Water Street is located in downtown St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. It was developed in the early 16th century, and is said to be the oldest street in North America. It became a commercial trading outpost for the Basques, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and English. The street now boasts many souvenir shops, restaurants, pubs, and high-end boutiques, as well as other commercial ventures. To this day the street remains the hub of commercial activity in the city.
Water Street Historic District was designated a national historic site of Canada because it is a contiguous group of commercial structures that are, for the most part, representative of the mercantile establishments built in St. Johns in the mid 19th century, by those associated with the Newfoundland fisheries and the Atlantic trade. Erected (with two exceptions) soon after the Great Fire of 1846, the buildings represent the commercial architecture in St. John’s before the 20th century. Their site and setting is also part of their heritage value, illustrating their historical access to the harbour.