Conception Bay South

Conception Bay South is a town located on the southern shore of Conception Bay on the Avalon Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland, Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. The town is commonly called C.B.S.

Conception Bay South
Town of Conception Bay South
Topsail Beach

Bright town. Bright future.
Location of Conception Bay South (red) in the St. John's Metropolitan Area.
Conception Bay South
Location of Conception Bay South in Newfoundland
Coordinates: 47°31′00″N 52°59′00″W
Country Canada
Province Newfoundland and Labrador
  TypeConception Bay South Town Council
  MayorTerry French
  MHAPaul Dinn
Helen Conway-Ottenheimer
Barry Petten
  MPKen McDonald
  Total59.10 km2 (22.82 sq mi)
14 m (46 ft)
  Density440/km2 (1,100/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-3:30 (Newfoundland Time)
  Summer (DST)UTC-2:30 (Newfoundland Daylight)
Postal code span
A1W & A1X
Area code(s)709


The town is located on the southern shore of Conception Bay on the Avalon Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland. It is approximately 20 kilometres (12 miles) southwest of the provincial capital of St. John's. As such, the town is part of the St. John's Metropolitan Area and most residents are employed in the nearby cities of St. John's or Mount Pearl.

The town lies on a zone of Cambrian bedrock, primarily shale containing limestone concretions and manganese ores.[2]


Conception Bay South was formed in 1973 through the amalgamation of nine communities (Topsail, Chamberlains, Manuels, Long Pond, Foxtrap, Kelligrews, Upper Gullies, Lawrence Pond and Seal Cove) all of which follow the coastline of Conception Bay.

The early residents, mainly English but some Irish, were attracted by good growing land, abundant supplies of firewood and the more temperate climate as compared to other parts of the Avalon Peninsula. Good communication with St. John's was established by road in the 1830s and strengthened in the 1880s with the arrival of the railway. Residents of Conception Bay South grew crops and raised cattle for the St. John's market and St. John's residents established summer homes in Conception Bay South.


In August 2003 the town was the location for the murder of Zachary Turner at the hands of his mother Shirley Jane Turner. Turner drugged the infant and jumped into the Atlantic Ocean. She had controversially been bailed and awarded custody of the infant even though she was in the process of being extradited to the United States to stand trial for the murder of Zachary's father. The events became the basis for the 2008 documentary Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father'.[3]

In 2013, there was a shooting near Villanova Plaza, a collection of stores in Conception Bay South. A man murdered 2 persons and committed suicide not long after. This incident occurred near the Conception Bay South Topsail soccer field, where a stabbing took place less than a year after.


Historical population

As of 2016 the population was 26,199[1] which makes the town the second largest population centre in the province behind the city of St. John's. The community corresponds largely, but not exactly, to the boundaries of the electoral district of the same name.[5][6]

In 2016, Conception Bay South was 92.3% White, 6.6% Aboriginal, and 1.1% other visible minorities.[1]


Conception Bay provided ample fishing grounds for some time in its history. The world's largest tuna was caught off the coast of Long Pond and is now on display in the Atlantic Fisheries Museum in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. Lobster trapping is also a common sight.


The Kelligrews Soiree launches the Town's tourist season in early July. There are several full days of activities and events for the entire family, including the world-famous Kelligrews Soiree folk festival and garden party.

The Admirals' Coast scenic route follows Route 60 along the western and southern shore of Conception Bay between Marysvale to Paradise, and provides excellent views over the bay. Conception Bay South is the largest community in the Admirals' Coast and provides many amenities for tourists visiting the region.

The town is one of the few to have a geological attraction, namely the trilobite fossil beds along the Manuels River Linear Park. The fossils found here are similar to those found in southern Spain and Portugal and northern Africa, but different from those found in western Newfoundland. This was a key in establishing the theory of plate tectonics, or continental drift.

The town also has a marina at Foxtrap, site of a famous 19th century "battle." The town is home to the Royal Newfoundland Yacht Club at Long Pond, which received permission for use of the Prefix Royal, and the Blue Ensign.[7]

A popular seaside attraction is Topsail Beach, in the east end of town.


Conception Bay South is home to nine schools under the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District. There are five elementary schools (Admirals Academy, Upper Gullies Elementary, St. Edward's, St. George's Elementary, and Topsail Elementary), two junior high schools (Frank Roberts Junior High, and Villanova Junior High) and two high schools (Queen Elizabeth Regional High, and Holy Spirit High). French Immersion is offered from K-12 through all of these schools. There is also the College of the North Atlantic (Seal Cove Campus).


Sports is a big part of community life in Conception Bay South. Rugby and soccer are perhaps the most popular sports in the community. The town is home to the Bayman Rugby Club. The Conception Bay South Soccer Association boasts more than 1000 members playing at fields in Topsail, Chamberlains, Foxtrap and Kelligrews. The association is home to a state of the art clubhouse and turf field facility at Topsail. Conception Bay South Soccer has hosted the Under 13 Atlantic Championships twice (2012 and 2014), the Under 18 National Championships (2013) and the Under 16 National Championships (2014). In 2013 Olympic Bronze medalists Christine Sinclair, Diana Matheson, Karina LeBlanc and Rhian Wilkinson held clinics for young players at the Topsail facility. The soccer association has also hosted the 2016 Senior National Championships as well as the 2016 Newfoundland and Labrador Summer Games. The Conception Bay South Soccer Association's competitive teams are known as the "Conception Bay South Strikers."

Swimming, tennis, ice hockey, baseball, softball and volleyball are also played by many residents. Curling has been adapted by many residents who in the past have played in St. John's. There are currently 5 soccer fields, a rugby field, 25m swimming pool, a hockey stadium, 6 ball fields as well as many gyms, and courts. The outdoor tennis court by Villanova Jr. High has been converted into a skatepark, with the removal of the nets and addition of 4 permanent (but movable) pieces of skatepark equipment.

There is also a large minor hockey association in Conception Bay South with over 900 Children involved aged from 5 until age 18. The children involved travel all the way from Paradise to Avondale to play in the Conception Bay South minor hockey association. The association is divided up into six divisions according to age: there is Pre-Novice, Novice, Atom, Peewee, Bantam, and Midget. Each division is also divided into A, B and C teams based on skill level of the people who participate in the try-outs each year.

There is also an annual competition between the two high school hockey teams each year called the Fred Squires shield. This best of three game series is dedicated to Fred Squires who was a former Conception Bay South stadium manager and later died in an automobile accident while employed with the Canadian Red Cross, NL division.

Emergency services

Conception Bay South is home to a 24-hour Fire Department staffed by 28 full-time and 25 volunteer members. The West Side Fire Hall is located in Kelligrews and the East Side Fire Hall is in Topsail. There is an RNC headquarters located in Manuels, and many on-call ambulance services. Search and Rescue is provided by the Canadian Forces 103 Rescue Squadron based at Gander International Airport in central Newfoundland as well as the Canadian Coast Guard from St.John's.


The town is located approximately 30 km from St. John's International Airport which provides service to Canada, the United States, the Caribbean and Europe. The town's harbour is located in the Long Pond area and hosts many cruise ships over the summer months. Parsons & Sons provides charter busing and school runs for the public throughout the town and also outside the province. There is a taxi service along with taxi companies from nearby St. John's, Mount Pearl and Paradise. There are also two marinas located in C.B.S., one in Foxtrap and one in Long Pond.

Local government


  • Mayor: Terry French
  • Deputy Mayor: Richard Murphy
  • Councillors: Darrin Bent, Junior Bursey, Gerard Tilley, Christine Butler, Cheryl Davis, Rex Hillier, Kirk Youden


  1. "Census Profile, 2016 Census Conception Bay South, Town [Census subdivision], Newfoundland and Labrador". Statistics Canada. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  2. A.F. King (compiler) (1988). "Geology of the Avalon Peninsula, Newfoundland" (PDF). Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  3. "After Canadian mother killed herself and their only grandchild, U.S. couple started 10-year fight to change Canada's bail laws". The National Post. Postmedia News. August 9, 2013. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  4. "2006 Community Profiles: Conception Bay South, NL". Statistics Canada. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  5. "Provincial Electoral Districts: Conception Bay South" (PDF). Department of Finance, Newfoundland and Labrador. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-02-16.
  6. "CBS Interactive Map". Town of Conception Bay South. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
  7. "State Protocol and Special Events - Use of the Prefix Royal - Newfoundland Yacht Club". Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved February 5, 2015.
  8. "Councillors". Town of Conception Bay South. Retrieved October 19, 2019.
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