Long a summer resort, the area also known as Murray Bay, contains the villages of Pointe-au-Pic, La Malbaie and Cap-à-l'Aigle (now all incorporated in the town of La Malbaie). The Pointe-au-Pic wharf extends into deep water and is accessible at any state of the 15 foot tides in the area where most small ports dry out at low water.
Under the initiative of the Montreal hydroelectricity investment tycoon Sir Rodolphe Forget, a pulp mill was established in 1910 upstream on the Rivière Malbaie at Clermont, and a railway from Quebec City was started. Forget was also chairman of the Richelieu and Ontario Navigation Co (R&O) and was responsible for building the resort hotel, and developing the cruise business. (Forget was also an elected Tory MP for the area in Sir Robert Borden's government, and was a major figure in the formation of the Dominion Steel Company. There were few conflict of interest rules in those days, but Forget was not admitted to Borden's cabinet due to his many business interests, many of which were in financial trouble.)
Eventually R+O became Canada Steamship Line, the newly formed Canadian National Railway took over the rail line and completed it to Clermont. (Plans to extend it to the Saguenay River and beyond never took place). The pulp mill evolved into a newsprint paper mill under the ownership of Donahue Bros. They exported the paper by rail and by ship from the Pointe-au-Pic pier.
Now, the rail line is a passenger only tourist line, the wharf is independent, and the newsprint mill is owned by Resolute and produces 225,000 tonnes per year. (The New York Times owned 49% of the mill until 2018.) The area is still a popular resort, but there is no longer any regular passenger ship traffic.
The wharf itself, with several expansions, now brings in wood chips and exports paper on a regular basis.
The wood chips arrive on the small Canadian flag bulk carrier Jean-Joseph.
On dedicated service to Pointe-au-Pic and Baie-Comeau, Wagenborg's RoRo Oranjeborg is a frequent caller at Pointe-au-Pic loading paper for Europe.
Several other Wagenborg ships also call at Pointe-au-Pic.
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