Avondale, Newfoundland and Labrador

Coordinates: 47°25′08″N 53°11′38″W / 47.41889°N 53.19389°W / 47.41889; -53.19389
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River flow toward Conception Bay
River flow toward Conception Bay
Coat of arms of Avondale
Avondale is located in Newfoundland
Location of Avondale in Newfoundland
Coordinates: 47°25′08″N 53°11′38″W / 47.41889°N 53.19389°W / 47.41889; -53.19389
Country Canada
Province Newfoundland and Labrador
Census division1
 • MayorOwen Mahoney
 • Land29.98 km2 (11.58 sq mi)
 • Total584
 • Density21.4/km2 (55/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-3:30 (Newfoundland Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-2:30 (Newfoundland Daylight)
Area code709
Highways Route 1 (TCH)
Route 60
Route 63

Avondale is a town located on Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, which was incorporated in 1974.[3] The community is situated at the southwestern head of Conception Bay in Division 1. It is located 59 km (37 mi) southwest of St. John's and 72 km (45 mi) northeast of Placentia.

Up to 1897, the community was known as Salmon Cove,[3] but was renamed to avoid confusion with two other nearby communities of the same name in the Port de Grave and Brigus Districts. The name Avondale was suggested[citation needed] by the parish priest Rev John Roe because of the resemblance to his native area in Ireland, taking the name from Thomas Moore's poem, "The Meeting of the Waters".[citation needed] Earliest record of settlement per Fishing Room Grants is for John Mahaney in 1773,[citation needed] a census of 1812 reports 12 inhabitants. Settlers to the area were primarily Irish Roman Catholic with a smaller number of Jersey French and English.[citation needed] Avondale incorporated the communities of Salmon Cove, Gasters, Northern Arm, and Southern Arm.

In addition to the railway station, it the town hosted a post office, a money order office, and one church. It functioned as a lumbering, fishing and farming settlement in what was known as the Harbour Main District. The population dwindled in the early 1900s as men began migrating to the eastern US (Boston and New York) to find work.[citation needed]

Its first postmaster was Edward Kennedy[citation needed] who came to the area in 1889 after the railway was built.

Avondale Railway Station[edit]

In 1863, the Anglo American Telegraph Company set up a repeater station[citation needed] in Avondale.

In 1881, the Newfoundland Railway conducted a survey of the land and planning preparations were started for constructing a railway out to Harbour Grace, in which Salmon Cove was seen as a convenient place for a station.[4]

Upon completion of the main railway line in 1898, the Reid Newfoundland Company took over the existing railway, and Avondale was one of these existing stations.[5] It was used as a passenger and freight station.[6]

In 1923 the Newfoundland Government took over the railway with the 1923 Railway Settlement Act, where the Government acquired the railway, coastal bats, and dry dock from the Reid Newfoundland Company for $2 million.[7] The Avondale Railway Station then became a part of the Newfoundland Railway once again. In 1931 it was finalized for the post offices and telegraph stations to be managed by Newfoundland Railway agents; the Avondale office was taken over on December 15.[8]

The Canadian National Railway took over from the Newfoundland Railway in 1949 when Newfoundland joined the Canadian Confederation.[9] The Avondale Railway Station was managed by CN until 1984.[9] The last train to run in Newfoundland was on September 20, 1988 and less than a month later CN started tearing up the tracks, finishing in 1990 (see: Terra Transport).[10] The rails were sold for scrap and the rolling stock was retired, scrapped, or sold.[10] But for the Avondale Railway Station the tearing of their tracks happened in 1984, and was something that upset the community.[11] The Avondale Heritage Foundation applied to keep a section of their track as the museum could, and has, greatly benefit from it.[11] They had not received any sort of reply to their application until workers came to tear up the tracks.[11] The people of the community decided they would protest the removal of the tracks, by sitting on them as trucks and bulldozers moved around them.[11] Determination won in the end and the Avondale Railway Station came to an agreement to officially keep a small part of the tracks.[11]

The Avondale railway station remains preserved along with a small display of retired railway cars and a locomotive.


In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Avondale had a population of 584 living in 286 of its 346 total private dwellings, a change of -8.9% from its 2016 population of 641. With a land area of 29.69 km2 (11.46 sq mi), it had a population density of 19.7/km2 (50.9/sq mi) in 2021.[2] Avondale has lost approximately one third of its population since 1976 when it numbered 937 residents.[citation needed]

2016 census[1]
  Total Population     641  
  Population change from 2011     Increase 0.8%  
  Median age     47.5  
  Number of families     190  
  Number of married couples     135  
  Total number of dwellings     373  
  Land Area     29.98 km²  
North: Conception Bay
West: Conception Harbour
East: Harbour Main-Chapel's Cove-Lakeview
South: Subdivision 1O

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Census Profile, 2016 Census: Avondale, Town [Census subdivision], Newfoundland and Labrador". Statistics Canada. 8 February 2017. Retrieved October 21, 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Population and dwelling counts: Canada, provinces and territories, census divisions and census subdivisions (municipalities), Newfoundland and Labrador". Statistics Canada. February 9, 2022. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  3. ^ a b "Avondale". Encyclopedia of Newfoundland and Labrador. Vol. 1. Newfoundland Book Publishers (1967) Ltd. 1981. p. 99.
  4. ^ The Evening Telegram (February 17, 1881). "The Governor's Speech". The Evening Telegram. p. 1. Retrieved June 29, 2023.
  5. ^ Cuff, Robert (2001). "The Reid Newfoundland Company". Heritage Newfoundland & Labrador. Retrieved June 29, 2023.
  6. ^ Historic Places Canada (October 1, 2005). "Avondale Railway Station". Canada's Historic Places. Retrieved June 29, 2023.
  7. ^ Cuff, Robert (2001). "The Railway Settlement Act & the Newfoundland Government Railway (1920-49)". Heritage Newfoundland & Labrador. Retrieved June 29, 2023.
  8. ^ The Newfoundland Weekly (December 26, 1931). "Railway takes over Post Tel. Offices". The Newfoundland Weely. p. 2. Retrieved June 29, 2023.
  9. ^ a b Heritage NL (June 29, 2023). "Avondale Railway Station Registered Heritage Structure". Heritage NL. Retrieved June 29, 2023.
  10. ^ a b Collier, Keith (2010). "Roads for Rails: The Closure of the Newfoundland Railway". Heritage Newfoundland & Labrador. Retrieved June 29, 2023.
  11. ^ a b c d e Mullaly, Kris (February 2000). "Up the Line: Remembering the Newfie Bullet in Avondale". Downhome. pp. 93–96.