STRAIT OF BELLE ISLE, the more northern of the two channels connecting the Gulf of St Lawrence with the Atlantic Ocean. It separates northern Newfoundland from Labrador, and extends N.E. and S.W. for 35 m., with a breadth of 10 to 15 m. It derives its name from a precipitous granite island, 700 ft. in height, at its Atlantic entrance. On this lighthouses are maintained by the government of Canada and constant communication with the mainland is kept up by wireless telegraphy. The strait is in the most direct route from Europe to the St Lawrence, but is open only from June till the end of November, and even during. this period navigation is often rendered dangerous by floating ice and fogs. Through it Jacques Cartier sailed in 1534. The southern or Cabot Strait, between Cape Ray in Newfoundland and Cape North in Cape Breton, was discovered later, and the expansion below Belle Isle was long known as La Grande Baie. Cabot Strait is open all the year, save for occasional inconvenience from drift ice.
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