Birchy Bay

Discover Birchy Bay, Newfoundland Labrador: A Historical and Touristic Overview

Birchy Bay, Newfoundland Labrador, is a quaint community nestled in Notre Dame Bay. This small Canadian town is rich in history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination for those seeking a unique travel experience.

The Historical Roots of Birchy Bay, Newfoundland Labrador

The history of Birchy Bay, Newfoundland Labrador, is deeply intertwined with its natural surroundings. The community's name is derived from the abundance of birch trees that once adorned its shores. The first inhabitants of Birchy Bay were the native people of the Island, who utilized the river flowing through the community for fresh water and fishing for salmon and trout.

Local lore tells of a European fisherman who was shot at, but not killed, by a Beothuk man using a decoy to lure him within range. The community's lookout, still in use today, was also reportedly used by the Beothuk. A large pine tree at its summit was stripped of all its bark by the natives climbing to watch over the surrounding land.

The first recorded family to settle in Birchy Bay was Andrew Canning Sr., a man of unknown origins who came from Barr'd Islands to salmon fish. His grandson, John Canning, returned to Birchy Bay with his wife in 1886, and they began to farm in the community following the Agriculture Act of 1886. Other families, such as the Quinlans, Osmonds, and Popes, soon followed suit.

In the early 1900s, the logging industry became Birchy Bay's chief source of income. The French family of Summerford opened a steam-powered sawmill, procuring lumber from the country and driving it down the streams and brooks. The lobster fishery and trapping also provided additional income during these early days.

Birchy Bay, Newfoundland Labrador: A Snapshot of Demographics

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Birchy Bay, Newfoundland Labrador, had a population of 511 living in 226 of its 267 total private dwellings. This represented a -7.1% change from its 2016 population of 550. With a land area of 49.33 km2 (19.05 sq mi), the town had a population density of 10.4/km2 (26.8/sq mi) in 2021.

Services and Amenities in Birchy Bay, Newfoundland Labrador

Despite its small size, Birchy Bay, Newfoundland Labrador, offers a range of services and amenities for both residents and visitors. The town has a council and a small volunteer fire department. For shopping and dining, there's a seasonal museum showcasing local history, a seasonal restaurant named Nick's, and a small convenience store with a single fuel pump.

For spiritual needs, the town boasts numerous churches. For leisure and recreation, recent construction at a popular swimming area known as 'Deep Hole' has made it an ideal spot for family gatherings and summer activities.

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