Newfoundland Labrador is the most easterly province in Canada. Though human habitation in the province can be traced back to approximately nine thousand years ago, the first European explorer, John Cabot, landed in Newfoundland Labrador in 1497. The exact area where he landed is debated among historians, though the five hundredth anniversary of European discovery was celebrated in a town called Bonavista.
Rich in natural resources, especially fish, Newfoundland Labrador became a preferred destination for European fishing vessels. It was not until 1585 that Sir Humphrey Gilbert landed in St. John’s, now the capital city, and declared possession of the island. It became an English settlement and Newfoundland Labrador remained a British colony until it joined Confederation and became a part of Canada on March 31, 1949.
Today, Newfoundland Labrador has a population of about five hundred twenty eight thousand (528 000). It is a popular destination among tourists for its natural scenery, rocky coasts and quaint colorful coastal houses. Newfoundland Labrador’s citizens are said to be the nicest people in Canada.
Some Interesting Facts About Canada’s Most Easterly Province
- The official flower is the purple pitcher plant, tree is the black spruce, bird is the Atlantic puffin and animal is the caribou.
- Newfoundland Labrador is the first location in North America to experience New Years, having its own time zone that runs a half hour faster than its neighboring provinces.
- One of the main attractions in St. John’s, NL’s capital city is George Street, which is a short street located downtown that has the most bars per squared foot in North America.
- Residents of Newfoundland Labrador have their own dialect. Though the primary language is English, many other anglophones cannot understand through the mixture of French, Irish and Scottish remnants of settler languages.
- St. John’s is believed to be the oldest city in North America.