Town of Bay Roberts, Newfoundland & Labrador -
2023 National Finalist
Bay Roberts is a flourishing community with approximately 6,000 people. The people in our community are known for taking the initiative to ensure community prosperity while preserving our unique culture and history. Our town serves as an economic, cultural and tourism hub for our region with many unique qualities that help us thrive as a community and as a service centre.
The history of Bay Roberts dates back to the late 1500s/early 1600s when fishermen from Brittany and Normandy were captivated by the beaches and flat rocks in the east end of our town which permitted curing fish without flakes. By the 20th century, a thriving fishing community had developed in French’s Cove in eastern Bay Roberts. Along the worldrenowned “Shoreline Heritage Walking Trail”, you can admire the remnants of this era, including fishing stages, rock walls and root cellars.
In 1910, Bay Roberts became an important link to the outside world. The Western Union Cable Company installed a relay station which connected England to the Western Hemisphere. During the Second World War, the station provided a private line between Sir Winston Churchill and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The original station still stands today and is a National Historic Site which houses an award-winning museum and art gallery as well as the municipal offices.
Recently, the Town of Bay Roberts has seen considerable growth in our housing and economic markets. We are seeing many people who are planning on moving home or retiring from mainland Canada choosing to move to Bay Roberts due to our recreation, economic and cultural assets. National businesses are choosing Bay Roberts as their next location while they are expanding their operations. Businesses in our town in the fishery and food distribution industries contribute millions of dollars to the provincial GDP and our local businesses contribute millions of tax dollars to the provincial government as our main highway sees over 20,000 cars a day.
We have placed a priority on the preservation of our history and culture, with a specific intention of expanding tourism endeavors. Our goal is to accommodate the growth of local industry while being deliberately attentive to environmental responsibilities. Our community is built on a strong foundation based on volunteer action, independence, and perseverance.
Thus far, community pride is evident through the initiatives which have been completed and in progress.