Commanding Officer’s Message
A most hearty welcome to Canadian Forces Station Moisie. It is hoped that your stay here will be enriched by the many diversified activities that are available in this interesting part of Canada. CFS Moisie and Sept-Iles enjoy as many recreational outlets and opportunities for entertainment as for any military base in Canada.
It is out sincere wish you take advantage of the opportunity to exploit these activities to the fullest, and enjoy your tour at Moisie. It is to this end that this booklet was compiled. We hope it is a useful guide and reference.
Aerial photo of CFS Moisie
The advance party for Canadian Forces Station Moisie, one officer and nine airmen, arrived (via an ATC North Star) in Sept-Iles on the 25th of May, 1953. The RCAF formally took over the unit on the 30th of June, 1953. On the 15th of September, 1953, the unit was officially placed under the control of the Air Officer Commanding Air Defence Command, Air Vice Marshal AL James.
The region in which Canadian Forces Station Moisie is sited has been the theme of many historical writings. The most famous were: (a) a report by Jacques Cartier in 1535 describing the seven islands facing the present city of Sept-Iles, and (b) a voyage in 1603 by Sieur de Champlain when he described the area in the Bay of Moisie as barren land with a rugged coastline.
Until approximately 1850, the presence of white men at this latitude was sparse, and consisted solely of the lone "coureur des bois" trafficking furs with the local Montagnais and Naskapis Indians. In 1859, the Hudson’s Bay Company, having lost its absolute fishing, hunting, and fur trading rights was forced to close its trading post in Sept-Iles. The closure of the trading post permitted a number of "privateers" to come forth and enter the lucrative fur trade.
High Chisholm, who married a squaw, was an introverted and courageous Scot. Chisholm rapidly acquired a domain stretching from Moisie to the Matamec River. John Holliday from Quebec City, exploited a salmon fishing monopoly on the Moisie River while David Tetu had a free reign on the cod.
In 1865, Lamothe from Montreal, Tetu the fisherman, and four confederate soldiers on the loose discovered iron deposits in the sand on the eastern shore of the Moisie River. Conclusive laboratory reports saw the formation of La Compagnie des Mines de Moisie. This company was later named the Moisie Iron Company. William Markland Molson becoming the principal shareholder. Eventually , the iron ore development in the Moisie area dwindled. High tariffs finally resulted in the suspension of all operations. It was a slow, hard beginning. In recent years large mining concerns appeared on the scene and brought fame and wealth to this northern area by mining once again iron ore on a large scale.
Canadian Forces Station Moisie is located on the North Shore of the St. Lawrence River at the extreme eastern end of highway No. 15. This point is 16 miles east of the city of Sept-Iles which in turn is 425 miles from Quebec City. The trip from Quebec City can be completed in one day quite easily. Winter or summer. There is a ferry crossing at Tadoussac where the Saguenay River enters the St. Lawrence; the distance across is only ¼ of a mile. This ferry service runs all year-round. Another ferry which operates almost year-round facilitates transportation to and from Godbout and Matane.
Aerial photo of CFS Moisie
Iron Ore Development
During the period 1936 to 1949 various concerns acquired mining concessions in northern Quebec. In 1949, a number of these companies amalgamated and formed the Iron Ore Company of Canada (IOC). In 1950, the construction of IOC began, and it was completed in 1954. IOC mineral deposits are at Schefferville and Labrador City, which grew from wilderness to towns of over 5,000 inhabitants. Schefferville and Labrador City are the centers where iron is mined in northern Quebec and Labrador.
1947 saw the formation of the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway Company (QNS&L). In 1954 construction of a 360 mile railway between Schefferville and Sept-Iles was completed by the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway Company. On the 31st of July, 1954, the first shipment of Ungava ore left Sept-Iles on the ship "Hawaiian".
In 1962, construction of Wabush Mines started in western Labrador. Wabush and Pointe Noire (20 miles west of Sept-Iles) installations were producing on a full scale basis by 1965.
The mention of Sept-Iles spontaneously brings forth the thought of iron ore; for iron ore has been responsible for the rapid development of what was a hamlet of approximately 1,500 inhabitants in 1950, to a city of over 28,000 inhabitants in 1969. The role of Sept-Iles, with its rail and port facilities, is to disseminate the iron ore products of Schefferville and Labrador City and Wabush areas to all parts of the world. Sept-Iles, Schefferville, Labrador City and Wabush are really "quadruplets" for one could not develop and progress without the aid of the other.
Sept-Iles is rapidly becoming an important commercial center serving a vast territory. It has a natural harbour open to navigation throughout the year and from a tonnage point of view, ranks as one of the most important in the world for transportation of loose merchandise. Sept-Iles is also the maintenance base of Canada’s third important railroad, Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway. This company has mechanical repair facilities which are among the most modern in the world.
Sept-Iles and the iron ore industry started to come into its own in the year 1959, the year which saw the completion of the St. Lawrence Seaway – one of the world’s greatest inland waterways: truly a wonder of the modern world. This great transportation route enabled iron ore to be most economical to the great iron and steel centres of the USA and Canada.
POMC Travel – All personnel driving from the vicinity of, and west of Quebec City, MUST TRAVEL VIA QUEBEC CITY to CFS Moisie (highway 15 along the north shore of the St. Lawrence River). The Saguenay River is crossed by Ferry from Baie St. Catherine to Tadoussac. Personnel proceeding to CFS Moisie from the Maritimes can cross the St. Lawrence at either Pointe au Pere (Rimouski) or Matane. Ferry charges from south shore points to Sept-Iles area are to be supported by receipts.
Without POMC – Personnel posted to CFS Moisie from:
points west of Montreal are routed to Montreal by rail, and to Sept-Iles by commercial airlines.
points east of Quebec City will receive specific instructions from their movement unit.
The immediate area of Quebec City will be routed by commercial airlines from Quebec City to Sept-Iles.
Matane – Godbout Ferry
This is a two hour trip. Two ferry boats are in operation from early March to the end of December. The service provides 2 to 5 departures daily depending on the demand.
Since the time table and the tariffs vary regularly it is recommended to communicate with Matane Godbout Ferry for further information. Charges are approximately $10.00 for the car and $4.00 for each passenger.
Although the predominant tongue is, quite naturally, French, many of the local inhabitants have an excellent knowledge of the English Language. You should not experience any difficulty, insofar as language is concerned, when shopping in the local community. Three newspapers are available in the region.
The summers at Moisie are very pleasant, the temperature often rises above 70 degrees F; however it is always accompanied by a light breeze. Winters bring heavy snow falls enjoyed by all since the temperatures seldom fall below 0 degrees. CFS Moisie personnel hold every
Arrival at CFS Moisie
During normal working hours personnel are required to report to the Station orderly Room (SOR). After normal working hours, on weekends and holidays, all personnel report to the Duty NCO for instructions. Military police will provide any information required.
There are 86 MQs on the unit to be allocated to newcomers (as per CFAO 28-3), when availability permits. The MQs consist of 8 four bedroom units, 59 three bedroom units and 19 two bedroom units. Forty MQs have garages, 26 have a utility room and a storage room, and 20 are equipped with a full basement.
For further information, personnel transferred to Moisie should inquire at their movement unit.
Aerial photo of CFS Moisie housing area
A newly built 20 pad trailer park facilitates the location of 7 DND owned trailers and 13 privately owned mobile homes. This is considered sufficient at this time, however should the demand be exceeded a well-kept trailer park is located within 5 miles from the unit. Mobile Home owner’s restriction will be lifted whenever pads are available either DND owned or civilian owned.
Five single quarters are provided for single and unaccompanied personnel – these people are housed in double storied Barrack buildings 1 or 2 men to a room depending on rooms available. The buildings themselves are equipped with all modern conveniences to make life comfortable.
Furnished and unfurnished accommodation is scarce and expensive in Sept-Iles. There is no commercial transportation available from the station to Sept-Iles other than taxi.
Motels and Hotels are numerous in Sept-Iles. The most convenient would be Hotel Motel Bel-Air, Les Mouettes Hotel-Motel and L’Auberge des Gouverneurs located on Laure Avenue – which is the main street leading from highway 15.
Two public schools are conveniently situated within the Married Quarters area and cater kindergarten class to grade six, in both languages, French and English. At present, students attending classes higher than grade six are registered at the Queen Elizabeth School or Our Lady in Sept-Iles. Pre-university facilities for French and English speaking children are available. Transportation to and from Sept-Iles is provided.
There is a fully equipped French Language Technical School in Sept-Iles (For information write or phone the following address): Ecole Manikoutai, 550 Comeau, Sept-Iles, PQ, or phone 962-9884 Sep-Iles exchange.
Dependant passes are required for wives and dependant children 16 years of age and over. Passes are issued on a free basis from the guard house.
In addition to Cubs, Scouts and Guides programs, all teenagers who are dependants are eligible for membership in the Teen Town Club which conducts entertainment regularly.
In the Province of Quebec, medical coverage is taken care of by the Provincial Medicare Plan QHP. It is automatically deducted from your pay at the following rate: 4/5 of 1% of gross monthly entitlement.
The Station Infirmary is staffed by Medical Assistants. No provision is made for a Medical Officer at this unit. Personnel in the need of either medical or dental attention will report to the MIR. Personnel requiring further medical attention will be sent to a civilian practitioner in Sept-Iles. Provisions are also made for the services of specialists in Montreal, Quebec and Ottawa when required. Emergency cases will be dealt with immediately at any time of the day or night. Well baby clinics are held monthly at the infirmary. There are 15 doctors, 4 dentists and a 200 bed hospital in Sept-Iles. The latest medical equipment is available to handle emergencies.
Roman Catholic services are held every Sunday in a combined chapel located in the PMQ area. Protestant services also take place at different intervals. The services are conducted by civilian clergymen.
Motor Vehicle Information
Car Insurance – Personnel should ensure that their car insurance will be valid in the Province of Quebec. Insurance tariffs in the Sept-Iles area are considerable high due to the accident rate. To be allowed on the Station premises, all vehicles must be insured.
Licence Plates – It is required by law to register cars within 30 days of arrival in the province. The same policy applies for drivers licences. Registrations and changes can be made at the Sept-Iles Motor Vehicle Bureau.
Gas Pumps – Personnel with PMCs may purchase gas and oil at the Canex Station gas pumps.
Transportation – There is no civilian commercial transportation between the unit and Sept-Iles. However, transport is provided for School runs.
A newly built very modern 6000 square feet Canex store provides shopping facilities for all unit personnel and DND employees. Groceries, fresh vegetables, and meat are available at lower than average price.
Giftware, cosmetics, jewelry, sports equipment etc. can also be purchased at our exchange. Special orders are raised for items such as stereos, refrigerators, and special equipment with an approximate three week delivery time.
Exterior photo of the Canex store
Interior photo of the Canex store
Interior photo of the Canex store
A good selection of films is presented in an 80 seat theatre on a three times weekly program change. Special matinee films are made possible for children on Saturdays and Sundays. In addition, teen-agers have their own show on Saturday evening.
Interior photo of the Station Theatre
A 60 foot by 20 foot swimming pool provides relaxation to all personnel. Competent instructors give swimming lessons regularly. Scuba diving is also practiced in the pool.
Interior photo of the swimming pool
A large recreation centre allows all station members to participate in practically all indoor sports. Well organized inter-section and inter-mess competitions take place regularly. The community activities such as bingos, dances etc. are held in the gymnasium. The following are located within the confines of the recreation hall: station theatre, snack bar, post office, swimming pool, weight lifting room, and a two lane bowling alley.
Exterior photo of the Recreation Centre
Interior photo of the Snack Bar
Radio and Television
An NPF project to provide cablevision to all MQs, messes and barracks, was completed in 1971. Services include an English language CBC affiliated (LTV) from Cambelton, NB and the French network (BCCT) from Matane, both of which cater a clear picture. Also, cable subscribers can listen to the CBC English radio network and continuous taped FM music. Three radio stations CKCN Sept-Iles (560), CKBL Matane (1400), and CJBR Rimouski (900) can be picked up easily with an average radio. Programmes are almost entirely in French. American stations, especially from New York and Buffalo are usually received in the evenings. Occasionally CFRB Toronto and CBM Montreal can be heard at night.
A civilian barber shop is operated in the Recreation Centre. It is open on Mondays and Wednesdays. Haircuts may be obtained by appointment.
Laundry and dry cleaning is picked up and delivered weekly giving three days service in both Married Quarters and the Barrack Block area. A 24 hour service is also available in Sept-Iles. Barrack blocks are provided with a washer and dryer for the more ambitious individuals. Married quarters are also provided with automatic washers and dryers.
Sufficient banking facilities are available in Sept-Iles to meet the needs of the personnel of this unit. The Bank of Montreal has branches located at 466 Arnaud and in the Laure Building on the corner of Laure and Smith. The Bank of Nova Scotia has a branch located at 780 Laure Avenue. The Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce has three branches located at 445 Arnaud Avenue, 400 Brochu Avenue, and at the Laure Shopping Centre. The Banque Canadienne Nationale has a branch on Arnaud Avenue. The Royal Bank of Canada is located at 410 Brochu Avenue. There is also an active Credit Union on the Station.
The Post Office is located in the Recreation Centre. Mail should be addressed as follows: Rank, initials and name, Post Office Box (if applicable), CFS Moisie, Massey Park, PQ.
Located adjacent to the DND school and is open three days a week. There are approximately five thousand books to satisfy every taste in reading. There are both English and French editions of reading material. The Montreal Matin and Montreal Gazette are delivered daily on the publication day. The l’Avenir from Sept-Iles is published on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This newspaper is bilingual and very popular in this area.
The Station boasts recreational facilities comparable to any Canadian Forces Base. Various team and individual sport facilities are available for inter-section and inter-mess competitions. The following is a brief outline of the sports activities in which one can participate throughout the year: badminton, basketball, body building, bowling (two lanes), volleyball etc. All these sports are practiced in the gymnasium.
The station bowling alley consists of two lanes and there are three leagues conducted each year – Men Inter-Section league, Ladies League and a Mixed League as well as Youth Bowling on Saturday mornings as well as open bowling on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons.
The Moisie River is known to be one of the best Atlantic Salmon fishing grounds on the North American continent. Brook and sea trout may also be caught in these waters. The St. Lawrence River abounds in cod, halibut and mackerel. Clams can be dug up on the sand flats at the mouth of the Moisie River. During the month of May, a small smelt like fish, the caplan, literally rolls with the waves onto the beaches. The eager trout fisherman can take his tent and sleeping bag on the Quebec North Shore and Labrador Railway to may almost virgin spots, to not only satisfy his hopes, but even come back with record specimens. The Station has an active Fish & Game Club equipped with four motor boats.
Service personnel may join the St. Marguerite’s Gold and Country Club. This golf course is located at Clarke City, 35 miles from the Station.
Service personnel may join the Gallix Ski Club, which is approximately 17 miles west of Sept-Iles on Highway 15. Lift facilities to eleven excellent trails consist of one chair-lift and three poma lifts. A chalet with cafeteria and lounge is available. Professional ski lessons may be obtained if desired.
The only hunting worth while is moose hunting. There are approximately two weeks of hunting each fall. Hunting licences are a must and there is a limit on each hunter. Small game hunting is also popular in this area.
In addition to our swimming pool, a ½ mile long sandy beach renders the summers very pleasant. Swimming, sun bathing and beach parties take place regularly on the shores of the Moisie and St. Lawrence rivers.
The CFS Moisie Curling Club, which took birth during the fall of 1968, contains two sheets of ice and an excellent lounge The curling season is from mid-October to the end of April. Eight to ten bonspiels are held each year, of which the most popular ones are: the North Shore Open, the Good Time Bonspiel, and the CFS Moisie Open.
Map of Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces