|WHAT TO KNOW
of the safest harbours on the Coast, Bradore (or Brador as it is occasionally spelled) is protected by an endless
maze of low-lying rocky islands. The high hills behind the community
provided shelter for early settlers. Bradore’s rich supply
of cod, herring, mackerel, salmon, seals and whales made it a hub
for fishing, hunting and trading. Archaeologists have uncovered
ancient Aboriginal burial sites nearby. Basque fishermen caught
seals and cod and hunted whales in a major post on the west side
of the bay. The name Bradore began appearing on maps at this location
at the end of the 18th century, possibly from the French term bras
d’or, or golden arm, referring to the rich marine resources.
Bottom Bay - Bradore
the French regime, hundreds of schooners assembled in Bradore Bay
in the summer. After passing into British hands, the LaBradore Company
ran a lucrative seal fishery at Bradore for decades. In 1820, an
English settler bought the bankrupt post and re-established a fishing
and seal fishing enterprise. Bradore Bay became a major meeting place
for fleets from Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, the United States and
the Jersey Islands. During the second half of the 19th century,
many settlers arrived from Newfoundland.
After his first fort was destroyed, French concessionaire
Courtemanche built Fort Pontchartrain in present-day Bradore in the
early 1700s. This former French army officer was granted a life-long
concession in Bradore Bay that stretched from present-day Kegaska
all the way to Hamilton Inlet, LaBradore. Besides housing for his
staff, Courtemanche built a chapel and stationed a clergyman at
his fort to serve the French cod and seal fishermen and Innu traders.
Archaeologists excavated what was believed to be Fort Pontchartrain
in the 1970s and 80s and unearthed many fascinating artifacts attesting
to daily life in a French trading post.
- Fort Pontchartrain: Bradore’s
true claim to fame, Fort Pontchartrain, continues to be the subject
of debate among archaeologists. Although the artifacts found at
this archaeological site are not currently on display, the community
hopes to provide interpretation for this important site in the
- Île aux Perroquets Look-out:
A highlight of the Jacques Cartier Trail, the Île aux Perroquets
(Perroquet Island) look-out is located one kilometre east of Bradore.
Follow the signs to pull off route 138 and take a short walk to
Pointe à la Barque. The look-out area provides interpretation
panels, sitting areas, and telescope for close viewing of the
seabirds. Perroquet Island is part of the nationally-designated
Bay Migratory Bird Sanctuary, which provides habitat for almost
half of the entire population of puffins on the North Shore. Home
to over 20,000 birds, the Bradore Bay Migratory Bird Sanctuary
boasts one of the largest Atlantic Puffin colonies in Quebec.
The sanctuary covers two islands: Perroquet Island and Greenly
Island, which is a few kilometres further east and visible from
the coast of Blanc-Sablon.
Puffin on Île aux Perroquets
- Bradore Falls:
Northwest of the village along Route 138, a short wooden staircase
leads to a belvedere overlooking tumultuous Bradore Falls. Intrepid
travellers can scramble through the bush to even more awe-inspiring
falls located upstream.
- Scenic boulder fields:
The most scenic part of route 138 begins just beyond Bradore, through
impressive boulder fields from retreat of glaciers during the
last ice age.
- Bassin Island:
This island was once an active cod-fishing station in
Bradore Bay. It can be visited by boat.
|WHAT TO DO
SUMMER : Hiking and walking, bird and whale watching, iceberg
viewing, boat tours, sea kayaking, berry-picking, salmon fishing,
wilderness camping, ATV
- Bradore Falls Look-out and Walking Paths:
Route 138 brings you to the foot of a beautiful waterfall nestled
in Bradore Bay. For an even closer view, take the wooden
staircase alongside the chute to an observation deck – a
favourite spot for taking photos! Just a short driving distance
east of the falls, you will find a small gazebo that leads to
a natural walking path. Once a cross-country ski trail,
this area is now used for hiking and casual walks.
- Path from Perroquet Island Look-out to
Bradore: Leaving from the Perroquet Island observation
deck, you can follow the old gravel road all along the shoreline,
which eventually brings you to the community of Bradore.
This is a great place to take a relaxing walk, with waves crashing
up on the rocks and incredible sunsets. From here, you may
also witness whales feeding in the bay, and puffins flying by
to feed their young at nearby Perroquet Island.
- Berry-picking: A long walk along
an ATV trail near the village leads to local berry-picking grounds.
Ask for directions at the local store.
- ATV Trail: An ATV trail east
of Bradore leads to berry-picking grounds and exceptional scenery.
IN WINTER : Snowmobiling, ice fishing,
snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, winter carnival, hockey tournaments
Trail, Flavour Route and Best
of the Quebec-Labrador Coast