On January 1, 1956 the first council of the newly formed City of Corner Brook assumed office. The process that led to the formation of the city had begun years earlier with the four original townships.Curling was settled in the mid 1860’s with the main industries being fishing and subsistence farming. The decision to make Birchy Cove the headquarters of the Church of England for the Bay of Islands – Bonne Bay Mission, would eventually spur the community to become the main trade centre in the Bay of Islands. In 1904, Birchy Cove changed its name to Curling, in honor of Reverend J.J. Curling who served in Birchy Cove for many years. Curling continued to prosper with the economic booms of World War One and Two and felt hardship during the Great Depression. In July 1947, Curling was incorporated as a town.

Corner Brook West’s development can be attributed to the construction of the pulp and paper mill. This new industry spurred the growth of new retail businesses and services in the area. The unskilled workers at the mill and people who came here looking for work and business opportunities settled here. Corner Brook West would be the first out of all the other communities to apply for municipal incorporation and on November 5, 1942 Corner Brook West was incorporated as a town.

Humbermouth, Brakes Cove and Humber Road was the centre for the railroad industry in the Bay of Islands. Corner Brook East grew out of the influx of people that came to the area during the construction of the mill and then in 1951 with the construction of the cement plant. In 1948 Corner Brook East applied to the province and received incorporation. In 1951 Corner Brook East amalgamated with the settlements of Humbermouth, Brakes Cove and Humber Road and the whole area became known as Corner Brook East.

Townsite, which was built and owned by the Newfoundland Power and Paper Company, housed the management and skilled staff of the pulp and paper mill which opened in August 1925. Townsite never incorporated as a town. It was administered by a town manager and town council appointed by the pulp and paper company. With the incorporation of the surrounding communities, the company allowed three of the six members from the Townsite council to be elected, while the other three were appointed by the company.

The idea of Amalgamation of the different townships and the company administered Townsite was first looked at in the 1940’s but it was not until 1950 that serious thought was given to the idea. A report was commissioned by the Humber Municipal Association, known as the Goldenberg Report by H. Carl Goldenberg, and was released on April 22, 1950. This report surveyed many of the problems facing the greater Corner Brook area like the inadequate water and sewer services, centralization of firefighting services and increased municipal planning. In the mid-1950’s another report called the Plunkett Report was issued and suggested amalgamation of the Corner Brook West, Corner Brook East and Townsite, leaving out Curling stating its physical separation from the other areas. Curling lobbied to be included in the amalgamation process and eventually was successful. The various towns of the Humber Municipal Association began to advocate the report’s ideas and received support from the provincial government.

A plebiscite was set for February 14 and 15, 1955 for the citizens of Curling, Corner Brook West, Corner Brook East and Townsite to vote for or against amalgamation. Sixty-five percent voted yes. On April 27, 1955 the provincial government passed an act incorporating the City of Corner Brook. In August of that year elections for the first council for the City of Corner Brook were held. The new council was seated on January 1, 1956 and with this came an end to the four separate towns and the beginnings of the City of Corner Brook.

Corner Brook’s City Council Throughout the Ages