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 large Canadian island, Newfoundland. The city spans 446.04 square kilometres (172.22 sq mi) and is North America's easternmost city.
Its name has been attributed to the Nativity of John the Baptist when John Cabot was believed to have sailed into the harbour in 1497 and to a Basque fishing town with the same name. Existing on maps as early as 1519, it is one of the oldest European settlements in North America. It was officially incorporated as a city in 1888. With a metropolitan population of approximately 219,207 (as of July 1, 2017), the St. John's Metropolitan Area is Canada's 20th largest metropolitan area and the second largest Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in Atlantic Canada, after Halifax.
St. John's has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb), with lower seasonal variation than normal for the latitude, which is due to Gulf Stream moderation.
Despite this maritime moderation, average January maximum temperatures are slightly lower in St. John's than in Kelowna, British Columbia, an inland city that is near the more marine air of the Pacific, demonstrating the cold nature of Eastern Canada. Mean temperatures range from −4.9 °C (23.2 °F) in February to 16.1 °C (61.0 °F) in August, showing somewhat of a seasonal lag in the climate. The city is also one of the areas of the country most prone to tropical cyclone activity, as it is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, where tropical storms (and sometimes hurricanes) travel from the United States. The city is one of the rainiest in Canada outside of coastal British Columbia. This is partly due to its propensity for tropical storm activity as well as moist, Atlantic air frequently blowing ashore and creating precipitation.
St. John's economy is connected to both its role as the provincial capital of Newfoundland and Labrador and to the ocean. The civil service which is supported by the federal, provincial and municipal governments has been the key to the expansion of the city's labour force and to the stability of its economy, which supports a sizable retail, service and business sector. The provincial government is the largest employer in the city, followed by Memorial University. With the collapse of the fishing industry in Newfoundland and Labrador in the 1990s, the role of the ocean is now tied to what lies beneath it – oil and gas – as opposed to what swims in or travels across it. The city is the centre of the oil and gas industry in Eastern Canada and is one of 19 World Energy Cities. ExxonMobil Canada is headquartered in St. John's and companies such as Chevron, Husky Energy, Suncor Energy and Statoil have major regional operations in the city. Three major offshore oil developments, Hibernia, Terra Nova and White Rose, are in production off the coast of the city and a fourth development, Hebron, is expected to be producing oil by 2017.
The economy has been growing quickly in recent years. In 2010 and 2011, the metro area's gross domestic product (GDP) led 27 other metropolitan areas in the country, according to the Conference Board of Canada, recording growth of 6.6 per cent and 5.8 per cent respectively. At $52,000 the city's per capita GDP is the second highest out of all major Canadian cities. Economic forecasts suggest that the city will continue its strong economic growth in the coming years not only in the "oceanic" industries mentioned above but also in tourism and new home construction as the population continues to grow. In May 2011, the city's unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent, the second-lowest unemployment rate for a major city in Canada
St. John's is also becoming known as an entrepreneurial city. In a 2009 report by the Canadian Federation of Independent Business, Communities in Boom: Canada’s Top Entrepreneurial Cities, St. John's was ranked the best major city in Atlantic Canada and 19th overall in Canada for providing a good environment for small business development.blog comments powered by Disqus