St. John’s is the capital and largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador. It is on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland.
The code for St. John’s airport is YYT and the major airlines flying here are Air Canada, WestJet and Porter. There are direct flights from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax, as well as internationally from London (Heathrow and Gatwick) and Dublin.
A taxi from the airport to the downtown hotels and B&Bs is a flat rate of $25 (plus tip). Other locations are by the meter +$5 (which will also come out to around $25). There is also a new Metrobus service (Route 14) that runs from the airport to the University, but it doesn’t run on Sundays or late at night. Many flights into St. John’s typically arrive very late (1AM – 3AM) and departures often go out first thing in the mornings (5 AM- 8 AM).
The weather in May can be at best described as unpredictable. Although one can get days when temperatures will be in the 15-20oC range, average daily temperatures more typically range between 2 and 7oC. It is not unheard of to get late snowfalls in early May! If planning to be out and about outdoors we suggest a rain jacket and warm clothing.
Campus: There is a Tim Horton’s outlet in the Arts and Administration building (immediately opposite 2 of the conference rooms) and a small food outlet in the basement of the Biology Building (downstairs from another conference room). There is fast food available on campus in the University Centre and pub food at Bitters (the grad student bar) – please see general map of campus below.
Off-campus: There are a few restaurants near campus in Churchill Square (about five min. walk away), and a number of food outlets in and around the Avalon Mall (15 min walk from campus). However, most of the restaurants in St. John’s are situated in the downtown area, a 20-30 min walk away or a 5-10 min ($10 – $12) taxi ride.
Things to do
Although we know you will all be too busy enjoying our wonderful conference presentations and events, here are a few suggestions.
Within the St. John’s Area
Signal Hill (in the city) – historic site and great view of the city (45 min walk from campus).
The Rooms – the Rooms is Newfoundland and Labrador’s largest public cultural space. It represents and showcases our province to itself and to the world (25 min walk from campus). This facility houses the provincial museum, art gallery and archives.
Johnson GeoCentre – houses exhibition galleries related to our planet and our provincial geology, oil and gas exploration, natural resources, space exploration, and the Titanic disaster exhibit. On the way to Signal Hill.
Suncor Fluvarium – discover the secret life of a river and the watershed and ecosystems of which it is part. See how water shapes our land, our city, our history, and our lives. (5 min walk from campus)
George Street – densest collection of pubs in North America. Live folk music nightly in most establishments. Get yourself “Screeched In” and become an honorary Newfoundlander!
Cape Spear (10 km from city centre). National historic site and the most easterly point in North America, walking trails around lighthouse and cliffs.
Many hiking trails that are part of the East Coast Trail run along the coastline of St. John’s and the surrounding area.
Brigus is a small fishing community located on the shores of Conception Bay. Brigus is a popular tourist stop, renowned for its scenic qualities and places of interest. Approximately a 1 hour drive.
Mistaken Point: a new UNESCO World Heritage Site which has some of the oldest multi-cellular fossils in the world. Two hour drive from St. John’s.
Cape St. Mary’s Ecological Reserve: Stunning sea cliff walks and breeding sea bird colonies. Approximately a 2.5 hour drive.
Boat / Ice Berg Tour – Out of St. John’s harbour, a chance to see early icebergs, seabirds and stunning cliff vistas.
Please see the programme page for more information on the boat tour and how to sign up for it.