Blanc Sablon is the largest community on Québec’s Lower North Shore. This is an area of Québec that has road access only from Newfoundland & Labrador. The Labrador Ferry runs from St. Barbe, NL to Blanc Sablon, QC. The Labrador border is just a few km east of Blanc Sablon on Québec Highway 138.
Politically, Blanc Sablon includes the communities of Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon and Brador. In addition to the ferry terminal, Blanc Sablon also has an airport.
This part of Québec stays on Atlantic Standard Time year round. In the summer it’s 1½ hours behind Newfoundland and Southern Labrador. To confuse things more, the ferry schedule is all in Newfoundland time, even though the ferry lands in Québec. In the summer you can start in Blanc Sablon and drive only 400 km into Labrador and go through 3 time zones (AST, NDT, ADT).
Blanc Sablon is larger than the communities in Southern Labrador. The town has many services including grocery stores and a bank. Many people living in the Quebec and Labrador towns nearby use Blanc Sablon for their shopping. We stayed in L’Anse au Clair for five days and did our grocery shopping in Blanc Sablon. We’ve got a photo of Chez Barney’s (one of the grocery stores) below.
Just before you get to the Labrador border on Highway 138 there is a lookout with interpretive signs. You have an incredible view of the entire harbour area. The large island across the bay is Île au Bois (Wood Island). It was a fishing and sealing site until it was abandoned in 1920. Past that you can see Greenly Island (Île Greenly) which is now part of a bird sanctuary. An airplane called The Bremen landed on Greenly Island on April 13, 1928 after the first successful east – west crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an aircraft.
In Lourdes-de-Blanc-Sablon a statue of the Madonna and shrine to Notre-Dame-de-Lourdes overlooks the village from the top of a hill. In Brador there is a beautiful beach and you will want to check out Brador Falls.