Newfoundland and Labrador is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is the most easterly territory of Canada.
Situated in the country’s Atlantic region, it is composed of the insular region of Newfoundland and the continental region of Labrador to the northwest.
Separated by the Strait of Belle Isle, the Island of Newfoundland is combined with mainland Labrador. The province also includes over seven thousand small islands.
Labrador is an irregular shape: the western part of its border with Quebec and extreme northern tip shares a short border with Nunavut on Killiniq Island.
Newfoundland is roughly triangular, with each side being approximately 500 kilometers (310 miles).
Newfoundland and Labrador is the 10th largest province in Canada in terms of total area with 405,720 square kilometers (156,650 square miles).
As of June 2019, the population of Newfoundland and Labrador was estimated to be about 520,000 people. It is the 9th most populous province in Canada.
About 92% of the province’s population lives on the island of Newfoundland (and its neighbouring smaller islands), of whom more than half live on the Avalon Peninsula.
St. John’s is the capital and largest city of Newfoundland and Labrador. It is on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the large Canadian island, Newfoundland. It is North America’s easternmost city.
Newfoundland and Labrador’s varied landscape was shaped by the ice ages, leaving a ragged coastline of deep fjords and high coastal cliffs that plunge into the sea.
The highest point in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador is Mount Caubvick, at 1,652 meters (5,420 feet). This mountain, however, is in the Labrador section of the province. The highest point on the island of Newfoundland is a mountain called the Cabox, at 812 meters (2,664 feet).
A large part of the island of Newfoundland is an extension of the Appalachian system. Major bays, peninsulas, river systems and mountain ranges are typically oriented southwest to northeast, parallel to the Appalachians.
Labrador is the easternmost part of the Canadian Shield, a vast area of ancient metamorphic rock comprising much of northeastern North America.
Newfoundland and Labrador has 4 national parks and about 22 provincial parks.
Gros Morne National Park is a world heritage site located on the west coast of Newfoundland. At 1,805 square kilometers (697 square miles), it is the second largest national park in Atlantic Canada. The park takes its name from Newfoundland’s second-highest mountain peak (at 806 m or 2,644 ft) located within the park. Its French meaning is “large mountain standing alone,” or more literally “great sombre.” In 1987, the park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site for both its geological history and its exceptional scenery.
Signal Hill National Historic Site overlooks the Atlantic Ocean, St. John’s harbor, and the small historic downtown. Signal Hill was the site of St. John’s harbour defences from the 17th century to the Second World War and where Guglielmo Marconi received the world’s first transatlantic wireless signal in 1901.
Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site, 11 kilometers south of St. John’s, is the most easterly point in North America, and has Newfoundland’s oldest lighthouse. It is a popular, if chilly, spot to watch the sunrise as well as sight whales, seabirds, and icebergs. Dating from 1835, the light station was in operation until 1955 and is now an interesting museum. In addition, there are massive half-ruined gun emplacements from the Second World War, including the barrels of two guns each weighing 30 tons and having a range of 13 kilometers.
L’Anse aux Meadows is an archaeological site on the northernmost tip of the Great Northern Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Archaeological evidence of a Norse presence was discovered at L’Anse aux Meadows in the 1960s. It is the only confirmed Norse or Viking site in North America outside of the settlements found in Greenland. It was named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1978.
The Rooms is a cultural facility in St. John’s. The facility opened in 2005 and houses the Art Gallery of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Provincial Museum of Newfoundland and Labrador. The facility was constructed on a hill overlooking the port city, at a historic location once occupied by Fort Townshend. Sections include wildlife and natural history, aboriginal finds, contemporary art, and historical and cultural exhibits that give a good picture of both Newfoundland and Labrador.
Human habitation in Newfoundland and Labrador can be traced back about 9,000 years.
The first brief European contact with Newfoundland and Labrador came about 1000 AD when the Vikings briefly settled in L’Anse aux Meadows.
Around 1500, European explorers and fishermen from England, Portugal, Netherlands, France, and Spain (mainly Basques) began exploration.
The name “New founde lande” was uttered by King Henry VII in reference to the land explored by the Cabots.
The influence of early Portuguese exploration is reflected in the name of Labrador, which derives from the surname of the Portuguese navigator João Fernandes Lavrador.
It became the tenth province to enter the Canadian Confederation on March 31, 1949, as “Newfoundland”.
On December 6, 2001, an amendment was made to the Constitution of Canada to change the province’s name to Newfoundland and Labrador.