Happy Valley-Goose Bay (HVGB) is a town of 7,750 people in Labrador, Canada founded in 1941 as a military base and seaport. During World War II, Goose and Gander in Newfoundland were important airbases, later serving as refuelling stops for planes en route to Europe.
Goose Bay was established in 1941 to host a military base during the Second World War. It was served by coastal ferries, until it was connected to Labrador City by road in 1992 and to Forteau by road in 2009. Air traffic has diminished greatly in the post-Cold War era; a small contingent of 100 troops remains deployed to CFB Goose Bay.
Goose Bay is an important seaport for supplies arriving by Trans-Labrador Highway to be sent out by ship to other, more remote Labrador communities. It also served as a base of operations for supplies for a large-scale hydroelectric construction project at Muskrat Falls; that $12-billion project is to feed power by undersea cable from Labrador across Newfoundland to Nova Scotia, from which it can be exported through New Brunswick to the US market.
- Highway 500 (Trans-Labrador Highway) runs west to Churchill Falls (288 km) and Labrador City (530 km). Highway 510 (also part of the Trans-Labrador Highway) intersects with Highway 500 about 13 km west of Goose Bay, and runs south to Forteau (693 km).
- A coastal ferry calls at Lewisporte and Cartwright (Labrador), en route to points further north which are not accessible by road.
- 1 Canadian Forces Base Goose Bay (YYR IATA), ☏ . Access to Goose Bay is primarily by air. For the town's size, its airport is huge - its 11,000-foot runway is large enough for a NASA Space Shuttle.
Canadian airlines operating to Goose Bay:
- Air Borealis, toll-free: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Native-owned airline with scheduled air service between Goose Bay, Makkovik, Natuashish, Nain, Postville, Rigolet, and Hopedale from Sunday to Friday; small aircraft transport people and cargo to remote points otherwise difficult to access except by sea.
- PAL Airlines, toll-free: , email@example.com. One of the largest regional airlines operating in Quebec and Atlantic Canada, and to Ottawa. Operates flights to Goose Bay from Gander (1.5 hours) and from Wabush airport (1 hour) near Labrador City.
There is one taxi operator, Cooneys Taxi (374 Hamilton River Rd, +1 709 896-3311).
- Aurora Borealis. The beautiful northern lights are visible here from late November through to late March.
- 1 Labrador Military Museum, 381 Banshee Blvd (Inside Canex building), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M-Sa 10AM-5PM (closed Su). Run the Canadian military, this museum displays the military history and the role of this air base since its establishment in 1941. Free.
- Wolverine Bay. Swim in the warm fresh water bay.
- Hike. Walk some of the trails that are all over Goose bay.
- Berry-picking. Pick wild blueberries, or try some local redberry pie!
- Labrador Winter Games. Held in the region once every three years; teams of all ages from across Labrador meet for a week-long celebration of sport and culture.
- Labrador Canoe Regatta, on Gosling Lake. annual, first weekend in August.
- Pride in the Park, c/o The Safe Alliance. late July. A small-town LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) Pride celebration with a march down Hamilton River Road to Kinsman Park.
- 1 Canex, 381 Banshee Blvd, CFB Goose Bay, ☏ . Retail supermarket and barber shop on the base.
- 1 Bentley's, 97 C Hamilton River Rd, ☏ . Bentley's Beer Market (restaurant M-Sa 11AM-9:30PM) and Maxwell's (nightclub Th-Sa 11:30AM-3AM).
- 2 Pep's Diner and Takeout, 21 Green St, ☏ . Breakfast food, sandwiches, burgers and fries.
- 3 El Greco, 113 Hamilton River Rd, ☏ . Su-Th 3-10:30PM, F 3-11PM, Sa 2:30-11PM. Greek and Italian food.
- 4 Jungle Jim's Eatery, 382 Hamilton River Rd (In Hotel North Two), ☏ , email@example.com. Burger, sandwich, pasta, Mexician, rib and seafood.
- 1 Trapper's Cabin Bar & Grill, 1 Aspen Road, ☏ .
- 2 Da Shed Pub, 29 Loring Dr, ☏ . M-Tu Noon-1PM, W-Su Noon-1AM. Sandwich, burger, poutine, cod, pub food.
- 1 Hotel North 1 and 2, 25 Loring Drive and 382 Hamilton River Road, ☏ , toll-free: . A group of three hotels (two in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, one in St. Anthony) and one motel (in North West River). $150-260.
- 2 Labrador Inn, 380 Hamilton River Road, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: , firstname.lastname@example.org. Naskaupi Dining Room, lounge, meeting rooms, gym, Wifi, satellite TV. 74 rooms open year-round. $150. :
- Labrador Health Centre, ☏ . Teaching hospital with 25 beds, a 24-hour emergency department and outpatient clinic, operating rooms, visiting specialists on a regular basis.
Bell is the only cellular provider in this town.
Goose Bay is a major transit point for traffic to more distant points in Labrador because of its good road, air and seaport facilities:
- North West River is a small town only accessible via Happy Valley-Goose Bay around 40 km to the northeast. It is central Labrador's oldest community that was initially set up as a French fur post.
- Cartwright (Labrador) is 90 km off the Trans-Labrador Highway "beaten path" (there are no services or fuel at Cartwright Junction) and about 400 km from Goose Bay. Whether one stays on the highway to Port Hope Simpson or turns to Cartwright village, the next fuel station (southbound) is 410 km away.
- Charter aircraft from Goose Bay reach various "off the grid" locations, such as outfitters' camps and the Mealy Mountains National Park Reserve
- Ferries and aircraft from Goose Bay feed various points northward (as far as Nain) which have no road at all. Saglek Fjord, in the far north of Nunatsiavut, is the main base station and jumping-off point for boat travel into Torngat Mountains National Park.
- To the west, there are hydroelectric developments at Muskrat Falls and Churchill Falls.
|Routes through Happy Valley-Goose Bay|
|Labrador City ← Churchill Falls ←||W E||→ END|
|END ←||N S||→ Port Hope Simpson → becomes → Blanc-Sablon|
|North West River ←||N S||→ END|