Come By Chance, NL, incorporated as a town in 1969, population 247 (2011c), 260 (2006c). The Town of Come by Chance is located at the head of PLACENTIA BAY on the Isthmus of Avalon. Originally called Passage Harbour by John GUY in 1612, the name "Comby Chance" was first recorded in 1706, perhaps in reference to the discovery of the harbour "by chance." Despite the presence of a telegraph station in the early 1900s, the settlement was almost deserted by the late 1930s. It was then chosen as the site of a cottage hospital because of its central location in the TRINITY BAY-Placentia Bay area.
Come by Chance gained national importance in the early 1970s with the building of a 16 000 m3 per day oil refinery. The $120-million petroleum complex included two 95 000 m3 crude-oil storage tanks, a railway spur track, a deep-water oil terminal, and the refinery itself, which produced its first oil in December 1973. However, after some malfunctions and the loss of its feedstock supply, the refinery went into receivership in 1976. The idle refinery was sold in July 1980 to PETRO-CANADA, which sold it for $1 to Newfoundland Energy Ltd in 1986. The United States company, which was based out of Bermuda, reopened the refinery in August 1987. It was sold to North Atlantic Refining Ltd (now Harvest Energy Trust) in 1994, and currently its production stands at 18 000 m3 per day. Come by Chance is also the site of one of Canada's busiest ports in terms of tonnage.