This article is about the capital of New Brunswick. For other uses, see Fredericton (disambiguation).
City of Fredericton
Ville de Fredericton

Fredericton in April 2013



Nickname(s): "City of Stately Elms", "The Celestial City", "Freddy Beach"[1][2][3]
Motto: "Fredericopolis, silvae filia nobilis"  (Latin)
"Fredericton, noble daughter of the forest"

Location of Fredericton in New Brunswick

Coordinates: 45°57′26″N 66°38′52″W / 45.957319°N 66.647818°W / 45.957319; -66.647818
Country Canada
Province New Brunswick
County(s) York, Sunbury
Metropolitan area Greater Fredericton
Established 1785
  Type Fredericton City Council
  Mayor Mike O'Brien[4]
  MPs Matt DeCourcey
  MLAs Stephen Horsman
David Coon
Pam Lynch
Brian Macdonald
Kirk MacDonald
  City 130.68 km2 (50.46 sq mi)
  Metro 4,521.72 km2 (1,745.8 sq mi)
Elevation 20-100 m (66-328 ft)
Population (2011)
  City 56,224
  Density 386.7/km2 (1,002/sq mi)
  Metro 105,688
Demonym(s) Frederictonian
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
  Summer (DST) ADT (UTC-3)
Postal code(s) E3A, E3B, E3C, E3G
Area code(s) 506
NTS Map 021G15

Fredericton (/ˈfrɛdrɪktən/) is the capital of the Canadian province of New Brunswick. The city is situated in the west-central portion of the province along the Saint John River, which flows west to east as it bisects the city; it is the dominant natural feature of the area. One of the main urban centres in New Brunswick, the city had a population of 56,224 in the 2011 census.[5] It is the third-largest city in the province after Saint John and Moncton.

An important cultural, artistic, and educational centre for the province, Fredericton is home to two universities, the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, and cultural institutions such as the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Fredericton Region Museum, and The Playhouse, a performing arts venue. The city hosts the annual Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival, attracting regional and international jazz, blues, rock, and world artists. Fredericton is also an important and vibrant center point for the region's top visual artists; many of New Brunswick's notable artists live and work there today. Fredericton has also been home to some great historical Canadian painters as well, including Goodridge Roberts, and Molly and Bruno Bobak.

As a provincial capital, its economy is tied to the public sector; however, the city also contains a growing IT and commercial sector. The city has the highest percentage of residents with a post-secondary education in the province and one of the highest per capita incomes.


The earliest known inhabitation of the area dates back 12,000 years, according to archaeologists, evidenced by recent finds. Excavations unearthed a campsite with firepit and more than 600 artifacts including stone tool fragments and arrowheads.[6]

The area of the present-day city of Fredericton was first used for seasonal farming by the Maliseet peoples. Maliseet cultivated food plants including: beans, pumpkins, Jerusalem artichokes, ground nuts, and maize on the river banks and islands of the Saint John River. In the mid 18th century their principal village of Aucpaque was located several kilometres upriver from the site of present-day Fredericton.[7]

French colony

The first European contact was by the French in the late 17th century. Joseph Robineau de Villebon received a land grant and was appointed governor of Acadia. During King William's War, Villebon built Fort Nashwaak on the north side of the Saint John River, at the mouth of the Nashwaak River. For most of the war, Fort Nashwaak served as the capital of the French colony of Acadia; forces from here conducted numerous military raids on English settlers on the New England/ Acadia border.

Siege of Fort Nashwaak (1696)

French and English hostilities continued along the border. Within weeks of an attack launched from Fort Nashwaak on Pemaquid, Maine (present day Bristol, Maine), the New Englanders struck back. In 1696, an expedition under command of Major Benjamin Church set out to destroy Fort Nashwaak (present-day Fredericton). Villebon had been alerted and prepared his defences. On 18 October, the British troops arrived opposite the fort, landed three cannons, and assembled earthworks on the south bank of the Nashwaak River.[8] For two days gunfire was fiercely exchanged, with the advantage going to the better-sited Acadian guns. The New Englanders were defeated, with 8 soldiers killed and 17 wounded. The Acadians sustained losses of one killed and two wounded.[9]

After Villebon's death in 1700 and a devastating flood, the fort was abandoned. The Fredericton area was first permanently settled and named Pointe-Sainte-Anne (later often anglicized to "Ste. Anne's Point") in 1732 by Acadians fleeing Nova Scotia after the British took over the territory (1710). Their townsite was on the south side of the river, approximately a mile upriver from Fort Nashwaak.[10]

Raid on Ste. Anne's Point (1759)

The British captured Ste. Anne's Point during the expulsion of the Acadians, burning the settlement to the ground in the St. John River Campaign (1759) during the French and Indian War, the North American front of their Seven Years' War in Europe against France.

A 1762 settlement attempt by the British was unsuccessful due to the hostility of local Acadian and Aboriginal populations. These settlers eventually erected a community downriver at what is today the town of Maugerville (pronounced "majorville"). However, three fur traders settled permanently here in 1768.

The flag of Fredericton.

British colony

In 1783, United Empire Loyalists were settled in Ste. Anne's Point after the American Revolution, having left their properties in the United States. They were granted land in compensation in British North America by the Crown. Many died during the harsh and long first winter in Fredericton. The dead were buried in what became the Loyalist cemetery, which is still found on the south bank of the Saint John River. When spring came, more Loyalists left the new settlement to take up land grants in other areas.

When New Brunswick became a separate colony from Nova Scotia in 1784, Ste. Anne's Point became the provincial capital, winning out over Parrtown (present-day Saint John) due to its central inland location. This made it less prone to American attack from the sea. A street plan was laid out to the west of the original townsite, King's College (now the University of New Brunswick) was founded, and the locale was renamed "Frederick's Town", in honour of the second son of King George III of the United Kingdom, Prince Frederick Augustus, Duke of York. The name was shortened to Fredericton shortly after the city became the official provincial capital of New Brunswick on 25 April 1785. Thus, in a period of less than three years, the area of Fredericton went from being a sparsely populated region to being the capital of the new colony of New Brunswick.

The same attributes that made Fredericton the capital city also made it an ideal spot for a military installation. Many of the original military buildings downtown still stand, and are now tourist attractions.

Canadian era

The building constructed to house the colonial-era legislative assembly in 1788 was destroyed by a fire in 1880. Two years later, the present Legislature Building was constructed.

The first major expansion of the city occurred on 1 July 1945 when it amalgamated with the town of Devon. Today the city of Fredericton comprises Fredericton proper, and the boroughs of Silverwood, Nashwaaksis, Barker's Point and Marysville, which were incorporated into the city in 1973.

The commemorative brass cenotaph plaques were stolen in October 2015, and were replaced by replicas cast by an Amherst foundry called Liberty Enterprises.[11]

Historic Marysville

One of the communities amalgamated into Fredericton in 1973, Marysville, has a unique and distinctive history of its own. Marysville is located on the Nashwaak River, a tributary of the Saint John River, just north of pre-1973 Fredericton. The community is distinguished by its 19th-century mill and historic buildings, which include 19th-century company houses and buildings patterned after those of British industrial towns.

Marysville can be described as a prime example of a 19th-century mill town. In the 1830s a sawmill was built on the site of Marysville by two local entrepreneurs. However, the mill frequently changed ownership and never showed a profit. Alexander Gibson (popularly referred to as "Boss Gibson") turned this situation around and built a prosperous industrial town. In 1883, under the direction of Gibson, construction began of a cotton mill, which was state of the art for its time. "Boss" Gibson named the company town that grew up around the mill Marysville in honour of his wife.

In 1908, having faced financial problems, Gibson sold the mill to a Montreal-based company which, in turn, sold it to Canadian Cottons Ltd. After World War II, foreign competition devastated the mill's business; jobs moved offshore and it ceased operations in 1954. There were numerous attempts to re-open the mill; however, in 1980, it closed its doors permanently.

The mill was renovated and re-opened in 1985 for use as provincial government offices. The mill remains the dominant feature in the Marysville skyline.

Central to Marysville is Alexander Gibson Memorial School, or AGMS. It was constructed in 1926. Additions to the school occurred in 1957 and in 1977 following a fire. It holds over 300 children from kindergarten to grade 5. The school is no longer running and the building is now used by the Ville Cooperative.


Neighbourhoods in Fredericton include:

The City of Fredericton is bisected by the Saint John River. This has created two distinctive regions of the city characterized as the "Northside" and the "Southside".

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery.

The Southside is characterized by a downtown core consisting of provincial government departments, historical buildings, and numerous business establishments, banks, and law firms. Downtown also hosts many of the city's cultural attractions, such as The Playhouse, the Fredericton Region Museum (formerly the York-Sunbury Museum), the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and Science East, New Brunswick's science centre. Many notable historical buildings are also located in or near downtown, including grand Victorian-era residences, the New Brunswick Legislative Building, and Christ Church Cathedral. South of downtown, the city's elevation rises along a sloping hill (part of the river valley feature of the city).

"The Hill", as it is called, includes an area known as "College Hill", where the adjoining campuses of the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University are located, slightly southeast of the downtown area.

Southwest of the universities on the crest of the hill near the highway interchange between Route 8 and Route 7 is the Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital.

East of the universities is the Skyline Acres/Southwood Park area, consisting of a core of older established suburbs, and newer more affluent areas such as Poets Hill.

Downtown Fredericton's Queen St was named one of the country's "Great Streets" by the Canadian Institute of Planners in 2012.

Occupying the hill southwest of downtown is Odell Park, a large preserved forest area. Its trails and wooded areas are a favourite for hiking, jogging, dog walking, and cross-country skiing for city residents. Odell Park borders on the Fredericton Botanic Garden. West of the park and garden is Hanwell Road, Golf Club Road, and Silverwood neighbourhoods consisting largely of suburban residences.

South of the "Hill Area", where it plateaus, is a sizeable shopping district consisting of the city's largest mall-the Regent Mall-,two big-box retail complexes-Corbett Centre and Uptown Centre- along with numerous adjacent strip malls and restaurants.

The city's "Northside" consists of several boroughs which were at one time separate communities. These include Devon, Nashwaaksis, Marysville and Barker's Point. These communities are largely suburban neighbourhoods and retail outlets. Main Street (in Nashwaaksis) which becomes Union Street in Devon, runs along the northern bank of the Saint John River. It includes numerous retail outlets as well as an eclectic array of businesses including IT firms, law firms, and real estate agents. Also located on the Northside is the Brookside Mall, a retail mall anchored by Sobeys, Alcool NB Liquor and a Lawtons Drugs store as well as government offices. A new retail "power centre" development including Canadian Tire/Marks Work Warehouse, Kent Building Supplies and a Wal-Mart, is located at Two-Nations Crossing. Willie O'Ree Place - a new multimillion-dollar hockey complex - opened in the same area in 2007.

The Northside is also home to the Saint Mary's First Nation Indian reserve, which includes a community centre and a shopping centre. During the Christmas season, the neighbourhood has some of the most spectacular and creative decorations in the city.

Geography and climate

Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °C
Precipitation totals in mm
Source: Environment Canada[12]

The Saint John River runs through Fredericton, with most of the city's post-war suburban development occurring on the gently sloping hills on either side of the river (although the downtown core is flat and lies low to the river).

At an altitude of about 17 metres above sea level, Fredericton is nestled in the Pennsylvanian Basin. It differs markedly from the geologically older parts of the province. There are prominently two distinct areas in the region that are divided around the area of Wilsey Road, in the east end of the city. In the west side, the bedrock underneath the earth is topographically dominant, whereas the other is controlled by Pleistocene and recent deposits leading to the rivers (resulting in the area being shallow and wide). Fredericton and its surroundings are rich in water resources, which, coupled with highly arable soil, make the Fredericton region ideal for agriculture. The Saint John River and one of its major tributaries, the Nashwaak River, come together in Fredericton. The uninhabited parts of the city are heavily forested.

Fredericton has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb). The average January low temperature is -16 °C, while the average high in July high is 26 °C.[13] On average, Fredericton receives approximately 1100 mm of precipitation per year. Snowfall is common between late November and early April, and snow usually stays on the ground beginning in December. Flooding occurs during the spring of most years on area rivers and affects the city's low-lying neighbourhoods. Its climate is somewhat influenced by its inland position, with warmer summers and colder winter nights than expected for coastal areas of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Fredericton was 38.9 °C (102 °F) on 18 August 1935.[14] The coldest temperature ever recorded was −38.9 °C (−38 °F) on 19 January 1925.[14]

Climate data for Fredericton CDA, 1981–2010 normals, extremes 1871–present[lower-alpha 1]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 15.0
Average high °C (°F) −4.4
Daily mean °C (°F) −9.4
Average low °C (°F) −14.4
Record low °C (°F) −38.9
Average precipitation mm (inches) 101.9
Average rainfall mm (inches) 42.4
Average snowfall cm (inches) 63.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm) 12.6 10.2 12.4 12.6 14.9 13.6 14.5 12.7 13.7 13.5 13.8 12.5 156.7
Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm) 4.5 4.2 7.1 10.8 14.8 13.6 14.5 12.7 13.7 13.5 11.7 6.0 126.9
Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm) 9.4 7.2 7.0 2.4 0.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.11 3.2 7.5 37.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 119.5 130.8 148.9 162.2 206.9 224.3 239.7 226.2 172.4 142.5 95.8 102.2 1,971.2
Percent possible sunshine 42.4 44.8 40.4 40.0 44.7 47.7 50.4 51.6 45.7 41.9 33.6 37.8 43.4
Source: Environment Canada [14][15][16][17]

Education and research

Universities and colleges

Looking down the hill from UNB towards downtown and the Saint John River.

Fredericton's status as an educational centre is evident in the city's two degree granting universities: the University of New Brunswick (UNB) and St. Thomas University (STU).

University of New Brunswick (UNB)

The University of New Brunswick was founded in 1785, making it the oldest public university in North America, compared to the oldest private university, Harvard University, in 1636. Built in 1826, UNB's Old Arts Building is the oldest university building still in use in Canada. UNB also houses Renaissance College, which is a leading leadership training institution in New Brunswick. UNB houses a Faculty of Law which is one of two Anglophone common-law schools in Atlantic Canada.

St. Thomas University (STU)

St. Thomas University (STU) is the province's only Catholic university and has been located in Fredericton since 1964, when it moved from its Chatham, New Brunswick campus. It is a liberal arts university with programs in gerontology, criminology, journalism, social work, native studies, and education. STU offers an excellent program in Human Rights and is the home of the Atlantic Human Rights Research and Development Centre.

Other Institutions

Fredericton is also home to several colleges and similar institutions. The New Brunswick College of Craft and Design houses the province's leading programs in photography and visual arts. The Fredericton location of the New Brunswick Community College is on the campus of the University of New Brunswick. The Maritime College of Forest Technology maintains its English-language campus in the city. MCFT is a small post-secondary school training students from across the Maritime provinces.

Other institutions include 3D and 2D Animation schools such as the Centre for Arts and Technology and the Gaming and Animation Institute of Fredericton. Located on the north side is a small Pentecostal College, the Northeast Christian College, which trains and certifies Pentecostal ministers.[21]

Online Universities

Alongside Fredericton's more established universities, the city also is home to several online for-profit universities. University of Fredericton (UFred) and Yorkville University are currently operational. The University of Fredericton was founded in 2006, making it the youngest private university in Canada. It is a degree-granting online university providing certificate and graduate degree programs in business leadership. UFred offers MBA and EMBA Programs under Section 3 of the Degree Granting Act of the Province of New Brunswick in Canada.[22] Yorkville offers graduate programs in counselling psychology and adult education. Meritus closed in 2012. These universities typically have offices downtown.

School system

Fredericton's public schools are located in either the Anglophone West School District (formerly known as District 18, and prior to that, District 26) or the District Scolaire Francophone Sud (District 1). Fredericton is home to three public high schools, two operating in the English language and one in the French language. Fredericton High School, which was once the largest school in the Commonwealth of Nations, operates in English and primarily serves students living on Fredericton's south side. It is also one of the oldest public high schools in Canada tracing its beginnings to 1785 - having celebrated its bicentennial in 1985. Fredericton High School is home to several sports teams - including basketball, hockey, soccer, and football - which dominated New Brunswick provincial high school sports championships during much of the 1980s and 1990s. The school motto is "Palma Non Sine Pulvere", Latin for "No Reward Without Effort" (literally "no palm without dust").

Leo Hayes High School, which opened in 1999, also operates in English and primarily serves students living on Fredericton's north side. The high school is a Public Private Partnership, known as a P3. Leo Hayes' current principal is Brad Sturgeon. The motto of the school is "Somnia Sunt Circuli Veritatis", Latin for "Dreams are the Seedlings of Reality". Leo Hayes High School places priority on both Arts and Athletics, in addition to Academia. In addition, there are four middle schools, fourteen elementary schools and three private schools in the city. A recent issue with middle schools in the city has been the location of George Street Middle School and Albert Street Middle School close to the city centre. This fails to account for the city's changing demographic which has seen the growth of suburban neighbourhoods. In 2009 Albert Street Middle School was replaced by Bliss Carman Middle School, located in the Kimble Road Park area of Skyline Acres. Albert Street Middle School has since been demolished, with a new YMCA having been erected in its place.

Fredericton is also served by École Sainte-Anne (ESA), which provides French language education for grades 6-12, and École des Bâtisseurs (opened in 2007) and École Les Éclaireurs (opened in 2015), which provide K-5 education on the north and south side, respectively. École Sainte-Anne is in the same building as that used by the French community centre - the Centre communautaire Sainte-Anne, which also houses the French public library, the Dr. Marguérite Michaud Library, and an amphitheatre. The current principal of ESA is Gabrielle McLaughlin.

Fredericton is also home to a private Christian school, Fredericton Christian Academy, which is located on the Northside. Its current principal is Jonathan McAloon.


Fredericton hosts several major research centres - dealing with policy development, agriculture, forestry, and engineering. These research institutions are connected to the city's two universities as well as the provincial and federal governments.

The Hugh John Flemming Forestry Centre (including Provincial and Federal Departments) is the leading forestry research centre in Atlantic Canada. This Centre carries out major research endeavours in forestry management and scientific research. The Centre closely collaborates with the Forestry Department at the University of New Brunswick which is one of the top Forestry Departments in Canada. As well, research and development in agriculture and crop development is carried out at the Agricultural Research Station in Lincoln.

The University of New Brunswick is the site of several major research centres in social science, forestry, geomatics and biomedical engineering, and policy development. These include the Centre for Conflict Studies, which carries out research on military and strategic issues and the Muriel McQueen Fergusson Centre for Family Violence Research, which carries out multi-disciplinary research on family violence issues. Furthermore, the Institute of Biomedical Engineering has completed groundbreaking work on prosthetic limbs to aid war amputees in developing countries.

As well, the city's growing IT sector has been the basis for new research on IT and computer programming development, including the October 2002 opening of the National Research Council of Canada Institute for Information Technology – e-Business facility, located on the University of New Brunswick campus.

Fredericton is also the home of New Brunswick's Provincial Research Organization (PRO), RPC. RPC specializes in applied research and technical services in support of New Brunswick industry. Specializations include capabilities in aquaculture, mining, manufacturing, energy and the environment.[23]


The 19th and early 20th centuries, the lumber industry - with its corresponding mills - was a primary sector of Fredericton's economy. Over the course of the 20th century, this industry declined and gave way to the provincial government and the universities becoming the primary employers in the city.

The policies of centralizing provincial government functions during the 1960s under New Brunswick Premier Louis Robichaud - along with the expanded role of the public sector characteristic of the 1960s/70s - led to a sizeable expansion of the city's population. It was during these decades that the Hill area on the city's Southside was largely developed and bedroom communities such as New Maryland emerged.

King's Place, Downtown Fredericton.

The 1960s also saw an expansion of the University of New Brunswick - due to increased post-war university enrolment - as well as the construction of the Fredericton campus of Saint Thomas University. Also contributing to this expansion was the move of the Law School from Saint John to the Fredericton area. This expansion of the post-secondary sector also contributed to Fredericton's population growth during the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, the city's population has continued to grow though at a slower rate due to slower growth of the government sector - along with hiring freezes and in some cases layoffs - during the Frank McKenna and Bernard Lord governments.

In recent years, increased student enrolment at the city's universities has led to greater demand for rental property. This has led to the construction of new university residences and apartment buildings in the city, and increased rates of rent - making them the highest rental rates in the province.

The predominance of the universities and government provide Fredericton with a measure of economic stability. The city has not been subject to the uncertainty and hardships faced by Atlantic Canadian cities dealing with mill shutdowns and the decline of the mining and fishing industries. For this reason, Fredericton is one of the few Atlantic Canadian cities that has actually reported a population increase in recent years.

The city has been investing actively in IT infrastructure. The City of Fredericton won the "Judges Innovation Award" at the 2004 Canadian Information Productivity Awards due to their "Fred-eZone" free municipality wide WiFi network initiative. This and other innovations by the city's utelco, e-Novations, led Intel to do a case study on their successes. Fred-eZone spans much of the city’s downtown and parts of surrounding residential areas, as well as peripheral commercial areas such as Fredericton's Regent Mall. In 2008 and 2009 the Intelligent Community Forum selected Fredericton as a Top 7 Intelligent Community, based partly on the City's work in the IT sector.[24]

The Greater Fredericton Region has also established an investment attraction program called Invest Greater Fredericton. The purpose is to provide investors and site selectors with one central source for economic information such as real estate, demographics, key industries and more.


Due to the presence of the universities, Fredericton is more cosmopolitan than many cities its size. This is reflected in cuisine offered by local ethnic restaurants (which include Caribbean, Chinese, Greek, Indian, Korean, Italian, Japanese, Lebanese, Mexican, Pakistani and Vietnamese foods). There are also several retail outlets that sell ethnic products and artifacts.

Fredericton is an important cultural centre of the region featuring art galleries, the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, museums and theatres which promote local artistic and literary talent. The federal government named Fredericton the "Cultural Capital of Canada" for the year 2009. Officers' Square is an outdoor public space located at the centre of the city. It serves as a venue for outdoor concerts during the summer, featuring a variety of local and national talent. During the winter, Officers' Square is transformed into an outdoor skating rink.

Architecturally, Fredericton spans more than two centuries. The city features an eclectic mix of buildings and residences ranging from classical Victorian style to modern office buildings and architecture. Fredericton’s skyline is also distinguished by many historic churches. There are 12 National Historic Sites of Canada in Fredericton.[25]


Statue of Lord Beaverbrook.

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery is New Brunswick's provincial art gallery. It was established in 1959 by Lord Beaverbrook as a gift to his native province. Fredericton is also home to several commercial art galleries.

The Playhouse hosts plays and musicals throughout the year, as well as presenting visiting comedians and musical performances by both Canadian and international artists. The Playhouse is the main venue for Theatre New Brunswick (TNB). TNB was founded by prominent Canadian director Walter Learning in 1969, and is the province’s largest professional theatre company.

Every fall Fredericton hosts the Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival. The week-long festival draws artists from all over North America. Since its inception in 1991, the event has grown into a large, diverse festival which has attracted artists from around the world including Buddy Guy, Warren Haynes, Oscar Peterson, and Parliament. The festival also provides a stage for local, provincial, and Maritime talent, and has been pivotal in the development of many New Brunswick groups and performers, including Hot Toddy, Grand Theft Bus, David Myles, and Ross Neilsen.

Fredericton is home to the New Brunswick Summer Music Festival, which, each August, features professional chamber music by top local players and nationally renowned performers. Motion Ensemble, NB’s contemporary music organization, is also based here. In addition, Symphony New Brunswick performs most of its season in Fredericton.

Every November Fredericton hosts the Silver Wave Film Festival. Originally called the Tidal Wave Film Festival, it has been running since 2001. Each year attendance and interest in the festival has risen. Because of the its relationship with the Toronto International Film Festival, the Silver Wave Festival offers Frederictonians the opportunity to see films that would otherwise be overlooked in their smaller market. Films created by New Brunswickers are also screened at the festival. Many of the local films come from shorts created through the University of New Brunswick and the New Brunswick Filmmaker's Co-operative.

Historically, Fredericton has been referred to as the Poets' Corner of Canada, because it was the birthplace of Bliss Carman, Charles G. D. Roberts and Francis Joseph Sherman. For many years, it was the home of the acclaimed Governor General's Award-winning poet, playwright, and journalist Alden Nowlan.

Prominent writers and poets living in Fredericton include Raymond Fraser, Robert Gibbs, M.T. Dohaney, Herb Curtis, Wayne Curtis, David Adams Richards, Robert Hawkes, Shari Andrews, Mark Anthony Jarman, Gerard Beirne and Joe Blades.

Sports and recreation

The Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge crosses the Saint John River as part of the city's trail system

There are no professional sports teams in Fredericton, although both universities have extensive athletic programs. The UNB Varsity Reds and St. Thomas Tommies are rivals in most sports. When their men's hockey teams play (UNB has no women's hockey program in the AUS), the matches are called the "Battle of the Hill". The first National Champions ever produced at UNB was in the fall of 1980. The Men's soccer team under the leadership of Coaches Gary Brown and Robin Hopper defeated Sir Wilfred Laurier 3-1 on a frigid day in November . The UNB Varsity Reds men hockey team has experienced recent success in national competition, winning the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) championships in the 2008–2009, 2010–2011, and 2015-2016 seasons. They also finished in second place to the University of Alberta during the 2007–2008 championship. Other Varsity (AUS) sports at UNB include women's soccer and swimming, along with men's and women's cross country, track and field, basketball and volleyball. Club sports (non-varsity) include baseball, cheerleading, cricket, fencing, football, golf, rowing, wrestling and men's rugby.

At St. Thomas University, their men's and women's hockey and Cross Country teams compete in the AUS conference of the CIS, while their other sports teams (which include men's and women's soccer, rugby, golf, basketball, and volleyball) play in the Atlantic Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) conference of the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA). The Tommies men's volleyball team has won four ACAA titles, including 2012, while the men's and women's basketball teams were both 2012 CCAA Bronze Medalists.

The American Hockey League was once represented in Fredericton, with the Fredericton Express playing between 1981 and 1988, and the Fredericton Canadiens between 1990 and 1999. Fredericton has 5 permanent rink facilities which have a combined seven ice surfaces. On the Northside, the York Arena, opened in 1947, is the oldest arena still in use in the city. Also on the Northside is Willie O'Ree Place, known to local residents as the "O'Reena" or the "Willie O'Rink". The building is named after Fredericton-born Willie O'Ree, the first black player in the National Hockey League. The building, which serves as the home for the Leo Hayes High School Lions, opened in 2008. It houses two NHL-sized ice surfaces, as well as meeting facilities, an indoor track and a small YMCA workout centre, while outside in Scotiabank Park North there is a soccer field and beach volleyball courts.

On the Southside, the Lady Beaverbrook Rink (opened in 1954), the former home of St. Thomas University's hockey programs, and the Aitken University Centre (opened in 1976 and owned by the University of New Brunswick) were joined in 2012 by the brand new Grant • Harvey Centre, named after two more Fredericton-born NHL alumni - Danny Grant and Buster Harvey - which is another two rink complex; one NHL sized and the other Olympic. The Grant • Harvey Centre also houses a walking track and meeting facilities. Behind the arena is the new Abony Family Tennis Centre, a six court indoor tennis facility and to the South is Scotiabank Park South has an artificial turf soccer pitch as well as a two-acre, fenced dog park. As of 2012, the Grant • Harvey Centre has replaced the Lady Beaverbrook Rink as the home of the St. Thomas Tommies and the Fredericton High School Black Kats.

Fredericton has a strong Rugby history with the Fredericton Loyalists RFC. Each summer the Loyalists host the New Brunswick Black Spruce team which competes in the Rugby Canada Super League.

There are healthy programs in both baseball and softball at all age levels around the city. The Fredericton U18 Twins hosted the Canadian U18 Softball Fast Pitch Championships in 2011 and 2012, while the Senior Twins hosted the National Senior Fast Pitch Championships in 2012. In baseball, the Fredericton Senior Royals celebrated their 100th anniversary in 2011 and their 11th (17th including when the team was the Marysville Royals) New Brunswick Senior Baseball League Championship in 2012. That same Royals program produced Matt Stairs, a Major League baseball player who played for Team Canada in the 1988 Summer Olympics and won the World Series with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008.

Fredericton has several large parks, including Odell Park, Reading Park, Queen's Square, Officer's Square, Carleton Park and Wilmot Park. Killarney Lake and nearby Mactaquac Provincial Park have small beaches which are popular in the summer. These, along with the river, provide excellent venues for water sports. Skiing and snowboarding at nearby Crabbe Mountain are also common winter activities among city residents, as is skating on the outdoor rinks at Officer's and Queen's Squares. There are also several trails within the city which are used in the winter for cross-country skiing. Fredericton also boasts public and private facilities for archery, soccer, track and field, golf, football, fencing, rowing, sailing, swimming, curling, martial arts, bowling, paintball, and lawn bowling.

Government and politics

NB Legislative Building, seat of New Brunswick Government since 1882
Fredericton City Hall, a National Historic Site of Canada, in 2005

Administrative structure

Fredericton has a mayor-council and non-partisan form of government, with the mayor and council serving fixed four-year terms (three years until 2004), and elections held in May. The current mayor is Mike O'Brien, who was elected in 2016.[4]

The city is divided into twelve wards (six on each side of the Saint John River), with each ward electing one councillor.

The Boyce Farmers Market, open on Saturday mornings, is a place where municipal, provincial and federal politicians frequently visit to mingle with their electorate - something which has evolved into a political tradition.

Fredericton and provincial/federal politics

Provincially, Fredericton elected Progressive Conservatives from 1952 until electoral sweep of the Liberal Party in 1987 when they won every seat in New Brunswick under Frank McKenna. Since then there has been greater political alteration in the provincial electoral landscape in Fredericton.

In 1991, the right-wing Confederation of Regions Party won the riding of Fredericton North (along with several other nearby ridings). In 1999 Progressive Conservatives swept all three Fredericton area seats; however, in 2003, Fredericton-North and Fredericton-Fort Nashwaak returned to the Liberals.[26]

Federally, the city forms most of the riding of Fredericton. This riding was formerly known as Fredericton-York-Sunbury but was redistributed prior to the 1997 general election. From 1957 until 1993 Fredericton returned Progressive Conservatives. The 2008 Federal Election saw the Conservative Party of Canada take the seat with former New Maryland MLA Keith Ashfield taking this seat with 42% of the popular vote.


The population of Fredericton is 56,224 (2011 Census). Along with Moncton and Halifax, Fredericton is one of three Maritime cities to register a population increase in recent years.

Historical populations

1861 6,000
1871 6,006
1881 6,218
1891 6,502
1901 7,117
1911 7,208
1921 8,114
1931 8,830
1941 10,062*
1951 16,018
1956 18,303
1961 19,683
1966 22,460
1971 24,254
1976 45,248**
1981 43,723
1986 44,352
1991 47,510
2001 48,560
2006 50,535
2011 56,224
* Boundary change
** City amalgamated with
surroundings in 1973


Fredericton's population is predominantly white. However, a black minority has had a long presence in the city, primarily in the Barker's Point borough. Willie O'Ree, the first black player in the NHL, was from Fredericton. The largest non-white segment of Fredericton's population is made up of First Nations people, who live primarily on the Saint Mary's Reserve located in the city's north side.

In the 1960s and 1970s, an influx of immigrants from Asia and the Middle East began, although their numbers remain small. Since 2000, the city's universities - Saint Thomas University and the University of New Brunswick - have seen a growing number of students from overseas attending.


The residents of Fredericton are predominantly Christian, with Protestants forming the largest denomination. The city is notable for its many churches - a high number per capita in comparison to most other Canadian cities. The small Pentecostal Northeast Christian College is located on the city's north side. While the Roman Catholic population is not as large, the city does have the province's only Roman Catholic university - St. Thomas University.

Fredericton has a synagogue, a mosque, and a Hindu temple as well. The importance of these institutions has been growing in recent years warranting visits by prominent politicians in the area seeking election. On 9 October 2011, a swastika was scrawled on the front door of the community's synagogue, and was investigated as a potential hate crime.[27] A Unitarian fellowship has been serving Fredericton since 1960 as a place for people to find a liberal religious home. Fredericton also hosts a Shambhala Buddhist meditation centre.[28]

Religion in Fredericton(2011 National Household Survey)[29]

  Christianity (70.6%)
  Non-Religious (26.2%)
  Other Religions (3.8%)
Main Religious Denominations in Fredericton [29][30]
2001 20111
Number % Number %
Total Population 47,005 100 55,145 100
Christian 38,875 82.7 38,940 70.6
- Total Catholic2 13,565 28.8 13,740 24.9
- Total Protestant 25,090 53.3 24,985 45.3
- Baptist 6,290 11.4
- United Church of Canada 5,995 10.9
- Protestant, Other3 930 2.0 5,265 9.5
- Anglican Church of Canada 5,160 9.4
- Pentecostal 1,390 2.5
- Presbyterian 785 1.4
- Lutheran 100 0.2
- Christian Orthodox4 220 0.5 205 0.4
No Religious Affiliation 6,975 14.8 14,460 26.2
Other 1155 2.5 2,090 3.8
- Muslim 455 1.0 685 1.2
- Other Religions5 185 0.4 335 0.6
- Hindu 200 0.4 330 0.6
- Buddhist 135 0.3 255 0.4
- Jewish 180 0.4 125 0.2

1 The 2011 data is from the National Household Survey[29] and so numbers are estimates.
2Includes Roman Catholic and Ukrainian Catholic
3 Includes persons who report only "Protestant" and those who report “Christian”, and those who report “Apostolic”, “Born-again Christian” and “Evangelical” and those who report from all Protestant denominations with less than 0.05% of the population including those who report "Christian Reformed Church and those who report "Methodist" and those who report "Mennonite" and those who report "Christian Missionary Alliance" and those who report "Brethren in Christ" and those who report "Evangelical Missionary Church"
4 Includes persons who report "Orthodox". Also includes Greek Orthodox, Ukrainian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, Armenian Apostolic, Bulgarian Orthodox, Ethiopian Orthodox and Macedonian Orthodox
5 Includes persons who report all Religions with less than 0.05% of the population including Pagan, Wiccan and Sikh as well as persons who report only "non-denominational".


While a predominantly Anglophone city, the civil service has seen an increase in the city's Francophone population. This population is served by the Centre Communautaire Sainte-Anne (which includes K-12 schooling, a radio station, a public library, and cultural centre). In addition, Fredericton is served by a Francophone church located on Regent Street.

The linguistic breakdown of Fredericton is as follows:


Main article: Media in Fredericton



Air service is provided out of the Fredericton International Airport, located approximately 15 kilometres east of downtown in Lincoln. It is served by Air Canada, which operates direct flights to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax. Seasonal direct flights are also offered to Cuba and the Caribbean during the late winter and early spring months.

As of May 2015, WestJet provides daily Q400 Turboprop service to Toronto.

Roads and highways

Fredericton is located on the Trans-Canada Highway, which passes along the southern municipal boundary. Routes 7 and 8 (the latter being a former alignment of the Trans-Canada) also pass through the city. Two highway bridges, the Westmorland Street Bridge and the Princess Margaret Bridge, cross the Saint John River. Those bridges both feed into controlled-access roads (Routes 8 and 105 serving the city's north side.) The city's highway system is mostly complete, and traffic jams rarely occur.

Streets in downtown follow a grid pattern. In residential areas of downtown, some neighbourhoods are traffic-calmed and include traffic circles at intersections to slow the speed of cars and discourage thoroughfare traffic. Northumberland Street and Odell Avenue have adopted speedbumps to slow fast moving traffic. The pattern of streets in the rest of the city varies including straight thoroughfares (such as Smythe Street, Prospect Street and Regent Street), to curved streets and cul-de-sacs in primarily residential areas.

Rail and public transit, rail services

There is no rail service into Fredericton. Passenger service started in 1869 and ended in the 1960s. Via Rail's "Atlantic" passenger train ran for many years between Saint John and Montreal, stopping at Fredericton Junction, about 28 kilometers south of Fredericton, and passing through Maine. The service was cancelled in the VIA Rail cuts of 1981, but it was resumed in 1985. In 1994, Canadian Pacific initially announced that it would abandon its railway line through Maine and New Brunswick, thus leading to VIA Rail's decision to cancel the Atlantic train service. The last passenger train left Fredericton Junction in November 1994.[31] Freight service to Fredericton ended in 1996 and all railway tracks have since been abandoned and removed, with the city joining St. John's and Charlottetown as Canada's only provincial capitals without rail service. Since 1 December 2012, Fredericton is served by Maritime Bus connections to points throughout Eastern Canada.[32]

Fredericton Transit provides bus transit service to most areas of the city. All city buses feature bike racks so that cyclists can take advantage of bus services as well. Furthermore, during the last budget the Federal Government pledged more money towards urban infrastructure - some of this money will go towards upgrading Fredericton's bus transit system.

Fredericton is also served by several taxi companies. The major companies in alphabetical order are: ABC Car Services, Checker Cab, George's Skycab, Loyal Taxi, Standard Taxi and Trius Taxi.

Fredericton first started installing bicycle lanes in July 2008, with a plan to establish 45 kilometres of on-street painted bicycle lanes and 39 kilometres of signed bicycle routes by 2011.[33]

Fredericton trail system

Reading Trail runs through the last remaining old-growth forest in Fredericton's Skyline Acres neighbourhood.

Fredericton has a network of 25 trails totalling more than 85 km on both sides of the Saint John and Nashwaak Rivers. Many of the city trails are rail trails that follow old railway lines. These include the Old Train Bridge that spans 0.6 km across the Saint John River, providing a panoramic view of downtown Fredericton. The rail trail system in Fredericton is part of the Sentier NB Trail system and some of these trails are also part of the larger Trans-Canada Trail network. Some sections of the trail system are being paved to make it more accessible to non-motorized vehicles such as bicycles and wheelchairs.

Railway service through Fredericton was discontinued by CP Rail in fall 1993 and CN Rail in spring 1996. Following abandonment, both companies sold their right-of-ways to the provincial government which developed the trail network in partnership with the city and volunteer trail organizations. The trails are used by residents for walking, biking, and jogging and boast several scenic vistas along the Saint John and Nashwaak rivers as well as a mix of urban and wooded/natural scenery.

On the south side of the city, CP Rail's Fredericton Subdivision enters the city from Rusagonis-Waasis to the south, following the Wilsey Road and Beaverbrook Street to the former railway yard where a Sobeys supermarket has been built along Regent Street. The former CP passenger station (York Street Railway Station) is located at the end of the Fredericton Subdivision and, after sitting abandoned for decades, was renovated into a winery and liquor store in 2011.

On the north side of the city, CP Rail's Gibson Subdivision enters the city from Douglas in the west, following the Saint John River through Nashwaaksis to South Devon. CP Rail's Minto Subdivision enters the city from Barker's Point in the east and follows the Saint John River to South Devon and crossing the Nashwaak River. CP Rail's Marysville Spur runs from Barker's Point to Marysville along the east bank of the Nashwaak River.

On the south side, CN Rail's Oromocto Subdivision enters the city from Lincoln in the east and parallels the former CP line to the downtown rail yard and York Street Station. CN's former Centreville Subdivision continues beyond the station to Silverwood in the west; this rail line was abandoned west of the Hanwell Road after the Mactaquac Dam opened in 1968 and flooded the right-of-way through to Woodstock. CN Rail's Nashwaak Subdivision joined the Oromocto Subdivision at Una Junction, immediately north of Beaverbrook Street opposite the University of New Brunswick campus. The line proceeds north, crossing the Saint John River on the Fredericton Railway Bridge, to the former railway yard in South Devon where CP Rail's Gibson and Minto subdivisions join. The Nashwaak Subdivision continues up the Nashwaak River valley to McGivney.

Reading Park Trail, (i/ˈrɛdɪŋ/ RED-ing) is a 1.1 km forested trail going through Reading Park in Skyline Acres on the City's south side. Protected by trees, and constructed in a loop, Reading Park Trail is very popular with city residents for walking their dogs. It's also a destination for bird watchers, as the park's old-growth forest is one of the city's last remaining habitats for the pileated woodpecker.


Museums and historic buildings

Robert Burns statue, across from the Provincial Legislature in downtown Fredericton

Parks and public spaces

Fredericton contains many public parks featuring preserved forest lands - such as Odell Park and Reading Park. Odell Park is adjacent to the Fredericton Botanic Garden. Furthermore, Fredericton features tree-lined streets and elm trees in particular which have earned the city its nickname "The City of Stately Elms". Fredericton's parks and public spaces include:

Partner cities

Notable people

Bordering communities

See also


  1. "Churches/Places of Worship". City of Fredericton. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
  2. "History of Fredericton". City of Fredericton. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
  3. "Relay for Life raises big money in Freddy Beach". 106.9 Capital FM. 9 June 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-05.
  4. 1 2 "Mike O'Brien defeats Brad Woodside in Fredericton mayor race". 10 May 2016.
  5. "Community Profiles from the 2006 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Metropolitan Area/Census Agglomeration". 13 March 2007.
  6. CBC News: "Campsite dating back 12,000 years unearthed by Route 8", 23 June 2016
  7. Jason Hall, “Maliseet Cultivation and Climatic Resilience on the Wəlastəkw/St. John River during the Little Ice Age,” Acadiensis vol. XLIV, no. 2 (Summer/Autumn 2015): 3-25 W.O. Raymond, The River St. John, Tribune Press, 1907
  8. Murdoch, Beamish (1865). A History of Nova-Scotia, or Acadie, volume 1. Halifax, NS: James Barnes. pp. 228–231.
  9. Marsters, Roger (2004). Bold Privateers: Terror, Plunder and Profit on Canada's Atlantic Coast. Toronto: Formac Publishing. p. 34. ISBN 9780887806445.
  10. William O. Raymond, The River St. John, 1910
  11. "Cenotaph plaques will be replaced by Remembrance Day", 7 Nov 2015
  12. "Fredericton A". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010 (in English and French). Environment Canada. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
  13. "Historical Climate Data".
  14. 1 2 3 "Fredericton CDA". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  15. "Fredericton UNB". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 9 April 2016.
  16. "Daily Data Report for September 2010". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  17. "Daily Data Report for March 2012". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  18. "Fredericton A". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved 12 May 2014.
  19. "Sep 2010". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  20. "Mar 2012". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 26 June 2016.
  21. "Northeast Christian College". Retrieved 21 August 2014.
  22. RPC
  23. Intelligent Community Forum (2014). "Top 7 By Year". Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  24. "Fredericton". Directory of Designations of National Historic Significance of Canada. Parks Canada. Retrieved 3 March 2012.
  25. Elections New Brunswick
  26. "Swastika drawn on Fredericton synagogue". CFCA. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
  27. "Fredericton Shambhala Center". Retrieved 25 March 2014.
  28. 1 2 3 "NHSNewBrunswick2011". Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  29. "NHSNewBrunswick2011". Retrieved 2014-05-17.
  30. Johnson, Robert (27 January 2013). "What Happened to the Fredericton Train Station". The New Brunswick Beacon. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  31. "Maritime Bus organising fleet for Dec 1 start". The Guardian (Charlottetown). 21 November 2012. Retrieved 6 April 2013.
  32. "Bike Lanes and Bike Routes in Fredericton". City of Fredericton. Retrieved 6 April 2013.


  1. Extreme high and low temperatures in the table below are from Fredericton UNB (December 1871 to July 1913) and Fredericton CDA (August 1913 to present).

External links

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Coordinates: 45°57′00″N 66°40′00″W / 45.95000°N 66.66667°W / 45.95000; -66.66667 (Fredericton, New Brunswick)

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