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Discover the region > Our villages > St. Paul's River Print this page
St. Paul's River

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POPULATION: 468
WHAT TO KNOW

St. Paul’s River is located on a serene bay sheltered by a cluster of islands, near the mouth of a world-class salmon-fishing river by the same name. The village is one of the oldest settlements on the Lower North Shore. The river was once known as Eskimo River, after the Inuit who lived near its mouth. In the early 18th century, the king of France granted a fishing, hunting and trading concession to nobleman Amador Godefroy, Sieur de St-Paul, who hailed from Trois-Rivières, Quebec. The seigneurial rights changed hands several times between various arrivals from Britain and the Jersey Islands. Other early settlers in St. Paul’s River were of French Canadian, Inuit and Newfoundland origin. Many of today’s residents still work in the fishing industry.

St. Paul's River
St. Paul's River

THE INVENTION OF THE COD TRAP

St. Paul’s River’s claim to fame is that it was the site of an invention that revolutionized the cod fishing industry in Eastern Canada. In 1871, Massachusetts-born William Henry Whiteley invented the cod trap while running a substantial cod and salmon fishing operation on Bonne Espérance Island, 7 kilometres (4 miles) from the village. The cod trap came to be recognized as the most labour and cost efficient method ever designed for cod fishing.

Jumper
Jumper
WHAT TO SEE
  • St. Paul’s River Overlook: On your way in to St. Paul’s River, be sure to pull off Route 138 at the overlook for a sweeping, dramatic view of the coastal landscape and village below. Picnic tables and benches are available.
  • Offshore Islands and Coves: View the site of Whiteley’s extensive fishing operations on Bonne Espérance Island. Learn about 16th century Frenchwoman Marguerite de la Roque, who was marooned on Île de la Demoiselle according to local lore, and Eskimo Island, site of a major battle between the Innu and the Inuit in the 17th century. Historic houses and wharves are still standing at Salmon Bay, once a year-round community and now a popular summer spot for residents.
  • Whiteley Museum: Begin your visit of St. Paul’s with an orientation to local history and landscape at the Whiteley Museum, which was named in honour of William H. Whiteley, inventor of the cod trap in 1871. Through this invention, Whiteley revolutionized cod fishing throughout Eastern Canada. The museum interprets the cod trap, the Whiteley family, and the fascinating natural and cultural history of the region. It features a model of Whiteley’s extensive fishing installations on Bonne Espérance Island, near St. Paul’s River. The museum also houses a small craft and souvenir shop. 

Open seasonally from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
St. Paul’s River, Quebec, G0G 2P0
Contact:  Priscilla Griffin, ADT President
Tel: (418) 379-2996
E-mail: info@whiteleymuseum.com
Website: www.whiteleymuseum.com

Whiteley Museum
Whiteley Museum
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

  • Miss Brodie’s Hill Trail: Located at the back of the community, Miss Brodie’s Hill can be scaled via a short but steep trail. The hill was named after the first schoolteacher in St. Paul’s River, who lived in a house on the side of the hill. At the top, the view of the bay and surrounding islands is nothing short of beautiful! 
  • Shoreline Boardwalk Trail: This wooden boardwalk extends the full length of the community, and provides an exceptional view of colourful hand-crafted boats in the scenic bay.  This trail is a wonderful opportunity to take a relaxing walk along the shoreline, taking in the sights and tranquility of a very picturesque area.  You will likely meet up with a resident along the way, who can fill you in on any local events taking place.
  • Boat tours: Nothing compares to visiting the many nearby islands and coves by boat with a local tour operator who can regale you with the legends and mysteries associated with each.

IN WINTER : Snowmobiling, ice fishing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, winter carnival, hockey tournaments

WHERE TO STAY
  • Waterfront B&B
    Rivière Saint-Paul (QC)
    G0G 2P0
    Tel : (418) 379-2128
  • Auberge Riverside Inn,
    Rivière Saint-Paul (QC)
    G0G 2P0
    Tel : (418) 379- 2132
  • Keats' Guest House
    St. Paul's River (QC)
    G0G 2P0
    Tel: (418) 379-2182
RESTAURANTS
  • C & W Café & Take-Out
    Rivière Saint-Paul (QC)
    G0G 2P0
    Tel : (418) 379-2373
  1. Vida's Bakery 
    St. Paul's River (QC)
    G0G 2P0
    Tel: (418) 379-2361
CRAFT SHOPS
  • Whiteley Museum Craft Store
BOAT TOURS
  • Tony Roberts
    St. Paul's River
    Tel: (418) 379-2024
  • Aqua Labadie Scallop Farm Tours
    St. Paul's River
    Philip Labadie (418) 461-2434
  • Eskimos Boat Tours
    St. Paul's River
    Philip Labadie (418) 461-2048
SUGGESTED ROUTES

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

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