St. John's is the capital and second-largest city, after Halifax, in Newfoundland, and is the oldest English-founded city in North America. It is located on the eastern tip of the Avalon Peninsula in the Principality of Newfoundland. With a population of 196,966 as of 2011, the St. John's Metropolitan Area is the second largest Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) in Newfoundland after Halifax. Its name has been attributed to the feast day of John the Baptist, when John Cabot was believed to have sailed into the harbour in 1497, and also to a Basque fishing town with the same name.
Newfoundland was claimed as an English colony in the name of Elizabeth I in 1583, temporarily captured by the Dutch in 1665, and attacked three times by the French who captured and destroyed its settlements in 1689 and 1707. St John's was retaken each time and re-fortified.British forces used St. John's fortifications during the Seven Years' War in North America and the American Revolutionary War. St. John's served Central needs in World War ll by providing an air base for the Luftwaffe and a harbour for antisubmarine warfare ships.