Newfoundland and Labrador Feature

Advertisement

A Good Walk

Begin at Harbourside Park, on Water Street, where Gilbert planted the staff of England and claimed Newfoundland. When you leave, turn left on Water Street, right on Holloway Street, and then right onto Duckworth Street. The east end of this street is full of crafts shops and other stores. After walking east for five blocks, turn left onto Ordnance Street, just one of several streets that recall St. John's military past. Cross Military Road to St. Thomas Anglican (Old Garrison) Church, built in the 1830s as a place of worship for British soldiers.

Turn left as you leave St. Thomas and walk up King's Bridge Road. The first building on the left is Commissariat House, an officer's house restored to the style of the 1830s and one of the oldest buildings in the province. North of here, a shady lane on the left leads to the gardens of Government House. Circular Road, where the business elite moved after a fire destroyed much of the town in 1846, is across from the gardens in front of the house. Back on Military Road, cross Bannerman Road to the Colonial Building, the former seat of government. Walk west on Military Road. The Roman Catholic Basilica Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, finished in 1855, is on the right; the Basilica Museum in the Bishop's Palace is just west of the Basilica. Cross Bonaventure Avenue as you leave the Basilica to visit The Rooms, the province's one-stop shop for arts, culture, and heritageand the home of the provincial archives, museum, and art gallery. As you leave the Rooms, turn right down Garrison Hill, so named because it once led to Fort Townshend, now home to fire and police stations. Cross Queen's Road and walk down Cathedral Street to Gower Street and the Gothic Revival Anglican Cathedral of St. John the Baptist. The entrance is on the west side on Church Hill. Gower Street United Church is directly across from the cathedral on the west side of Church Hill. Continue to the bottom of Church Hill to see the Duckworth Street Court House, with its four different turrets. Exit the courthouse and turn right; then go down the long set of steps to Water Street, one of the oldest commercial streets in North America. Turn right to reach the Murray Premises, a restored mercantile complex with boutiques, a science center, offices, restaurants, a coffee bar, and a wine cellar. Exit Murray Premises, take a left on Water Street, and continue to the last stop, the historic Newman Wine Vaults, at 436 Water Street, just west of the corner of Water and Springdale streets, where for 200 years the legendary Newman's Port has been aged.

TIMING: Downtown St. John's is compact but hilly. The walk avoids major uphill climbs. Expect to spend up to a full day visiting these sights, depending on how long you stay at each location and the number of stores you take in along the way. This walk is best undertaken from spring to fall.

View all features

Advertisement