Bay d'Espoir is a fjord-like arm of Hermitage Bay on Newfoundland’s south coast. More than 50 km from mouth to head, Bay d'Espoir — French for “hope” — is ice-free, with sheer cliffs and steep-sided hills rising 180 to 300 m. The bay divides into two principal arms to the north and northeast of Bois Island. Because of the tremendous watershed from a surrounding glacial plateau, the area is the site of a hydroelectric generating plant. Opened in 1967, today the plant has a generating capacity of more than 600 MW.
Until 1964 Bay d'Espoir was sparsely settled. Residents of the area included Newfoundlanders originating from Placentia Bay in the 1700s, and Mi’kmaq who established the Conne River settlement by the mid-1800s (see also Reserves in Newfoundland and Labrador). Today fishing, lumbering and construction work are the area’s main sources of employment.