St-Pancrace Bay

Baie Comeau is a city located approximately 420 kilometres (260 mi) north-east of Quebec City in the Côte-Nord region of the province of Quebec, Canada. It is located on the shores of the Saint Lawrence River near the mouth of the Manicouagan River, and is the seat of Manicouagan Regional County Municipality. There are two urban area population centres within the city limits: Baie-Comeau proper, with a population of 9,917, and Hauterive, with a population of 11,844, as of the Canada 2011 Census. The total population is 22,113.



Baie-Comeau itself (the eastern part of the current town) was founded in 1936 when a paper mill was constructed by Colonel Robert R. McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune. Experiencing remarkable growth, the Town of Baie-Comeau was incorporated the following year. The area continued to see economic development with the establishment of the hydro-electric power stations on the Manicouagan and Outardes Rivers beginning with the Chutes-aux-Outardes Station in 1952, an aluminum smelter in 1958, and grain warehouses (the largest in Canada) in 1959.


In July, the average daily high is near 21°C (70°F) but at night it cools down to a temperature near 10°C (50°F). In January, the average daily high is about -9°C (16°F) but at night it cools down to a temperature near -20°C (-4°F). No matter when in the year you go, you should always bring a jacket. Temperatures can deviate significantly from the average, so be prepared.

Get in

By car

Baie-Comeau is five to six hours beyond Québec City on Québec Route 138. As there is no railway, the main option is to come by car.

From Quebec City, take Autoroute 440-E until it becomes Quebec Route 138. Drive about 400 km until you arrive in Baie Comeau. Visitors from Montréal or points westward on the Trans-Canada Highway will arrive in Québec City on Autoroute 40 (as the last bridge on the St. Lawrence is west of the city), then follow the north shore from there.

From Chicoutimi-Jonquière and Lac-Saint-Jean go to Chicoutimi Nord, where Québec Route 172 follows the north shore of the Saguenay river to Tadoussac. From there, Québec Route 138 leads 200 km downriver to Baie-Comeau.

From Atlantic Canada, take the Trans-Canada Highway westward to Rivière-du-Loup, then cross the St. Lawrence River by ferry to reach Route 138 on the north shore. (From New Brunswick's Acadian Coast, an alternative route is to enter at Campbellton-Pointe à la Croix, take QC132 through Amqui to Rimouski or Matane, then cross the St. Lawrence by ferry.)

By plane

Domestic flights leave from Montreal and Quebec City.

By bus

By boat

From Matane, take the ferry directly to Baie-Comeau.

Other points at which one can cross the St. Lawrence by ferry include Rimouski—Forestville, Trois-Pistoles—Les Escoumins, Rivière-du-Loup—Saint-Siméon and Lévis—Québec City.

Get around

It's best to have a car to drive around since the two parts of Baie Comeau are separate. Walking may be reasonable depending on the distance and season.

See and Do




Hôtel le Manoir in Baie-Comeau





There is no GSM mobile coverage in Baie-Comeau. Bell/Telus users will get 3G (UMTS) coverage in town, but no signal in highway or rural areas.

Go next

The main road (Route 138) goes west to Montréal, but heading east the road abruptly ends at Kegashka, one town east of Natashquan.

There is a road (much of it gravel) heading northward toward Labrador City; from there the Trans-Labrador Highway provides a long but overland means to reach Blanc Sablon-Forteau. Another option is to take a coastal ferry which heads eastward from Sept-Îles through the 450km of sparsely-populated fjords and no roads.

It is also possible to cross the St. Lawrence River by ferry to Matane, a point of entry to the Gaspé Peninsula.

Routes through Baie-Comeau

Quebec City Tadoussac  W  E  Sept-Îles Havre-Saint-Pierre (ends at Kegashka)
Happy Valley-Goose Bay Labrador City  N  S  END

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, February 13, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.