Newfoundland and Labrador is the newest of Canada’s 10 provinces; they only joined the confederation in 1949. It is also the last of our maritime provinces that we have been exploring with The Land and Culture of Canada series. Its name was officially changed to Newfoundland and Labrador in 2001.
The Newfoundland part of the province is the most easterly part of Canada while Labrador is mostly inaccessible. Their landscape has been shaped by the ice age (a period of several hundred years after the flood), which left a ragged coastline of deep fjords and high coastal cliffs that go straight into the sea.
Inland there are miles and miles of forest and trees that are inhabited by lots of moose and herds of caribou. Because it is so close to the Grand Banks, the livelihood in the area used to be from cod fishing. Unfortunately, overfishing and wildlife mismanagement depleted the cod population, and the industry collapsed in 1992. However, the snow crab and northern shrimp proliferated and became viable fishing industries soon after that time.
The capital city is St. John’s, and about a fifth of the population live there. It is a very lively and charming area to live and visit. All around are remote former fishing villages that have been abandoned. They are now tourist attractions that are known for their breath-taking scenery, sea life, and exceptional birding sites. The coast is filled with miles and miles of trails that are frequented by residents and tourists.
Here are some fun facts about Newfoundland and Labrador that you may find interesting.
- It is a charming island known for its colourful houses and colourful personalities.
- In the 18th Century, St. John’s was almost burnt completely to obsoletion five times.
- They were the first province in the world to receive wireless communication.
- France is only an hour boat ride away.
- Home to the famous Signal Hill.
Read more neat facts and see some great scenery of Newfoundland and Labrador.
People and Their Passion for Food
If you know anything about Newfoundland, it may be that they have their own unique language and distinguishable Newfoundlander accent. They speak extremely fast, and their words are unlike anything you may have ever heard before. If you’re going to visit, you may want to get in the know with some of the common phrases used. Check out this travellers’ Guide to Newfoundland Sayings.
Being an island also has other advantages, like having unique foods and meals that other places may not get to experience. See the pictures of these unique foods we’ve listed below and a few more unusual meals native to Newfoundland and Labrador.
- Bakeapples or cloudberries – thesetaste like sour grapes
- “Jiggs Dinner” – boiledsalt beef, spuds, carrots, cabbage and turnip
- Cod tongue – Yepreal cod tongue, dipped in seasoned flour and fried
- Scrunchions – porkbackfat, fried gently
- Touton – deep-fried ball of dough usually served with molasses
- Caribou Moss – candied, brined, or dried to a crunchy chip
The Must-See Attractions
The outdoors of Newfoundland and Labrador hold some of the best experiences of God’s creation. Here’s a link for you to catch the virtual sights of this Atlantic island and a list of the top attractions of the province:
- Gros Morne National Park (See this video on Youtube of the park.)
- L’Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site
- Signal Hill National Historic Site
- Bonavista Peninsula
- Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site
- Puffin and Whale Cruises in Witless Bay
- Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve
- Twillingate and Fogo Island
- Red Bay National Historic Site
We hope you enjoyed the final part of our Maritime series that we have put together for you. This gives you a true feel of what it is like to be in the Maritimes. The beauty you see is nothing compared to seeing it in person. It may be a destination for your next vacation.