Newfoundland and Labrador
Joined Confederation – 31 March 1949
Although the Act creating the new province came into force just before midnight on March 31, 1949, ceremonies marking the occasion did not take place until April 1, 1949.
405,720 km2 – more than three times the total area of the Maritime Provinces (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island).
Newfoundland and Labrador would rank fourth in size behind Alaska, Texas and California…if it were one of the United States.
It is almost one and three quarters times the size of Great Britain.
Area of the Island of Newfoundland – 111,390 sq km
Area of Labrador – 294,330 sq km
Coast of Island of Newfoundland – 9,656 km
Coast of Labrador – 7,886 km Total – 17,542 km
St. John’s is the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador
Coat of Arms:
Royal Warrant of King Charles I, January 1, 1637
Newfoundland and Labrador’s official motto is:
Quaerite Prime Regnum Dei – Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God.
The black spruce (Picea mariana) was designated the provincial tree in November 1993. It is also known as the bog spruce. Although its foliage is bluish-green, it is called the “black” spruce to distinguish it from other types of spruce trees. The black spruce is the most abundant tree in Labrador and appears on the Labrador flag.
Official Bird – Atlantic Puffin:
The Atlantic puffin (Fraterculus arctica) is a well-known symbol ofNewfoundland andLabrador. Over 95 percent of all the puffins in North America breed on the coasts of the province. The largest colony can be seen in the Witless Bay Ecological Reserve just south of St. John’s.
Official Game Bird – Partridge:
The partridge (Lagopus sp) or ptarmigan is the provincial game bird. Two partridge species, Willow Ptarmigan and the Rock Ptarmigan, are found throughout the province.
Found primarily in barrens and high country, the partridge epitomizes the open wilderness. It is an arctic bird, and it is speculated that the Burin and Avalon peninsulas may be the most southern, naturally occurring extremity for the bird’s range in North America.
Floral Emblem – Pitcher Plant:
More than 100 years ago, Queen Victoria chose the pitcher plant to be engraved on a newly minted Newfoundland penny.
The pitcher plant gets its nourishment from insects that are trapped and drown in a pool of water at the base of its tubular leaves. These plants, with their wine and green flowers, are found on bogs and marshes around the province.
Queen Victoria suggested using the pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea)-also known as the Indian dipper and the huntsman’s cup-on the colony’s coinage. Newfoundland and Labrador made it an official emblem in 1954.
Motto on License Plate:
A World of Difference
The first province to Respond to Titanic distress signal at Cape Race.
The first to vaccinate for smallpox.
The first host a trans-Atlantic flight.
The first to have a wireless communication in the world.
The first place to discover proof of the theory of continental drift.
The oldest street in North America.
The oldest city (Cupids) in North America.
The oldest rock in the world.
The oldest continuous sporting event ( Regatta Day rules! )
The largest university in Atlantic Canada.
The most pubs rep square foot in Canada ( George Street in St. John’s)
The longest running radio program in North America.
Caught the world’s largest invertebrate ( giant squid )
The finest people in Canada ( ask anybody )
The Sexiest people in Canada ( MacLean’s magazine survey )
The only Province that has four identifiable flags.
The only Province to be able to land the Space-Shuttle ( Stephenville )
The most giving people in Canada ( Stats Canada )
The most sexually active people in Canada.
Build the world’s first artificial ice arena.
Invented the gas mask
Was once governor of northern Rhodesia
Was with Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg
We are the only Province to have:
It’s own “encyclopedia”
It’s own “dictionary”
Is own “pony”
It’s own “dog”
- Has no snakes, skunks or ragweed pollen on the island
- Was host to a meeting with President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill for the Atlantic Conference in 1941
- Was whereFrancelast held territory inCanada, during a brief occupation ofSt. John’s in 1762
- Is midway between Italy and Canada’s westernmost province,British Columbia
- Extends to latitudes further south than Vancouver,London and Tacoma
- Has the longest running radio program inNorth America
- Had the first court of justice inNorth America, set up in Trinity in 1615 by Sir Richard Whitbourne
- Hosted Marconi’s 1901 experiments when he received the first transatlantic wireless signal
- Was “discovered” by an Italian we call John Cabot in 1497 who sailed from Bristol,England
- Was the first place in North America where the Jenner smallpox vaccine was tested, at Trinity around 1800
- Was the departure point for the first non-stop air crossing of the Atlantic by Alcock and Brown in 1919
- Hosted more than 40 pioneering transatlantic flights between 1919 and 1937, hosting such pilots as Amelia Earhart, Charles and Anne Lingbergh, Wiley Post, Harold Gatty, the giant German seaplane DO-X, an Italian air armada led by General Italo Balbo, and the inaugural transatlantic flights of Pan American and British Imperial Airways
- Has two United Nations World Heritage Sites
- Has 176 rivers where Atlantic Salmon may be caught by rod and reel
- Has the oldest aboriginal burial mound in North America, a 7,000-year-old grave at L’Anse -Amour inLabrador
- Was the site of the first European settlement in theNew World, the 1,000-year-old Viking site at L’Anse aux Meadow
- Was granted Responsible Government byBritainin 1855
- Was the landing point for the first successful transatlantic telegraph cable, at Heart’s Content in 1866
- Has a network of 31 provincial parks and reserves
- Has more than 130 fishing and hunting lodges and camps
- Has a moose population of 150,000
- Has the largest caribou herd in the world
- Has the southernmost woodland caribou herd in the world on the island
- Is home to more than 20 species of whales and dolphins
- Has the largest breeding concentration of Atlantic Puffins in the northwest Atlanticin the Witless
- Bay Ecological Reserve, one of more than 60 major seabird colonies in the province
- Hosts millions of pairs of seabirds, such as Leach’s storm petrels, black-legged kittiwakes, common murres, northern gannets, thick billed murres, black guillemots
- The first train from St. John’s to Port aux Basques arrived on June 30, 1898. Railroading ended in Newfoundlandon October 1, 1988.
- It has been illegal to hunt Pine Marten on the islandof Newfoundlandsince 1934. The total population today (1999) is approximately 300 animals.
- Arctic Hares are native to Newfoundland, but Snowshoe Hares were introduced from Nova Scotia in 1864 and 1876. Hares are often erroneously called rabbits.
- The Newfoundland Timber or Grey Wolf became extinct on the island in the 1930s.
- There are no snakes, skunks, deer, porcupines or groundhogs on the island of Newfoundland. Chipmunks were introduced to Newfoundland from Nova Scotia in 1962 and 1964. There is no ragweed pollen on the island either (a very common allergen).
- Newfoundland is actually 3.5 hours west of Greenwich, and hence has its own proper time zone. The Newfoundland Standard Time Act of 1935 enshrined this time zone before Newfoundland joined Canada in 1949.
- Newfoundland routinely has the lowest crime rate in Canada.
- Traditionally, Newfoundlanders watched the black bear on February 2 since there are no groundhogs on the island.
- The only authenticated Viking site in North America is located at L’Anse aux Meadows, north of St. Anthony, on Newfoundland’s Great Northern Peninsula. The remains of the sod houses used by the Vikings can still be seen there, along with some of their artifacts.
- Newfoundland is one of the largest islands in the world (16th). Visitors should keep this in mind when planning a visit; it is not possible to see the whole island in just a few days and at least 10 days are needed for even a brief look around.
- Squirrels were introduced to Newfoundland in 1963 and they have now colonized the whole island.
- Moose are not native to Newfoundland, but today there are more than 100,000 on the island. 1 pair was introduced in 1878 from Nova Scotia (not thought to have survived). 2 pairs of moose were introduced on May 14, 1904 from New Brunswick. All of the moose in Newfoundland today are descended from the 1904 moose and possibly also from the 1878 moose.
- For bird-watchers, the Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) can be seen along the coast from Port aux Basques to Cape Ray during the summer months (until August). Dozens were seen in 1997. Nesting areas are marked.
- Between 1857 and 1949 Newfoundland issued its own postage stamps. They are still valid for mail posted anywhere in Canada.
- Not all of Newfoundland was covered with glaciers during the last ice age. Parts of the Codroy Valley in southwestern Newfoundland were largely ice free.
- The ski resort at Marble Mountain, near Corner Brook, has nearly 30 ski runs; the highest run has a vertical drop of almost 1600 feet (485 metres). Corner Brook hosted the Canada Winter Games between February 20 and March 6, 1999.
- The Hibernia oilfield, off the east coast of Newfoundland, contains more oil than 40 of the 44 oilfields in the North Sea. Combined, the Hibernia and Terra Nova oilfields contain more than 1 billion barrels of recoverable oil. In 1999, the Hibernia oilfield was the most profitable oilfield in Canada.
- The Mayflower stopped in at Renews (eastern Newfoundland) in 1620, to pick up supplies, during its voyage to present day Massachusetts, U.S.A.
see also, Newfoundland Superstitions
BibliographyCitizenship and Immigration Canada Website CapeRace Live Rural Newfoundland & Labrador Upalong TrailCanada NL-ExPatriate