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Discover the region > Our villages > Brador Print this page
Bradore

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POPULATION: 136
WHAT TO KNOW

One 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
Bottom Bay - Bradore

During 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.

FORT PONTCHARTRAIN

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.

Brador Falls
Bradore Falls
WHAT TO SEE  
  • 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 near future.
  • 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 Bradore 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.
Puffing on Ile aux Perroquet
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

IN 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


SUGGESTED ROUTES

Jacques Cartier Trail, Flavour Route and Best of the Quebec-Labrador Coast

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