Chaleur Bay is an arm of the Gulf of St. Lawrence separating the Gaspé Peninsula from New Brunswick. It was given this name, which means “bay of heat” by French explorer Jacques Cartier who on July 9, 1534 – in the dog days of summer – said it was warmer here than the land of Spain.
Some two hundred years later, in 1760 at the back of Chaleur Bay, the outcome of the Battle of the Restigouche sealed the fate of New France. This final naval confrontation saw France and Britain, the two colonial powers of the time, pitted against one another for the conquest of the New World.
In turn a land of welcome for the Mi’gmaq, Acadians, Loyalists, Channel Island fisher folk, Basques, Bretons and immigrants from Ireland, Scotland and Belgium, Chaleur Bay still bears witness to their arrival in the evocative place names and the quaint accents that change from village to village.