Placentia (called Plaisance by the French) is a community on the east side of Placentia Bay and west side of the Avalon Peninsula in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It has a great history of occupation going back to the 1500s. There are reports of early visits from the Basque, Portuguese, Spanish, Aboriginals and others. Besides being a onetime capital (1662 to 1713) for the French in Newfoundland, it also has an interesting history associated with the English and Irish and, in more recent times, the Americans. There are a number of locations of old forts, one of which has been developed as the Castle Hill National Historic Site.
When we talk about Placentia or Plaisance, in history, we are frequently referring to a larger area that probably included Point Verde, Townside, Jerseyside, Ferndale, Freshwater, Argentia (Little Placentia), Southeast, Bond’s Path and Dunville (Northeast Arm). With the exception of Point Verde, these were all amalgamated into the Town of Placentia in 1994. (Population just under 4,000 in 2011)
Today Placentia is a modern community with paved roads and some sidewalks, a new school, churches, postal services, RCMP, fire department, shopping mall and other business including banks, service stations, liquor store, furniture stores, restaurants, hotels, RV park and camping grounds, art studios, used car dealership, and more. It also has a unique lift bridge and a unique river that flows in two directions because of tidal action.
Placentia is blessed with tourism attractions within the community and nearby. There is Castle Hill, archaeological digs, old buildings, Placentia Bay Cultural Arts Centre, graveyards, museum, former U.S. Military base and others within the municipality. Nearby are such attractions as the Atlantic Charter monument, Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve (bird sanctuary) and other nature attractions near Colinet.
Placentia, which is about an hour and a half from St. John's, can be reached by the Trans Canada highway all year and by the East Coast Ferry in Argentia during the summer months.
See a video of the area here. Placentia Tourism Video
For more history: www.placentiahistory.ca