As the Charlevoix’s easternmost municipality before Tadoussac, Baie-Sainte-Catherine sits at the junction of the Saguenay and St. Lawrence Rivers.
Once called Anse-Catherine after a ship by the name of Catherine that sank in November 1686, the Municipality of Baie-Sainte-Catherine has been in existence since 1903. Nevertheless, its first habitants settled here back in 1850. Today the village counts 214 residents, and remains highly populated over the summer months.
This municipality was once the stage for a historic meeting that took place on May 27 1603 at Pointe-aux-Alouettes, when Pont-Gravé and Champlain met with three Native American nations – the Montagnais, the Algonquin and the Etchemins – to seal a great alliance. This event was duly commemorated more recently, on May 27 2003, at 400th Anniversary of the Treaty of the Great Alliance, at Pointe-aux-Alouettes.
Still in Baie-Sainte-Catherine is an architectural compound comprised of three buildings, one of which – Pointe-aux-Alouettes Chapel – dates back to 1876. In 1909, priests from the Chicoutimi diocese transformed the site into a vacation destination.
Between May and October, countless whale-watching cruise vessels moored at Baie-Sainte-Catherine Pier offer visitors a chance to observe marine mammals out on the water. In the Baie-Saint-Catherine sector, at the very heart of the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park, blue whales, humpback whales, fin whales and belugas can all be admired as they feed nearby. Whale-watching can be enjoyed aboard an observation cruise, or by simply strolling along the shoreline, particularly around Pointe-Noire Observation Centre.