From 2011 to 2016, its population fell from 526 to 447.
Ramea sits on Northwest Island, one of a group of five major islands off the south coast of Newfoundland. The island is approximately 3.14 km long by 0.93 km wide (1.95 miles by 0.58 miles). The remaining major islands in the archipelago are Great (or Big) Island, Middle Island, Harbour Island, and South West Island.
Ramea is home to a lot of plants, which include the purple pitcher plant and bakeapple. The island and surrounding islands serve as a fall and winter home to many migratory seabirds.
The community was settled in the early 19th century for its proximity to rich fishing grounds and safe anchorages. It became a thriving fishing village. It was probably named for Le Ramée, a street in Saint Peter Port, the capital of Guernsey.
From 1949 to 1970, businesswoman Marie Penny owned and operated John Penny & Sons, one of the largest frozen fish companies in Newfoundland during the 20th century. Since the cod moratorium of 1992, the isolated community has struggled to survive, having declined from a peak population of 1,120 in the 1970s.
In 2004, Ramea was chosen for the site of Canada's first wind-diesel demonstration project. Six 65 kW wind turbines were installed on the island to demonstrate that the Wind-Diesel Integrated Control System can be used to displace diesel power generation by introducing wind to the island's grid and to show significant energy efficiency and reliability for northern, remote or isolated locations. The wind-diesel pilot program generates around 1 million kWh/yr and offsets approximately 750 tonnes of emissions annually.
The Ferry from Burgeo to Ramea is capable of carrying vehicles, and there are roads in Ramea for cars. The relatively small size (1.89 km2) of the town, however, means that any destination is within walking distance.
- MV Gallipoli, toll-free: . Provincial ferry, two or three runs daily depart Burgeo (on Route 480) to the island community of Ramea (1½ hours), and a few Tuesday and Thursday runs continue onward to Grey River (3 hours). One-way: adult $6; child, student or senior $3.25, vehicle $11.
- Operational wind-diesel generation plant
- Northwest Head Lighthouse, one of the last remaining staffed lighthouses in Canada
- Ramea Heritage Centre, 5 Church Street. The local museum full of artifacts.
- Hike: there are several hiking paths, including one that takes hikers on a circuit around the island and to the wind-diesel plant. Walking to the island's highest point on top of Man O'War Hill offers excellent views of archipelago and across to White Bear Bay.
- Music: Every year the islands plays host to a Rock Island Music Festival of traditional music on the second weekend of August. Local bands, outdoor bingo, hot turkey supper prepared by the Ladies Auxiliary, kids' games hosted by the Wolf Cubs (junior Boy Scouts), adult dance, casserole dinner, Sunday brunch after church. So, it's not just the music that's traditional....
- 1 Eastern Outdoors, 2 Main St., ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 8AM-5PM. Provides guided tours of the island, including kayak tours.
- Beachside Store, 18-20 Beach Rd, ☏ . M-Sa 9AM-9PM. Convenience store
- Eastern Outdoors’ Ramea Retreat Restaurant (across from the ferry terminal), ☏ . Short order cooking, home cooked meals, snacks and beverages. Community events such as Sunday dinners, BBQ nights, Movie and Pizza nights for kids.
There is a liquor store on Main St at Lodge Rd, west of the ferry dock.
- 1 Ramea Retreat (Eastern Outdoors), 2 Main St, ☏ . The Lodge’s facilities also include a 10 bed hostel, a common room with cable TV and high speed internet access as well as full bathroom and laundry facilities for travellers and sailors. Dorms $39, private rooms $89, houses $195.
There is a post office opposite the ferry dock.