St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada, the province's capital and largest city and one of the first permanent settlements in North America. It is on St. John's Harbor and is connected to the Atlantic Ocean by a narrow channel flanked by cliffs.
St. John's is Newfoundland's commercial and industrial center as well as its leading port. Fishing and related industries, shipbuilding, and ship repairing are of major importance. The city is the eastern terminus of the Trans-Canada Highway. It also has rail and air service. Among St. John's landmarks are the Anglican cathedral, the Catholic basilica, and the Colonial Building, seat of government from 1850 until 1960. The provincial museum and the Memorial University of Newfoundland are here.
St. John's was a rendezvous for European fishermen as early as the beginning of the 16th century. Permanent settlement began after 1583, when Sir Humphrey Gilbert landed here and claimed Newfoundland for Britain. The city was captured by the French several times and burned twice before British control was established permanently by the Treaty of Paris in 1763. In Cabot Tower in Signal Hill National Historic Site, the first transatlantic wireless message was received in 1901. In 1919 the first nonstop transatlantic flight was made from St. John's to Clifden, Ireland.