This article is a stub. Anything you can add to it is appreciated.
St. John's is the capital and largest city in Newfoundland and Labrador. It is on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula on the large Canadian island, Newfoundland. The city spans 446.04 square kilometres (172.22 sq mi) and is North America's easternmost city, excluding those of Greenland.
Its name has been attributed to the Nativity of John the Baptist, when John Cabot was believed to have sailed into the harbour in 1497 and to a Basque fishing town with the same name. Existing on maps as early as 1519, it is one of the oldest European settlements in North America.
St. John's is one of North America's oldest European settlements, with fishermen setting up seasonal camps in the early 16th century. Sebastian Cabot declares in a handwritten Latin text in his original 1545 map, that St. John's earned its name when he and his father, the Venetian explorer John Cabot became the first Europeans to sail into the harbour, in the morning of 24 June 1494, the feast day of Saint John the Baptist. In the Basque Country, it is a common belief the name of St. John's was given by Basque fishermen because the bay of St. John's is very similar to the Bay of Pasaia in the Basque Country, where one of the fishing towns is called St. John (in Spanish, San Juan, and in Basque, Donibane).
The earliest record of the location appears as São João on a Portuguese map by Pedro Reinel in 1519. When John Rut visited St. John's in 1527 he found Norman, Breton and Portuguese ships in the harbour. St. Jehan is shown on Nicolas Desliens' world map of 1541 and San Joham is found in João Freire's Atlas of 1546.
Sometime after 1630, the town of St. John's was established as a permanent community. Before this they were expressly forbidden by the English government, at the urging of the West Country fishing industry, from establishing permanent settlements along the English controlled coast.
The population grew slowly in the 17th century: St. John's was Newfoundland's largest settlement when English naval officers began to take censuses around 1675. The population grew in the summers with the arrival of migratory fishermen. In 1680, fishing ships (mostly from South Devon) set up fishing rooms at St. John's, bringing hundreds of Irish men into the port to operate inshore fishing boats.