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Saint John: Discovering New Brunswick’s Port City (Full Guide)

Saint John New Brunswick

Nestled along the shores of the Bay of Fundy, Saint John, New Brunswick, welcomes visitors with its rich history, stunning natural landscapes, and vibrant cultural scene.

Saint John cruise port is a gateway to maritime adventures and it is no surprise the port city has a thriving maritime industry.

Its deep-water harbor plays a crucial role in shipping and trade, contributing to the city’s economic importance in the region.

Explore the bustling nightlife, savor the diverse culinary offerings, and consider a visit to the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre for events and gatherings.

History of Saint John, New Brunswick

Saint John has a rich history that dates back to its founding in the 17th century.

Before European settlers arrived, the area around Saint John was home to the Maliseet and Mi’kmaq Indigenous peoples. They lived off the abundant natural resources in the region, including the Bay of Fundy.

European exploration of the region began in the early 16th century. French explorer Jacques Cartier explored the Bay of Fundy in the 1530s. However, it was not until the early 17th century that permanent European settlements were established.

The city traces its roots to 1604 when French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived and established a fur trading post on the Saint John River.

The area changed hands between the French and the British several times during the 17th and 18th centuries due to imperial conflicts.

During the American Revolution (1775–1783), many United Empire Loyalists, who remained loyal to the British Crown, fled the newly independent United States and settled in the region.

In 1783, the city of Parrtown (later renamed Saint John) was officially founded, and it became a hub for Loyalist refugees.

Saint John became a vital port and industrial center in the 19th century as shipbuilding and trade flourished, and the city played a crucial role in the timber trade and the export of goods to Europe. The city’s economy thrived, and it became a major immigration point for Irish and Scottish immigrants.

One of the significant events in Saint John’s history was the Great Fire of 1877, which destroyed a large part of the city. Despite the devastation, Saint John quickly rebuilt, incorporating modern firefighting techniques and urban planning into its reconstruction.

Saint John continued to be an important industrial and shipping center throughout the 20th century. In recent years, the city has diversified its economy, focusing on sectors like information technology, healthcare, and tourism.

What Is Size and Population of Saint John NB?

Saint John is the second largest city in New Brunswick with a population of 67,575 as of the 2021 census.

It sits between the most populated city of Moncton and the capital Fredericton, which is the third largest by size.

Saint John NB Postal Code

The postal code format for Saint John starts with E2, followed by additional characters. Use postal code directories or online tools for accurate location details.

Is Saint John A Good Place To Live?

Saint John is known for its friendly and close-knit community. If you value a strong sense of community and enjoy engaging with your neighbors, your living experience in Saint John will be positive.

Saint John transport is freely available with a port, airport and local transit services making it accessible for locals and tourists alike.

The Saint John Airport (YSJ) connects the city to various destinations, while the Saint John, New Brunswick Cruise Port is a vital hub for cruise ships exploring the Bay of Fundy.

Is Saint John Expensive To Live?

The cost of living is generally reasonable compared to larger cities, and housing costs can be more affordable.

The cost of renting or purchasing a home is generally lower, making it an attractive option for those seeking affordable living arrangements outside of some of Canada‘s bigger hubs and provinces.

Utility costs, including heating, electricity, and water, are also generally reasonable. Internet and other essential services are also competitively priced.

Saint John NB Real Estate Types & Prices

The average price of a single-family home in Saint John is $302,900, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA), in October 2023.

That represents an increase of 12.2% compared to October 2022.

The average price of an apartment price is $220,500.

The average price of homes overall in October 2023 was $298,141.

What is the Average Age In Saint John?

Saint John is home to a mix of young professionals, families, retirees and students attend the SJ campus of the University of New Brunswick.

The average age of 42.9 is marginally younger than the national average.

What Is The Average Income In Saint John, New Brunswick?

The average income is competitive at $44,200 according to, with a cost of living that allows for a comfortable lifestyle.

It is, however, around 19% lower than the Canadian average salary.

Saint John has a diverse economy, with a focus on industries like shipping, oil refining and manufacturing.

Saint John is home to educational institutions, including the University of New Brunswick Saint John campus, providing educational opportunities for residents.

What Is The Crime Rate In St John, New Brunswick?

Saint John maintains a reputation for being a safe city.

While crime rates can vary, the community-oriented atmosphere and efficient local law enforcement contribute to a generally low crime rate. Residents often enjoy a sense of security in their daily lives.

Saint John Weather Yearly and Temperatures

Saint John, unsurprisingly, has a maritime climate, which includes relatively mild winters and cooler summers.

While summers are generally mild, winters can bring snowfall and cooler temperatures with Saint John seasons being:

  • Winter (December-February)
  • Spring (March-May)
  • Summer (June-August)
  • Fall (September-November)

Does Saint John Get Hurricanes?

Despite being located on the east coast of Canada, it is not as commonly affected by hurricanes as regions further south. It is, however, not entirely immune to the impacts of tropical storms.

Hurricanes can occasionally make their way to the Atlantic provinces, including New Brunswick. However, the frequency and intensity of hurricanes in this region are generally lower compared to areas further south along the Atlantic seaboard, such as the southeastern United States and the Caribbean.

When hurricanes do reach the Atlantic provinces, they often have weakened to tropical storm status. The impact on Saint John can include heavy rainfall, strong winds, and potential storm surges, depending on the specific track and strength of the storm.

What Language Is Spoken In Saint John?

The primary language spoken in Saint John is English. English is the official language of the province of New Brunswick, and the majority of the population in Saint John and the surrounding areas communicate in it.

While English is the predominant language, Canada is a bilingual country with English and French as its official languages at the federal level.

Overall, for day-to-day interactions and communication in Saint John, English is the language most commonly used.

Do People Speak French In Saint John?

In some parts of New Brunswick and other provinces, you may encounter communities where French is spoken.

This is less common in Saint John compared to areas with a higher percentage of French speakers such as Quebec.

What Are Famous Attractions And Places Of Interest In Saint John?

Historical Gems

Saint John boasts a tapestry of history, evident in sites such as the Loyalist House and Fort Howe.

The Loyalist House stands as a testament to the city’s colonial heritage, while Fort Howe, overlooking the harbor, transports visitors back to the era of maritime defense.

Immerse yourself in the city’s fascinating past as you explore these historical gems.

Bay of Fundy and Beyond

The Bay of Fundy, known for the highest tides globally, is a natural wonder that defines Saint John. Don’t miss the awe-inspiring Reversing Falls, where the tides clash and create a mesmerizing spectacle.

For nature enthusiasts, the Irving Nature Park and Fundy Footpath offer hiking trails with breathtaking views, showcasing the region’s diverse flora and fauna.

Irving Nature Park

Nature enthusiasts appreciate the Irving Nature Park, a vast coastal reserve that offers hiking trails, birdwatching opportunities, and stunning views of the Bay of Fundy.

It provides a peaceful escape into nature within the city limits.

Saint John Market

Uptown Saint John is a hub of cultural activity, with Market Square at its heart. This historic area combines shopping, dining, and entertainment, providing an immersive experience for locals and tourists alike.

The Saint John City Market, one of the oldest continuously operating farmers’ markets in North America, is a must-visit for those seeking a taste of local flavors.

Rockwood Park & Waterfront

Escape the urban hustle by exploring Rockwood Park, an expansive natural reserve within the city. With lakes, trails, and recreational facilities, it offers a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

Saint John’s waterfront also beckons, inviting you to enjoy a leisurely stroll or embark on a scenic ferry ride.

Arts & Entertainment

The Saint John Arts Centre is a cultural hub that showcases the city’s artistic prowess. From galleries to performances, it provides a glimpse into the vibrant arts community.

The city also hosts various festivals throughout the year, celebrating music, arts, and maritime heritage, offering a lively atmosphere for residents and visitors alike.