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Fredericton( ) is the capital of the Canadian province of New Brunswickmarker, by virtue of the provincial parliament which sits there. An important cultural, artistic, and educational centre for the province (and for Eastern Canada at large), Fredericton is home to two universities, as well as cultural institutions such as the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the York-Sunbury 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 widely known for its indie rock scene, featuring jamband-reminiscent artists like Grand Theft Bus, and the record label Forward Music Group.

As a provincial capital, its economy is inextricably tied to the fortunes of 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.

In the 2006 census, the population of the city of Fredericton was 50,535, and the population of the census agglomeration (termed "Greater Fredericton") was 85,688.

The first major expansion of the city occurred on July 1, 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 Marysvillemarker, which were incorporated into the city in 1973.

The city is situated in the west-central portion of the province and, along with Monctonmarker and Saint Johnmarker, is one of the main urban centres in southern New Brunswick. The St. John Rivermarker flows in a west-east direction, bisecting the city and providing the dominant natural feature for the municipality.

History



Aboriginal, French, and early British settlement

The area of the present-day City of Fredericton was first used for seasonal farming by the Mi'kmaq and Maliseet peoples. Corn was the primary crop grown in the area. Interestingly, the site of Fredericton served as a sort of capital for Aboriginals in the area. Aucpaque, the "principal village" of the Aboriginals in the area, was located a few kilometres upriver from the site of present-day Fredericton.

The first European contact was by the Frenchmarker in the late 17th century, who granted the land to Joshua J Mahoney. In 1692, he built a fort (Fort Nashwaak) on the north side of the Saint John Rivermarker, at the mouth of the Nashwaak Rivermarker. For a period, Fort Nashwaak served as the capital of the French colony of Acadia. After Mahoney's death in 1700 and a devastating flood, the fort was abandoned.

The Fredericton area was first permanently settled and named Pointe-Sainte-Anne (often anglicized to Ste. Anne's Point) in 1732 by Acadians fleeing Nova Scotiamarker after the Britishmarker took over the territory. Their townsite was on the south side of the river, approximately a mile upriver from Fort Nashwaak. The British captured Ste. Anne's Point after the expulsion of the Acadians in 1755, burning the settlement to the ground. A 1762 settlement attempt by the British was unsuccessful due to the hostility of local Acadian and Aboriginal populations. These settlers ended up building a community downriver at what is today the town of Maugervillemarker (pronounced "majorville"). However, three fur traders managed to permanently settle there in 1768.

The flag of Fredericton.


The Loyalists and the founding of Fredericton

In 1783, United Empire Loyalists settled in Ste. Anne's Point after the American Revolution, although many died during the harsh and long first winter in Fredericton. Those who perished during that winter 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 of the countryside.

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 Johnmarker) due to its central inland location meaning it was 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 Brunswickmarker) 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 April 25, 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.

A building was constructed to house the provincial legislative assembly in 1788, but it was destroyed by a fire in 1880. Two years later, the present Legislature Buildingmarker was constructed.

Nineteenth and twentieth centuries

In 39, Christ Church Cathedral (part of the Church of England) was built, allowing Fredericton to achieve city status.

A Maliseet settlement, today called the St. Mary's First Nationmarker, was founded on the north side of the river in 1847. However, St. Mary's saw its initial allocation reduced as Fredericton grew and surrounded it.

Until Devon (a town incorporated in 1917 after the merger of the villages of St. Mary's Ferry and Gibson) was amalgamated with Fredericton in 1945, the corporate limit of the city of Fredericton was restricted to the south side. The postwar period (until the end of the 1970s) saw a growth in Fredericton's population - and the development of the flat area along with the establishment of bedroom communities such as New Marylandmarker. This was due to the growth of the provincial government and the universities.

In 1973, the city annexed several bedroom communities, such as Nashwaaksis, Marysvillemarker, Barker's Point, and Silverwood. Although all of these names are still in common use, references to simply the "north side" or the "south side" (with the Saint John River being the dividing line) are generally used by local residents.

Historic Marysville

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

Marysville can be described as a prime example of a nineteenth century mill town. In the 1830s, a saw mill was built on the site of Marysville by two local entrepreneurs. However, the saw mill frequently changed ownership and never showed a profit. It was Alexander Gibson (popularly referred to as "Boss Gibson") who 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 WWII, foreign competition devastated the Mill's business 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 as provincial government offices. The Mill still remains the dominant feature in the Marysville skyline.

Neighbourhoods

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 York-Sunbury Museum, and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Many notable historical buildings are also located in or near downtown, including many grand Victorian-era residences, the New Brunswick Legislative Buildingmarker, and Christ Church Cathederal. 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 Brunswickmarker and St. Thomas University are located, slightly southeast of the downtown area. North of the universities is the Doctor Everett Chalmers Hospital, the main hospital serving central/western New Brunswick.

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 Poet's Hill.

Southwest of downtown, on the Hill, is Odell Park, a large preserved forest area. Its trails and wooded areas are a favourite for hiking, jogging 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 two malls—The Fredericton Uptown Centre (formerly the Fredericton Mall) and The Regent Mall—as well as numerous other retail outlets. The Uptown Centre decided to follow the American trend of eliminating indoor passageways between retail outlets; this has also resulted in the closure of many of its smaller independent outlets.

The City's "Northside" consists of several boroughs which were at one time separate communities. These include Devon, Nashwaaksis, Marysvillemarker and Barker's Point. These communities are largely suburban neighbourhoods and retail outlets. Union Street, which runs just north of the St. John River includes numerous retail outlets as well as an eclectic array of businesses including IT firms, law firms, and real estate agents, among others. Also located on the Northside is the Brookside Mall, a low-end retail mall combined with a call centre operated by Avis Budget Group. A new development including a Power centre and a Wal-Mart is located at Two-Nations Crossing. Willie O'Ree Place - a new multi-million dollar hockey complex - opened in the same area in 2007.

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

Geography and climate

Fredericton is located at the bottom of the Saint John Rivermarker, 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).

Fredericton and its surroundings are rich in water resources, which, coupled with highly plowable soil, make the Fredericton region ideal for agriculture. The Saint John River and one of its major tributaries, the Nashwaak Rivermarker, come together in Fredericton. The uninhabited parts of the city are heavily forested.

Fredericton has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb) and enjoys a mild climate compared to most of Canada, although its location away from the coast means it is more prone to extreme temperatures than most other major cities in Atlantic Canadamarker. The average January low temperature is -16°C; while the average high in July high is 26°C.

The city gets a fair amount of precipitation, although major paralyzing snow and rain storms such as blizzards and hurricanes are uncommon compared to more coastal cities like Monctonmarker or Halifaxmarker (but do happen on occasion). 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.

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 Brunswickmarker (UNB), and St. Thomas University (STU).

The University of New Brunswick was founded in 1785 and - along with the University of Georgiamarker - is the oldest public university in North America. 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.

Saint Thomas University is the province's only Catholic university and has been located in Fredericton since 1964, when it moved from its Chatham, New Brunswickmarker campus. It a liberal arts university with programs in gerontology, criminology, journalism, social work, native studies, and education.

Adding to Fredericton's cultural and artistic life is the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design which houses the province's leading programs in photography and visual arts. The New Brunswick Community Collegemarker maintains a small campus in Fredericton providing two year degree programs oriented to quick entry into the job market; however, NBCC's major campuses are located in other communities. 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.

Fredericton is also home to a small Pentecostal College, the Northeastern Christian College, located on the city's northside. This college trains and certifies Pentecostal ministers.

School system

Fredericton's schools are located in District 18 (formerly known as District 26). 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, 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. The District 18 office is located here. 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.

Leo Hayes High Schoolmarker, which opened in 1999, primarily serves students living on Fredericton's north side. 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. Recently it was announced that Albert Street Middle School will be replaced with a new Middle School built in the Kimble Road Park area of Skyline Acres, which will be named Bliss Carmen Middle School. It is to be open by Fall 2009.

Fredericton is also serviced by the French language École Sainte-Anne and École des Bâtisseurs, which provides K-5 (ÉDB) and 6-12 (ESA) French language education. 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. Marguerite Michaud Library, and an amphitheatre. Both schools are administered by a school district system (District 1) separate from that which governs the English language schools in the city.

Research

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 Brunswickmarker 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 Canadamarker Institute for Information Technology – e-Business facility, located on the University of New Brunswickmarker 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.

Economy

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 Marylandmarker emerged.

Downtown Fredericton.
The 1960s also saw an expansion of the University of New Brunswick - due to increased post-war university enrollment - 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 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 enrollment 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.

It is due to the predominance of the universities and government in the city that Fredericton has not been subjected to the severe economic fluctuations faced by other Atlantic Canadian cities that have had to deal with mill shutdowns and the decline of the fishing industry in recent decades. It is for this reason that Fredericton is one of the few Atlantic Canadian cities, along with Monctonmarker and Halifaxmarker, Nova Scotiamarker that has actually reported a population increase in recent years.

The city has been investing actively in IT infrastructure. The City of Fredericton was recently the winner of the "Judges Innovation Award" at the 2004 C.I.P.A. (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 Intelmarker 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.

The Intelligent Community Forum (a New York City based think tank) selected Fredericton as a 2008 and a 2009 Top 7 Intelligent Community based partly on the City's work in the IT sector.

Recently, the New Brunswick government has been seeking to attract more immigrants to the province (and consequently the Fredericton area) to increase the labour force and compensate for an aging population.

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

Culture

The Beaverbrook Art Gallery.
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, 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.

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.

Arts

Lord Beaverbrook.
The Beaverbrook Art Gallery, a prestigious art gallery on the south bank of the Saint John River, is New Brunswick's provincial art gallery and maintains a collection of considerable quality, including several paintings by Salvador Dalí. The gallery was established and built in 1958 by British press baron Lord Beaverbrook as a gift to his native province. Gallery 78, located across the street, features works by prominent Atlantic visual artists.

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. Officer's Square is located at the centre of the city, and serves as a venue for outdoor concerts during the summer, featuring a variety of local and national talent. During the winter, Officer's Square is transformed into an outdoor skating rink.

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 artists, including Hot Toddy, Abstract Operation, Grand Theft Bus, David Myles, and Ross Neilson.

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 Film Festivalmarker, 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 Brunswickmarker and the New Brunswick Filmmaker's Co-operative.

Historically, Fredericton has been referred to as the Poet's 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 poet, playwright, and journalist Alden Nowlan.

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

Sports and recreation

Hockey pioneer Willie O'Ree was born in Fredericton. He is the first black hockey player to be drafted into the National Hockey League. The city's largest hockey arena is named Willie O'Ree Place, and is known to local residents as the "O'Reena."

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, and their hockey games are called the "Battle of the Hill". The UNB Varsity Reds have experienced recent success in national competition, winning the CIS (Canadian Interuniversity Sport) championships in the 2006-2007 and 2008-2009 seasons. The also finished in second place to the University of Alberta at the end of the 2007-2008 season. 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. The "AAA" hockey system in Fredericton still uses the name Canadiens as their team names in Pee Wee, Bantam, and Midget levels.

Fredericton has several parks, including Odell Park, Reading Park, and Wilmot Park. Killarney Lake and nearby Mactaquac Provincial Park have small beaches which are popular in the summer. Skiing (and snowboarding in recent years) at nearby Crabbe Mountain is also a common winter activity among city residents. There are also several cross-country skiing trails that cross the city.

Fredericton has just built two sports and leisure complexes which have two hockey rinks each, as well as health club facilities and an indoor track.

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

Government and politics

Fredericton City Hall 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 Brad Woodside, who first served from 1986 until 1999 but was re-elected in 2004. He was re-elected in May 2008 for his seventh term.

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.

Municipal politics in Fredericton

The population of Fredericton consists of a mix of social conservatives and social liberals. There is a large and active gay community in the city as well as two liberal arts oriented universities. Political life in Fredericton is characterized by this cleavage between social conservatives and social liberals. Activist groups, based at the universities, sometimes hold demonstrations.

Woodside made a controversial decision in 1997 by refusing to proclaim Gay Pride Week. He subsequently was ordered to make the proclamation by the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission - upon complaints by gay rights activists led by Allison Brewer (who later would become leader of the New Brunswick New Democratic Party- resigned in 2006) and Kim Hill. Woodside later stepped down as mayor to launch an unsuccessful bid as a Liberal candidate in Fredericton North in the 1999 provincial election. In 2004 he entered the mayoral race on the final day of nominations, and defeated incumbent Les Hull and second term councillor Joel Richardson.

Some notable councillors include second term councillor Bruce Grandy of Ward 2 (Nashwaaksis) and third term councillor Mike O'Brien of Ward 3 (Fulton Heights/North Devon), and first term councillor Jordan Graham of Ward 11 (UNB/East End Area). Graham is a University of New Brunswick student and the youngest councillor ever elected to city council.

Fredericton and provincial/federal politics

In the September 18, 2006 provincial election, Fredericton was expanded to four provincial legislative districts:

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 anti-bilingual 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. [1296]

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. However, since 1993, the riding has been represented by Liberal Andy Scott, who just recently announced his intention not to re-offer as a candidate is the next federal election. 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.

Demographics

Historical populations
Census
year
Population

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
1991 46,510
2001 47,560
2006 50,535
* Boundary change
** City amalgamated with
surroundings in 1973


The population of City of Fredericton is 50,535 (greater Fredericton 85,688, both per 2006 census), although unofficial reports indicate a number nearer 59,500 due to the student population which is often not counted in official censuses. Along with Monctonmarker and Halifaxmarker, Fredericton is one of three Maritime cities to register a population growth in recent years.

Ethnicity

Fredericton's population is predominantly White. However, a significant Black minority has had a long presence in the city, and lives primarily in the Barker's Point borough. As well, Willie O'Ree, the first Black player in the NHL, was from Fredericton. The largest non-White ethnic group in Fredericton are Aboriginals who live primarily on the Saint Mary's Reserve located on the City's Northside.

The 1960s and 1970s saw the beginning of an influx of immigrants from Asia and the Middle East. However, 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. However, this population is not permanent and generally not counted in the census.

The ethnic breakdown of Fredericton is as follows:

Religion

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 Northeastern Christian college is located on the city's Northside. While the Roman Catholic population is not as large, the city does boast the province's only Roman Catholic university - Saint Thomas University. Recent discussions at Saint Thomas University have concerned whether the university should adopt a more Catholic character.

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. A Unitarian fellowship has been serving Fredericton since 1960 as a place for people to find a liberal religious home.

The religious breakdown of Fredericton is as follows:

Language

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

The linguistic breakdown of Fredericton is as follows:
  • 75.6% English
  • 23.6% bilingual (French and English)
  • 0.5% French
  • 0.3% other


Media

Transportation

Airport

Air service is provided out of the Fredericton International Airportmarker, located approximately 15 kilometres east of downtown in Lincolnmarker. It is served by two airlines: Air Canada (which operates direct flights to Torontomarker, Ottawamarker, Montrealmarker and Halifaxmarker), Air Transat has also commenced weekly flights to London Gatwick.

Public transit, roads, highways, rail services, water

Fredericton Transit provides public transportation six days a week in the city.


There is no rail service into Fredericton. Passenger service was cancelled in the early 1960s and was restored between 1981-1985 before being cut again. Freight service stopped in 1996 and all railway tracks have been abandoned and removed, with the city joining St. John'smarker and Charlottetownmarker as provincial capitals without rail service. Fredericton is served by Acadian intercity bus lines which provides bus transit services to cities in Eastern Canada and the Northeastern United States.

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.

There are some issues with heavy traffic on Regent Street which connects Fredericton to the bedroom community of New Marylandmarker. Traffic does become heavy for the 5000 residents who live there. But, it does slow down during evenings when government employees are returning home from work. However, Regent Street has been expanded to four lanes in many areas to combat problems of clogged traffic.

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.

Fredericton Transit provides bus transit service to most areas of the city. All city buses include bike racks in the summer months 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 serviced by several taxi companies.

As of 2006, Fredericton water is not fluoridated; however, it is treated to remove excess manganese, and of course the water is chlorinated.

Fredericton trail system

Fredericton has an extensive network of rail trails for non-motorized recreational use.

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 Rusagonismarker 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 abandoned CP passenger station (York Street Railway Stationmarker) is located at the end of the Fredericton Subdivision and is currently in a state of neglect while various levels of government decide how to best preserve the structure.

On the north side of the city, CP Rail's Gibson Subdivision enters the city from Douglasmarker in the west, following the Saint John River through Naswaaksis 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 Marysvillemarker along the east bank of the Nashwaak River.

On the south side, CN Rail's Oromocto Subdivision enters the city from Lincolnmarker 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 Dammarker opened in 1968 and flooded the right-of-way through to Woodstockmarker. 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 Bridgemarker, 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 McGivneymarker.

Reading Park Trail, (pronounced Redding) is a 1.1 km forested trail 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.

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.

Attractions

Historical buildings and museums

Fredericton


Parks and public spaces

Fredericton contains numerous 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:

  • The Green - along the north and south banks of the Saint John River featuring biking/walking trails, two football/soccer fields, picnic areas, a baseball field and the Lighthouse which is a restaurant/tourist attraction.
  • Odell Park - features preserved forested areas and trails, as well as recreational spaces for picnics and outdoor gatherings, adjacent to the Fredericton Botanic Garden.
  • Reading Park - a 33 acre passive use park incorporating a open meadow, and a 1.1 kilometer trail through one of the city's last swaths of old-growth forest.
  • Killarney Lake Park - beaches and picnic spots as well as nature trails
  • Wilmot Park - recreational park in downtown featuring wading pool, playground, and family oriented activities.
  • Queen Square Park - this popular park, located in the heart of downtown Fredericton, features a new pool (a hybrid of a kids wading pool with fun water toys and a lap pool), playground, tennis courts and 2 baseball fields. Tennis courts are flooded in winter to create a skating rink.
  • Officer's Square - Venue for outdoor concerts and skating rink in the winter.


Partner Cities



See also



References

  • Dallison, Robert L. "A Tour of Boss Gibson's Marysville: A Nineteenth Century Mill Town." Fredericton Heritage Trust, 1991.
  • Hachey, Philip Osmond "The geology and ground water of the Fredericton district." UNB Thesis, 1955.
  • McIntyre, Glen, Bruce Oliver and Bob Watson, "A Valuable and Important Place - Fredericton's Loyalist Origins 1783." A Fredericton Historical Research Project, 1983.
  • History of Christchurch Cathedral
  • [1297]


External links




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