Discover Botwood, Newfoundland Labrador: A Rich History and Vibrant Tourism

Nestled in north-central Newfoundland, Botwood, Newfoundland Labrador, Canada, is a charming town with a rich history and vibrant tourism scene. Located in Census Division 6, Botwood is situated on the west shore of the Bay of Exploits, boasting a natural deep-water harbour that has historically served as a significant hub for cargo ships and seaplanes.

The Early History of Botwood, Newfoundland Labrador

The early history of Botwood, Newfoundland Labrador, is marked by significant developments in transportation and industry. In 1908, construction began on the Botwood Railway, a joint effort between the A.N.D. Company and the A. E. Reed Company of Bishop's Falls. The railway, which ran between Bishop's Falls and Botwood, became operational by the fall of 1909, serving as a crucial transportation link for the export of pulp and paper from the newly built mill at Grand Falls, NL.

Botwood also played a pivotal role in the history of aviation. The town's first aircraft facility was established by Captain Sydney Bennett and Major Sidney Cotton. From 1937 to 1945, both Pan Am and the British Overseas Airways Corporation used Botwood as a terminal for their Atlantic crossings.

Botwood, Newfoundland Labrador in the World War II Period

During the World War II period, Botwood, Newfoundland Labrador, transformed into a bustling military hub. The Royal Canadian Air Force converted Botwood into a patrolling and bombing seaplane base, home to two squadrons of PBY Canso flying boats. The Canadian Army was garrisoned in the town, constructing barracks, a water system, and a full-scale military hospital.

Botwood also hosted many dignitaries and celebrities during this period, including Bob Hope, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Charles Lindbergh.

Post-war Period in Botwood, Newfoundland Labrador

The post-war period in Botwood, Newfoundland Labrador, saw significant changes as military personnel left and military buildings were sold, demolished, or relocated. Despite the end of commercial seaplane service in 1945, Botwood continued to ship paper from the Grand Falls-Windsor paper mill until its closure in 2009. The town also shipped ore from Buchans until the mine's closure in 1984.

Demographics of Botwood, Newfoundland Labrador

As of the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Botwood, Newfoundland Labrador, had a population of 2,778 living in 1,251 of its 1,389 total private dwellings. This represented a change of -3.4% from its 2016 population of 2,875.

Tourism in Botwood, Newfoundland Labrador

Tourism in Botwood, Newfoundland Labrador, is thriving, thanks in part to the Botwood Mural Arts Society. The society commissioned a mural in 2010 to celebrate the Botwood Cottage Hospital, marking the beginning of an ongoing project to commission murals throughout the town. As of October 2019, there are thirteen murals, each celebrating the town's unique history and contributing to its vibrant tourism scene.

Climate in Botwood, Newfoundland Labrador

Botwood, Newfoundland Labrador, offers a temperate climate, making it an ideal destination for tourists year-round. Whether you're interested in history, art, or simply exploring a charming Canadian town, Botwood has something to offer everyone.