Steeped in history, St John’s is the oldest city in North America. The majority of the tourist attractions here are of a historical nature, with everything from historic houses to museums and historic parks. The green open spaces and wilderness provide great outdoor settings, ideal for getting up close with nature and enjoying the wonderful Canadian countryside.
Signal Hill National Historic Park
Situated near the sea and the town of St John’s, this was the reception point of the first transatlantic wireless signal received by Guglielmo Marconi in 1901. Before this, a battle between the English and French was fought here in 1762, which was the final North American battle of the Seven Years’ War. The military finally withdrew from the area in 1870. The area hosted the city’s harbor defenses from the 18th century until WWII.
Johnson GEO Centre
Next to Signal Hill National Historic Park on a seven hectare site is the GEO Centre, which shows the amazing life story of Earth through the remarkable geology of Newfoundland and Labrador. Mainly housed underground, the center’s solid rock walls reveal the secrets behind the creation of lands, seas, mountains and rivers. There is also an exhibition at the center that tells the story of how the Titanic sank, 350 miles off the coast of Newfoundland.
The center is heated by the Earth itself, through holes drilled over 500 feet deep into the rock, using heat pumps to circulate fluids that heat or cool the building.
In and around St John’s are several historical buildings of notable importance. Made with granite and sandstone, the impressive neo-Romanesque Court House from the Victorian era was where the province’s last public hanging took place in 1835.
The Georgian-style Commissariat House in King’s Bridge road was temporarily used as the home and office of the assistant commissary general. It has been restored to resemble its heyday period during the 1830s.