Port Hope Simpson

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Not to be confused with Port Hope Simpson Airport.
Port Hope Simpson
View over Alexis Bay
View over Alexis Bay
Coordinates: 52°32′N 56°18′W / 52.533°N 56.300°W / 52.533; -56.300Coordinates: 52°32′N 56°18′W / 52.533°N 56.300°W / 52.533; -56.300
Country  Canada
Province  Newfoundland and Labrador
Settled 1934
Population (2006)
 • Total 529
Time zone Newfoundland Time (UTC-3:30)
 • Summer (DST) Newfoundland Daylight (UTC-2:30)
Area code(s) 709

Port Hope Simpson, population 529 (2006), is a town located on the southeastern Labrador coast, 215 kilometres from the Quebec/Labrador border. It had its beginnings in the 1930s as a company town.[1]

The town is serviced by a ferry connection to a nearby town of William's Harbour. It also has a small regional Port Hope Simpson Airport [2] serviced by Air Labrador.[3] It has a friendly, independent people with a compelling history and a priority of sustainable development in a region of unspoilt wilderness [4] With the recent completion of the Port Hope Simpson Airport and Trans-Labrador Highway through the region, Port Hope Simpson has benefitted from an increase in tourism.[5]

The nearby Shinneys Water Complex makes up 2,500 square kilometers of over 1,000 islands rising dramatically above sea level. These protected waters are ideal for all types of boating and the adjoining Alexis River is a popular fishing destination for Atlantic salmon.

Port Hope Simpson Today[edit]

A crucible of political, economic and social factors has been influential in the development of the town. Different characters, government officials and policies, the availability of work and how well its people have adapted to changing economic circumstances have combined together to explain the nature of its growth. When the Labrador Development Company left in 1948 leaving confusion, bitterness, two unsolved deaths (in the early hours of 3 February 1940) and a hoary, wild west legacy in its wake, paid work in the woods left with it until Bowater arrived 14 years later.

The first Post Office was established on October 21, 1950. The first Postmaster was Hayward Green. At the time, the population was 311.

John Hope Simpson

New economic activity took place between 1962 and 1968 as Bowater picked up the pioneering venture laid down by John Osborn Williams, Sir John Hope Simpson and the Labrador Development Company. More trees were felled for their pulp and paper mills at Corner Brook, and in Kent, England. Bowater brought benefits of regular paid employment (though seasonal,) twenty miles of forest roads and the government contributed by sharing the cost of building a new wharf. But apart from the post office, the general store and the two schools there was no all-year-round paid employment from 1969 - 1970. [6]

From 1970 to 1992 cod and salmon fishing was the economic mainstay of the area but unemployment prevailed most of the year. In 1992 the cod fishery was closed down altogether. However, many local fishermen made a relatively easy transition into crab, shrimp and scallop fishing.

Government funding for the construction works of the Trans-Labrador Highway, the Port Hope Simpson bridge and the Port Hope Simpson Airport has done much to increase the Town's accessibility as a popular tourist destination on the Labrador coast in Canada.[7]

From the early 1990s onwards, Port Hope Simpson's own fishing, logging, timber products, transportation, retail and public services as well as its own tourist facilities and amenities have all contributed towards the sustainable growth of the Town.[8]

By August 2002, certain facts had been firmly established in relation to the unsolved deaths (including the first release in 1996-1998 of "Open" papers by the Public Records Office, London, England) which were brought to the attention of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, (R.C.M.P.) Serious Crimes Unit, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada who decided to open-up their own investigation into what had really happened. [9]

This action by the R.C.M.P was the first time in 62 years that the unsolved case files had been located under the jurisdiction of the Department of Justice in Canada instead of being kept under the former Department of Natural Resources and Newfoundland Rangers Force.

THE NATASHA, MARY'S HARBOUR 25TH JULY 2002 Port Hope Simpson Off The Beaten Path Llewelyn Pritchard

Population change[edit]

  • 1945: 352 (Source: Southeastern Aurora Development Corporation);
  • 1951: 252 (S.A.D.C.);
  • 1965: 489 (S.A.D.C.);
  • Mid 1980s: approximately 650 (S.A.D.C.);
  • 1992: approximately 530 (S.A.D.C.);
  • 1996: 577 (Source: Statistics Canada);
  • 2001: 509 (S.C.)
  • 2002: 535 (S.A.D.C.)
  • 2006: 529 (S. C.)


  1. ^ Pritchard L. Port Hope Simpson Historic Logging Town Amazon p.1 2013
  2. ^ Pritchard L. Port Hope Simpson Off the Beaten Path Amazon 2011 p.84
  3. ^ "Port Hope Simpson, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada: Tombstone (Port Hope Simpson Mysteries) [Kindle Edition] by Llewelyn Pritchard p.128"
  4. ^ Pritchard L. Labrador Wilderness, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada Smashwords 2010.
  5. ^ Pritchard L. Port Hope Simpson Off the Beaten Path Amazon 2011 p.14
  6. ^ Pritchard L. The Port Hope Simpson Diaries 1969 - 70 Vol. 2 Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada: Summit Special. The original diaries of Ernie Pritchard. Learn what it was like in his own words to spend Christmas 1969 and beyond in the small isolated community on the Labrador coast.Smashwords 2010
  7. ^ Pritchard L. Port Hope Simpson Off the Beaten Path Amazon 2011 p.1
  8. ^ Pritchard L. Port Hope Simpson Off the Beaten Path Amazon 2011
  9. ^ Pritchard L. Port Hope Simpson Historic Logging Town Amazon 2013 p.33

External links[edit]