Tête-à-la-Baleine

What to KNOW

Tête-à-la-Baleine is one of 3 French-speaking communities on the Lower North Shore. Known as Whale Head by its few English-speaking residents, Tête-à-la-Baleine was named after a whale-shaped island in the nearby Toutes-Îles archipelago. Jersey Islander Michael Kenty first bought the trading post at Tête-à-la-Baleine from the bankrupt Labrador Company in the early 1820s. Other settlers from the Jersey Islands, Quebec City and the south shore of the St. Lawrence River later joined him. In the 19th century, families lived on the islands year-round. In 1895, they built a chapel on centrally located Providence Island. Gradually, many began spending winters on the mainland to be closer to sources of wood and game. Today, many residents still move from the mainland to the islands every summer.

What to SEE

Providence Island and Interpretation Centre

Providence Island is located just southeast of the community of Tête-à-la-Baleine, and is accessible by organized boat tours during the summer season. The island’s main attraction is its chapel. First established in 1895, it is the oldest chapel on the Lower North Shore. You can visit the chapel and the Providence Island Interpretation Centre housed within it.

The Centre interprets the history of the chapel as well as of the Tête-à-la-Baleine archipelago. On the island, you can also see vestiges of a seal foundry used for rendering blubber into oil, and traditional island fishing homes. The old presbytery is now an inn featuring typical francophone cuisine from the area. The Providence Island Interpretation Centre is open during the summer season to coincide with the arrival of the Bella Desgagés, or upon request.

Jos Hébert Museum

Located on Île de la Passe near Tête-à-la-Baleine, this museum is a replica of local legend Joseph Hébert’s last house. In 1879, Hébert became the first mail carrier on the Lower North Shore, delivering news by dogsled to its remote villages. The site pays tribute to Hébert’s legacy and versatile character. It also interprets the distinctive “islander” way of life and traditions from residents of the islands of Tête-à-la-Baleine.

Open during the summer season to coincide with the arrival of the Bella Desgagés, or upon request.

Tête-à-la-Baleine, Quebec, G0G 2W0
Contact: Tête-à-la-Baleine Tourism Association
Tel: (418) 242-2015

Kenty Island

This island can be visited by boat tour. It was the site of the first home, earliest chapel and cemetery in the Tête-à-la-Baleine archipelago.

Outer islands

A visit to other outer islands offers great opportunities to observe seabirds, dolphins, seals and whales.

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

  • Morne André, Morne Perdu, Île Pierrot and the Grand Écart Highland Trails: These short marked walking trails take you along the hills surrounding the community. They are all accessible from the road with the exception of the Île Pierrot trail, which begins on an island that is part of a local boat tour. Look-out points provide picturesque views of the outer islands and opportunities to observe seabirds and marine life. There are interpretation panels along the trails.
  • Boat tours to outer islands: A local boat tour operator can take you to the various islands and historic sites that make up the Tête-à-la-Baleine archipelago. Visit Providence Island, the old chapel and interpretation centre, the Jos Hébert Museum on Île de la Passe, Kenty Island, and other outer islands.

IN WINTER

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

Services

L’AUBERGE DE L’ARCHIPEL

Tête-à-la-Baleine (QC), G0G 2W0
Tel: 418.242.2917
Email: martinorr4@hotmail.com

L’AUBERGE DE l’île PROVIDENCE

Tête-à-la-Baleine (QC), G0G 2W0
Tel: 418.242.2015
Fax: 418.242.2152
Email: mecama@globetrotter.net

LE GITE D’EMILE

Tête-à-la-Baleine (QC), G0G 2W0
Tel: 418.242.2045
Fax: 418.242.2937

MAGASIN DU PORTAGE

Tête-à-la-Baleine (QC), G0G 2W0
Tel: 418.242.2121
Fax: 418.242.2900
Email: magasin.portage@xplornet.ca

JOS HERBERT MUSEUM

Tête-à-la-Baleine (QC), G0G 2W0
Tel: 418.242.2015

PROVIDENCE ISLAND INTERPRETATION CENTER

Tête-à-la-Baleine (QC), G0G 2W0
Tel: 418.242.2015
Email: mecama@xplornet.ca