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Saint John, NB, Canada

Saint John is the second-largest city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, located in the south of the province on the Bay of Fundy.

Saint John is a city whose population is composed almost entirely of the descendants of Irish immigrants and British loyalists. Canada's oldest incorporated city, Saint John boasts a metro population of approximately 125,000 and routinely plays host to cruise ships and individual tourists from all over North America. (Note: Saint John is never spelled St. John - locals will be very quick to point this out).

The port is Canada’s third largest port by tonnage with a cargo base that includes dry and liquid bulk, break bulk, containers, and cruise. In 2016, after a decades long decline, the city fell from being the most populous city in New Brunswick to the second most populous city in the province for the first time, with a population of 67,575 over an... Read more

Saint John, NB, Canada

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Saint John is the second-largest city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, located in the south of the province on the Bay of Fundy.

Saint John is a city whose population is composed almost entirely of the descendants of Irish immigrants and British loyalists. Canada's oldest incorporated city, Saint John boasts a metro population of approximately 125,000 and routinely plays host to cruise ships and individual tourists from all over North America. (Note: Saint John is never spelled St. John - locals will be very quick to point this out).

The port is Canada’s third largest port by tonnage with a cargo base that includes dry and liquid bulk, break bulk, containers, and cruise. In 2016, after a decades long decline, the city fell from being the most populous city in New Brunswick to the second most populous city in the province for the first time, with a population of 67,575 over an area of 315.82 square kilometres (121.94 sq mi).[4] The Saint John metropolitan areacovers a land area of 3,362.95 square kilometres (1,298.44 sq mi) across the Caledonia Highlands, with a population (as of 2016) of 126,202. After the partitioning of the colony of Nova Scotia in 1784, the new colony of New Brunswick was thought to be named 'New Ireland' with the capital to be in Saint John before being vetoed by Britain's King George III. Saint John is the oldest incorporated city in Canada. During the reign of George III, the municipality was created by royal charter in 1785.

Samuel de Champlain landed at Saint John Harbour on June 24, 1604 (the feast of St. John the Baptist) and is where the Saint John Rivergets its name. After over a century of ownership disputes over the land surrounding Saint John between the French and English, the English deported the French colonists in 1755 and constructed Fort Howe above the harbour in 1778. Saint John, as a major settlement, was established by Loyalists when two fleets of vessels from Massachusetts, one in the spring and a second in the fall, arrived in the harbour carrying British subjects who, wishing to remain loyal to Great Britain, fled their U.S. homes during the American Revolution. In 1785, the City of Saint John was formed out of the union of Parrtown and Carleton. Over the next century, waves of Irish immigration, namely during the Great Famine via Partridge Island, would fundamentally change the city's demographics and culture.

History

Predated by the Maritime Archaic Indian civilization, the area of the northwestern coastal regions of the Bay of Fundy is believed to have been inhabited by the Passamaquoddy Nation several thousand years ago, while the Saint John River valley north of the bay became the domain of the Maliseet Nation. The Mi'kmaq also ventured into the territory and named the area ''Měnagwĕs'', which means "where they collect the dead seals."

Samuel de Champlain landed at Saint John Harbour in 1604, but the area was in English hands by the end of the Seven Years' War. After being incorporated as a city in 1785 with an influx of Loyalists from the Boston States and immigrants from Ireland, the city grew as a global hub for shipping and shipbuilding. In 1851 the city cemented itself internationally when the Marco Polo, built from a Saint John yard, became the fastest in the world.

However, the city would also experience much struggle with its success. From 1840 to 1860 sectarian violence was rampant in Saint John resulting in some of the worst urban riots in Canadian history. The city experienced a cholera outbreak in 1854 with the death over 1,500 people, as well as a great fire in 1877 that destroyed 40% of the city and left 20,000 people homeless.

Climate

Temperatures in Saint John vary by season. In the summertime temperatures are usually around 22°C, and in the wintertime they usually dip to around 3.9°C. Rain is common in the spring and autumn, but it usually doesn't rain much in the summer. Fog is not uncommon during the summer months. There is the occasional heavy snowfall in the winter; however, snow is usually moderate.

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Saint John, NB, Canada: Port Information


There are two main cruise terminals. Both of them are located in the downtown area:
  • Marco Polo Cruise Terminal
  • Diamond Jubilee Cruise Terminal
Almost everything is within walking distance (including the Reversing Falls). 
Taxis are available (no meters).
 

Get around Saint John, NB, Canada


Buses are available from approximately 6AM to Midnight for public transport within the city. Schedules are available on the buses themselves and in information booths throughout the city.
Taxi service in Saint John is run on a zone to zone basis (no meters). There are several companies available in Saint John for this service.
  • Diamond Taxi: +1 506 648-8888.
  • University Cab: +1 506 631-1111 (offers student discounts to UNBSJ).
  • Coastal Taxi: +1 506 635-1144.
  • Simonds Taxi (often found parked outside McAllister Mall): +1 506 696-8294.
  • Royal Taxi: +1 506 652-5050.
  • Sunrise Taxi: +1 506 638-8888.
Some Companies offer both debit and credit in their cabs, but you have to ask for this service as it is not available in all Cars. 

Within the Uptown it is possible to travel on foot between the

City Market

, Brunswick Square Mall, Market Square, the Canada Games Aquatic Centre, Mercantile Centre and Harbour Station via underground and pedway connections without venturing outside. (The "Inside Connection".) This is very useful during the winter. During the rest of the year, Uptown Saint John also offers a very pleasant and fairly accessible walking experience, with clear, well-maintained sidewalks and crosswalks, and fairly straightforward navigation. (Unlike many older cities, Saint John's Uptown is laid out in a simple, grid design.)

What to see in Saint John, NB, Canada


  • Fort Howe

    - Located in the city's North End, Fort Howe offers a panoramic view of the city and harbour as well as being a historic attraction.
  • City Market - The city market is located in the Uptown, with entrances on Charlotte and Germain Street. Local businesses, craft workers, artists, farmers, bakers and grocers sell a wide array of unique foods and crafts, native both to New Brunswick and around the world. The building is a historic site with amazing period architecture.
  • New Brunswick Museum

    - Located in Market Square in the city's Uptown. The museum boasts a wide array of local historic information and artifacts, artwork, scientific exhibits and displays, and a Discovery Centre with many interactive and educational activities. Museum has a to scale plaster of a mastodon skeleton and skeletons of whales.
  • Rockwood Park - Located in the North End, admission is free and the park offers a wide variety of walking, biking and horseback riding trails. Rockwood Park is landlocked but its paths weave around both natural and man-made lakes (public swimming is free, but no Lifeguard service is available.)
  • Irving Nature Park - Located on the West Side, admission is also free. A variety of walking trails lead travellers through woods, guide them into marshes, and bring them to beaches and lookout points on the sea.
  • King Square - In the heart of the Uptown, King Square is home to gardens, monuments, and the trademark Bandstand / Fountain at its center. Adjacent to King Square is the Loyalist City Burial Ground, whose cobblestone paths lead past graves over two centuries old.
  • Reversing Falls - As the Saint John River flows into the Bay of Fundy, whose tides are the highest in the world, strong rapids form as the tide rises and clashes with the flow of the river below the Reversing Falls bridge. During the summer months a Jet Boat offers tourists the thrill of tackling the rapids up close. A pulp and paper mill is located in the area near the bridge.
  • Carleton Martello Tower - The Carleton Martello Tower was originally built for the War of 1812. However by the time of its completion in 1815, the war was completed. It became used for military in 1866 and was used on and off by Canadian troops for nearly eighty years. It is now a Canadian National Historic Site.

What to do in Saint John, NB, Canada


  • Cherry Brook Zoo - Located in a northern section of Rockwood Park. Home to numerous endangered species as well as other exotic animals. Lovely natural setting. Great area for interesting walking. Open 364 days per year until dusk. Also included is Vanished Kingdom Park featuring life-sized statues of extinct species. Tiger Claws miniature Gold also located on site along with gift shop and canteen.
  • The Imperial Theatre - Located Downtown near the Market Square Mall, this historic theater features everything from plays to rock concerts.
  • Harbour Passage. Harbour Passage is a red paved walking path that runs from the Boardwalk Uptown to the Old Museum on Douglas Avenue. It's a great walking, biking or skating path in the summertime. Word of caution, while it is well lit at night, the occasional mugging has been known to happen in the past. Stay in groups at night and you will be fine. Also a great way to make it from Uptown to the North End of the city. Very close to the holiday inn express. 

What to eat and drink in Saint John, NB, Canada


Eat

A variety of locations for dining in are available in Market Square. For the more thrifty traveller an eatery is located in Brunswick Square, or try the side aisles of the City Market for fresh salads, sandwiches, and other local fare.
  • Billy's Seafood (near the Front gates to the City market.)Seafood of all kinds is what you can find at Billy's. Locally owned and operated by Billy himself. Offers up great seafood dishes with a reasonable price. This restaurant is a favourite of both locals and Cruise tourists, some of who make the trek from the United States each year to come and sample the tastes!
  • Alley Gria, 126 Prince William Street. Spanish Tapas Bar. Serves up all kinds of delicious plates for you to share with your friends. Best if more than two people go, that way everyone can order something Different. Open in the Afternoon-Evenings. 
  • Thandi's, 33 Canterbury Street, +1 506-648-2377. Thandi's is great for Thai and Indian Cuisine.
  • Big Tide Brewing Co., 53 Princess Street. Nice little brew pub with some great Microbrewed beer. Everything from IPA's to Hemp Ale, there is something for everyone. Big Tide offers up some pub favourites. Not too expensive. Great mixed drinks too!
  • Lemongrass/Pepper's Pub, Brunswick Square. The Lemongrass Restaurant is a great Thai place offering upscale food at a reasonable price. Very good pad thai and "money bags" (Appetizer). Pepper's Pub, which is located in the same venue offers up unique pub fare for just about anybody. Thursdays is wing night. Great Sauce Selections. Service can be a little slow on this night, but only because the place is jam packed with regulars who flock to Pepper's for the best wings in town! They often host "IPN- Indie Pop Night". Great selection of live bands and a heated patio make Lemongrass/Pepper's Pub a great place to eat and drink. 
  • Cora's Breakfast & Lunch (Located in Brunswick Square). Great breakfast, A la Cora! Cora, a Quebec native began a chain of Breakfast restaurants which are now popular all over Atlantic Canada! Impressive fruit plates, delicious crepes and huge portions. Inexpensive. Try the crepes of any kind. They're all delicious! 
  • Vito's. With three locations in the greater Saint John area, this locally owned family restaurant was founded in 1972 by four Greek immigrant brothers and is very popular for pizza and spaghetti. Locations: Rothesay Ave (East) 324 Rothesay Avenue, Saint John, NB 506-634-1300 / Hazen Avenue (Uptown)1 Hazen Avenue Saint John, NB 506-634-3900 / Hampton Road (KV) 111 Hampton Road Rothesay, NB 506-847-4400.
  • Urban Deli/Italian By Night, King's St. Urban Deli has fantastic lunches. Pulled Piggy and Slaw is highly recommended, as is the Cordon Blu (not on the menu). At night, for expensive, but good Italian eats, Italian By Night is great. 
  • Vegas Bar and Grill, 10 Portland Street, (506) 674-5287, e-mail: goodtimes@vegasbarandgrill.ca. Located inside the Howard Johnson Fort Howe Plaza. Try the B-Eat the House burger, which is 35 oz of ground beef and trimmings. Eat the whole thing in 45 minutes and it's free. Your photo also goes on their wall. 

Drink

  • Saint John Ale House, 1 Market Square, (506) 657-2337, e-mail: admin@sjah.ca. Located on the Boardwalk, inside Market Square. Great Selection of Beer both local and international. Good eats! You can get the Ale Sized fish and chips which is practically a whole side of haddock! Good value for the money. Has a bar downstairs and a fine dining establishment upstairs. 
  • 3 Mile Entertainment Complex, Located on Saint John's East side. Home of Tonic, a spacious dance club, for patrons 21+. The largest dance club east of Montreal. Music by "DJ506" You can call ahead and ask to be put on the list, if you are under 21. Also home to the 3 Mile Steak & Rib House. Great Steaks, Ribs and Wings (with over 36 different sauces) Also home to Legends Bar & Grille, where Casino Style meets delicious food and a good place to drink. 
  • O'Leary's, 46 Princess Street, (506) 634-7135. A Popular Irish Pub, located in Uptown, has live music on Friday and Saturday nights, usually Rock and Country cover bands. Most recently O'Leary's has broken away from the live bands on the weekends and often plays the hottest dance hits. 
  • Callahan's, 2 Princess Street, (506) 634-0366, e-mail: info@callahanspubsj.com. 2PM Tues to Sat. Friendly pub located at the foot of Princess Street, near cruise terminal. Establishment has unusual vaulted ceiling having once served as the mail room in Canada's oldest post office. Free Wifi / ATM.

 

Shopping in Saint John, NB, Canada


The City Market uptown is the oldest operating farmers market in Canada, with fruits, vegetables, fresh seafood, Java Moose (a local brewed coffee house with good take-home coffee beans), and on Saturdays, various vendors with foods from around the world. Uptown is also home to hundreds of independent shops with a wide variety of food and merchandise. A stroll down King Street finds stores selling local arts and crafts, while across the street the Brunswick Square Mall offers commercial stores (clothes, shoes, cards, books, music, Laura Secord chocolates). On Germain and Canterbury Streets (both off King Street) independent merchants offer used books, records and international cuisine.

There are eight local shopping centres of varying quality; a few are mere strip malls or have fallen into the "dead maĺl" pattern of discount stores, vacancies or non-retail uses such as telephone call centres. The largest local malls are McAllister Place and East Point Shopping Centre in the east end, or Brunswick Square and Market Square uptown. The city's east side is also home to numerous big-box stores, mostly chains ranging from clothing to hardware to electronics.

Safety in Saint John, NB, Canada


Saint John is safe compared to most cities; however, it is a good idea to walk on well-lit busy streets after dark and not on darker side streets. Street crime is rare but not unheard of. You are relatively safe in the commercial/retail area of Uptown, where the hotels are located. The South End, an area just next to Downtown, can be dangerous.

Language spoken in Saint John, NB, Canada


New Brunswick is the only province in Canada that is officially bilingual (English and French). Francophones speak a dialect known as Acadian French. Acadian French is distinct from QuebecFrench, since Acadia's history is separated from the one of Quebec. Acadian French speakers are instantly recognizable by their charming and strongly trilled r.

Near Moncton and in other urban areas, a distinct English-French creole language known as chiaque is spoken. It's frowned upon as "bad French" by Francophones and "bad English" by Anglophones, but it's popular among young people. Some effort is being made to rehabilitate chiaque, with a nascent literature and support organizations.

The English/French split within the province is approximately a northeast/southwest split. Despite the split, English is spoken throughout the province. French speakers may struggle to find fluent French speakers in the southwest of the province.

LOCAL TIME

9:23 am
April 24, 2019
America/Halifax

CURRENT WEATHER

4.35 °C / 39.83 °F
moderate rain
Thu

7.35 °C/45 °F
overcast clouds
Fri

11.07 °C/52 °F
moderate rain
Sat

10.65 °C/51 °F
heavy intensity rain
Sun

13.72 °C/57 °F
sky is clear

LOCAL CURRENCY

CAD

1 USD = 1.35 CAD
1 EUR = 1.51 CAD
1 GBP = 1.74 CAD
1 AUD = 0.95 CAD

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