Blanc-Sablon is located in the Côte-Nord Region (Le Golfe-du-Saint-Laurent County), on the north coast of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Its total area is of around 255 km2 or 98 sq mi and its population is of about 1300, it’s thus the most populous village in the county.
The municipality includes three villages: Blanc-Sablon, Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon, and Brador Bay.
Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon is is the largest community in the municipality. This village is located on the headland that separates Brador Bay from Blanc-Sablon Bay. It was originally known as Longue-Pointe (Long Point) until the beginning of the XXth century. Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon has a small natural harbour, and long depended on the fishing business.
Brador or Brador Bay is located on the eastern shore of the namesake bay, 7 kilometers (4 mi) north of the village of Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon. The village was known in the XVIIIth century as Fort Pontchartrain and Phélipeaux Bay, its name is the shortened form of Labrador.
Blanc-Sablon is the easternmost community of the province of Quebec, situated between the municipalities of Côte-Nord-du-Golfe-du-Saint-Laurent and L’Anse-au-Clair, in Labrador.
Located off the Blanc-Sablon shore are numerous islands that make up the Blanc-Sablon archipelago, of which Bassin, aux Perroquets, au Bois, and Greenly Islands are the most significant.
Two significant bays, Brador and Blanc-Sablon, mark its shores. The headland that separates these bays is dominated by Mont Parent, a 100 meters (330 ft) high flat-topped hill named after Martin Parent, a local fisherman from the middle of the 19th century.
The place was known to early European explorers who may have named it after the fine white sand of the eponymous bay (blanc means "white" in Frenche, whereas sablon is the diminutive form of sable meaning "sand"). The territory may be named after Blancs-Sablons Cove in Saint-Malo, home town of Jacques Cartier who discovered Canada for Europe and who landed at the place in 1534 near the current site of Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon. In fact, it is one of the oldest settlements in North America.
Basques and Portuguese fishermen and whalers seasonally frequented the area during the 16th and 17th centuriesm, but Augustin Le Gardeur de Courtemanche, landlord of the lower Côte-Nord, built Fort Pontchartrain at the current location of Brador , in 1704, to protect the area from the foreigners. Still permanent settlement did not exist until the 19th century with the arrival of French-Canadians, Acadians, and Jersey settlers.
In 1858, the catholic mission of Longue-Pointe-de-Blanc-Sablon was established. The mission took the name Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon or Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes at the end of the century.
The settlement was incorporated in 1963 as part of the Municipality of Côte-Nord-du-Golfe-Saint-Laurent, but it became municipality of Blanc-Sablon since January
Most people here speak English as their first language, but about 27% speak French.
Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon is the largest community in the municipality, and is located on the headland that separates Brador Bay from Blanc-Sablon Bay. It had been known as Longue-Pointe (Long Point) until the beginning of the XXth century. It has a small natural harbour, and long depended on the fishing business.
Historically, Blanc Sablon has the distinction of being the landing point of the first trans atlantic airplane flight going from east to west. In 1928, the Bremen aircraft crashlanded on nearby Greenly Island instead of it's intended safe and welcomed arrival in New York city. A plaque on the island commemorates this event.
On a clear day, across the Straits of Belle Isle, one can view whales and discern the silhouette of the neighbouring island of Newfoundland.
The municipality is the eastern terminus of a coastal ferry service operating from Rimouski and Sept-Îles along the north shore of the Gulf of St. Lawrence (the service is subsidized by the government of Quebec).
Blanc-Sablon is also the northern terminus of a ferry service operating across the Strait of Belle Isle between the island of Newfoundland and the mainland territory of Labrador. It is also accessible by road via historical Route 138 from Labrador only, and by scheduled air service through the Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon Airport.