Whitbourne, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada

Discover Whitbourne, Newfoundland Labrador: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

The Rich History of Whitbourne, Newfoundland Labrador

Whitbourne, the first inland town of Newfoundland, is a historical gem nestled on the Avalon Peninsula in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The town is named after Sir Richard Whitbourne, a prominent early settler of Newfoundland and Labrador. Sir Richard, known for his colorful personality, penned a book about Newfoundland published in 1620. He was appointed by the High Court of the Admiralty to establish the first English law court in the New World in 1615 in Trinity. His adventures included being kidnapped by the infamous Pirate Peter Easton in Harbour Grace and claiming to have seen a mermaid in St. John's harbour. He later served as the governor of Renews on the Southern Shore.

Unlike most communities on the Island of Newfoundland, Whitbourne is located inland. The town was founded around 1880 during the construction of the Newfoundland Railway, which remained a significant employer in the town until its closure in 1988. The town's economic significance, however, gradually declined throughout the twentieth century.

Sir Robert Bond, the prime minister from 1900 to 1909, played a pivotal role in the town's expansion and planning. He built an elaborate country home, the "Grange", in Whitbourne. Although the house no longer exists, part of the estate is now the Sir Robert Bond Park, renowned for its unusual abundance of northern lichens, including the relatively rare blue felt lichen Degelia.

Whitbourne, Newfoundland Labrador: A Modern-Day Haven

Today, Whitbourne is conveniently located just off the Trans-Canada Highway on Route 81, making it a central point for three possible routes to explore the Avalon Peninsula. Route 80 is one of the two entrances to the Baccalieu Trail, while Route 100 and Route 81 lead to the Marine Atlantic Ferry Service in Argentia and other parts of Placentia and St. Mary's Bays. Route 1, the Trans Canada, leads towards the second entrance to the Baccalieu Trail and the capital city of St. John's. A Provincial Visitor Information Centre is situated on the Trans Canada near the town, providing valuable information for visitors.

Whitbourne boasts many amenities of a small town that has traditionally served as a regional service centre. One of the town's main attractions is the Wetlands Conservation Trail, which draws numerous visitors each year.

Demographics of Whitbourne, Newfoundland Labrador

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Whitbourne had a population of 955, living in 419 of its 584 total private dwellings. This represents a 7.3% increase from its 2016 population of 890. With a land area of 21.51 km2 (8.31 sq mi), the town had a population density of 44.4/km2 (115.0/sq mi) in 2021.