The Québec maritime Blog

Tadoussac: A Small Bay Among Giants

Bruno Therrien has been a restaurant owner and municipal councillor in Tadoussac for nearly 25 years. A native of the area, he was born with tadou, an affliction that can only be caught in Tadoussac and that causes someone to either never leave or eventually return. The main symptom is an unconditional love for Tadoussac, its bay and the fjord. Therrien cannot imagine living anywhere else and works diligently to further the popularity of his village. Today, he is president of the Tadoussac Bay Cluband treasurer of the Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club.

Mont Saint-Michel, San Francisco and Ha Long are bays worth dreaming about. For the past 12 years, Tadoussac, which is located at the mouth of the Saguenay Fjord, has joined them as a member of the prestigious Most Beautiful Bays in the World Club. This club includes 30 bays from 22 countries. In Canada, only two bays hold this distinction, and both are located in the maritime regions of Québec.

Tadoussac, which is the gateway to Côte-Nord, is a village of about 900 inhabitants. Its bay is considered among the most beautiful in the world mainly because of its geographical location: it straddles two national parks, the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park and Parc national du Fjord-du-Saguenay; it is located at the confluence of the St. Lawrence Estuary and the Saguenay Fjord (which is awaiting recognition from UNESCO as a world heritage site); and it is just a few kilometres southwest of the Manicouagan-Uapishka World Biosphere Reserve. The entire region of Manicouagan (Côte-Nord) is focused on sustainable development. Furthermore, Tadoussac was the first European settlement in Canada (a chapel built in 1747 still remains), and has been inhabited by First Nations people since the Paleolithic Age. Tadoussac has a special place in history and its landscape is absolutely unique.

The confluence of the Saguenay and the St. Lawrence creates very favourable conditions for the development of marine biodiversity, attracting a large variety of marine mammals. Elsewhere in the world, you may see one or two species of whales concentrated in one area, but here, you have the opportunity to observe 13 different species! And Tadoussac is also one of the most important migration corridors for birds of prey. They gather here before crossing the St. Lawrence, which is narrower here than it is downstream.

The best thing about Tadoussac, however, is this feeling of well-being that comes over you when you are here. In these surroundings, between the water, the mountains and the village, the air you breathe is pure and you really feel as though you are living in the present moment. The minute you set foot here, you feel like you are home. In fact, many local residents came here as tourists and just decided to stay.

One more thing: Tadoussac is a member of the Association of the Most Beautiful Villages of Québec and is hosting the association’s annual conference in 2010. Moreover, with the “Rues principales” program, the municipality is in the process of revitalizing itself. You will see: when you come for a visit, you may never want to leave!

Hearing him talk, one does not have to be a doctor to diagnose Bruno Therrien: he is definitely afflicted with tadou!

First published in March 2010

Sponsored by Tourisme Côte-Nord

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