Fisheries and Land Resources

Geographical Names

Toponymy (or Geographical Names) is the science of naming geographical features and places. Under the Geographical Names Board Act, the Department has the authority to officially name all geographical features and places in the province. The provinces, territories and federal naming authorities have representation on the Geographical Names Board of Canada (GNBC) which is responsible for the establishment and the maintenance of national standards in toponmy. The GNBC has a secretariate in Ottawa which facilitates national collaboration and provides the Canadian Geographical Name Service. The GNBC opens new window provides online simple searches for place names. You can also do advanced multi-ctiteria searches and generate tables of data for extraction.

Knowledge of local usage is a critical factor in determining whether or not a geographical feature name will be considered as an official name. Any individual or organization may propose a name for an unnamed feature or suggest a change to an existing name, provided they comply with established principles and procedures pdf (2 MB). If you have an interest in participating in the geographical naming process of the Province, please click on both the Application form PDF (26 KB) and the Contributor form Microsft Word link and follow the instructions contained within (Application Form, Contributor Form).

Geographical Names Documents:

If you have any questions or require assistance, please contact


Randy Hawkins

Provincial Secretary - Newfoundland and Labrador Geographical Names Board
Tel: (709) 729-3909
Fax: (709) 729-0690

Dr. Gordon Handcock

Chair - Newfoundland and Labrador Geographical Names Board

Peter Hearns

Director - Fisheries and Land Resources, GIS and Mapping
Tel: (709) 637-2483

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