Welcome to Gander

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The town of Gander was once known as the “Crossroads of the World,” due to its perfectly positioned airport. Once the largest on earth, with runways big enough to land the space shuttle, it was a strategic location for refuelling and a bustling centre during wartimes. In more recent years, it was this very airport that made its community the focal point for human kindness and generosity. And that intense goodwill extends beyond the town limits. Learn more about this story as you explore beautiful towns like Dover, Hare Bay and others; a story that continues to be shared far and wide.

Explore Aviation History

In the pioneering days of air travel after the Second World War, it wasn’t possible to make the journey from North America to Europe without a refueling stop at the Gander airport. This strategic location meant investment and maintenance well after longer-range jets could make the flight without stopping by.

Once a hotspot for people-watching (Sinatra apparently had a drink at the bar, and Castro was known to stop by on his way to Moscow), the airport is a time capsule of a particular 1950s design aesthetic, and considered a valuable piece of Canada’s architectural heritage.

Nearby, the North Atlantic Aviation Museum is dedicated to preserving and presenting stories and artifacts highlighting Gander’s participation in the development of transatlantic aviation. Learn more about Gander’s role as strategic base during WWII, how the town earned the nickname “Crossroads of the World”, and hear the story of Gander’s unexpected visitors following the tragic events of 9/11.

Gander and Area Historical Attractions

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Discover Come From Away

As one of the few airports capable of handling the traffic when US air space closed on September 11, 2001, Gander was perfectly positioned to welcome almost 7,000 newly stranded passengers and their 38 international planes.

Gander isn’t a large town – the visitors almost outnumbered the locals – and making room for all those unexpected guests, along with eleven dogs, nine cats, and two Bonobo apes, was quite a challenge. Even so, its citizens and Newfoundlanders and Labradorians up and down the Kittiwake Coast opened their homes and hearts to these strangers from all over the world. These travellers found warm beds and home-cooked meals during a truly terrifying time.

And now the kindness and hospitality shown to visitors has become the basis for the Tony-award winning Broadway musical Come From Away. When you’re in the area, you can Meet the Flynns, to learn more about the events and the people who inspired the play.

Experience the story from where it all began.

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Travel Stories

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Getting to Gander

For those travelling by car, Gander is nearly 6 hours from the ferry in Port aux Basques and 3 hours from the Argentia ferry. For those flying to the island of Newfoundland, Gander has an International Airport (YQX). Alternatively, Gander is a 3 ½ hour drive west of St. John’s Airport (YYT) and 3 hours east of Deer Lake airport (YDF).

More on Getting to Newfoundland & Labrador

Come From Away

Our province has a rich history of hospitality, rooted in the small, tight-knit communities that made us who we are over hundreds of years. That spirit endures to this day, and the award-winning Broadway musical Come From Away tells a story of that hospitality in action, on one of the world’s worst days.

On September 11th, 2001 hundreds of flights were diverted when American airspace was shutdown. The Gander International Airport had to find space for 38 international planes and almost 7,000 newly stranded passengers.

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Gander and Area Offers

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