Middle Bay

What to KNOW

The tiny village of Middle Bay has an intriguing history. Basque fishermen travelled across the Atlantic ocean to fish cod and to harpoon whales in the Strait of Belle Isle during the 16 th century. At Middle Bay, they built seasonal shelters onshore and sheds for rendering whale blubber into the oil that lit much of Europe. Red roof tiles unearthed near the fish plant in Middle Bay led archaeologists to discover a significant Basque whaling station here. Permanent settlement of this small fishing village began in the mid-19th century with the arrival of pioneers from Newfoundland and elsewhere in Quebec.

What to SEE

Middle Bay Interpretation Centre

This Centre serves as the gateway to the villages of Middle Bay and nearby St. Paul’s River and Old Fort. The newly-renovated Centre is located in the old school. The permanent exhibition highlights the history and culture of the village and the region through a display of artifacts and images. Here, you will also find an exhibit of paintings, hand-made model boats, and hand-crafted items that showcase local traditional skills.

You can purchase local crafts and obtain visitor information at the Centre. The Middle Bay Interpretation Centre regularly hosts traveling exhibits. Tours of the Middle Bay Interpretation center can be arranged by contacting our office at (418) 461-3597 or Diana at (418) 461-2401.

Open seasonally from Monday to Friday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.
Middle Bay, Quebec, G0G 1Z0
Contact: Diana Blanche
Tel: (418) 461-3597

Crossroads Café

Crossroads Café offers beverages, sweets & treats, residents spend time here chatting & greeting visitors with their warm hospilality. Opening hours are Mon-Friday 9-4 sat & sun 1-4

Sandy beaches

A sandy beach and wooden deck behind the community hall is a perfect spot for a picnic.

Belles Amours

East of Middle Bay, route 138 passes through Belles Amours, a hamlet that was frequented by Basque fishing crews as well as 18th century French concessionaires. English-speaking residents established a seal fishery here in the 1830s.

Five Leagues archaeological site

A 45-minute walk along an unmarked footpath west of Middle Bay leads to the interesting archaeological site called Five Leagues. Archaeologists have retrieved tusks and stone artifacts, traces of the Inuit who once hunted walrus here, and red roof tiles indicate that Five Leagues, too, was a Basque whaling station.

In the mid-19th century, settlers ran a fishing business here. An old settler cemetery remains. Also located in Five Leagues, the Bottom is an ideal marsh for bird watching. Look for shorebirds such as plover, sandpiper, snipe, yellowlegs, and whimbrel, as well as black ducks and teal.

WHAT TO DO

IN SUMMER

Hiking and walking, bird and whale watching, iceberg viewing, boat tours, sea kayaking, berry-picking, salmon fishing, wilderness camping, ATV

  • Smith’s Trail: Just to the east of Middle Bay off Route 138, follow an access road which leads to the local fish plant and traditional fishing stages. From here, take a stroll along a footpath to the remains of a 16th century Basque whaling station. Although this site has no formal interpretation just yet, residents can tell you about the great archaeological finds made here. Please keep in mind that disturbing archaeological sites is prohibited, and that any artifacts you might see should be left onsite.

IN WINTER

Snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, winter carnival, hockey tournaments

Services

MIDDLE BAY INTERPRETATION CENTER

Middle Bay (QC), G0G 1Z0
Tel: 418.461.3597
Email: betdf@hotmail.com

Middle Bay Interpretation Center

Middle Bay (QC), G0G 1Z0
Tel: 418.379.3597
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