Discover Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador

Gander, located in northeastern Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, has a rich aviation history and significance. Initially chosen as an air base in 1935, Gander became a crucial hub for transatlantic flights during World War II, serving as a vital base for air ferries and Atlantic patrol aircraft. 


The town's major international airport was pivotal in postwar transatlantic air travel. However, its importance waned with the advent of long-range aircraft that eliminated the need for refueling stops.


Gander's name is derived from the river in the area and the abundance of wild geese. The town was incorporated in 1954 and is situated just north of Gander Lake, approximately 206 miles northwest of St. John’s. 


Known for its strategic location and once being the largest airport globally with runways capable of landing the space shuttle, Gander's population grew to 11,054 in 2011.


Today, Gander continues to be a significant location, especially in the aerospace industry. The town is recognized as a regional tourism hub within Newfoundland and Labrador, focusing on aerospace services, manufacturing, repair, and training. 


Key industry stakeholders in Gander include the Gander International Airport Authority, NAV Canada, Canadian Forces Base 9 Wing Gander, and various other organizations involved in air services, aerospace manufacturing, search and rescue, and weather forecasting.


Gander's history, from its aviation prominence to its current role in the aerospace industry, showcases its enduring importance and contribution to the region's economy and heritage.


History of Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Gander, Newfoundland, and Labrador have a rich aviation history dating back to the 1930s. In 1935, the British Air Ministry selected the site near Gander Lake as an ideal location for an airport due to its proximity to the Great Circle route between New York and London and its relatively fog-free climate. Construction began in 1936, and the airport, known as Newfoundland Airport, opened in 1938.


During World War II, Gander played a crucial strategic role. The Royal Canadian Air Force established a base there in 1940, and the airport served as a vital refuelling stop for aircraft ferrying between North America and Europe. 


At its peak in 1943, Gander was the largest and one of its most active RCAF bases. Over 1,500 Newfoundland civilians were employed at the base during the war.


After the war, Gander became a major refuelling stop for civilian transatlantic flights, earning it the nickname "Crossroads of the World." The town of Gander developed around the airport, inheriting infrastructure like churches, schools, and a hospital from the RCAF.


Gander's importance as a refuelling point diminished with the introduction of long-range aircraft in the 1960s. However, the airport remains a preferred emergency landing point for aircraft facing medical or security issues. 


Gander also played a key role in aviation history on September 11, 2001, when Nav Canada personnel redirected and landed 40 planes there.


Today, Gander is a significant aerospace hub, focusing on aviation services, manufacturing, repair, and training. The town's aviation history is evident in its street names, buildings, and public art.


Geography of Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Gander, located in northeastern Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, is approximately 206 miles northwest of St. John’s. The town is on the northeastern shore of Gander Lake, named after the Gander River. 


The town's geography is characterized by its proximity to the Great Circle route between New York and London, making it an ideal location for aviation activities.


Location and Distance

  • Gander is located 310 kilometres northwest of St. John's, the provincial capital.
  • It is approximately 40 kilometres south of Gander Bay and 100 kilometers south of Twillingate.
  • The town is 90 kilometres east of Grand Falls-Windsor.


Elevation and Land Area

  • Gander has an elevation of 128 meters (420 feet) above sea level.
  • The town has a total area of 104.53 square kilometres (40.36 square miles), with an urban area of 13.64 square kilometres (5.27 square miles) and a metropolitan area of 2,412.67 square kilometres (931.54 square miles).


Population and Density

  • As of 2021, the population of Gander is 11,880, with a density of 113.7 people per square kilometre (294 people per square mile).
  • The urban population is 9,918, and the density is 727.2 people per square kilometer (1,883 people per square mile).
  • The metropolitan area has a population of 13,414, with a density of 5.6 people per square kilometre (15 people per square mile).


Time Zone and Postal Code

  • Gander is in the Newfoundland Time Zone (UTC−03:30) and observes daylight saving time (UTC−02:30).
  • The town's postal code span is A1V, and its area code is 709.


Demographics of Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

The key demographics of Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, are:




Age and Gender:

  • The median age in Gander is 42.8, slightly older than the provincial median of 46.3 and the national median of 40.9.
  • The male-to-female ratio is 1.1:1, higher than the provincial and national ratios of 1.0:1.



  • 92.2% of Gander's population speaks only English, compared to 94.6% in the province and 68.8% nationally.
  • 0.0% speak only French, the same as the provincial rate but lower than the national rate of 4.5%.


Ethnicity and Immigration:

  • The largest ethnic minorities in Gander are Chinese (0.4%), Black (0.4%), South Asian (0.3%), Southeast Asian (0.3%), and Filipino (0.2%).
  • The top countries of origin for immigrants to Gander are the United Kingdom (0.7%), China (0.2%), the United States (0.2%), the Philippines (0.1%), and other Western Europe (0.1%).



  • There are 5,424 total private dwellings in Gander, of which 5,068 are occupied by usual residents.
  • The average value of dwellings in Gander is $282,800, with average monthly shelter costs of $1,306 for owned dwellings and $972 for rented dwellings.


Economy of Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada's economy is diverse and driven by several key sectors. Here are the major industries that contribute to the local economy:

  1. Transportation: Gander's strategic location and history as a major refuelling stop for transatlantic flights make it a significant hub for transportation. The town's airport, Gander International Airport (YQX), is an important commercial and military aviation facility.
  2. Communications: The town is home to various communication services, including air navigation, air traffic control, and weather forecasting. This sector is critical for ensuring safe and efficient air travel.
  3. Defence: Gander has a long history of military involvement, dating back to World War II. Today, Canadian Forces Base 9 Wing Gander and the 103 Search and Rescue Squadron significantly contribute to the local economy.
  4. Public Administration: The town's government and various public services, such as healthcare and education, also play a significant role in the local economy.
  5. Tourism: Gander has become a popular tourist destination, attracting visitors with its rich aviation history and cultural attractions like the Festival of Flight. The town offers a range of accommodations, dining, and recreational activities.


These sectors collectively contribute to Gander's economic growth and stability, making it a significant regional hub within Newfoundland and Labrador.


Education in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, has a diverse educational landscape with several institutions and programs catering to various age groups and interests. Here are some key educational institutions and initiatives in Gander:

  1. Gander Academy: This primary school is operated by the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District. It offers English and French immersion programs for kindergarten to grade 3 students. The school has a rich history and has played a significant role in the town's cultural and social fabric.
  2. College of the North Atlantic (CNA): The Gander campus of CNA offers a range of post-secondary programs and training in fields such as aerospace, aviation, and related services. This campus significantly contributes to the town's economic development and is recognized as a key player in the aerospace industry.
  3. Gander International Airport Authority (GIAA): The GIAA provides air navigation services, air traffic control, and weather forecasting, which are critical components of the town's aviation infrastructure.
  4. Canadian Forces Base 9 Wing Gander (CFB): This military base is home to the 103 Search and Rescue Squadron and offers training and services related to search and rescue operations.
  5. Gander Flight Training (GFT): This organization provides flight training and other aviation-related services, contributing to the town's reputation as a hub for aerospace activities.
  6. Exploits Valley Air Services (EVAS): EVAS offers air services, including refueling and maintenance, which are essential for the town's aviation industry.
  7. DJ Composites: This company provides aerospace manufacturing, repair, and overhaul services, further solidifying Gander's position as a significant aerospace hub.
  8. Irving Aviation Services: This organization offers various aviation services, including maintenance, repair, and overhaul, which are critical components of the town's aerospace sector.
  9. Woodward Aviation: Woodward Aviation provides general aviation services, including flight training and maintenance, contributing to the town's diverse aviation landscape.
  10. General Aviation: This sector includes various general aviation services, such as flight training, aircraft maintenance, and other related activities, which are essential for the town's aviation infrastructure.


These educational institutions and initiatives collectively contribute to Gander's reputation as a significant hub for aerospace activities and a regional tourism destination within Newfoundland and Labrador.


Transport System of Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador have a well-developed transportation system centred around its international airport and highway connections. Here are the key components:


Gander International Airport (YQX)

  • Gander International Airport is the main entry point into North America for many transatlantic flights.
  • It can handle the world's largest aircraft, including the Airbus A380 and Antonov An-225.
  • The airport provides scheduled and charter services for passengers and cargo to major airports, connecting with transcontinental and international routes.
  • It also offers regional/local charter services and services for private aircraft transiting Gander.
  • Airlines operating out of Gander include Air Canada, Air Borealis, PAL Airlines, Sunwing Airlines, and WestJet.


Trans-Canada Highway

  • Gander is located on the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1), which crosses the island portion of Newfoundland and Labrador from Port aux Basques in the west to St. John's in the east.
  • The town is 575 km (357 mi) easterly from the Marine Atlantic Ferry Terminal in Port aux Basques and 335 km (208 mi) westerly from the provincial capital, St. John's.


Bus Service

  • DRL Coachlines operates a mass transit bus service for passengers and freight across the island portion of Newfoundland along the Trans-Canada Highway, with a stop located at Gander International Airport.


Marine Atlantic Ferries

  • To reach the island of Newfoundland by vehicle, Marine Atlantic's car ferries sail from North Sydney, Nova Scotia, to Port aux Basques in western Newfoundland and Argentia near St. John's.
  • The ferry from North Sydney to Port aux Basques is 575 km (357 mi) from Gander, while the ferry to Argentia is 335 km (208 mi) from the town.


Gander's strategic location and well-developed transportation infrastructure, particularly its international airport, have been key to its historical significance and current role as a regional hub within Newfoundland and Labrador.


Living in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Living in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada offers a unique experience in a town with a rich aviation history and many amenities. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  1. Community Life: Gander is a town with a population of around 11,880, offering a close-knit community feel. The town's annual Festival of Flight and various public parks and trails provide recreation and community engagement opportunities.
  2. Housing: Gander offers a mix of housing options, with average dwelling values around $282,800. Whether you prefer urban living or a more suburban setting, Gander provides a range of housing choices to suit different preferences and budgets.
  3. Education: The town is home to educational institutions like Gander Academy and the College of the North Atlantic, providing opportunities for quality education for residents of all ages. This can be a significant factor for families considering a move to Gander.
  4. Transportation: Gander's transportation infrastructure, centred around Gander International Airport and the Trans-Canada Highway, ensures convenient connectivity within the town and other parts of Newfoundland and Labrador. This can benefit both residents and visitors.
  5. Recreation and Outdoor Activities: Gander offers a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities, including parks, walking trails, ski trails, and a ski club. These amenities contribute to a healthy and active lifestyle for residents of Gander.
  6. Cultural Heritage: Gander's strong ties to aviation history are evident in its street names, monuments, and community events. The town's heritage and memorials pay tribute to its past and add to its unique character.


Living in Gander provides a blend of community spirit, outdoor activities, educational opportunities, and a rich historical backdrop, making it a distinctive and welcoming place to call home in Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada.


Healthcare in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador has a range of healthcare services and facilities to serve its population of around 11,880 people. Some key aspects of healthcare in Gander include:


Hospitals and Medical Facilities

  • Gander is home to the Gander Community Health Centre, a regional hospital Central Health operates.
  • The hospital provides emergency services, inpatient care, diagnostic imaging, laboratory services, and outpatient clinics.
  • There are also several private healthcare clinics in Gander, such as the Gander Chiropractic Clinic.


Long-Term Care

  • Lakeside Homes is a long-term care facility in Gander with 102 beds.
  • A 2015 study recommended redeveloping Lakeside Homes into a 158-bed facility to meet the town's long-term care needs.
  • However, the Health Accord NL Blueprint proposes a moratorium on capital expenditures for new large, institutional long-term care facilities.


Proposed Centre of Excellence on Aging

  • The Health Accord NL Blueprint recommends establishing a Centre of Excellence on Aging in Gander.
  • The centre would include a geriatrics team, a stroke care unit, and restorative care providers.
  • However, the blueprint needs more specificity on what other services would be offered at the centre.


Challenges and Opportunities

  • The region has been challenged by the recruitment and retention of healthcare professionals, especially specialists like geriatricians.
  • Gander's airport and transportation infrastructure could be leveraged to establish the town as a hub for visiting clinics, allowing efficient access for patients and healthcare providers.
  • The town has proposed expanding upon its existing air ambulance service and government air services branch to create a centre of excellence in ambulatory transportation networking.


While Gander offers a range of healthcare services, the town faces challenges in recruiting and retaining healthcare professionals. The Health Accord NL Blueprint proposes some changes to the region's healthcare system, but the specific impacts on Gander's healthcare infrastructure and services remain to be seen.


Tourist places in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Here are some of the top tourist attractions and things to do in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada:


Gander International Airport (YQX)

  • Once a major refuelling stop for transatlantic flights, Gander International Airport is still an important commercial and military aviation facility.
  • The airport can handle the world's largest aircraft and offers scheduled and charter services for passengers and cargo.


Cobb's Pond Rotary Park

  • It is a scenic park with a 4 km boardwalk trail, picnic area, playground, and wharf.
  • The site of Gander's annual Festival of Flight is held on the first Monday of August.


Silent Witness Memorial

  • Overlooks the site of an Arrow Air Flight 1285 crash in 1985 that killed 256 people, mostly U.S. servicemen.
  • A quiet place for reflection and remembrance.


North Atlantic Aviation Museum

  • Displays literature on aircraft and vintage planes, both indoors and outdoors.
  • A must-visit for aviation enthusiasts.


Gander Heritage Memorial Park

  • Holds monuments to aviators and soldiers from Gander and Newfoundland.
  • It is described as "a place of quiet thought and contemplation."


Thomas Howe Demonstration Forest

  • An interpretive forest with walking trails, a picnic area, and snowshoe trails.
  • Showcases forest management techniques in Newfoundland and Labrador.


Other notable attractions include the Gander Heritage Trails, the Airport Nordic Ski Club, and the Beyond the Overpass Theatre Company. Gander's rich aviation history, scenic parks, and cultural offerings make it an exciting stop for visitors to Newfoundland and Labrador.


Local Food of Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Based on the search results, some of the notable local food and dining experiences in Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, include:

  1. Jiggs Dinner at Rosie's Restaurant:
    • Rosie's Restaurant is known for serving up the traditional Newfoundland Jiggs Dinner, complete with salt beef and peas pudding. This hearty meal is a local favourite, especially on Sundays and Thursdays.
  2. Moose Farts at Rosie's:
    • In addition to the Jiggs Dinner, Rosie's Restaurant is also known for its signature dessert called "Moose Farts" - tasty little balls made of graham crackers, coconut, and chocolate chips.
  3. Crustless Pizza at Rosie's:
    • Rosie's offers a crustless pizza option for those on a keto diet, catering to various dietary preferences.
  4. Local Bakery and Café Options:
    • The Gander Bread Box and Café is a famous local bakery and café that likely offers a range of baked goods, sandwiches, and other local fare.
  5. Other Local Dining Establishments:
    • The search results mention other local restaurants and eateries in Gander, such as Bistro On Roe, Country Kitchen, and various fast-food options like A&W, Subway, and McDonald's.


While the search results do not provide an exhaustive list of local cuisine, they highlight some traditional Newfoundland dishes and local dining experiences that visitors to Gander can enjoy. The town's culinary offerings reflect its heritage and community character.


You can also check the information regarding Moncton, New Brunswick

Promote your business for Free

Comments 0

Leave a Reply