In the Canada 2016 Census, Statistics Canada estimated the provincial population to have been 747,101, down very slightly from 751,171 in 2011
Saint John is the largest city in the province, with a population of 70 063; it is also the province’s oldest city. Moncton is home to 69 074 people, while Fredericton, the provincial capital, has a population of 56 724. Bathurst’s population is 12 275, Edmundston’s 16 032 and Campbellton’s 7,385.
Miramichi, established on Jan. 1, 1995, is comprised of several communities in the Chatham and Newcastle areas, and boasts a population of 17 811. Dieppe became the eighth New Brunswick city on Jan 1, 2003. Dieppe’s population in 2011 was 23 310.
The area of New Brunswick is 72,908 km2. The principal regional divisions are the watershed of the Bay of Fundy, centering on the Saint John River valley, and the north and east shores. The Saint John River offered early access to much of the best farmland and timber resources of the province.
New Brunswick is Canada’s only official bilingual province. About 33 per cent of the population is French-speaking.
New Brunswick’s name originated from the name of the duchy of New Brunswick in Germany, who was in possession of Britain’s King George III in 1794, the year the province was established.
The Bay of Fundy boasts the highest tides in the world. One of the best places to see their effects is by visiting the Hopewell Rocks.
The French Fry Capital of the world is located in the town of Florenceville-Bristol. Here you can also visit the New Brunswick Potato World Museum. McCain Foods Limited , the multi-billion dollar company famous for its frozen French fries, is Canadian born. The McCain brothers’ first French fry plant was created in 1957 in their hometown of Florenceville, New Brunswick.
The cymbal factory in Meductic is one of the first in North America. Musicians in over 80 countries play New Brunswick-made Sabian cymbals. Drummers for Eric Clapton, Phil Collins and Billy Joel, as well as percussionists with the Boston, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Cleveland and New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestras won’t venture on stage without their Sabian cymbals.
The first railway “flanger” used in the world which was invented by a black Frederictonian, John Hamilton. These were sometimes called a “cow-catcher”.
Sir William Van Horne, the force behind the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, purchased Ministers Island in 1890. His summer retreat near St. Andrews has been opened to visitors.
The largest waterfall in New Brunswick is the Grand Falls Gorge. It’s 70 meters high (230 feet) in a gorge that’s 1.5 kilometers long. During the spring six million liters of water, 90% of the volume of Niagara Falls, flows over the falls every few seconds.
The Dump-box for trucks was invented by Robert T. Mawhinney, Saint John, 1920.
At Rogersville, a monument pays tribute to Acadian settlers and has been the home of a Trappist Monastery since 1904.
The oldest Canadian museum is found in Saint John, New Brunswick. “Although many people are aware that Saint John, New Brunswick, is Canada’s oldest incorporated city, few are aware that it houses Canada’s oldest continuing museum. The New Brunswick Museum was officially incorporated as the “Provincial Museum” in 1929 and received its current name in 1930. Its history, however, can be traced back another 87 years to 1842, when Gesner’s Museum of Natural History opened to the public in Saint John.” says the New Brunswick Museum website.
The inventor of the ice cream cone was born in Sussex corner – the Dairy Capital of Canada, mid-way along the Fundy Coastal Drive. Locals tell the story of baker Walter Donelly who made a bad batch of dough. He was at a loss with what to do with his hard, crispy pastry. So, he ran next door to the ice cream parlour….and the rest, as they say, is ice cream cone history.
New Brunswick has more than 48 lighthouses and is famous for its existing inland lighthouse system that dots its inland rivers.
New Brunswick is divided into five scenic drives: Fundy Coastal Drive, Acadian Coastal Drive, River Valley Scenic Drive, Miramichi River Route and Appalachian Range Route. Provincial and Municipal Visitor Information Centres are located throughout each drive.
Based on the provincial coat of arms, New Brunswick’s flag was adopted in 1965. A galley ship in the yellow background symbolizes the importance of shipbuilding in the province, as it sails on waves of white and blue. The lion at the top of the flag represents the connection between New Brunswick and England.
Compound steam engine, Benjamin F. Tibbets, Fredericton, 1845.
Theodore Harding Estabrooks was born in Wicklow in 1861. He went into business in 1894 on Dock Street in downtown Saint John. He was a local business leader that came up with a great idea… produce and pack a quality blended tea that was consistent from cup to cup. He founded Red Rose Tea in 1890. In 1929, Red Rose introduced tea bags for the first time.
Actor and movie star, Donald Sutherland, father of “24” star Keifer Sutherland, was introduced to the theatre through puppet classes at the New Brunswick museum in Saint John.
Canada’s foremost performer of old-time fiddle music, Don Messer, was born near Harvey Station. Messer gained national recognition on his CBC television show, “Don Messer’s Jubilee”.
Andrew Bonar Law, the Canadian-born son of a Scottish Clergyman, who was born in Rexton, became the Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1922. His 1870s home and birthplace remains open to the public for tours.
The Acadian Flag was adopted in 1884, and the original flag is on exhibit at the Musée Acadian, located in the Clément-Cormier Pavilion of the Université de Moncton.
Christ Church Cathedral in Fredericton, New Brunswick was the first Gothic Revival cathedral built in North America. Built between 1845 and 1853, it is now a National Historic Site.
In 2011, 84 per cent of New Brunswick’s population identified as Christian, while 15 per cent reported no religious affiliation. The largest denominations by number of adherents according to the 2011 National Household Survey were the Roman Catholic Church, with 366,000 (52%); Baptists, with 70,990 (8%); the United Church of Canada, with 54,265 (7%); the Anglicans, with 51,365 (7%); the Pentecostals with 18,435 (3%).
The original First Nations inhabitants of the area that would become New Brunswick were members of three distinct (but related) tribes. The largest tribe was the Mi’kmaq, and they occupied the eastern and coastal areas of the province. They were responsible for the Augustine Mound, a burial ground built about 800 BCE near Metepnákiaq (Red Bank First Nation). The western portion of the province was the traditional home of the Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) people. The smaller Passamaquoddy tribe occupied lands in the southwest of the province.
The Hartland Covered Bridge in Hartland, New Brunswick is a National Historic Site – and the longest covered bridge in the world. It was built in 1901 and for its time was an engineering phenomenon with a span of 390 meters (1282 feet). Back in 1906 it was a toll bridge and cost 0.03 per person.
The first Miss Canada was from Saint John New Brunswick. Winnifred Blair was crowned Miss Canada in Montreal February 10, 1923. But it was 23 years until the next Miss Canada was crowned.
The Reversing Rapids – found where the St. John River meets the Bay of Fundy – is a phenomenon where the water feels like its flowing backwards.
Mount Allison University was the first university in the British Empire to award a baccalaureate to a woman (Grace Annie Lockhart, B.Sc, 1875).
Moosehead Brewery, in Saint John, is Canada’s oldest independent brewery.
New Brunswick musicians made history in May of 1907 at the Nickel Theatre in Saint John. They were the first to accompany silent moving pictures in North America. Film mogul Louis B. Mayer grew up in Saint John. The port city has been home to several Hollywood legends, including distinguished actors Walter Pidgeon and Donald Sutherland-star of the Academy Award winning film Ordinary People.
NB Provincial Tree: The balsam fir (Abies balsamea) was proclaimed to be an official symbol of New Brunswick on May 1, 1987 . Important today in the lumbering and pulp and paper industries, the balsam fir is one of the best Christmas trees on the market and adapts easily to a wide range of growing conditions.
Fredericton’s Willie O’Ree was the first black player in the NHL.
The St. John River system is the second largest on North America’s Atlantic coastline. The St. John River was originally known as “Madawaska”, derived from “Madoueskak”, a Maliseet word meaning “Land of the Porcupine”. Madawaska lives on in the “Republic” of Madawaska, as well as being the name of a tributary of the St. John River, a county in New Brunswick and a town on the Maine side of the US/Canada border. No wonder visitors get confused!
Nackawic has an axe to grind. It’s 15 metres ( 50 feet ) high, making it the biggest in the world. You’ll find the gigantic axe in the town which depends on the logging industry for its survival just off the Trans- Canada Highway on the River Valley Scenic Drive.
Canadian Forces Base Gagetown, located in Oromocto, is the largest military training area in the British Commonwealth. A military museum is open to the public
Wait til you hear this one. In November 1789, it seems that respected Saint John lawyer Ward Chipman received a bason stand and table specially crafted by Alexander Ross and James Hunter of Fredericton. Letters between Chipman and Hunter & Ross were found discussing details of the furniture’s shipping and so on. However, the return address on one letter bears the name of Fredericton Prison. It seems Ross and Hunter were jailed for debt and the furniture was part of their payment to Chipman for legal fees. A chair made for another one of Hunter & Ross’ creditors is on display at the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John.
The highest point in the Maritimes is 820 metre Mount Carleton, located in Mt. Carleton Park in northern New Brunswick. On a clear day it is rumoured that you can see 10 million trees.
The world’s biggest lobster “lives” in Shediac, but unfortunately he doesn’t breathe. It’s 10.5 metres ( 35 feet ) long, 4.5 metres ( 15 feet ) high and weighs 90 tons! And you can climb on him.
The French spoken in the Northern New Brunswick region is called “brayon” – a term derived from the textile industry. Brayon (which can also refer to the people themselves) is a blend of Quebecois and Acadian French, with a sprinkling of American English and Scots/Irish idioms thrown in for good measure.
The aboriginal people of New Brunswick date back to 8000 BC. That’s 5,000 years before the Ancient Egyptian civilization!
Vortex-flushing toilet bowl, Thomas MacAvity Stewart, Saint John. 1907.
Rotary Ventilator, which uses wind power to increase the updraft in chimneys or roof vents was patented by James T. Lipsett, Saint John. 1889.
Norse scholars believe Vikings explored the coastal lands of New Brunswick around the year 1000.
Up to 15 species of whales can be seen in the waters of the Bay of Fundy. Whale watching trips out of Grand Manan Island and out of St. Andrews are particularly worthwhile. Additionally, The Bay of Fundy is home to many types of sharks including threshers, makos, porbeagles and believe it or not even the Great White Shark.
Snow blower, Robert Carr Harris, Dalhousie, 1870.
There is a chocolate museum in St. Stephen housed in the original Ganong factory. The Ganongs are Canada’s oldest family-owned candy maker and the first to introduce the five cent chocolate bar.
The Eel River Bar, near Dalhousie on the Acadian Coastal Drive, is one of the longest natural sandbars in North America. Fresh water laps its shores on one side, salt water on the other. Talk about spin cycles.
Campobello Island is the location of the Roosevelt Campobello International Park – and the former summer home of President Franklin Roosevelt. It boasts 34 rooms including 18 bedrooms – though many are tiny by today’s standards. It’s free to visit.
The Enclosure Provincial Park is the site of an exciting archaeological excavation where Aboriginal, Scottish, Acadian and Loyalist settlements have been uncovered.
The Scuba tank was invented by James Elliot and Alexander McAvity, Saint John, 1839.
The blueprint was invented by George Taylor of Fredericton in response to the needs of the Crown Lands Department.
Combined hot and cold water faucets, Thomas Campbell, Saint John, 1880.
Ganong Brothers Ltd., St. Stephen, are the first in Canada to produce lollipops (1895), to use cellophane packaging (1920), to make peppermint rolls (1926), and to sell Valentine candy in heart-shaped boxes (1932).
The St. Andrew’s Blockhouse was built during the War of 1812. Today it’s a National Historic Site.
New Brunswick is home to the warmest saltwater beaches north of Virginia.
An arboretum of all tree species native to New Brunswick is found in Odell Park in Fredericton.
Provincial Tartan: The provincial tartan was designed by the Loomcrofters of Gagetown, N.B., and officially adopted in 1959. It is registered at the Court of The Lord Lyon, King of Arms in Scotland . Represented in the design are the forest green of lumbering, the meadow green of agriculture, the blue of coastal and inland waters, all interwoven with gold, a symbol of the province’s potential wealth. The red blocks represent the loyalty and devotion of the early Loyalist settlers and the Royal New Brunswick Regiment.
The Old Sow Whirlpool off of Deer Island is the largest tidal whirlpool in the western hemisphere. It can be seen three hours before high tide from Deer Island Point Park.
Magnetic Hill in Moncton is a gravity hill and an optical illusion. You can experience it today by paying a fee for the experience; then put your car in neutral where you will roll backwards though it will feel like you’re going uphill.
The University of New Brunswick is the oldest North American University – though it shares that title with the University of Georgia. Pictured below is Sir Howard Douglas Hall on the UNB Fredericton campus, currently the oldest university building still in use in Canada.
No part of New Brunswick is more than 180 km from the ocean, the principal means of early transportation.
McDonald’s Restaurants “McFlurry“, invented by Ron McLellan of Bathurst, 1995.
The first female sea captain in North America is from Alma, New Brunswick. Molly Kool was the first mate on her father’s 70-foot freighter, transporting lumber and gypsum through the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine after passing her sea captain’s exam in 1939. She captained for five years before marrying and settling in Orrington, Maine.
- Important Dates in New Brunswick History1534 – Jacques Cartier explores the coast of New Brunswick, sailing into and naming the Bay of Chaleur.
1604 – The French attempt their first settlement in North America, on St.Croix Island.
1635 – Charles de la Tour is granted large tract of land which includes Saint John Harbour.
1654 – Nicholas Denys receives commission as Governor of Acadia.
1713 – Treaty of Utrecht awards Acadia to Britain.
1751 – Fort Beauséjour is built by the French to challenge British claims on Acadia.
1755 – Fort Beauséjour is captured and renamed Fort Cumberland.
1755 – The order for the deportation of the Acadians if proclaimed.
1760 – The Battle of Restigouche, the last battle between France and Britain for possession of Canada, is waged.
1764 – Exiled Acadians are permitted to return to Nova Scotia.
1765 – Colonial government grants over half a million acres (200 000 ha) of Maliseet lands to settlers.
1783 – 7000 Loyalists land at Parr Town (Saint John).
1784 – The Province of New Brunswick is established.
1785 – Saint John becomes the first incorporated city in Canada.
1786 – The first legislature opens in Saint John.
1800 – Kings College (now University of New Brunswick) is founded.
1812 – Napoleonic Wars give tremendous boost to New Brunswick’s timber industry.
1815 – 500 former slaves from the United States arrive at Saint John and settle in Loch Lomond.
1820 – The Bank of New Brunswick, the first chartered bank in Canada, is established.
1825 – The Great Miramichi Fire, which rages for nearly three weeks, leaves over 15,000 people homeless.
1826 – Saint John creates the first paid police force in Canada.
1842 – Boundary between Maine and New Brunswick settled by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty.
1854 – New Brunswick gets responsible government.
1864 – Collège Saint-Joseph opens in Memramcook.
1867 – New Brunswick enters Confederation.
1867 – First issue of Le Moniteur Acadien, first French-language newspaper in the Maritimes, is published.
1870 – Canada’s first YWCA is opened in Saint John.
1875 – Grace Annie Lockhart becomes the first woman in the British Empire awarded a Bachelor’s degree, from Mount Allison University.
1875 – Two men die in the Caraquet Riots over Common Schools Act.
1876 – Intercolonial Railway from New Brunswick to Montreal is completed.
1877 – The Great Fire in Saint John leaves 15,000 people homeless.
1881 – First Acadian Congress is held in Memramcook.
1884 – Acadian national flag is adopted.
1888 – Enterprise Foundry starts manufacturing stoves in Sackville.
1910 – Chocolate bar invented by Ganong brothers in St. Stephen.
1912 – Édouard LeBlanc becomes first Acadian appointed Bishop in New Brunswick.
1918 – New Brunswick creates first Department of Health in Canada.
1919 – New Brunswick women win the right to vote in provincial elections.
1927 – The Maritimes Freight Rates Act reduces rail freight rates for the Maritime Provinces.
1929 – CFBO Radio in New Brunswick hosts fiddler Don Messer’s first broadcast.
1930 – Hopewell native R. B. Bennett becomes prime minister of Canada.
1932 – The Royal Canadian Mounted Police assume the policing of New Brunswick.
1935 – Charles G. D. Roberts becomes the first Canadian poet to be knighted.
1938 – New Brunswick Labour Bill guarantees worker’s right to form and join unions.
1944 – New Brunswick’s North Shore Regiment lands at St.-Aubain, France, as part of the D-Day invasion.
1952 – A major lead-zinc deposit is discovered near Bathurst.
1960 – Louis Robichaud is the first Acadian elected premier of New Brunswick.
1963 – The Université de Moncton is founded.
1965 – New Brunswick’s provincial flag is adopted.
1969 – Official Languages Act makes New Brunswick Canada’s only bilingual province.
1970 – Richard Hatfield is elected Premier.
1971 – Hédard Joseph Robichaud becomes the first Acadian Lieutenant Governor.
1973 – Ron Turcotte of Grand Falls wins horse racing’s Triple Crown riding the legendary Secretariat.
1979 – Antonine Maillet, Acadian author of La Sagouine and Pélagie-la-Charrette, wins the French Prix Goncourt.
1987 – The Liberal Party wins all 58 seats in the New Brunswick Legislature.
1992 – New Brunswick’s status as a bilingual province is enshrined in the Canadian Constitution.
1993 – Agreement to build a bridge between New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island is signed.
1994 – Congrès Mondial Acadian (Acadian World Congress) is held in southeast New Brunswick.