seafood and non-seafood dishes.
- Casse-croûte au Capayou, 1284 Boréale. W-Su 11:00-20:00. Fast food - burgers and fries.
- Au Gré du Vent, 970 de l'Escale, ☏ . Café-bistro.
- Au Gîte chez Françoise, 1122 Boréale, ☏ , fax: . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: noon. Five-room non-smoking B&B, full breakfast, Wi-Fi, some rooms have kitchenette and en suite bath. $62-75.
- Hôtel-Motel du Havre, 970, boul. de l' Escale, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: . 70 rooms, wi-fi, refrigerators, banquet/meeting room, breakfast, open year round. $82+.
- Le camping municipal de Havre-Saint-Pierre, 1730 rue Boréale, ☏ . Seaside seasonal municipal camp ground, mid-June to mid-Sept. Laundry, toilets, RV dump station. Each camp site has a picnic table and fire pit.
All three major cellphone/mobile networks provide coverage in the town and the surrounding area, but there are large gaps along the roads to Sept-Îles and Keshaga (Dec 2018).
|Routes through Havre-Saint-Pierre|
|Baie-Comeau ← Sept-Îles ←||W E||→ Kegasha → END|