Paspébiac is a city in eastern Quebec, Canada, located on the Baie des Chaleurs. As per the Census of Canada (2011), the population was 3,198. Paspébiac was the first cod fishing port in Quebec. In addition, the town has Basque origins and a distinct accent from the rest of the country. Its name may be derived from the Mi’kmaq phrase papgeg ipsigiag, which means “broken flats” or “lagoon.” According to other accounts, the Mi’kmaq called it after the Mi’kmaq word Wospegiak, which means “shining in the distance.”
Pierre Haimard (1674–1724) was granted the area as a seigneury in 1707, marking the start of the settlement of Gaspésie’s southern shores. However, until 1755, when settlers arrived from Acadia, Normandy, the Pays Basque, and, after the British conquest of Quebec, Jersey, it was only visited during the fishing season.
The Robin and Le Boutillier Brothers companies were established on the Site Historique National de Paspébiac. Paspébiac was one of the world’s main export ports for dried cod in the nineteenth century! The Le Boutillier warehouse, one of the largest fishing structures ever constructed in North America, is sure to impress.
The crown jewel of this unique historic site, which has been recognised by the governments of Québec and Canada, is a five-story wooden building. Since 1766, Paspébiac has been at the core of Gaspésie’s commercial fishing culture, a tradition that continues to this day.
Paspébiac has long been one of the most important foreign fishing ports, with one of the largest cod exporters in the West. Unipêche MDM inc., Quebec’s largest crab and lobster processor, continues this coastal tradition today.
Paspébiac has an industrial park, the only commercial seaport in Baie-des-Chaleurs, and is one of the Gaspé’s commercial hubs, with major national banners and a support network in the educational, cultural, leisure, and health sectors (comprehensive, primary school, cultural centre and sports complex).
The city of Paspébiac wants to strengthen its commercial pole, expand its tourist axis from the historic site to the cultural centre, improve its industrial park and commercial zones, and encourage job development in creative sectors.
Paspébiac, a seaport on the Baie-des-Chaleurs, halfway between Percé and Pointe-à-la-Croix (New Brunswick’s western entrance), benefits from its excellent geographical position to ensure its economic growth.
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