Saint John Facts

Saint John

Saint John is a city in New Brunswick, Canada. The city is the port of Saint John, located on the Bay of Fundy on the Northumberland Strait or western entrance to Passamaquoddy Bay. Saint John has a strong economy and a diverse mix of manufacturing industries. Canada’s second largest oil refinery is located in Saint John. The Irving Oil Refinery can produce 370,000 barrels per day with six different refineries producing petroleum products and asphalt from raw materials such as coal, crude oil, natural gas and other sources. Saint John's GDP is about $14 billion annually with exports being $1 billion per year.


18 Facts About Saint John

  • 1. Saint John is one of six communes or municipalities in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. It is a city located at the mouth of the Saint John River on the Bay of Fundy.
  • 2. It was named after John The Baptist and was founded in 1604 by French settlers at an important first nations trade development site.
  • 3. In 1785, Saint John became the first incorporated city in Canada, followed by Halifax, Nova Scotia three years later in 1788. Currently, Halifax and Fredericton are now larger cities but Saint John remains ahead of Moncton with regards to overall population despite Moncton’s growth due to its amalgamation with surrounding municipalities from 1992-2006.
  • 4. Saint John is the oldest incorporated city in Canada.
  • 5. Saint John's city limits has a population of about 75,000. The Greater Saint John Area or Census Metropolitan Area population was estimated at 174,600 residents in July 2012.
  • 6. Saint John is about 300 miles from Québec City and 450 miles from Boston and Portland, Maine.
  • 7. The economy of Saint John is mainly based on three things: petroleum refining, tourism and agriculture (principally potatoes). Other important industries include fishing and shipbuilding (a Canada Steamship Lines vessel yard), but since the closure of the Brunswick Naval Air Station in 1967, large-scale defence spending has been absent from the economy as a whole.
  • 8. Saint John has one of the highest costs of living in Canada, aided in part by the lack of a sales tax. Some Saint John residents feel that this discrepancy between the high cost of living and relatively low local earnings is such that many people are commuting to work in nearby Moncton and Fredericton, which have lower costs of living. However, fishing and agriculture remain important sectors in the economy.
  • 9. The old city is situated on a peninsula surrounded by the Saint John River and its tributaries to the west, north and south, with its eastern flank on Kennebecasis Island. In 1785, Saint John became capital of New Brunswick.
  • 10. The city boasts the largest number of National Historic Sites of Canada in the province and is home to a historic park where visitors can see the largest collection of cannons in North America.
  • 11. Saint John is home to Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and Test Ranges (CFMETR), including CFS Debert, which was once known as HMCS Range Canso, Canada's Atlantic test range. Today, more than 3,500 military and civilian personnel work at 11 sites throughout New Brunswick, including Debert. Several high-tech companies have made their home in Saint John over the last few decades.
  • 12. Saint John became a city in 1785. Saint John is governed by a mayor and city council. Municipal elections are held every four years on leap years.
  • 13. Saint John has a growing arts community, including the Festival of the Sea, the Atlantic Film Festival, the Royal Saint John’s Regatta (in that keep their own time for most events), Music Haven, First Friday Art Walk and many visual arts groups such as the Arts & Culture Alliance and Common Wheel Artists Collective for local visual artists, writers and musicians to express themselves in public venues. The New Brunswick Festival of the Arts occurs every June in Saint John and surrounding communities; it is Canada's longest-running festival of contemporary performing arts.
  • 14. Saint John is known for its spectacular Fashion Week. The city has become known for its love of fashion, the fabulous runway shows and the beautiful people who help create this oasis in the middle of Atlantic Canada. Saint John is an active participant in this event that keeps growing with each year.
  • 15. In June 2012, Saint John received recognition by Travel + Leisure Magazine as one of North America’s “Top 10 Cities for Design”.
  • 16. In July 2012, Saint John was recognized by Condé Nast Traveler as number 1 city in Canada to visit. According to Condé Nast, the city was selected out of a total of 182 cities.
  • 17. Some things to do in Saint John include the New Brunswick Museum of Natural History, the Reversing Falls, the Old City Waterfront, Harbour Passage, Rothesay and St. Martins (Holland), Fundy National Park (including Hopewell Rocks), New Brunswick Botanical Garden and Parlee Beach.
  • 18. There is a rather large outdoors scene in Saint John that includes camping, hiking and kayaking in the summer months as well as snowmobiling and cross-country skiing in the winter months.