Jeunes Citoyens / Young Citizens

Benjamin Greens Harbour, Newfoundland and Labrador

Fair address: Avalon Regional Fair

Project: The Great Fire St. Johns 1892

My project is about the great fire of St. John’s (NL) that occurred on July 8,1892. Nearly two thirds of the city had been destroyed, 12,000 people were left homeless, and 13 million dollars sustained in damages. There were many unfortunate events that added to the devastation. St. John’s was left in economic ruin.

What was the most interesting thing you learned about your topic?

The people of Newfoundland were devastated. Through determination and resilience, they rebuilt almost their entire city in only 3 years. Newfoundland was not yet a part of Canada. It was a dominion of Great Britain and was not able to deal with such loss. Canada played a huge role in helping rebuild. They were one of the first countries to send help after the great fire. I was also interested to learn that this had been the third fire that had occurred in the city and many of the fire regulations that had been advised after these previous fires were not implemented, such as widening and straightening the streets. I also enjoyed learning about the beautiful architecture and historic structures of St. John’s.

What important lessons have you learned that you want to share with other Canadians?

One of the important lessons I have learned is the ability of people to overcome total loss and destruction. 12, 000 people had lost everything they owned but they did not give up. They persevered to rebuild their city. Newfoundlanders received many generous donations from Canada,the USA and Britain. Through these acts of kindness, they were able to rise above the ashes.

How would you compare your life today to the lives of those studied in your project?

I would consider myself much more fortunate than the people I studied in my project. When the fire had occurred, the fire department had been mismanaged with very poor equipment. Today, we have highly trained fire fighters and departments throughout Newfoundland. Much of Newfoundland at the time was dependent on the fishery for survival. Today, many other opportunities exist for employment but the fishery remains a very important part of Newfoundland and its history.

  • Brianna Barrett (Young Citizen)

    Excellent work! I enjoyed the facts presented in your video. You done a good job of keeping the story alive. Good luck! :)
    06/07/2017 5:51:51 PM

  • Anna White (Young Citizan)

    Great video! You did an amazing job of keeping the story of the fire in 1892 alive! You were also very well dressed for the theme of your video.
    29/06/2017 4:36:57 PM

  • Mildred Pitcher

    Excellent work Benjamin, good luck.
    23/06/2017 9:54:26 AM

  • Linda LeDrew

    Thanks for this history lesson. Loved the video blending the present with the fire.
    23/06/2017 4:30:18 AM


    Excellent presentation, Ben! Congratulations! You are an excelent representative of your school and community.You have made your family and friends very proud. Good luck!
    22/06/2017 4:27:45 AM

  • Helen clarke

    Awesome job Ben. Very interesting and informative.
    21/06/2017 6:27:23 PM

  • Brooklyn Bixby

    Great job!
    21/06/2017 2:02:28 PM

  • Irene Thistle

    Great job on passing this piece of history along!
    19/06/2017 7:28:31 AM

  • vernon taylor

    a job well done
    17/06/2017 8:02:49 PM

  • graham

    a job well done
    17/06/2017 7:05:37 PM

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Project partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage.
  • Canadian Heritage / Patrimoine Canadien
  • Government of Canada
  • HBC: Hudson's Bay Company
  • ecentricarts inc.