Fredericton has been the capital city of New Brunswick since 1785. The first parliament buildings were built in 1786. Between 1832 and 1838, the legislature met at the “Royal Union Hotel” on Queen Street until New Brunswick Legislative Building was opened on York Street. The present legislative buildings were constructed between 1847 and 1872 in the Second Empire style. Unfortunately, the previous one was destroyed by fire on February 3, 1897, when lightning struck at 9:30 p.m. The fire caused extensive damage, including losing all its records dating from 1783 to 1896.
1. Fredericton is the second largest city in the province (after Moncton). The population of the city was 59,450, according to the 2011 census. The major employers are the Government of New Brunswick, The University of New Brunswick, and Loyalist College. Fredericton is an anglicized name for a Mohawk village called “Ciadackek”, meaning “place of partridge”.
2. It is situated in the Saint John River valley, with most of the city located on the north side. It is surrounded by rural communities which are still located in a typical New England – Canadian Maritime mould. Fredericton has been designated a “City of Arts and Innovation” by the provincial government.
3. In terms of the weather, the lowest temperature ever recorded was −42 °C (−44 °F) on February 16, 1882, while the highest temperature ever recorded was 37 °C (99 °F) on August 6 and 7, 1935.
4. Fredericton is home to the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design (NBCCD). NBCCD offers world-class training in a variety of visual media. The college offers programs in Fine Arts (Glass, Jewelry, Ceramics, Painting), Graphic Design, Animation & Video Arts, Jewellery/Metal arts and Fashion Design.
5. Fredericton is the largest urban centre in New Brunswick, with about 60% of the province’s population living within an hour (by car) of the city.
6. Fredericton was once served by railroads between Saint John and Moncton.
7. The University of New Brunswick was founded in 1785, making it the oldest English-language university in Canada and one of the country’s three publicly chartered universities. The school has a student enrollment number of 11,000 full-time students and over 2,000 part-time students.
8. The University of New Brunswick won the 2012–2013 Governor General’s Gold Medal for excellence among Canadian universities. This is the highest award of its kind, presented annually to honour the top university in Canada. UNB also won the 2013 University of the Year Award for overall excellence presented by Learning Active, a higher education program sponsored by CAA (Canadian Automobile Association).
9. The city is famous for its annual Fall Foam Fest, where participants run and jump into piles of colourful fallen foam floating on the water. In 2007, the Foam Fest was profiled on CBC’s “Waterfront”, a program that chronicles events in cities along the Saint John River. The televised coverage of London, England’s Canada Day celebrations also featured Fredericton’s Foam and Bubble Festival.
10. The city has one daily newspaper: “The Brunswickan”, operated by Brunswick News. Fredericton is also served by three weekly newspapers: “Fredericton Free Press”, “The Telegraph-Journal”, and “Urbanity Magazine”. The city’s cable provider is Eastlink.