About Bell Island

Bell Island is in the Province of Newfoundland, Canada. It is the largest of several islands in Conception Bay, measuring about 9 km by 3.5 km. Conception Bay is one of many bays around the Avalon Peninsula at the eastern end of the province. From the province's capital St. John's, the oldest city in North America, it's a 20-minute drive to the ferry terminal at Portugal Cove, then a 20-minute ferry ride to Bell Island.

Bell Island was initially settled by farmers in the 1700's. The discovery of iron ore in the late 1800's resulted in Bell Island becoming a thriving mining community with the third largest population in the province. However, since the mines closed in 1966 the population has declined. In 1961 Bell Island had a population in excess of 12,000 while the 1996 Census placed it at under 4,000. Most of the population lives in incorporated Wabana, with the rest living in unincorporated Lance Cove and Freshwater.
On a visit to the Island, you'll see the giant murals that were painted to commemorate the Island's rich heritage. Visit the museum and discover the many historic artifacts including samples of the iron ore that made Bell Island one of the richest and oldest mining operations in the world. Or for the ultimate experience, take the underground mine tour. Officially opened in 1998, this tour is already being touted as one of the best of its kind. It will truly give you an appreciation of what it was like to work underground.
Bell Island was the only place in North America to have seen enemy action in World War II. The pier where 80,000 tons of iron ore was stored for shipping was torpedoed by German U-boats in 1942. At low tide you can see the relics of the 4 ships that were sunk during the attack and on shore stands a memorial to the 69 men who lost their lives.
Bell Island has so much to offer the outdoor enthusiast. A walking trail will take you around the island where you'll experience the many species of birds and other wildlife, majestic cliffs and ocean view. There are natural freshwater ponds and many beaches by the ocean for swimming.
There are bed and breakfasts and a trailer park, restaurants, craft shops, a bakery and deli, nightly entertainment at the local pubs, a fire hall, hospital, and RCMP Detachment.
For a truly unique experience, come to Bell Island and find out why we call it 'The Belle of the Bay."

For more information please contact the Wabana Town Council at: