Forteau is a town on the Québec-Labrador border, across from Blanc-Sablon, Quebec. Their combined population is about 1500 people, the majority of them anglophone.

This article covers a large rural area; the entire southern Labrador coast along the Strait of Belle Isle from Red Bay through Forteau, continuing to the end of the road at Blanc Sablon / Vieux-Fort, Québec.


Forteau and the string of oceanside villages along the Strait of Belle Isle have a long history of nomadic fisheries, including presence of various European fleets (such as Portugal), but the first permanent fishing villages were established from Newfoundland in the 1800s. The region serves as a point of entry to Labrador from Newfoundland's Great Northern Peninsula directly across the strait, and its economic ties therefore are closely intertwined not with Québec but with Newfoundland and Labrador.

As Forteau technically is a border community, its time zones are a bit confusing. The island of Newfoundland is GMT-3.5, with one hour of daylight savings time in summer. Board a ferry and Blanc Sablon (as part of a sparsely-populated fragment of Quebec east of Anticosti) is on Atlantic Standard Time (GMT-4) year-round. As soon as the road leads back into Forteau, clocks return to Newfoundland Time through Red Bay to Port Hope Simpson. Further north into Labrador, Atlantic Time (AST/ADT) makes a reappearance, so Cartwright is in Halifax's time zone.

Get in

Get around










Cellular telephone coverage is sporadic to non-extant in Forteau (the only base station is Bell across the strait on the Great Northern Peninsula), although groceries, fuel, lodging and Internet access are available in the village itself. Venture further into rural Labrador and services at many points are limited to non-existent.



The Pinware River Provincial Park is roughly midway from Forteau to Red Bay (30-35km from each). There is one hotel nearby:

There is no fuel at West St. Modeste, Red Bay or Lodge Bay. There is a snowmobile dealer with propane, petrol and diesel in l'Anse-au-Loup, as well as a small grocer. Additional services are available in Forteau and Port Hope Simpson.

Red Bay

A Basque chalupa recovered from the waters of the bay

A tiny (population 227) fishing village 65km (43 miles) east of Forteau on Route 510, formerly the base for 15 ships and 600 men as a seasonal Basque whaling outpost on the Strait of Belle Isle in the mid-1500s.

Go next

Routes through Forteau

Blanc-Sablon  W  NE  Red Bay Port Hope Simpson

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