St. John’s (eng. St. John’s, MFA: [seseɪntˈdʒɒnz]) is a city in Canada, the capital and largest city of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.
Population-106,172 people (2011) , with suburbs-about 200 thousand. It is the second most populated city on the Atlantic coast of Canada after Halifax.
The city has a monument to the Portuguese Navigator Gaspar Cortereal.
Legends say that this city got its name in honor of the baptized Jew from Italy, Giovanni Caboto (ital. Giovanni Caboto, CA. 1450, Genoa-1499), who became the first European to sail to the Harbor, on June 24, 1497 — the day of the feast of St. John the Baptist. However, the exact location of the Cabot’s descent to earth is disputed. St. John’s is considered one of the oldest English settlements in North America, the first inhabitants settled here in the 1500s, about ten years after Columbus discovered America, although a century later almost all (and sometimes all) residents left the city for the winter, when the fishing season ended. The first mention of the city is found on a sea map drawn in 1519 by the Portuguese cartographer Pedro Reynel. On August 5, 1583, the English Explorer Humphrey Gilbert declared Newfoundland a possession of the British Empire, and attempted to establish a permanent settlement on the site of present-day St. John’s. On the way back to the metropolis, Gilbert’s ship was lost along with him off the Azores, which delayed the start of colonization for several decades.
By 1620, almost the entire West coast of Newfoundland was under the control of English fishermen, and as their numbers increased, St. John’s gradually became a real city with a permanent population. However, until the middle of the XVIII century, the population of the city in winter and summer (at the height of the fishing season) differed several times.
St. John’s after the 1892 fire
In 1665 and 1673, the city was attacked by the Dutch, but the inhabitants were able to repel the attacks. The defenses built after this did not help the British hold St. John’s in 1696, when it was captured and partially destroyed by the French under the command of Admiral Pierre Lemoine. The city was quickly rebuilt and withstood a French siege in 1705, but was again captured and destroyed by them in 1708. The last time the city became a battlefield was in 1762, when it was first captured by a surprise attack by the French, and then recaptured by the British in the Battle of Signal hill, the last battle of the seven Years ‘ war in the North American theater.
After the end of the seven Years ‘ war and until the end of the nineteenth century, St. John’s, like all of Newfoundland, gradually increased its population and economy (primarily fishing, also played an important role in timber harvesting and servicing ships of the British Navy). During the American war of independence and the Anglo-American war of 1812, the city served as a base for British ships carrying out the us blockade. St. John’s was badly damaged by several fires, the largest of which was the Great fire of 1892.
In 1901, Guglielmo Marconi received the first ever transatlantic radio signal from England at St. John’s. The city was also the starting point for the first transatlantic flights (in 1919).
From 1907 to 1949, St. John’s was the capital of the dominion of Newfoundland, an independent state within the British Empire that became part of Canada after a referendum (with the city becoming the only area of the dominion in which supporters of unification formed a majority).
Geography and climate
St. John’s is located in the Southeast of the island of Newfoundland on the avalon Peninsula on the Atlantic ocean coast and is the easternmost city in North America (excluding Greenland).
The climate in the city is transitional between temperate continental and Maritime. Precipitation is frequent, in summer in the form of rain, in winter-snow, rain or sleet. Of all the major cities in Canada, St. John’s is the foggiest (124 days per year), windiest (average wind speed of 24.3 km/h), and cloudy (1,497 hours of sunshine per year).
The climate of the city is St. John’s (1971-2000)
Indicator Jan. Feb. March APR. May June July Aug. Sen. Oct. Nov. Dec. Year
Absolute maximum, °C 15,2 16,0 18,3 24,1 25,6 29,4 31,5 31,0 29,5 24,6 19,4 16,1 31,5
Average maximum, °C -0,9 -1,5 1,2 5,2 10,7 15,9 20,3 19,9 15,9 10,5 5,9 1,2 8,7
Average temperature, °C -4,8 -5,4 -2,5 1,6 6,2 10,9 15,4 15,5 11,8 6,9 2,6 -2,2 4,7
Average minimum, °C -8,9 -9,3 -6,2 -2 1,5 5,9 10,5 11,1 7,7 3,3 -0,7 -5,5 0,6
Absolute minimum, °C -23,3 -23,8 -23,8 -14,8 -6,7 -3,3 -1,1 0,5 -1,1 -5,6 -13,4 -19,7 -23,8
Precipitation rate, mm 150,0 125,2 130,8 121,8 100,9 101,9 89,4 108,1 130,9 161,9 144,0 148,8 1513,7
Source: Environment Canada
View of the city from Signal hill
According to the 2011 census, St. John’s had a population of 106,172 (with suburbs of 196,966), making it the largest city in the province, the second (after Halifax) city in Atlantic Canada, and the 20th in the country in terms of population.
St. John’s is the most ethnically homogeneous of the capitals and major cities of the provinces and territories of Canada — about 96 % of the population belong to the white race, over 90 % – descendants of immigrants from the British Isles. In recent years, for the first time in the history of the city, people from Asia, Africa and the Middle East began to move to it, attracted by the growing prosperity of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador (the budget of which received a significant replenishment due to the development of offshore oil and gas fields).
Historically, St. John’s was the safest of Canada’s major cities. Despite a slight increase in crime in recent years, it generally retains its status.
From the day of the city’s Foundation until the end of the XX century, its life and development were closely connected with the sea, or rather with fishing. The cod crisis of the early 1990s brought down the city’s economy and led to a massive outflow of the working-age population to the mainland. However, the sea (or rather, oil and natural gas fields located on the sea shelf) has also become the basis for the recovery of the city’s economy and its current rapid development. The city is home to the headquarters of the canadian branch of the well-known ExxonMobil company. The Khybernia oil platform, located to the East of the city, is the world’s largest operating platform.
St. John’s largest employer is the state (that is, the various Federal, provincial, and local governments, as well as their educational and health care institutions).
St. John’s has been repeatedly ranked among the canadian cities with the best business climate, and in 2009, the Canadian Association of independent businessmen recognized it as the best place to start a small business.
St. John’s international airport (IATA: YYT, ICAO: CYYT), located 6 kilometers Northwest of the city, serves about 1.4 million passengers per year (2011). Regular passenger flights are operated to Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, new York, Halifax and Saint-Pierre. Seasonal – to London, calgary, Orlando and Punta Cana.
The city is the Eastern Terminus of the TRANS-Canada highway (the island is connected to the mainland by ferries) and, until the closure of the Newfoundland railway in 1988, was the easternmost railway station in North America.
Public transport is represented by 18 bus routes operated by Metrobus Transit.