Blog Archives

Iceberg at Tapper’s Cove, Torbay

I’m from Iceberg Alley! There is no better place to see icebergs than on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula – L’Anse aux Meadows, St. Anthony, St. Carol’s, Goose Cove, Conche, Englee and many neighboring harbours are hugged by the 10,000 year old glacier ice. In just a few weeks, the official Iceberg Festival will begin on June 5th, 2015 – check out the fantastic schedule at www.theicebergfestival.ca.

It was a real treat to be on the East Coast a week ago in the beautiful Town of Torbay to capture a few views of the massive iceberg that is watching over Tapper’s Cove.

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Torbay is just a few minutes from the capital city and has experienced rapid population growth. I think some of it has to do with these incredible views and the feel of rural living. There is an expanse of natural trails, farming activity and water surrounding the community.

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I took one of the trails and to my surprise, I would meet my former Finance Professor from Memorial University. It was nice to re-connect, talking about photography, music, international politics and the natural beauty of the area.

The iceberg in Torbay is a nice preview for what is to come on the tip of Great Northern Peninsula. So plan your perfect get-a-way for ten days of iceberg fun and excitement!

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA (The Straits-White Bay North)

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Scenic Hay Cove – Your Northern Coffee Experience

Hay Cove is a tiny fishing village on the tip of the Great Northern Peninsula, located just minutes from L’Anse aux Meadows World UNESCO site, where the vikings were the first Europeans to re-discover North America.

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The population is not large, the census notes just 32 residents. However, these are likely not year-round livyers. Yet for a tiny community, there are three Bed & Breakfasts (Marilyn’s Hospitality Home. Viking Nest B&B and Viking Village B&B), walking trails, icebergs and a newly opened coffee-house that offers freshly brewed coffee, espresso and other drinks from flavored beans and at times entertainment. I look forward to getting a fresh cup of coffee when next in Hay Cove.

During my last visit, I was pleasantly surprised by freshly baked cinnamon roles at Mrs. Hedderson’s house when visiting residents. They were delicious.

It is great to see local residents of Hay Cove create small business and expand local opportunities. This region is supported by a strong local independent business community. Let’s build stronger communities and create new opportunities.

Plan you trip to the Great Northern Peninsula today!

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

A Few Snaps of “the Beauty Spot of the North”

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Conche is tagged as “The Beauty Spot of the North”. It is nestled at the edge of the Great Northern Peninsula East and is home to 181 residents, but there are hundreds more ‘Die hard Conchers’ out there and many are home to celebrate Come Home Year of 2013. It truly is a magical place.

This fishing community has a beacon of activity from an extremely active fish plant, that employs people throughout the region. The fish must be trucked in and trucked out of a dusty gravel road. There is constant commuting and significant economic benefits that Conche has contributed to the economy over the years. There must be serious consideration given to Government to pave the remaining 17.4 KM of gravel road.

Conche has also transitioned to be a sought after tourism destination. It is at the heart of the French Shore, with an interpretation centre, 222-ft tapestry depicting the history of the French Shore, textile exhibits, WWII memorial, archaeology digs, cafe, writer’s retreat, B&B, playground, walking trails, icebergs, bird and whale watching, as well as much more activity from talented artists, writers, singers, dancers, crafters and more.

The community understands it must add new economic opportunities by working to establish a fully functional RV site,  beach volleyball and other recreational services. It has carefully placed yellow chairs around viewing areas of the Town. This is similar to an initiative that Gros Morne National Park has done for its 35th Anniversary. These are important and relatively low-cost initiatives that make a community more inviting and tourist friendly. There are storyboards and panels and certainly more room for murals.

I am encouraged  by the economic drive of such a small community. There is much room for growth. It is persevering, despite continuous neglect and inaction from Government that treats residents and road users of Route 434  as second-class citizens. It is unacceptable in 2013 to be driving over a gravel road with no calcium chloride program. Government has invested $6M a few years ago to re-build and re-align this road. Each year there is no pavement,  this investment is being eroded to the bedrock and will cost more to complete. We need better, multi-year planning to protect our investments. Conche road should have been paved years ago.

Please contact Hon. Paul Davis, Minister of Transportation & Works at padavis@gov.nl.ca asking him to take the necessary action to pave Route 434.

It’s Time!

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

Another Reason to Live Rural Newfoundland & Labrador

There are many reasons to Live Rural NL – the image above is certainly one of those. This winter scene from Croque, NL instantly brought warm feelings and a smile to my face, despite the cold day of January 24, 2012.

The proportion of snow on the rooftops of the fishing rooms is the perfect contrast to the slowly fading red paint. It is evident the burgeoning fishery is in decline. Although, the community like Grandois, faces a decreasing population – it offers endless opportunities for tranquility and is a photographers dream.

Croque is 20 km via gravel road from neighbouring Main Brook. This community has a French cemetery, waterfront properties, walking trails and many natural wonders.

Experience the Great Northern Peninsula –

Christopher Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North

A Trek up Teahouse Hill in Winter

On January 4th, 2012 – My friends and I spent some time in St. Anthony – where you will find the only traffic light on the Great Northern Peninsula. However, St. Anthony`s claim to fame is much bigger than a traffic light – it was the home of Dr. Wilfred Thomason Grenfell.

I am  currently reading, A Biography of Dr. Wilfred Grenfell – a Doctor, Missionary and Politician who radically changed the way of living for the people of Northern Newfoundland & Labrador as an International Association was founded to help enhance the social, medical and economic climate of the region.

Grenfell House (pictured in the background above) is one of the Historic Properties which thousands of visitors walk through beginning in May and into the Fall to gain insight on what it was like to live a day in the life of the good Doctor. I have been there many times; however, this was my first visit to Teahouse Hill. I remember my grandmother talking about her walking up to see the simple markers of Dr. Grenfell and the site of where his ashes were buried. Yet, never had I taken the time to experience for myself what it meant to trek teahouse hill – a common play area for the children of St. Anthony.

Teahouse Hill overlooks the town of St. Anthony. According to the Grenfell site, the walking trail is approximately 20 minutes and has been developed to National standards. Although, it seemed much longer on this chilly day of January. We were not really sure where we were going and really hoped not to get lost as the signs or interpretative panels were taken down for the season.

Oh no! – a fallen tree….

Headlines to read…`Mitchelmore uses brute strength to restore the tree to the vertical position`

Unfortunately, Mitchelmore is no Chuck Norris and the leaning tree remains.

The trail is a wonderful winter walk. I can only imagine the joys of walking or jogging along the trails in Spring or midsummer after a day in the office. A great offering for residents and visitors alike.

At the top of the hill there are three strategically placed lookouts that permit you to see the Town, the harbour and gain views of the ocean. The freedom of seeing the open water is quite powerful.

There is beauty in this space. It seems like the wonderful place to re-build a seasonal teahouse – offering incredible views and a place for people to escape and enjoy the beauty of nature that surrounds them, as well as a site for geocaching.

I recommend taking a trek to teahouse hill. This may have been my first visit, I sure hope it is not my last.

Live Rural NL

Christopher C. Mitchelmore, MHA
The Straits-White Bay North
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