Little Cornwallis Island-You Have To Know



Little Cornwallis Island


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Cornwallis Island is a small island off the east coast of Newfoundland and is the only remaining island in the famous Conception Bay.

The island is located approximately 44 miles from the northeast tip of Saint John’s Island. In the year 1784, a British naval officer named Lieutenant William Brown was given the task of creating a base for Britain’s Royal Navy in case of war. However, in 1832 and 1833, Lieutenant Armstrong built several redoubts on Cornwallis Island as well.

Little Cornwallis Island


Cornwallis Island is the only remaining island in Conception Bay. The island was first sighted by Jacques Cartier on June 3, 1536, and named “Isle Verte” or “Green Isle.” In 1610, a party led by Samuel de Champlain landed on the island and built Fort Royal. In 1784, Lieutenant William Brown was given the task of creating a base for Britain’s Royal Navy in case of war.

At the time, Cornwallis and most of Conception Bay was a sloping stretch of land with few trees. Brown decreed that as part of this base construction to be built in order to defend against any encounter by France or Spain at sea, it would need defenses – defensive redoubts. Lieutenant Armstrong set out immediately after being named commander on April 5th, 1832 building 11 redoubts over solid granite piles throughout the length and breadth of the island.

Lieutenant Armstrong died in 1833 and six months later Cornwallis Island would be abandoned by British and Canadian new settlers due to poor food, lack of shelter during very harsh Newfoundland blizzards as well as a poisonous outbreak among their livestock. In the 1860s many fishermen peacefully settled on Cornwallis Island until 1900 when Conception Bay turned from an active fishing area into an isolated family dairy farm “.



The climate of Cornwallis Island is cold and humid. The island experiences a long winter season, with snowfall occurring from December to March. Summers are very hot and humid, with temperatures reaching over 35 degrees Celsius (95 degrees Fahrenheit). Annual rainfall averages around 600mm (.24 feet), although there can be substantial variations from year to year.

The vegetation of Cornwallis Island is composed primarily of rocky outcrops, bluffs, and low-lying plains. The island’s forests mainly consist of only a single type: kinked scrub trees with high thick trunks, short dark-colored leaves, small blackthorns which can cause severe puncture wounds ,4 to 10 cm (1½ inches) in length.

Native Species and Animals

Native Species and Animals

As of early 2000 two species listed under the “Rare or Threatened” category by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) roamed freely over Cornwallis Island: Fawn Lake caribou (“Rangifer tarandus groenlandicus”) and Snowy owl (“Bubo scandiaca”).

Both had, however, been severely reduced from herds established in the 1930s within Muskrat Lake and pastures north of Burnt Island.

In 2009 an estimated 200-300 Fawn Lake caribous lived on both islands, as did 1,000 Snowy Owls that breed at Mactaquac Marsh south-east of George s Head where they survived destruction by eagles and gulls There is no known Algonquin presence on Cornwallis Island today.



The culture of the island’s original British and Canadian settlers was predominantly Anglican. In recent years, however, there has been a strong increase in both Roman Catholic and Protestant worship services on the island. Cornish language classes are also offered regularly by community groups.



The island is part of the three-member electoral district of Ferryland. In addition to its representation in Canadian national and provincial legislatures, Cornwallis Island participates in the Newfoundland and Labrador House of Assembly as a single-member constituency: Burnt Island North. The current Member of the House is Hon. Pilona Francis, with his wife Mahsoll Nacke has served since 2010.

Government services

Government Services

These are provided by the Canadian Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans, which employs a single Harbour Master who oversees all commercial shipping operating in St. John’s harbor. A small detachment of military personnel provides policing for the island; however, there is no organized civilian defense force on Cornwallis Island today.

In 2012, a fire destroyed the island’s only remaining government-built logging road. The Department of Fisheries and Oceans has stated that there are no plans to upgrade it in the future. A limited amount of ferry service across the channel to St Mary’s is maintained by Harbour Authority employees from Heart’s Content who operate out of Sloop Cove on Wellingborough Island facing Burnt Islands.



The tourism industry on the island has seen a resurgence in recent years as Cornwallis Island becomes increasingly accessible. In 2012, the first commercially successful Cornish holiday home was built on the island by property developer Tamsin Soper. There is also regular ferry service from St John’s to Wellingborough which makes it easy for visitors to explore both islands.


Transportation on Abbott Island

The only means of transport on the island is by foot or horseback. Both are limited in their range as there are no paved roads, and few trails suitable for both civilian and military vehicles. A single small airstrip built during World War II remains operational, however it is currently out of service due to a lack of fuel supplies.



Cornwallis’s cuisine has a strong maritime flavour, with dishes such as scallops and clams served in wine or cream sauces. The island is also known for its chowder, which is made from corn, potatoes and other vegetables.



The island is home to a wide range of wildlife, including moose, caribou, bears and eagles. As the island is one of Canada’s largest caribou calving grounds, large herds have been recorded throughout its coastal region. In recent years there has also been a significant increase in moose sightings on the island; they appear to prefer climbing mountain ridges and creeks over 100 metres high.


One of the popular tourist attractions in Fiji, Little Cornwallis Island, is tucked away from the rest of roads. Sharks and stingrays, waterfalls and vegetation are there to lure you in and prolong your stay for longer.

Even if you understood nothing about nature, this is an unforgettable and blissful place to be. India is a vast country, with many hidden islands. But this resort is a little piece of paradise, held by a beautiful landmass and an unending body of water.


Are The Queen Elizabeth Islands Part Of Canada?

No, the Queen Elizabeth Islands are a British Overseas Territory.

Does Anyone Live In Resolute Canada?

No, the settlements on Little Cornwallis Island are operated by Parks Canada as a research station.

Where Is Cornwallis Island?

It is in the Arctic Ocean, north of Ellesmere Island and east of Greenland.

Does Anyone Live On Cornwallis Island?

There are a few research scientists who live on the island year-round.

What Is The National Dance Of Iceland? 

The Icelandic national dance is the hákonur.

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