St John's Newfoundland City Information, listings and links
Here are some basic facts about St John's:
St. John's is the capital city of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada's easternmost province. The island covers 5 1/2 degrees of latitude, about the same as the Great Lakes.
St. John's (area: 483 sq km) is located at the eastern tip of the province on the Avalon Peninsula, at 47° 43' North and 52° 42' West.
St. John's is 1,842 km from New York City and 3,774 km from London, England. Newfoundland Standard Time is 1.5 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.
Italian explorer Giovanni Caboto (anglicized to "John Cabot"), sailing under letter patent from the English King and on behalf of several Bristol merchants, arrived in St John's harbour on June 14, 1497, which is the day of the Catholic Saint St John. By 1527, early forms fo the name were shown on maps, which by 1689 evolved into its present form. By 1832, St John's become the seat of government for the British Colony of Newfoundland, and was incorporated as a city in 1888.
The population of St John's is 101,936 (2001), with 175,994 in the census metropolitan area, making it the largest city in the province of Newfoundland & Labrador, and the second largest in the Maritimes after Halifax.
The major industries in St John's reflects the community's role as the seat of government, as a major East Coast harbour, and as the province's largest city. The top industries include oil & gas, government services, education, health & social services, retail trade, and accommodation & hospitality. Over the last decade the fishery has reduced its importance, offset by the growth in the offshore oil industry.
As an island province in the middle of the Atlantic, there are few physical barriers to protect Newfoundland from weather systems sweeping across it. Its situation on the eastern side of North America favours strong seasonal contrasts in the visiting air masses.
Its spring and summer seasons are quite cool by Canadian standards.
Spring comes rather slowly and is short. Until late May, night-time averages in the interior are under 4C, and low-lying areas have a 90% probability of overnight frost until the first week of June.
Summer is also short and cool. The icy Labrador Current keeps July average coastal temperatures around 14C, though inland averages may climb over 16C. Sunny summer days in Newfoundland can give afternoon highs in the low twenties.
The waters off Newfoundland's east coast are among the foggiest in the world. The fogs develop when warm humid air from the south strikes the cold and often ice-infested waters of the Labrador Current. These fogs occur during all seasons, but are most frequent in the spring and early summer when air temperatures climb quickly to 5C and 15C above the water temperatures. Argentia has 206 days of fog and Cape Race over 160.
An approximate guide to Celsius Temperatures is as follows:
Here are some guides to dressing appropriately for St John's. Expect cool and wet weather, dressing in layers. Dress in St John's is casual, and in the summer, shorts, sandals and light clothing are okay. You should also bring a sweater or jacket for cooler evenings and breezy sea shores. Some establishments (nightclubs and bars) have a 'no jeans, no running shoes policy,' and certain dining rooms require men to wear jackets to dinner. Visitors should pack a raincoat and an umbrella, except in winter when full winter garb is recommended.
Some hotels include tips or gratuities with group programs to simplify bookkeeping. This will usually include gratuities for housekeeping, bell service and food service. In a hotel, bell service should be tipped about $1 per bag, and housekeeping $1 to $5 dollars a day (in proportion to your room rate). Visitors should know that the standard tip in restaurants is 10%-15% (on restaurant bills, an average tip will match the GST & tax), with 20% for very outstanding service. This is especially important for visitors from countries where tipping on meals is not done: here the waitering staff depend on tips for a significant portion of their incomes. Tip taxis about 10%, and a dollar a bag they carry for you (not just unload), or at the very least round fares up to the nearest dollar.