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IN PHOTOS: Historic Newfoundland and Labrador town of Trinity in limbo at start of tourist season

The historic town of Trinity, on Newfoundland's Bonavista Peninsula, is eerily empty on a beautiful day in May, 2020, a month that is typically the start of a usually-busy summer tourist season. As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the province, the Town of Trinity and the area known as the Trinity Bight, would normally be seeing bus tours by now, and seasonal residents returning to open up their homes and cottages for the summer.
The historic town of Trinity, on Newfoundland's Bonavista Peninsula, is eerily empty on a beautiful day in May, 2020, a month that is typically the start of a usually-busy summer tourist season. As one of the most popular tourist destinations in the province, the Town of Trinity and the area known as the Trinity Bight, would normally be seeing bus tours by now, and seasonal residents returning to open up their homes and cottages for the summer. - Barb Dean-Simmons
TRINITY, N.L. —


It's mid-May. A brisk breeze whips off the water, tossing waves onto the beach behind the Parish Hall in the historic Town of Trinity, on Newfoundland's Bonavista Peninsula. The lone kayaker eventually gives up his attempt to launch against the wind. He heads for home, a solitary figure walking along Church Street, past the Hiscock House Provincial Historic Site and St. Paul’s Anglican Church.

The only thing to meet him is a squall of dust, kicked up by the wind to form into a spiral at his feet.

Otherwise, the town is empty.

Chairs are stacked at the Dockside Marina, awaiting guests, the shades are pulled down in the windows of the craft shop, a padlock is fixed to the door of the chocolate shop.

Trinity, which by now should be alive with visitors, is in limbo. The start of a real tourist season is nowhere in sight thanks to the virus called COVID-19.


Aunt Sarah's Chocolate Shop in the historic town of Trinity, NL, is typically a busy spot during tourist season. However, the start of the 2020 season has been anything but typical for businesses that rely on visitors. Business co-owner Sarah Rchacewich told SaltWire, “It’s hard to make a long-range plan for this season. We’re sort of taking it one day at a time, to prepare to open.” Meanwhile, they do have an on-line store to continue to fill cusomter orders, and they’ve recently started selling their products at Belbin’s Grocery in St. John’s. They’ve also started offering curb-side delivery in Trinity to get the season started.  “If we do open this season I’m going to make sure everyone feels safe coming to the store,” she said. “We have always maintained a certain protocol,” she said, adding extra safety measures will be part of the plan. “We have to figure out what the story will look like in this new world, to be safe.”
Aunt Sarah's Chocolate Shop in the historic town of Trinity, NL, is typically a busy spot during tourist season. However, the start of the 2020 season has been anything but typical for businesses that rely on visitors. Business co-owner Sarah Rchacewich told SaltWire, “It’s hard to make a long-range plan for this season. We’re sort of taking it one day at a time, to prepare to open.” Meanwhile, they do have an on-line store to continue to fill cusomter orders, and they’ve recently started selling their products at Belbin’s Grocery in St. John’s. They’ve also started offering curb-side delivery in Trinity to get the season started. “If we do open this season I’m going to make sure everyone feels safe coming to the store,” she said. “We have always maintained a certain protocol,” she said, adding extra safety measures will be part of the plan. “We have to figure out what the story will look like in this new world, to be safe.”
The Hiscock House Provincial Historic Site and attached craft shop in the historic town of Trinity, NL, is shut down in the time of COVID-19. For crafters like Joan Kane, who supply hand-made knitted items to this craft shop, 2020 is a season of uncertainty.
The Hiscock House Provincial Historic Site and attached craft shop in the historic town of Trinity, NL, is shut down in the time of COVID-19. For crafters like Joan Kane, who supply hand-made knitted items to this craft shop, 2020 is a season of uncertainty.
Businesses that cater to the tourist trade are still boarded up in the historic town of Trinity, NL, this May, in a time when they would usually be seeing the first visitors of the season. According to the provincial tourism department, thousands of people visit the two historic sites in the town each year. The Trinity Interpretation Centre saw 8,421 visitors in 2018 and 7,943 in 2019, and the historic Hiscock House welcomed about 5,000 visitors in each of those two years.
Businesses that cater to the tourist trade are still boarded up in the historic town of Trinity, NL, this May, in a time when they would usually be seeing the first visitors of the season. According to the provincial tourism department, thousands of people visit the two historic sites in the town each year. The Trinity Interpretation Centre saw 8,421 visitors in 2018 and 7,943 in 2019, and the historic Hiscock House welcomed about 5,000 visitors in each of those two years.
Signs of times past. When the visitor information centre in the historic town of Trinity, NL, was closed for the season in 2019, no one could have predicted how a pandemic would change plans for 2020. A spokesperson for the province's tourism department told SaltWire this week they are working on a re-opening plan for the 2020 season at provincial historic sites.
Signs of times past. When the visitor information centre in the historic town of Trinity, NL, was closed for the season in 2019, no one could have predicted how a pandemic would change plans for 2020. A spokesperson for the province's tourism department told SaltWire this week they are working on a re-opening plan for the 2020 season at provincial historic sites.
Since 1978 Rising Tide Theatre, a professional company in Trinity NL, has been a staple during the tourism season. However COVID-19 has forced the company to take a temporary hiatus for 2020. There are no shows scheduled for the immediate future. Artistic director Donna Butt could not be reached for comment.
Since 1978 Rising Tide Theatre, a professional company in Trinity NL, has been a staple during the tourism season. However COVID-19 has forced the company to take a temporary hiatus for 2020. There are no shows scheduled for the immediate future. Artistic director Donna Butt could not be reached for comment.
Chairs and tables are still stacked on the outdoor patio at the Dockside Marine in Trinity, Trinity Bay, NL. Thanks to COVID-19 and Public Health restrictions, restaurants in the province are unable to open to diners. It means an uncertain summer for businesses like this one that cater mainly to summer tourists.
Chairs and tables are still stacked on the outdoor patio at the Dockside Marine in Trinity, Trinity Bay, NL. Thanks to COVID-19 and Public Health restrictions, restaurants in the province are unable to open to diners. It means an uncertain summer for businesses like this one that cater mainly to summer tourists.

Twitter: @nlpacket

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