Labrador, a suburb north of Southport on the Gold Coast, is 62 km south of central Brisbane. The district was apparently named by Robert Muir, the co-purchaser of 56 ha of land fronting Broadwater south of Biggera Creek in 1878. Subdivided in a short time, one of the parcels was acquired by Frederick Shaw, a manager for Cobb and Co. Anticipating the need for a hotel for a coach service to Southport, Shaw built both a residence and the Labrador Hotel in 1883.
The name gained further prominence with the building of grand holiday residence, Labrador House (1883), at the corner of Marine Parade and Brisbane Road (Gold Coast Highway).
The Labrador Hotel had a private jetty, as did the Grand Hotel (1886) built by a local Southport syndicate. The Grand, verandahed and with magnificent dining rooms was the last word in American-style accommodation. Its magnificence attracted a number of holiday homes, among them one built by Thomas Finney whose department store supplied the hotel's furnishings.
Apart from holiday-makers there was a community of fishing families and oyster bed lessees. By 1919 local families petitioned for a school (1921) and a progress association succeeded in building a memorial hall in 1929. A sure sign of suburbanisation was the opening of the Stop'n'Shop corner store on Brisbane Road, in sight of Labrador House.
In the early postwar years Labrador developed as a dormitory suburb of Southport, many of its beachfront streets being laid out in the 1950s. The school was rebuilt, larger and on a new site in 1952. There are numerous retirement and residential care estates.
Labrador has four local shopping centres, three sports reserves, several churches and the Southport caravan and cabin park. Along the beach and the Gold Coast Highway there are several motels, eateries, a boat ramp and small jetties. Labrador's census populations have been:
Dawn Rix, Labrador: the early pioneers, Main Beach, D.H.R. Publishing, 2002