Channel-Port aux Basques

Channel-Port aux Basques, NL, incorporated as a town in 1945, population 4170 (2011c), 4319 (2006c). The Town of Channel-Port aux Basques is located on Newfoundland's southwest coast.

Channel-Port aux Basques, NL, incorporated as a town in 1945, population 4170 (2011c), 4319 (2006c). The Town of Channel-Port aux Basques is located on Newfoundland's southwest coast. It is the main western port of entry for the province, the eastern terminal for the Marine Atlantic Ferry Service to North Sydney, NS, connecting the TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY. The modern town comprises the former settlements of Channel, Port aux Basques, Grand Bay east, Grand Bay west and Mouse Island. Port aux Basques was named for BASQUE whalers who skirted the southwestern tip of Newfoundland en route to Labrador in the 1500s.

Until the 1890s, when Port aux Basques became a railway centre, the settlements were mainly fishing communities settled by the French and later by Channel Islanders and the English. The community expanded as a trade centre, especially later when Port aux Basques was chosen as the terminus of the transinsular Newfoundland Railway in 1892. In 1898 the railway was completed and linked by the gulf steamer service to the Canadian railways. A number of fish processing plants were built by the 1950s but the industry was hit hard with the collapse of the COD fishery in the early 1990s and without the fishery's recovery the last large operation closed in 2007. Since incorporation, Channel-Port aux Basques has been the administrative centre for the Burgeo-La Poile region.