James Bay Attractions Baie James
Baie James (James Bay) is the flat southern part of Hudson Bay. It was discovered in 1610 by the English seafarer Henry Hudson and explored by Thomas James in 1631. From 1663 onwards the French adventurers Radisson and Chouart des Groseilliers traded here in furs. In 1671 Father Charles Albanel and Paul Deys de Saint-Simon discovered the region to the east of James Bay. One of the places they passed was Lake Mistassini, the largest lake in the province of Québec.Between 1930 and 1935 lay brothers from the settlements at Wasganish (Fort Rupert) set out for Chisasibi (Fort George), where they tilled the land and reared cattle. This satisfied the needs of the Cris Indians living there.SettlementsThe few villages are scattered along the coast, the main one, Chisasibi (Fort George) being at the mouth of the Grande Rivière.
Moosonee is the seat of administration for the north-east region of Ontario. It is at the mouth of the Moose River on James Bay and there are no roads to it, so it can only be reached by rail or plane.The Polar Bear Express is a popular summer train trip that runs from Cochrane to Moosonee.
Moose Factory Island
In 1673 the Hudson's Bay Company built a fortified trading post on an island in the Moose River near where Moosonee is today, called Moose Factory Island. It was destroyed by French troops a few years later, but what remains can be seen in a little museum. The smithy, about 200 years old, is the oldest wooden building in Ontario.
Révillon Frères Museum (closed)
The Révillon Frères Museum sets out to throw some light on the rivalry between the English Hudson's Bay Company and their French competitor which dogged Moosonee's history as they each sought to win the upper hand, both militarily and economically, in the territory around the mouth of the Moose River. The museum is housed in Moosonee's oldest house, built 1901.
La Grande Project is an enormous hydro-electric project that draws energy from James Bay. There are a number of power stations that supply electricity to Quebec and parts of the USA.
In days gone by the town of Chisasibi was an outpost of the Hudson's Bay Company, and today has a population of 2000, mostly Indians. About 200km / 125mi further south lies Fort Eastmain, which also used to be a Hudson's Bay Company outpost. Quite a number of descendants of the original inhabitants still live here.
Waskaganish is the oldest settlement in this inhospitable region of James Bay.The town is located on Rupert Bay but is accessible by road. It was the site of the very first trading post, established in 1668.
The Nouveau Québec region in the north of Québec Province extends to the 62nd degree of latitude. This vast area has only the occasional settlement. North of Chisasibi a few small settlements can be found along the coast of Hudson Bay, and a few people live by the Baie d'Ungava.
Poste de la Baleine, Canada
At the mouth of the Grande Rivière lies the Indian settlement of Poste de la Baleine.