Harbour Breton, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada

Discover Harbour Breton, Newfoundland Labrador: A Historical Fishing Community

Harbour Breton, Newfoundland Labrador, is a quaint fishing community nestled on the Connaigre Peninsula in Fortune Bay. As the largest center on the peninsula, it has long been considered the unofficial capital of Fortune Bay. This charming community is located approximately 220 kilometers south of Grand Falls-Windsor and is the only administrative center in Fortune Bay.

The Rich History of Harbour Breton, Newfoundland Labrador

Harbour Breton, Newfoundland Labrador, is renowned for its rich fishing history. The first major company to establish a presence here was Newman & Co., an England-based company famous for its port wine. The company discovered the value of the town's marine climate in its wine aging process.

The Newman Company's ship, Retriever, arrived in Harbour Breton with a cargo of port wine around 1892. Throughout the 19th century, the company heavily relied on importing fishing servants from England and Ireland. By 1871, Newman & Co. employed about 100 people in salting, drying, packing, and shipping fish to Europe, Brazil, and the West Indies.

By the late 1800s, a large part of the population had either settled in Harbour Breton permanently, moved to other areas on the south coast connected with Newman & Co., or returned to their country of origin. By 1891, Harbour Breton's population had reached 484, with the majority being Newfoundland-born. However, the fortunes of Newman & Co. declined in the early 1900s, leading to the closure of its operation in 1907.

Modern Developments in Harbour Breton, Newfoundland Labrador

In 1936, a cottage hospital was built in Harbour Breton, Newfoundland Labrador. The town was designated as a growth center in 1965, and the government encouraged people living in isolated communities to relocate to the town. From 1965 to 1971, a total of 700 people moved to Harbour Breton, many of whom resettled from Sagona Island, Jersey Harbour, Little Bay West, Miller's Passage, Red Cove, and Grole. In 1971, Harbour Breton was linked to the Trans Canada Highway by road.

In 1973, a tragic landslide on the south side of Harbour Breton claimed the lives of four children from the Hickey family. A monument was erected on the site of the Hickey house in 1997.

Harbour Breton, Newfoundland Labrador, has a notable fishing history, including companies such as Fishery Products International (FPI), which removed itself from the town in April 2005. The Barry Group of Companies Inc. renovated the plant used by FPI and re-opened its doors in December 2006. Cooke Aquaculture started a salmon processing operation in Harbour Breton at the Barry Group of Companies plant in 2008. The plant employed about 150 people, but it closed on January 31, 2014, when the Barry Group didn't renew its lease with Cooke Aquaculture. Barry Group Inc. opened a fish meal plant in Harbour Breton in 2017.

Demographics of Harbour Breton, Newfoundland Labrador

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Harbour Breton, Newfoundland Labrador, had a population of 1,477 living in 632 of its 699 total private dwellings. This represented a change of -9.6% from its 2016 population of 1,634. With a land area of 13.82 km2 (5.34 sq mi), it had a population density of 106.9/km2 (276.8/sq mi) in 2021.