The second-largest city in Canada’s Maritime Provinces, Saint John is the largest city in New Brunswick. The latest census, taken in 2011, showed the population of this lovely centre at just over 70,000; the metropolitan area’s population is approximately 130,000. Known by many nicknames – Fundy City and Loyalist City are but two – Saint John was established in 1604, became a major settlement in 1783, and was incorporated in 1785. It was Canada’s first incorporated city.
Saint John is accessible from many major centres. Here are a few examples of distances:
- Toronto – Saint John: Approximately 1450 km (900 m)
- Montreal – Saint John: Approximately 900 km (560 m)
- Halifax – Saint John: Approximately 400 km (250 m)
- Calais, Maine – Saint John: Approximately 110 km (70 m)
- Fredericton, NB – Saint John: Approximately 110 km (70 m)
Saint John, on the shore of the Bay of Fundy, has the highest tides in Canada! It’s beauty and natural wonders make it a compelling visit for anyone’s Canadian travel bucket list, but in addition, there are pretty streetscapes, and many other attractions. The Reversing Rapids, for instance, are caused at the juncture of the St. John River and Bay of Fundy. Every low and high tide, the tidal waters are either higher or lower than the river’s waters, causing a unique series of rapids and whirlpools. Keeping it outdoors, Rockwood Park is home to 55 trails and footpaths. Its unique topography holds a billion years of history. It’s also home to a campground, stables, and a golf course.
People on our east coast are, well, downright friendly! As you tour around Saint John, enjoying the outdoor sights, don’t forget to enjoy the people, in the many ways you meet them.
While nature is right up there in terms of why you should visit the city, you should also make your way to their famous Trinity Church, New Brunswick Museum, or even Loyalist House. Each of these three is ranked among Saint John’s top-ten attractions (as is Rockwood Park).
Of course, there are many excellent and eclectic places to dine in the city. If Korean’s your thing, try Kim’s Korean Food, right in the City Market on Charlotte. Most of the ratings it gets are excellent, with a handful only “very good”! Want to try something fun? There’s Happinez to be found right on Princess Street (a wine bar, and more). Like any thriving city, Saint John has several prominent neighbourhoods to explore, from the Market area to Uptown to the East or West Side.
The sea is responsible in many ways for what Saint John and her people are, and this is a fine thing. While the economy is divided between maritime activities, the military (the Canadian Forces has a number of reserve units there), and retailing, there are major energy projects there such as the Brunswick Pipeline and Canaport LNG.
Thinking of visiting beautiful and picturesque Saint John? Perhaps you’ll take your fitness gear with you; Canada’s first Y.M.C.A. was built there on a house on Germain Street in 1870!