Baie Saint-Paul is often called the ‘Land of Artists’; it is also said that we find here the highest concentration of Fine Arts galleries and boutiques in Canada.
The history of the town begins in 1636, when the Seigneurie de Côte-de-Beaupré is conceded from the Compagnie de la Nouvelle-France to Mr. Antoine Cheffaultde la Renardière, for his own use as well as for Mrs. Charles de Lauzon, Georges Berruyer de Manselmont, Jean Rozée de Saint-Martine, Jacques Duhamel and Jacques Catillon.
In 1678, Noël Simard aka Lombrette begins to clear the sides of Riviere du Gouffre and make way for its first inhabitants. We can still find today over 85 century-old houses with historic architecture.
In 1714, the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul parish is established, and a first Manor is built by the Lords of Rivière-du-Gouffre.
In August 1759, these lands are home to important fights between the French army and the English troops, who bring devastation to the farms of Beaupré, Baie-Saint-Paul and La Malbaie in a way to destroy supply heading to Quebec City and thus ending the harassment done by the local population to the English settlers.
In 1820, a 4km-long road is constructed between Baie-Saint-Paul and Beaupré.. In 1845, the town of Saint-Pierre-et-Baie-Saint-Paul of officially constituted.
Baie-Saint-Paul is constituted as a town in 1913 and welcome the first train from Quebec City in 1918. It was home to the Groupe des Sept, as well as the birthplace of Cirque du Soleil.
St-Joseph street and its numerous mansard roofs has been immortalized in the paintings of Clarence Gagnon. To truly appreciate the beauty of this small town, one must slowly walk through its numerous narrow streets filled with charming terraces and welcoming cafés.
From Sainte-Anne street, visitors may follow a 2km path leading to the Baie-Saint-Paul dock, where they will find cruise ships as well as canoe, kayak and bicycle rental shops. A beautiful beach and small forest are also located nearby.
The most adventurous hikers may also walk along Les Florents, a 12km-long hiking, skiing and snowshoeing trail leading to the mountain ranges. The trail can be accessed from Maison d’Affinage Maurice Dufour as well as from Chalets chez Laurent, both being located near road 138.
Over the year, this unique region has been immortalized in the paintings of René Richard, Lean-Paul Lemieux as well as many other renowned artists.