Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, incorporated as a town in 1991, population 13 725 (2011c), 13 558 (2006c). The Town of Grand Falls-Windsor is comprised of two towns, which were amalgamated in 1991. It is located in central Newfoundland on the Exploits River.
Grand Falls-Windsor, NL, incorporated as a town in 1991, population 13 725 (2011c), 13 558 (2006c). The Town of Grand Falls-Windsor is comprised of two towns, which were amalgamated in 1991. It is located in central Newfoundland on the Exploits River. Grand Falls is named after the river's spectacular falls. In 1905 the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Co acquired a 99-year lease to 10 360 km2 of timberland and its minerals there.
The construction of the pulp and paper mill, supplied with power from the falls, on the route of the transinsular railway, and with access to the seaport of Botwood (35 km northeast), was completed 1909, as was the first phase of the well-planned town, which continued to be company-built and administered until 1961. It then incorporated as a municipality. The mill was acquired in 1961 by Price Brothers, which later became a division of Abitibi-Price (now Abitibi-Bowater); it remained one of the town's largest employers before shutting down in 2009.
When the pulp and paper mill was constructed in Grand Falls, a new settlement called Grand Falls Station grew up parallel to the railway. In contrast to Grand Falls, Grand Falls Station, renamed Windsor (possibly for the royal house of Windsor), grew without benefit of planning and services. In 1938 it was the second municipality in Newfoundland, after St. John's, to be incorporated. Municipal and community facilities followed, remedying some of the town's problems caused by rapid settlement and growth.
Today, Grand Falls-Windsor is central Newfoundland's major service and distribution centre with considerable mining and aquaculture activity in the region. Tourism is also gaining importance with attractions such as 2 provincial museums: Mary March (see Demasduwit) and Loggers' Life. The Exploits River is known for Atlantic salmon, which can be viewed at the Grand Falls Fishway and Salmonid Interpretation Centre. The Exploits Valley Salmon Festival is a 5-day celebration held in honour of the migrating salmon.