Located a brief five minute drive from Placentia, Argentia’s connection with Placentia has endured for centuries. In fact, when it was settled by the French in the 1630s, the community was originally named ‘Petit Plaisance’ or ‘Little Placentia’.
Second World War brought a massive influx of American troops to the area, beginning in 1941 when, under the terms of the famous Lend Lease deal between Britain and the United States, Fort McAndrew (later McAndrew Air Force Base) was established. Argentia provided the Americans with the ideal location for what would become a massive and strategically vital military installation. Under the terms of the deal, the residents of Argentia were relocated, the majority of whom would come to reside in Freshwater (which, like Argentia and nearby Dunnville and Jerseyside, was amalgamated into the Town of Placentia in 1991).
The impact and influence thousands of American troops in Argentia would have on Placentia and neighbouring communities over the next 50 years would be enormous. The Argentia facility would prove to be a key economic driver for the area, providing employment, both directly and indirectly, for many thousands of area residents. The social repercussions were just as poignant, as day-to-day contact evolved to relationships and eventually marriage. Many local girls would marry American personnel, eventually moving away from their island home.
Though the decommissioning of the Argentia base in 1994 was a heavy blow to the economy of the region, the core assets and infrastructure have attracted large industrial projects connected with the province’s resource development sector to the Argentia site, providing a lucrative new dynamic to the Placentia regional economy. Operations in metal fabrication, light manufacturing, information technology and marine transportation have an established presence, along with recently announced projects in the area of new fabrication, maintenance, supply and marine service opportunities.
Argentia provides an attractive resource because of its:
As time has aptly showed again and again, Argentia’s long relationship with Placentia and its people looks ready to endure for many centuries more.
Today the Argentia Management Authority is redeveloping Argentia with a diverse group of port users and tenants involved in marine transportation, construction, manufacturing, steel fabrication, information technology, oil and gas and other activities. To learn more about the tremendous advantages and opportunities available at Argentia please contact the Argentia Management Authority by visiting their website www.argentia.ca.