Bay d'Espoir is a fjordlike arm of Hermitage Bay on Newfoundland's south coast, entered between West Head and Dawson Point, 3 km northwest. More than 50 km from mouth to head, ice-free Bay d'Espoir (French for "hope") has sheer cliffs and steep-sided hills rising 180 to 300 m. The bay divides into 2 principal arms to the north and northeast beyond 14 km long Bois Island. Because of the tremendous watershed from a surrounding glacial plateau, the area was chosen as the site of a hydroelectric power development, built 1964-77, at 600 MW the largest in insular Newfoundland.
Until 1964 Bay d'Espoir was sparsely settled by Newfoundlanders originating in Placentia Bay in the 1700s, and by Micmac who established the Conne River settlement by the mid-1800s. Today fishing, lumbering and construction work are the area's main sources of employment.