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St John's Newfoundland City Information, listings and links



Here are some basic facts about St John's:

Location

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.

Newfoundland Standard Time is 1/2 hour ahead of Atlantic Standard Time, and 1 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time.

Name

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.

Population

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.

Newfoundland & Labrador joined the Dominion of Canada on March 31, 1949 (then as just "Newfoundland"). Newfoundland & Labrador has 521,986 residents on its area of 405,720 square kilometres.

Industries

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.

Weather

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.

"Of all the major Canadian cities, St. John's is the foggiest (124 days, next to Halifax's 122), snowiest (359 cm, next to Quebec City's 343), wettest (1514 mm, next to Halifax's 1491), windiest (24.3 km/h average speed, next to Regina's 20.7), and cloudiest (1497 hours of sunshine, next to Charlottetown's 1818 hours). It also has more days with freezing rain and wet weather than any other city. But the natives are proud of their climate, calling it character-building and invigorating. And they boast that their city happens to have one of the mildest winters in Canada (third mildest city next to Victoria and Vancouver). Perhaps Townies also happen to appreciate a fine weather day more than the rest of Canadians. " (Environment Canada)

No place is more than 100 km from the ocean, and therefore every part of the island is subject to the year-round modifying influences of the encircling cold waters. Surface water temperatures on the Atlantic side range from summer highs of 11 to 13C inshore and 8 to 11C offshore to winter lows of -1 C inshore and +2C offshore. Sea temperatures on the Gulf side are warmer than the Atlantic side by 1 to 3C. The open sea keeps winter air temperatures a little higher and summer temperatures slightly lower on the coast than at places inland.
Many of the storms that cross North America from west to east, as well as the hurricanes & tropical storms that affect the East Coast of the United States (from July to November), cross Newfoundland on their way to the North Atlantic

Average daily temperatures are:

Scale

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

C

-.7

-1.4

1.0

4.8

10.3

15.8

20.2

19.5

15.6

10.6

6.2

1.5

F

33

35

34

41

50.5

60.5

68

67

60

51

43

35

Winter temperatures in Newfoundland show the day-to-day variability that is characteristic of a stormy maritime climate. There is a noticeable difference between inland and coastal temperatures. ln the interior, winter temperatures are around -6C to -10C, while along the southeast coast, moderated by ocean currents range from -2C to -4C. Snowfall is typically 300 cm around the province, though Corner Brook & Gander receive about 400 cm.

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:

Metric-Imperial temperature conversion chart

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.

Tipping

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.


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