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St. John's

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Revision as of 20:36, 26 October 2008 by Edmontonenthusiast (talk | contribs) (updated listing Twisted Sisters Boutik)
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St. John's

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For other places with the same name, see Saint John (disambiguation).

St. John's is the capital of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It is the oldest city in North America.

Get in

By air

St. John's International Airport is located 10 minutes (6 km) from the downtown section of St. John's. Flights arrive from major centres like Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and London, England. The airport is served by Air Canada, WestJet and Continental Airlines.

By car

If you wish to drive to Newfoundland, you will also have to take a ferry or rent a car. Once you arrive at either ferry terminal (see below), simply follow the Trans-Canada highway east, and it will bring you directly into St. John’s.

By boat

The island portion of the province is accessible by several ferries leaving North Sydney, Nova Scotia. From there, you can take a 6 to 7 hour ferry ride to Port-Aux-Basques, in western Newfoundland, and drive 905 km across the island to St. John’s, on the eastern coast.

Alternately, you can take a 14 hour ferry ride from North Sydney, Nova Scotia, to Argentia, Newfoundland, which is roughly a 1 hour drive (131 km ) from St. John’s. Ferry schedules, reservation information, etc. is available on the Marine Atlantic website. It is recommended that you make a reservation well in advance. Marine Atlantic ferries offer a wide variety of onboard accommodations and features, including deluxe cabins, dormitory sleepers, full meal and beverage service, live entertainment, movies, and children's activity programs.

By bus

If you choose not to travel with your own vehicle, you can take DRL Coachlines from Port-Aux-Basques to St. John’s (although that’s a long bus ride), or New Hook Bus Lines from Argentia to St. John’s (much easier to handle: 1-2 hours).

Get around

By bus

St. John's has a public transit system of buses called Metrobus, that services nearly all of St. John's, the neighbourhoods of Shea Heights, Kilbride and the Goulds, as well as the neighbouring city of Mount Pearl. The service is per use, and not per distance, making it a very cheap, affordable way of getting around town. Most, if not all the bus drivers are kind and courteous, and are willing to give directions. Travellers can check routes and even the current position of any bus on the Metrobus Website [2].

By car

St. John's is a driver-friendly city. Except for the Downtown centre, parking is almost always abundant and traffic jams are non-existant. Be aware that the downtown area contains many one-way streets so it is important to watch for signs. St. John's International Airport has the following car rental agencies: Hertz, Avis, Thrifty, Budget, and National. In the city you can also find Enterprise, Discount, and Rent-A-Wreck.

By foot

The Downtown core can be easily explored by foot. Take a stroll up Water Street, stop for a drink at one of the many pubs, or take in some live music.

By bicycle

Be warned, St. John's rivals San Francisco with its notorious sloping hills. Unless you're in the mood to challenge gravity, renting a bicycle is probably not the best idea.

By taxi

St. John's issues over 300 taxi licenses, and many of the cab drivers are quite knowledgeable and eager to help visitors find out about local attractions. If you want to see something but aren't sure what or where, ask a cabbie and travel there!

See & Do

  • Signal Hill [3] - offers unrivaled views of the city
  • Historic St. John's Harbour
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland [4]
  • The Battery - the small village on the edge of the downtown where small houses are framed by the sheer cliffs. The village was once part of the British Defence for the St. John's Harbour.
  • Cape Spear National Historic Site [5] - Great lighthouse and most easterly point in North America. About a 20 minute drive from St. John's.
  • Bowring Park [6] - a beautuful 50 acre park with duck ponds, bridges, walking trails, tennis courts, playground equipment, an outdoor pool and many monuments.
  • The Grand Concourse - walking trails in St. John's
  • Memorial University's Botanical Garden
  • The St. John's Haunted Hike - tour historic St. John's while being regaled with stories of the spooky & strange. The tour begins and ends at the Anglican Cathedral
  • Salmonier Nature Park [7] - a 3 km nature trail winds through a mixture of wood and wetlands. View animals in their (enclosed) natural habitats. The trail takes apx. 1 hour to walk. About 45 minutes from St. John's.
  • Fort Amherst - a lighthouse and World War II military fortification. Located across "The Narrows" on the opposite side of the harbour from Signal Hill. Offers unique views of the city and Cape Spear.
  • St. John's old downtown churches - the Anglican Cathedral, St. Thomas Anglican Church, the Roman Catholic Basilica (designated a minor Basilica by the Pope), St. Andrews Presbyterian, and the Gower Street United Church.
  • The Rooms [8] - the major cultural centre at Fort Townsend for Newfoundland & Labrador. The building itself has become one of prominence (and controversy) rivaling that of the Basilica. The Rooms contain the Newfoundland Museum, Provincial Archives, and Art Gallery. From the upper floor you can get an unrivaled view of the area. For the cheap, there is free admission on Wed. 7-9pm.
  • Eastern Edge Art Gallery [9] - contemporary art from Canada and the province
  • The Johnson GeoCentre - Newfoundland Geo-Science Centre on Signal Hill
  • The Art Gallery of Newfoundland & Labrador
  • The Fluvarium - a partially underground aquatic centre
  • LSPU HALL: The Resource Centre For The Arts - art gallery and theatre
  • The Newfoundland Science Centre
  • The Newman Wine Vaults - historic wine vaults constructed in the late 18th century; one of St. John's oldest buildings
  • The Provincial Museum of Newfoundland & Labrador
  • The Quidi Vidi Brewing Company - tour the brewery and sample specialty beers
  • The St. John's Arts & Culture Centre - art gallery & theatre


St. John's has two modern shopping centres. The Avalon Mall, the largest shopping centre in Newfoundland, has 140 stores and is located on Kenmount Road. The Village Shopping Centre is in the West End on Topsail Road. St. John's also have several big box centres; Stavenger Drive in the east end; Kelsey Drive (off Kenmount Road); and Pearlgate located in the suburb of Mount Pearl.

Downtown St. John's boasts a wide array of shops and boutiques. Everything from unique souvenirs to designer clothing.

Along with Quebec, Newfoundland is the only province in Canada where cold beer can be purchased in convenience stores.


  • Living Planet T-Shirts, 116 Duckworth Street, (709) 739-6810, [1]. The place included locally made clothing.
  • August and Lotta Stockholm, 181 Water, (709) 753-3020. Neat designer clothing.
  • Couture Studio, 174 Water Street, (709) 739-8868. Cool Asian clothing.
  • Twisted Sisters Boutik, 175 Water Street. Locally made stuff by Canadian people designers.


  • The Travel Bug - travel accessories
  • Attica - upscale furniture store
  • Hempware - Newfoundland's only hemp product specialty store
  • The Dog House - très chic pet boutique
  • The Downhomer Shoppe - local souvenirs and literature.
  • Home - on Water Street



  • Ches's Fish and Chips 4 locations: 9 Freshwater Rd., 655 Topsail Rd., 8 Highland Dr., 29-33 Commonwealth Ave (Mount Pearl). Famous and a Newfoundland visit must.
  • Magic Wok good traditional or Canadian-style Chinese food
  • Hava Java lunch for $5.
  • Auntie Crae's [10] deli/food store with lunch room (live music at lunchtime on Tuesday)
  • Bamboo Garden Duckworth Street. Excellent service, great dim-sum style dumplings, noodle soups and crazy cheap!
  • International Flavours 4 Qidi Vidi Road, Simple Pakistani Cuisine, fantastic flavours and value!


  • The Sprout 364 Duckworth Street, (709) 579-5485 - vegetarian
  • Fog City Avalon Mall, Kenmount Road, (709) 726-4949
  • The Celtic Hearth Water Street, traditional Irish pub and restaurant
  • The Pepper Mill 178 Water Street, (709) 726-7585
  • Pasta Plus 223 Duckworth Street, (709) 739-6676, and Avalon Mall (709) 722-6006
  • India Gate 286 Duckworth Street, (709) 753-6006 - the best Indian food
  • Zapata's 10 Bates Hill, (709) 576-6399 - mexican food


  • Bianca's 171 Water Street, (709) 726-9016
  • Aqua 310 Water Street, (709) 576-2782
  • The Cellar 152 Water Street, 4th Floor, (709) 579-8900
  • Blue restaurant & hotel
  • The Gypsie Tea Room (restaurant and cocktail bar) - Water Street
  • The Cabot Club Fairmont Hotel
  • Magnum & Stein Duckworth Street
  • Basho japanese fusion, chic minimalist decor - 283 Duckworth Street


  • George Street, in the heart of downtown, is a prime location for nightlife as it boasts the most bars per square foot in North America.
  • Water Street, the oldest street in North America, also contains several pubs, usually of a more relaxing atmosphere.



  • City Hostel, 2 locations: 8 Gower St and 246 Duckworth St,+1 709 754-4789, fax +1 709 754-1570, email: [email protected]. Beds from $22.50 a night.
  • Downtown Hostel, 25 Young Street, +1 709 754-7658, cell +1 709 746-7161, email: [email protected]. Beds start at $20 per night during winter, $23 during summer.
  • Abba Inn, 36 Queen's Road, +1 709 754-0058, toll free +1 800 563-3959, [11].

Mid range

Hometel on Signal Hill, 10 St. Joseph's Lane, 1-709-739-7799, (Toll Free: 866-739-7799) e-mail: [email protected] Unique, luxury accommodation located at the base of Signal Hill. Steps to downtown, shopping, restaurants and nightlife. Accommodations in 10 brownstone units each featuring 3 or 4 spectacular guest rooms. Rent a guest room or rent a whole house! Includes breakfast, local and long distance calling, parking and internet.

  • Murray Premises Hotel 5 Becks Cove, Box 208, tel: +1 709 738 7773 (toll free: 1 866 738 7773, [email protected]) [12] A unique and exclusive hotel experience awaits you. Murray Premises Hotel was designed with the expectations of the most diserning travelers in mind. Our elegantly appointed rooms and suites feature 19th century architecture with the original beamed ceilings, columns and a timber-slanted roof.
  • Leaside Manor Suites & Apartments 39 Topsail Rd, tel: +1 709 722 0387 (1 877 807 7245, [email protected]) [13]A Heritage Inn offering double Jacuzzi suites with fireplaces as well as executive apartments. Leaside Manor's decor, location, and excellent staff make it a great place to relax and celebrate special occasions.
  • The Battery Hotel & Suites 100 Signal Hill Rd, tel: +1 709 576 0040 (toll free: 1 800 563 8181, [email protected]) [14]
  • The Ramada Inn 102 Kenmount Rd (Trans Canada Hwy, Exit 45), tel: +1 709 722 9330, (fax: 1 709 722 9231) [15], recently renovated
  • Winterholme Heritage Inn 79 Rennies Mill Rd, +1 709 739 7979 (toll free: 1 800 599 7829, [email protected]) [16]
  • Rendell Shea & Elizabeth Manor B&Bs
  • Hillview Terrace Suites 3 Wadland Cres [17] An apartment complex featuring 1, 2, and 3 bedroom furnished suites available for daily/weekly rental. All have kitchen, phone, TV, microwave, and stove. Laundry on site. Housekeeping available.
  • The Roses Bed and Breakfast 9 Military Rd, +1 709 726 3336 (toll free: 1 800 ROSESBB, [email protected]) [18]
  • Holiday Inn
  • Quality Hotel - Harbourview
  • McCoubrey Manor B & B 6-8 Ordnance Street, +1 709 722 7577(toll gree: 1 888 753 7577, [email protected]) 1, 2, 3 bedroom apartments available.


'Ryan Mansion' 21 Rennie's Mill Road, St. John's. 709-753-7926. An exceptional 5-star Bed and Breakfast located in a Heritage home in downtown St. John's. Marble en suite baths feature heated floors and therapeutic tubs for two. Extravagant suites are arranged over 6 rooms and offer the ultimate in guest accommodation including en suite baths featuring personal steam/shower rooms and century old tubs carved from granite! A collection of local, national, and international artworks, sculpture and artifacts are exhibited throughout the mansion, and a cozy library offers a selection of books & games.

  • The Fairmont Hotel Newfoundland $275 and up.
  • The Delta Hotel

Get out

  • Dildo - quiet little fishing town is less than an hour's drive away - go Whale watching or check out the archaeological remains of early Indian settlement
  • Cape Spear - the most easterly point in North America, a short 15 minute drive from the city
  • Bell Island - catch the ferry from Portugal Cove and check out the local mining museum
  • Petty Harbour - picturesque fishing village and friendly, quiet retreat just minutes from the city - a must-see if visiting Cape Spear (take the turn onto Maddox Cove Road)
  • Bay Bulls - a small bay about 20 minutes east on route 10 from St. John's, it's home to various boat tour companies offering whale, puffin, and iceberg watching

This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!