Business and offices
Downtown St. John’s is the central business district for the city and is the centre of the oil and gas industry in Eastern Canada. ExxonMobil Canada has its headquarters in the Cabot Building on New Gower Street, as well Chevron, Statoil and Suncor Energy along with other oil and gas companies have major operations downtown. Fortis Inc. have their headquarters in the Fortis Building on Water Street and they own and operate several of the office buildings and hotels downtown. All of the Big Five Canadian banks have operations in the downtown core as well.
St. John’s is the oldest city in North America, which has meant that many buildings throughout the city, specifically in the downtown core, have been designated by either the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada or the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador as Historic Places.
Downtown features some of the finest shopping in the city available with fashionable clothing boutiques for men and women, and unique specialty stores. Art galleries, bookstores and music stores featuring the work of local artists are scattered throughout the downtown area.
The internationally renowned George Street is located downtown, as the focal point of the city’s nightlife, the short street is populated mainly by bars and pubs. It is believed that George Street has the most pubs and bars per square foot of any street in North America, and it is known to have bars that are open later than most others throughout Canada. The street is the venue for an annual Mardi Gras celebration in October. However, the largest celebration on George Street is the six-night George Street Festival which occurs at the end of July or early August and typically concludes on the Tuesday night before the Royal St. John’s Regatta, which is set for the first Wednesday in August. The festival is rumoured to be the largest of its kind in North America with over 120,000 people making their way through the streets during the six-day period.
The Mile One Centre is located in downtown St. John’s. It is the main sports and entertainment centre in the city and one of the finest entertainment centres in Canada. Built in 2001, it has been the home of the St. John’s Maple Leafs, St. John’s Fog Devils, and currently, the St. John’s IceCaps. It also plays host to many of the concerts that visit the city. In April 2010 Mile One as well as George Street hosted the Juno Awards for the second time.
The Downtown Busker Festival is an annual event held in August. The festival is the only one of its kind in the province and features local talent as well as national and international performers.
Downtown St. John’s is home to The Rooms, Newfoundland and Labrador’s cultural facility, which unites the Provincial Museum, the Provincial Art Gallery and the Provincial Archives all under one roof. The A1C postal code in the downtown area is known to have one of the highest concentrations of artists in Canada.