Argentia offers an impressive catalogue of advantages. They include: a strategic location in the center of the world's shipping lanes, extensive buildings and infrastructure, a highly skilled workforce, an excellent ice-free port with three wharf complexes, well-developed land zoned for industrial use, electrical capacity and much more.
The Voisey's Bay Hydromet Facility will bring unprecedented economic benefits to the Placentia area. In addition to the jobs generated by the complex itself, there will also be a need for support services and opportunities for spin-off industries. They will join a growing list of businesses already established in the industrial area:
Eimskip Newfoundland (container service), Marine Atlantic (ferry service), Argentia Freezers and Terminals (wharf handling and stevedoring), Newfoundland Steel (rebar fabricators), Pennecon Ltd. (cement importer), Municipal Recycling, The Canadian Coast Guard, The U.S. Navy Undersea Surveillance Facility, Raven Wood Industries (cabinet fabrication), Fusion Services (poly pipe fabrication), Marex Inc. (consulting & contracting firm), Argentia Drycleaning and Laundry, St. Lawrence Cement (cement silos), Stellar Woodworks (carpentry operation).
Situated on a small peninsula on the east side of Placentia Bay, Argentia was settled about the same time as Placentia during the 1600's. Initially Argentia was settled as a small French fishing village known as Petit Plaisance. However, the settlement changed hands in 1713 when in accordance with the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht the French gave up most of southern Newfoundland to Great Britain.
Soon after the British fishery began slowly to expand into Placentia Bay, and Little Placentia (as Argentia was then called), endowed with a good harbour, large beaches and good stands of timber, soon became a British fishing station. This continued into the Twentieth Century as most of the people in Argentia were involved in the fishery with cod being the main species caught.
The history of Argentia came to an end in late 1940 when the United States government acquired a large portion of land on the small peninsula from the governments of Great Britain and Newfoundland and began construction of the large United States naval base. In order to make room for the base, the 477 people living there were resettled in various communities in the area during the winter of 1940-1941.
Since 1968 Argentia has also been the site of a Canadian National marine terminal for a summer ferry service between the Avalon Peninsula and North Sydney, Nova Scotia