Corner Brook is the largest city in Western Newfoundland. It offers many urban amenities and is a great launching point for exploring Western Newfoundland. The city's excellent port is also an attraction for visiting cruise ships, such as the Queen Mary II.
The Corner Brook area has been home to settlement for over a century and a half, but it has a fishery history going further back. Officially surveyed by Captain Cook in 1767 before he went on to survey Australia and New Zealand, the Corner Brook area became a highly developed centre for pulp & paper with one of the largest operations in the world. The city of Corner Brook itself came into existence in the year 1956 with the amalgamation of four area communities, each still reflected in the areas of Humbermouth, Curling, Westside, and Townsite. In many ways, the city's vibe is best described by former Mayor Charles Pender: "As a regional centre, we have the small town atmosphere with a big city infrastructure where people can live in peace and security and raise a family."
Marine Atlantic ferry service runs from North Sydney to Port aux Basques (on the west coast of the island) throughout the year, and to Argentia (about 90km from St. John's) during the summer. The duration of the ride depends on the weather and water conditions, so patience is of the essence. It is advisable to call Marine Atlantic ahead of time to make a reservation (call 1-800-341-7981). If you are bringing a U-haul or something other than a passenger vehicle, you will likely be considered a Commercial Vehicle. Commercial Vehicles can only make reservations by doubling the usual fare. It is cheaper to simply take your number, wait in line and hope for the best.
In general, Marine Atlantic Ferries cater to your every whim, carrying food, alcohol, gift shops, cinemas and sleeping accommodations. There will be lots for you to do.
The city is located on the Trans-Canada Highway 1. It is over 200 km north of Port aux Basques -- the city begins around exit 4 (yes, that's right, only the fourth exit in 200 km! (Newfoundland numbers their exits instead of giving them numbers based on their distance from the highway's starting point)) -- and nearly 700 km west of St. John's. From St. John's, stay on Highway 1 and you'll find the city approximately 50 km south of Deer Lake.
Driving from Stephenville, take 460 East for 40 km to the Trans-Canada, then head north on Highway 1 for 50 km to Corner Brook.
You can take a flight to Deer Lake Regional Airport from mainland Canada, usually via Halifax or Toronto. This is the easiest way to access Corner Brook. However, you will still need to take either a bus, taxi or rental car from Deer Lake to Corner Brook. The bus fare between Deer Lake and Corner Brook is around $18, which is much cheaper than the taxi fare.
Thomas Bus Co. Ltd offers transportation to and from the Deer Lake airport. This is an extremely convenient way to get in and out of Corner Brook once you've hit the tarmac in Deer Lake. They're located in Deer Lake and you can reach them at 1-709-635-3056.
For other options for bus lines running on the island, see the comprehensive list in this page's Get out section. Many of these bus lines are likely ways of entering Corner Brook as well.
Like any city or town, locals will speak of areas not listed on maps. In Corner Brook, they are: Humbermouth, Curling, Westside, and Townsite. These are the communities that were brought together to form Corner Brook, and locals still refer to these areas by name. Be sure to ask people to clarify where these places are when receiving directions.
Corner Brook Transit is operated by Murphy Brothers Limited. You can get bus schedule info by calling 709-639-7BUS (7287) for recorded information or 709-634-3345 for charter information. The buses have six routes that operate from 7AM to 10AM, and 3PM to 7PM, on a half hour cycle for routes 1 through 4, and from 10AM to 3PM on an hour cycle for routes 5 and 6. During the months of June, July, and August, the buses run only on the hourly cycle of routes 5 and 6. Regular Fare is $2.50 Adult, $1.25 Child (under age of 12). Ride Cards and Monthly Passes are available, with discounts for students and seniors. A ride card for 5 trips is available at numerous locations for only $10. The main transfer terminal is at Remembrance Square in Downtown Corner Brook.
Corner Brook is a city on many large hills. What looks easy on a map will in fact feel like a true journey if you are not physically fit and mentally prepared for the landscape. Everything will be relative. Walking around the area is the best way to truly take in the surroundings, but it is not always advisable year-round. That said....
Corner Brook is home to a few walking trails exclusively provided for the use of pedestrians. These trails take you around the Glynmill Inn Pond and connect with Margaret Bowater Park. The trails also provide a nice walk to City Hall, the Sir Richard Squires Building and the downtown, not to mention the beautiful gorge. Going through the Western Newfoundland Model Forest, much of the land has been provided for pedestrian usage by Corner Brook Pulp & Paper Ltd.
If you want some convenience and don't want to constantly feel that you are on the Corner Brook One-Step Physical Fitness Walking Program, a car is a handy way to get around town. While the town looks small on a map, the hills complicate things quite a bit. In the winter, be sure to have Snow Tires. There is no such thing as All-Season Tires in Corner Brook. They will not get you very far.
A car will also help you reach the nearby sites just outside of Corner Brook, like Marble Mountain or Gros Morne National Park.
There are many taxi services in Corner Brook to choose from. Expect to pay a fare of roughly $15 from one side of town to another. Because there is no public transit running on weekends, a cab may be your only option outside of walking.
Popular taxi companies operating in Corner Brook are:
- Birchy Cabs: (709)785-2540 or toll free 1-(877)634-taxi
- Star Taxi: (709) 634 4343
- City Cabs: (709) 634 6565
- Corner Taxi: (709) 634 5662
- Sir Wilfred Grenfell College -- Memorial University of Newfoundland's western campus in Corner Brook
- The Sir Richard Squires Building -- home to the Corner Brook Public Library, The Newfoundland & Labrador Provincial & Supreme Courts, The Provincial Cabinet on the West Coast and a fountain from Expo 67's Czech Pavilion, purchased by Premier Joseph Smallwood
- The Glynmill Inn Pond -- complete with swans and other waterfowl
- Humber Valley Resort--scenic golf course, 2 beautiful restaurants, 3-6 bedroom chalets complete with hot tubs and barbeques
- Massey Drive Pond Trail-- A beautiful man-made walking trail through the woods of Massey Drive, built around an outdoor swimming pond.
- Marble Mountain-- In the winter: best skiing east of the Rockies; In the summer: a wonderful hiking experience, and chair lift rides.
- Captain Cook's Monument-- A memorial monument for Captain James Cook, located in the Atlantic Ave. section of town. The lookout has a wonderful view of the city and the Atlantic ocean.
- The Man in the Mountain-- located on one of the cliffs along the Humber River, there is a nature-made face of an Indian man chiseled into the rock. A great tourist attraction, and postcards are available with this image pictured on them.
- Hike or Stroll along the Corner Brook Stream Trail -- the trail system has two sections, one within the downtown area and another above Margaret Bowater Park that takes visitors into the Gorge, the deep valley through which the stream flows. Most of the trail is a wide gravel path, but portions of the Upper Trail along the Gorge become rough and narrow dirt paths. The main corridor's gravel path is 4 km.
- Relax in Margaret Bowater Park -- eat at picnic areas, relax on the green, or swim in the stream (when lifeguards are on duty, of course)
- Ski -- cross-country at Blow-Me-Down on the outskirts of Corner Brook, or downhill on the Blomidon Mountains or at Marble Mountain Ski Resort, both just outside of the city.
- Golf at Blomidon Golf & Country club, 18 holes inside Corner Brook
- Participate in the Corner Brook Winter Carnival, a yearly event celebrating the long snowy season.
- walk or drive along marine drive, in the early summer you might see some whales, and in late summer there may be some dolphins.
There are many Newfoundland-specific shops in Corner Brook, as there are all over the island, but a good concentration of them are on Broadway. You'll be able to find provincial flags, Dominion of Newfoundland flags (from the era when the Island was a separate country), traditional and contemporary music, books and art. Currently, cheeky Newfoundland separatist t-shirts are popular. They usually read: "Free NFLD", or "Newfoundland Liberation Army". You'll also be able to pick up t-shirts and the usual items of the Tourist variety at these shops.
If you're looking for non-Newfoundland shops, there are two downtowns (relics of the pre-amalgamation communities) centred around Broadway in the west part of Central Corner Brook, and West Street in east Central Corner Brook. These areas have the charm of small communities and give the visitor a more accurate feel for the Newfoundland culture.
As for the fare of generic malls, you can find those inside Corner Brook and on the outskirts of the city. Inside, there's the Valley Mall and Millbrook Mall, nestled right next to each other in the centre of the city where Main Street becomes Herald. On the outskirts, there's Murphy's Square, a collection of big box retailers, and Corner Brook Plaza, a typical city mall with a second floor in the works.
Firstly, expect lots of opportunities to eat seafood. Secondly, like Cape Breton, Newfoundland offers plenty of Donairs. In Corner Brook, you'll find them at nearly every pizza joint in the city (for example, Greco at 93 West Street). You'll also have no trouble finding the usual fast food culprits in every conceivable nook and cranny.
- Aroma's Plus, Valley Mall. A charming Newfoundland-style cafeteria.
- Jennifer's Upper Level Restaurant, 48-50 Broadway,(709) 632-7979. Specializing in steak and seafood. Come for the food, stay for the atmosphere.
- Jungle Jim's -- an Atlantic Canadian chain of restaurants. Similar to East Side Mario's and the like. You'll find it on the outskirts of the city, attached to the Comfort Inn at 41 Maple Valley Road.
- Lucky Star -- a Chinese-Canadian take-out place at 4 Humber.
- Mamateek Restaurant and Pub, Confederation Drive -- The Mamateek Restaurant and Pub offers a wide variety of Canadian cuisine. The specialty is seafood...fresh cod, salmon, scallop, shrimp, mussels is a delight for locals and tourists alike. They also offer delicious baby back ribs (the best in Corner Brook), steak, pasta dishes, and a wide variety of sandwiches. Drop by daily for a new and exciting lunch special from 12-2pm.</drink>
- Newfound Sushi, 117 Broadway -- Corner Brook got a sushi place. We can hardly believe it either. Nicer interior and food preparation than you would expect in a small mill town.
- Shez West (Opening Soon) -- fine dining in the downtown at West Street #13. Has a cozy sidewalk patio for warmer weather. (Used to be the Bay of Islands bistro, not owned by the same people as Aroma's Plus. It is unclear if they didn't know how to spell Chez, or if it is intentional).
- Somethin' Fishy, 43 Main Street -- New fish & chips place with a few tables. It gets quite busy on Friday night as it's the only takeout fish & chips in town.
- Sorrento, 18 Park St. -- Elegant restaurant, screened patio overlooking the park, and cozy lounge. Vast variety of organic foods, vegan, vegetarian, seafood, lamb, steaks.Perfect portobelo sundried tomato gourmet pizza,pear & blue cheese,rustica,stuffed crust baby spinach & organic feta. Italian chef wrote "Best tiramisu ever". The manager of Queen MARY 2 wrote-"better than Queen Mary2". Make reservations lunch or weekends. Catering for private functions, corporate dinners, anniversaries, weddings, pharmaceuticals. All major credit cards accepted.Very reasonable prices & big helpings.
- Thistle's Place -- an internet cafe with coffee and the works. Part of a florist on the lower level of the Millbrook Mall downtown.
- The Wine Cellar & The Carriage Room, 1-800-563-4400, -- fine restaurants at the Glynmill Inn, complete with a large selection of fine wines.
- What A Pizza!, 53 Broadway -- Take out pizza joint with Italian sandwiches and Calzones.
- Z'S Fast Pizza, 117 Broadway, the old Dino's location, phone: 632-FAST. Fastest pizza in town, 7-10 min for orders,pick ups,take out & delivery. Open 7 days a week, late nights on the weekends until 4:00AM.All major credit cards accepted. They have the best oven roasted wings, homefries & donairs.Run by young, intelligent people, it's a fun place with lowest prices in the city. </eat>
- NOT The Marine Lounge. It says it's a restaurant on the internet & the signs say it serves food, but they do not. It is simply a lounge for old barflies now.
If you're looking for grocery shopping to do your own cooking, you'll find a couple different options:
- Dominion -- 5 Murphy Square. Located at the Murphy Mall.
- Sobey's -- 2 Broadway St. At the Valley Mall downtown.
- Coleman's -- 137 O'Connell Drive. On Caribou Road near Broadway.
- More for Less -- 9 Herald Avenue. A health food and bulk food store stocked with much of the ethnic options not found elsewhere.
- Crown & Moose Pub -- A typical rural Canadian interpretation of a 'Pub' (in essence, no different than any other bar but in name) found attached to the Holiday Inn downtown at 48 West Street.
- Hit Union Street -- visit one of the bars along this street skirting the outer downtown
- Hit Broadway -- once upon a time this street resembled the 'Wild West,' complete with boardwalks and unsavoury brothels. Now it's a hotspot for drinks on the weekend.
- King Henry's Pub & the Cellar -- both are located at the Glynmill Inn. 1B Cobb Lane. Your only place in town to get an even remotely exciting pint: Smithwick's.
- On the Rocks -- attached to the Sorrento Italian-style restaurant is a fairly cosmopolitan lounge.It often features live music on the weekends along with 2 for one all day & night,tue-wing night,wed wine night,thur-nacho night,sat-martini night,big screen:screened patio,everything on the menu.They offer the best organic espresso,late,cappuccino.Closed Sunday night,but you can have anything on the patio 7 days a week. If you are famous,that's the "hot spot" to be.Jazz piano bar with trendy desserts& cocktails.
- The Glynmill Inn -- once an administration building for the Pulp & Paper Mill, this Inn offers an Old World feel right next door to the Corner Brook Stream, Glynmill Inn Pond, and the downtown. At 1B Cobb Lane.
- The Greenwood Inn -- typical tourist accommodations downtown at 48 West Street.
- Comfort Inn -- Located close to the outskirts of the city at 41 Maple Valley road.
- Mamateek Inn -- also on the outskirts.
- Sir Wilfred Grenfell College -- In the summertime, afforable accommodations can be found on the University campus. Chalet-style apartments with four furnished bedrooms, a kitchen, and living room can be rented, or hostel-style single rooms with semi-private washrooms can be rented. All rooms are available daily, weekly, or monthly. Available through SWGC Conference Services . The campus is found on University Drive.
A number of different bus lines offer service to areas outside of Corner Brook:
- If your destination is Newfoundland's South Shore, you can take Stew's Bus Lines to Burgeo (call 709-886-2955).
- DRL Coachlines Ltd. offers daily scheduled passenger coach services between St. John's & Port Aux Basques on the island. DRL's head office is in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, but they can be reached toll-free at 1-888-738-8091. If you wish to reach their office in St. John's, . In Corner Brook, DRL have a stop at the Confederation Drive Irving, at the intersection of West Valley Road and Confederation Drive.
- Another bus service from Port Aux Basques to St. John's is Newhook's Transportation. Call them at 1-709-726-4876.
- Thomas Bus Co. Ltd also offers charter & bus tour services to groups traveling to or within Newfoundland. As stated before, they also offer transportation to and from the Deer Lake Airport. They're located in Deer Lake and you can reach them at 1-709-635-3056.
- If you want to head north, you can reach the Northern Peninsula and Gros Morne National Park via Viking Express (709-634-4710) or Shears Bus Service (709-458-2315). Both offer regular service to and from the Northern Peninsula.
Newfoundland is most easily accessible by car. Some scenic drives in the immediate area to visit:
- Drive down the south and north shores of the Humber Arm to take in all of the small Bay of Islands communities. Taking you along the Blow-me-down Mountain Range in the midst of the Long Range Mountains, you will be able to see the Bay of Islands as the ocean opens up in front of you. On both shores, you'll have about 50 km of road to explore, not to mention countless communities to explore on foot. Take the Captain Cook's Trail via Route 450 on the South Shore, or take Admiral Palliser's Trail via Route 440 on the North Shore.
- Drive the Trans-Canada Highway East and take in the Humber Valley. You'll see Marble Mountain, Atlantic Canada's best downhill skiing resort, and take in roughly 50 km of breathtaking views all the way to Deer Lake. Other attractions along the way: Breakfast Mountain's Old Man in the Mountain, a rock formation resembling a man's face, Steady Brook Falls, a lovely waterfall accessible by trail that leads to a small swimming hole, and Pasadena Beach, an excellent summer swimming destination.
|Routes through Corner Brook|
|North Sydney (via ferry) ← Port aux Basques ←||W E||→ Deer Lake → Gander|