From itty to bitty: Canada's tiniest town gets even tinier
Population of Tilt Cove, N.L., drops to 4
They might be down, but they're not out. The four remaining full-time residents of Tilt Cove on Newfoundland's Baie Verte Peninsula have no plans to leave Canada's tiniest town anytime soon.
Margaret Collins is the town clerk. Her husband Don is the mayor. They live right next door to her brother and his wife who serve as town councillors. And that's it for a former mining town that was once home to 1,500 people.
"We still pay our taxes and still get a bit of money from the government, so we're still surviving," Collins told CBC Radio's Central Morning Show.
But the town has seen a sharp drop in its population in the past couple of years.
Collins's mother-in-law died in 2015, her own mother died last year, and another senior citizen decided to move 12 kilometres away to La Scie.
"There were three senior citizens here, two have died and one has moved to a nearby community in the wintertime, and comes here in the summertime, but then she's 91."
'It's a big loss'
Collins keeps busy as the town clerk — paying the bills to keep Tilt Cove's two street lights burning and water flowing to the two remaining households. They pay for garbage collection and snow clearing for the road on one side of the pond.
She and her husband also run the community museum out of their home, but it doesn't get much action during the long, cold, snowy months of winter.
Since there are no children in the community, their road is the last on the priority list to be plowed by the province.
"We do get a lot of snow in Tilt Cove, and I tell everybody that's the only bad thing in Tilt Cove — the snow in the winter."
Once warmer weather hits it's a different story, with the population jumping to 10 or 11 during the summer months.
Many tourists also make the six-kilometre drive down a dirt road to check out the town that has gained fame for being tiny.
"A lot of people come to see Tilt Cove because it is considered the smallest town in Canada. We still get people wanting to see the sign and get their pictures took with it, and we still get people because Tilt Cove has such history," said Collins.
"And people still have family that used to live here. They want to see the place they heard so much about."
Sticking with it
In its heyday, Tilt Cove had a movie theatre, spots for bowling and curling and a nightclub.
Now the two remaining couples, all in their 50s, make their own entertainment — without the benefit of an internet connection — playing cards or getting together for a cup of tea and a chat in Don's shed.
"We're all getting older, so I don't know what's to come. Right now, we all just love living in Tilt Cove," said Collins.
And there are benefits to living in a really, really, really small town.
"We all know who our neighbours are," joked Collins.
With files from Central Morning