Gander is a small town of 11,000 people with a huge international airport (YQX IATA) on the Trans-Canada Highway in Central Newfoundland. Established in 1935, the airport was once a major refuelling point for almost all trans-Atlantic flights.
As the easternmost major fog-free airport on the north Atlantic coast, Gander was a frequent stop for both civil and military trans-Atlantic aviation. "Goose and Gander" were strategic transit points for the Royal Air Force Air Ferry Command during World War 2 and key refuelling stops for civil aviation in the early years of commercial "jet set" travel. Both airports have diminished in importance as range of commercial passenger aircraft increased to allow more routes to fly non-stop, advances in instrument navigation made a fog-shrouded landing in St. John's safe and routine, and de-escalation at the end of the Cold War curtailed military flights.
There are various local memorials to aviators and servicemen, including Commonwealth War Graves for a hundred and one who served during the Second World War (Gander hosted air-reconnaissance planes, military defence forces and an anti-aircraft regiment) and a Silent Witnesses Memorial which overlooks a site where an Arrow Air flight carrying 256 peacekeepers of the 101st US Airborne Division "Screaming Eagles” home from the Sinai Peninsula crashed on take-off.
Gander accepted more diverted passengers during the September 11, 2001 attacks than any other Canadian airfield except Halifax and Vancouver and more aircraft than any city except Halifax, adding 6,600 people to its local population (in 2001) of 9650 in just a few hours. Lufthansa named one Airbus A340 "Gander/Halifax" to acknowledge both cities and a book The Day The World Came to Town recorded the incident for posterity.
- 1 Gander International Airport (YQX IATA). Served by Air Canada and Sunwing Airlines, with daily flights from St. John's and Halifax. Wi-Fi, bar, 24-hour restaurant, various rental car firms on-site.
- Weston’s At the Airport, Gander International Airport. Home-cooked menu 24/7 in vintage cafeteria-style setting, business/personal catering, ready-to-go meals, in-flight catering, function room to host private events
- Beech Bar & Grill, Gander International Airport, ☎ . Airport bar.
Busy Bee Cabs (+1 709 256-1444) and M&S Limousine Service (+1 709 256-8426) provide local transport.
Budget (+1 709 256-3566), National (+1 709 256-4934) and Thrifty (+1 709 256-8955) provide hire cars at the airport; there's also a Rent-a-Wreck (+1 709 256-7066) on the main highway.
- 1 North Atlantic Aviation Museum, 135 Trans-Canada Highway, ☎ . The history of aviation in Gander, once an important refuelling stop on trans-Atlantic flights. Museum exhibits cover wartime operations during WWII and the town's role in hosting 6600 travellers when 38 civilian and 4 military flights diverted to Gander during the September 11th, 2001 attacks. $5.
- Gander Golf Club, 251 Trans-Canada Highway, ☎ . Golf club with pro shop and "19th hole" restaurant $50-55 (18 holes).
- [dead link]Little Harbour, Gander Lake. Recreational park and marina, picnic/BBQ area, boat launch ramp and wharf/docking on fresh-water Gander Lake, 1.5km from Trans-Canada Highway and 10km from city centre.
- Festival of Flight. early August. Five-day local festival with sports, parade, live music, fireworks on Gander Day municipal holiday (first Monday in August).
There are two malls, the Fraser Mall (230 Airport Boulevard, +1 709 651-3784) and the Gander Mall (132 Bennett Dr, +1 709 651-3784). Major retail chains include Wal-Mart and Canadian Tire, Dollarama and niche-market boutiques like Northern Reflections, Claire’s, Bijou, Suzy Shier and EB Games.
There is a local grocery co-operative which competes directly with Loblaws (Dominion) and Sobey's (Foodland).
- 1 Foodland, 151 Airport Blvd., Fraser Mall, ☎ . Tu-Fr 8AM-9PM; Mo/Sa 8AM-6PM; Su 9AM-5PM. Grocer with water refill, fruit baskets, gluten-free products and greeting cards.
- Bistro on Roe, 110 Roe Avenue, ☎ . 5-10PM Mon-Sat. French/European.
- Ches's Fish and Chips, Fraser Mall, ☎ . Small regional chain (seven locations, based in St. John's). Chicken, burgers, salads, fish and chips. $9-15.
- [dead link]Country Kitchen, 132 Bennett Drive, ☎ .
- Tai Sun Restaurant, 298 Airport Blvd, ☎ . Asian
- Flyers Club, 245 Airport Blvd, ☎ .
- Friend's Lounge, 10 McCurdy Dr, ☎ .
- Sinbad's Hotel, 133 Bennett Drive, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: .
- Hotel Gander, 100 Trans Canada Highway, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . Meeting and banquet facilities. Alcock & Brown's Eatery.
- Albatross Hotel, 114 Trans Canada Highway, ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . Motel with 101 rooms, meeting facilities for 250 people, licensed restaurant serving traditional Canadian food, Newfoundland specialty dishes, seafood and pasta, hideaway lounge. $100+.
- Irving West Hotel, 1 Caldwell St., ☎ , fax: . Outdoor pool, continental breakfast.
Bed & Breakfast
- Inn on Bennett, 66 Bennett Drive, ☎ , toll-free: . Check-in: 2:30 pm, check-out: 10 am. $80-100.
- Country Inn, 315 Magee Rd., ☎ , toll-free: , fax: . Motel (wi-fi, coffee, continental breakfast) and one five-person cottage; 64 site RV/trailer park (34 with water/sewer/power hookups). $23-29 (caravan park).
- Gander Public and Resource Library, 6 Bell Place, ☎ . Free Internet and wi-fi. Fax, scan, print. Books, CD's, DVD's.
- Beothuk Interpretation Centre, Boyd's Cove (70km north) recalls the now-extinct native tribe.
- Twillingate, Fogo Island and Change Islands are fishing villages with small museums
- Lewisporte is the base for coastal ferry service to various small Labrador outports not on the Trans-Labrador Highway
|Routes through Gander|
|Corner Brook ← Grand Falls-Windsor ←||W E||→ Glovertown → St. John's|