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La Malbaie
View of La Malbaie, Quebec
View of La Malbaie, Quebec
Coat of arms of La Malbaie
Coat of arms
In Fide Plantati et Radicati
Location within Charlevoix-Est RCM
Location within Charlevoix-Est RCM
La Malbaie is located in Central Quebec
La Malbaie
La Malbaie
Location in Central Quebec
Country Canada
Province Quebec
Region Capitale-Nationale
RCM Charlevoix-Est
Constituted December 1, 1999
 • Total 695.90 km2 (268.69 sq mi)
 • Land 459.24 km2 (177.31 sq mi)
 • Total 8,271
 • Density 18.0/km2 (47/sq mi)
 • Pop 2011–2016
Decrease 6.7%
 • Dwellings
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Postal code(s)
Area code(s) 418 and 581
Highways Route 138
Route 362

'La Malbaie is a municipality in the Charlevoix-Est Regional County Municipality in the Province of Quebec, Canada, situated on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River at the mouth of the Malbaie River. It was formerly known as Murray Bay. La Malbaie is the seat of the judicial district of Charlevoix.'

Although the main business district is located at the mouth of the Malbaie River, the town itself covers a vast area that extends inland along both sides of the Malbaie River and north and south along the St. Lawrence River. The village of Pointe-au-Pic amalgamated with La Malbaie in 1995, and the villages of Rivière-Malbaie, Saint-Agnès, Cap-à-l'Aigle, and Saint-Fidèle were added in 1999. The neighbouring town of Clermont is located a short 7 km along the Malbaie River.


In 1608, Samuel de Champlain visited the area. He could not find suitable anchorage for his ship in the bay and therefore named it Malle Baye (archaic French for "bad/poor bay"), a name further justified when during low tide the bay dried up and his ships ran aground.

In 1761, two Scottish officers of the British Army were attracted to the beauty of the place, and they each sought to obtain a concession. John Nairne (1731–1802) received the western shores of the Malbaie River, that he thereafter called the Seignory of Murray Bay that included the settlement of La Malbaie. Malcolm Fraser (1733–1815) was granted the eastern part that became the Seignory of Mount Murray. They also renamed the bay, the settlement, and river after James Murray (1721–1794), British General and successor of Wolfe. Although this name never received official approval, in the 18th and 19th centuries Murray Bay had become the internationally accepted toponym, but La Malbaie remained in local use.

Quai de La Malbaie 1912
Murray Bay wharf, circa 1912

In 1774, the Parish of Saint-Étienne was formed. In 1845, the place was first incorporated as the Municipality of La Malbaie, but it was abolished in 1847. It was reestablished in 1855 as the Parish Municipality of Saint-Étienne-de-Murray-Bay. In 1896, the village itself separated from the parish municipality and was incorporated as the Village Municipality of La Malbaie.

In 1957, Saint-Étienne-de-Murray-Bay was renamed to Saint-Etienne-de-la-Malbaie. A year later, the Village Municipality of La Malbaie changed status and became the Town of La Malbaie, that annexed the parish municipality in 1965.

On February 15, 1995, the Town of La Malbaie and the Village Municipality of Pointe-au-Pic merged to form the Town of La Malbaie–Pointe-au-Pic. On December 1, 1999, the Municipalities of Rivière-Malbaie and Saint-Fidèle, the Village Municipality of Cap-à-l'Aigle, the Parish Municipality of Sainte-Agnès, and the Town of La Malbaie–Pointe-au-Pic were amalgamated to form the new Town of La Malbaie.

La Malbaie is the seat of the judicial district of Charlevoix.

Seismic hazard

La Malbaie is located in the Charlevoix Seismic Zone, which is the most active seismic zone in eastern Canada. La Malbaie is notable for having an extremely high seismic risk, although a significant earthquake has not occurred in the region recently.



Historical Census Data – La Malbaie, Quebec
Year Pop. ±%
1996 9,274 —    
2001 9,143 −1.4%
2006 8,959 −2.0%
Year Pop. ±%
2011 8,862 −1.1%
2016 8,271 −6.7%


  • Mother tongue:
    • English as first language: 0.4%
    • French as first language: 98.0%
    • English and French as first language: 0%
    • Other as first language: 1.6%

Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu

Manoir Richelieu01
Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu

Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu is a hotel under the Fairmont Hotels and Resorts banner. Originally built in 1899, the current building was completed in 1929 to replace the first building destroyed by a fire.

The building was acquired by Fairmont in 1998 and re-opened under the current banner in 1999.

Notable people

  • Laure Conan (1845–1924), pen name of Marie-Louise-Félicité Angers, French-Canadian novelist
  • Francis Cabot (1925-2011), American gardener and horticulturalist
  • Ann-Renée Desbiens (1993–), Olympic ice hockey player

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: La Malbaie para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Influential Hispanic activists
Janet Murguía
Nelson Merced
Jovita Idar
Dolores Huerta
María Teresa Kumar
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