Saint John, New Brunswick 

Saint John is located on the Bay of Fundy at the mouth of the St. John River. When the tides change from low to high twice each day, the river's current flows upstream instead of downstream and makes a reversing falls effect. This is a big draw for tourists and a claim to fame for the city. 

Saint John was given its name by the explorer Samuel De Champlain, who arrived on June 24, 1604, the feast day of St. John the Baptist. Saint John is the largest city in New Brunswick and has been called “The Greatest Little City in the East.” In 2006 the population was 68,043, although in 2001 it was a bit higher at 69,661. The city is a 90 minute drive from the U.S. Border at Calais, Maine. 

Saint John has an ice-free harbour year round and a harbour clean-up project is in the works to stop the dumping of sewage into the harbour. Saint John has traditionally been known for the trades of shipping, shipbuilding, and fishing. The shipbuilding trade lasted until 2002. It is also New Brunswick's commercial, manufacturing, and transportation centre and aside from New York City, has the greatest concentration of industry on the North Atlantic Coast. K.C. Irving made his fortune here in the 20th century through forestry, shipbuilding, media and transportation. And today the Irving empire still has a big stake in New Brunswick.

Saint John has many different neighbourhoods through which residents identify. Uptown is the heritage district. The east side is becoming more and more suburban. The north end is the poorer district, and the west side is home to working class. Many of the older neighbourhoods are now going through a process of gentrification, as residents of St. John are trying to preserve the oldest buildings in the city. As often happens with gentrification, the people who live in the areas being preserved are often low-income and become displaced. Saint John's small population might not have the same affect as would happen in a larger city, though. 

Saint John has one Christian radio station, and the first Presbyterian church in Canada was built here in 1784. The religious break down of the city is:

  • 47.6% Protestant
  • 40.3% Roman Catholic
  • 1.3% other Christan
  • 10.1% no religious affiliation
  • 1% all other religions

The University of New Brunswick has a campus here, as well as the New Brunswick Community College. Rockwood Park is one of Canada's largest urban parks. It was designed by one of the designers of New York's Central Park, and has over 890 hectares of forest, hills, caves, lakes, trails, a golf course and a zoo. A strange fact about Saint John is that ragweed is extremely rare here, so many sufferers of hay fever spend their summers in the city.