Old Fort Bay

Old Fort Bay is one of three villages of Bonne-Esperance community, located on the Lower North Shore of Quebec. The name Old Fort derives from ruins of fortifications built in the vicinity by Augustin Legardeur, Le Sieur de Courtemanche.

He was a French fur trader who traded with local Montagnais for fur while running a small seal fishery, in the early 17th century. It seems that the fort was destroyed by invading Inuit who clashed regularly with Europeans over traditional hunting and fishing grounds.

Oral history says that Old Fort Bay may have been the site of the port of Brest, a mysterious port mentioned a few times in the earliest reports from New France as the headquarters of Breton fishermen who visited this area in the 16th and 17th centuries.

During the late 1800's, many families settled here. They came mostly from Newfoundland, thus they were English speaking people.

Today, Old Fort Bay is a calm community. Local inhabitants rely on the fishing industry, and a fish processing plant is the main employer. Many of them work as guides and cooks during the summer months in remote outfitting camps.

Dog Islands, named for their resemblance to a sleeping dog, are located 2-7 miles south of Old Fort Bay. They are perfect for taking in the local lifestyle, fishing at the dockside, digging clams, picking berries, collecting seashells, and observing seabirds, whales and icebergs.

A shipwreck is visible from Dog Island.

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