La Baie (French pronunciation: /la bɛ/, Quebec French pronunciation: /la be/) is one of three boroughs in the city of Saguenay, Quebec, Canada. It was created during Quebec’s municipal reorganization in 2002. From 1976 to 2001, it was known as the Town of La Baie, a municipality composed of the Grande-Baie, Bagotville, and Port-Alfred sectors.
It is located on the bank of the Ha! Ha! Bay (French: baie des Ha! Ha!) at the mouths of the Ha! Ha! River (French: rivière Ha! Ha!) and the Mars River (French: rivière à Mars). La Baie was the first colony built in the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region. It was founded by the Société des Vingt et un who settled the area in 1838. The depth of the banks of the Ha! Ha! Bay’s waterways facilitated the rapid development of the region’s largest harbour facilities after the railways were built in 1910.
The borough’s main sources of socio-economic development have been the logging and the pulp and paper industries since the nineteenth and twentieth centuries respectively. Aluminum production began in the early 1980s. After the Abitibi-Consolidated paper mill, one of the main employers of the borough, shut down in 2004, Saguenay’s elected officials decided to invest in La Baie’s tourism industry by building and operating a port of call for cruise ships in 2008.
Bagotville Airport, the main civilian airport in Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean, is also located in La Baie. The Canadian Forces Base Bagotville, which shares the same airfield, is one of only two Canadian military bases that use the Royal Canadian Air Force’s CF-18 fighters. The military base is currently the borough’s largest employer.
While Chicoutimi and Jonquière, the two boroughs that constitute the main urban core of Saguenay, are located close to each other, La Baie is at a moderate distance from the city centre. This has created some unique issues for the borough — for example, while a full-power television or radio station in Saguenay can serve the entire city from a single transmitter without difficulty, La Baie is distant enough from the city's urban core that some low-power broadcasters, such as CKAJ-FM, have had to add separate transmitters to rebroadcast their signals in La Baie.