|Arial view of the marina in Havre-Saint-Pierre |
© Daniel Pineault
Havre-Saint-Pierre was founded in 1857 by six fishing families from Îles-de-la-Madeleine, i.e. the Boudreaus, Cormiers, Landrys and Petitpas. Originally named Pointe-aux-Esquimaux, the town was rechristened in 1927 as Havre-Saint-Pierre, after the patron saint of fishermen. After depending on fishing for years, the town was industrialized in 1948 following the discovery of the world’s largest ilmenite deposits in the Allard lake district, located 43 km to the northeast, essentially converting the fishing town into a mining community.
Its magnificent deepwater port make Havre-Saint-Pierre a thoroughly charming stopover for cruise ships.
The locals refer to themselves as “Cayens,” and they are very proud of their Acadian roots, which is evident in the warm Acadian hospitality they reserve for visitors from everywhere.
Carolyne Jomphe, an emerging artist from Havre-Saint-Pierre whose popularity now stretches all the way to France, sings about the Cayens’ trademark friendly welcome in the song “La Côte-Nord,” which ends with the words “Bienvenue chez-nous, vous dira t'on!”
Prepare to be genuinely charmed.