What to KNOW
The lively community of Blanc-Sablon serves as the gateway to the eastern end of Lower North Shore. Ferries from Quebec and Newfoundland bearing passengers and cargo dock at the Blanc-Sablon wharf, alongside longliners and trawlers. The Quebec Lower North Shore borders Labrador at its eastern end in Blanc-Sablon.
The mouth of the Blanc-Sablon River is home to an extraordinary concentration of archaeological sites, dating from the arrival of humans to the Lower North Shore some 9,000 years ago up until the 16th century. These finds represent the earliest archaeological contact sites between Aboriginal Peoples and Europeans in all of Canada. Known to early European explorers, Blanc-Sablon was named white sands in archaic French for the kilometre-long stretch of sandy beach along its shore. Historically, Blanc-Sablon was a major fishing port. In the 1500s, fishermen from Brittany, Normandy, Portugal, Spain and the Basque countries fished seasonally from Blanc-Sablon. In the late 18th century, the Jersey firm De Quetteville opened a branch in Blanc-Sablon and maintained the headquarters of its seasonal cod fishing operations in the area for nearly a century.
Permanent settlement began in the 19th century with the arrival of French-Canadians, Acadians, and Jersey Islanders. This mostly French community became anglicized after the British company Job Brothers took over the De Quetteville fishery and brought fishermen over from Newfoundland.