Olympic Torch Relay in Guolds

Linda of Bears Cove Inn in Witless Bay reported a Olympic Torch Relay sighting: “I went to see the torch as it passed through the community called Goulds which is 25 km from where I live. It was early morning approx 8 am. I went with my 2 grandchildren 2 yrs and 8 yrs also my son and daughter in law and my daughter in laws brother who was visiting from Halifax. The Torch went by my 8 yr old granddaughters school and she was so impressed by that. The weather was very cold and windy but it was a very […]

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Arnold’s Cove: Friendly and history filled

Arnold’s Cove is one of the nicest towns that I have had the pleasure to visit in Newfoundland. It is a small town and the people there are welcoming of almost everyone. One of the main attractions of Arnold’s Cove is the houses along the coast. Many of these homes are from the resettlement of Newfoundland when it became a province of Canada. They were floated from across the islands and settled onto the coast. They are houses that are unique to Newfoundland and there are many of them in Arnold’s Cove. The main summer attraction of Arnold’s Cove is […]

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The Eastern Start (or End) of the Trans-Canada Highway

The January/February 2008 edition of Canadian Geographic magazine made mention that, despite the presence in St John’s of “Mile Zero” marker right beside the city hall, the true Mile 0 for the Trans Canada Highway was moved to a dump. In 2002 the highway by-passed St. John’s and now ends at Logy Bay Road, which is where the Robin Hood Bay Landfill is located. Apparently it has the best ocean view of a land fill in Canada. However, hikers should note that the site also is near Sugarloaf Path, which is a new part of the East Coast Trail. This […]

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Three Great Museums in St. John’s

The Rooms You can’t miss The Rooms in St. John’s. The magnificent structure dominates the city. Situated like a beacon atop a hill covered with multi-coloured houses, The Rooms are in form based on the “fishing rooms” that surround typical Newfoundland harbours. In these “fishing rooms” the catch from the sea was processed before being taken to the vessels of merchants for transportation to markets abroad. The Rooms is built over the remains of Fort Townshend. Like The Rooms, the large star shaped fortification commanded attention to all who entered the harbour of St. John’s below. It was meant to […]

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Signal Hill… Ascend the Heights and See St. John’s

Dominating the harbour of St. John’s is Signal Hill. On this peak in the early days of the colonial settlement signalmen watched the Atlantic for approaching ships then raised a signal flag so that the townsmen below could be informed of approaching vessels and prepare for their arrival in port. In periods of war the hill was used as a defensive installation and the remains of military buildings dating from the 18th century can still be seen there. For visitors to St. John’s, Signal Hill has a magnetic quality. It begs to be explored either on a hike up from […]

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Cape Spear The Lighthouse, Battery and Berries

No trip to St. John’s is complete without a jaunt out to Cape Spear. It’s a short drive (15 km or 9 mi.) from downtown to the easternmost tip of North America. On a clear day the views of the Atlantic Ocean and the formidable rocky coast of Newfoundland are stunning. And on a foggy day you will understand why the lighthouse at Cape Spear was and still is an essential guide to seafarers entering the narrows into St. John’s harbour. The lighthouse at Cape Spear is the oldest surviving one in Newfoundland. Built in 1835, it has been restored […]

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L’Anse aux Meadows – The First European Habitation in North America

At the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula, in Newfoundland, is one of Canada’s most astounding archaeological sites. If you believe that Christopher Columbus was the first European to set foot in North America you are in for a surprise. He missed being the first by over 500 years. The evidence for this is laid out for you to see at L’Anse aux Meadows. At this site around 1000 AD, Norsemen, otherwise known as Vikings, established a base for their exploration of North America. Ancient Norse stories or sagas that referred to a place called Vinland were passed down by […]

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Quidi Vidi – A Special St. John’s Neighbourhood

One of the many charms of St. John’s is the neighbourhood called Quidi Vidi (commonly pronounced Kiddy Videe). No one seems to know where the name came from, Basque or French languages are possibilities. There is no agreement on its pronunciation either so don’t be surprised if you hear variants. This is all perfectly natural in a province where the culture is as variable as the landscape and the weather. However you pronounce it, Quidi Vidi is a delightful little community. It becomes crowded only when the Royal St. John’s Regatta is held in August on its picturesque lake. At […]

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Trinity Heritage Homes and Theatre

The town of Trinity — 260 km (161 mi.) north of St. John’s and 52 km (32 mi.) south of Bonavista — is well worth a detour if you are driving around Newfoundland from St. John’s to the ferry at Port Au Basques. This is a living village that has several heritage structures that have been restored and are open to the public. Trinity harbour was used as early as the 16th century by Portuguese fishermen but it was not until the next century that a settlement was established by fishing entrepreneurs from Poole, England. The several heritage buildings in […]

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10 Interesting facts about John Cabot

Upon reading Mr. Hunter’s article in Canada’s History (“Rewriting History” by Douglas Hunter April/May 2010), I learned some little known facts about John Cabot, the explorer who stumbled upon Canada’s East Coast (Newfoundland) in the 15th Century. The article is essentially a conglomeration of disputed facts about the explorer’s journey presented by various scholars. However, the crux of the article is the disappointment in losing years worth of research by British historian Alwyn Ruddock. She devoted her life (1916 – 2006) to the history of John Cabot’s three voyages to the New World (Eastern Canada) from Bristol, England. Throughout her […]

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