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Saint John Facts
Saint John is the largest city in the province of New Brunswick, and the oldest incorporated city in Canada. In 2006 the city had a population of 68,043. The population of the Census Metropolitan Area is 122,389. The city is situated along the north shore of the Bay of Fundy at the mouth of the Saint John River.
Predated by the Maritime Archaic Indian civilization, the area of the northwestern coastal regions of the Bay of Fundy is believed to have been inhabited by the Passamaquoddy Nation several thousand years ago, while the Saint John River valley north of the bay became the domain of the Maliseet Nation. The mouth of the Saint John River was first discovered by Europeans in 1604 during a reconnaissance of the Bay of Fundy undertaken by French cartographer Samuel de Champlain. The day upon which Champlain sighted the mighty river was St. John the Baptist's Day, hence the name, which in French is Fleuve St-Jean.
The strategic location at the mouth of the St. John River was fortified by Charles de la Tour in 1631. After several wars between the French and the British, Saint John passed to the British.
Saint John's first airport was located north of the business district at Millidgeville. This location on a plateau overlooking the Kennebecasis River was a summer cottage area used by local residents to escape the coastal fog from the Bay of Fundy. Saint John Airport was developed post-war and is located in the eastern part of the city.
According to a mid-2005 survey, there were 121,179 people residing in the Greater Saint John area, of whom 48.1% were male and 51.9% were female. Children under five accounted for approximately 5.5% of the population. People 65 and over accounted for 13.1% of the population. In the years between 1996 and 2005, the population of Saint John declined 3.6%. When the census was taken in May 2006 the population of Saint John was 68,043 compared with 69,661 in 2001. The population of the city of Saint John has been in steady decline for several decades; however, in light of recent economic growth this trend is expected to reverse.
Canada's 2001 Census found that amongst the Saint John population's reported ethnic origins, 49.2% of the population described their background as "Canadian", followed by English 32.1%), Irish (30.0%), Scottish (24.4%), French (20.8%), German (4.6%), Dutch (2.6%),North American Indian (2.2%), Welsh (1.6%), and many others. (Numbers add to more than 100% due to multiple responses: e.g. "English & Scottish".) Saint John claims to be Canada's most "Irish" city. Because of this boast, Saint John holds a special connection to Boston, Massachusetts, the most "Irish" city in the United States.
Saint John is the industrial powerhouse of the Maritime provinces of Canada. Wealthy industrialist K.C. Irving and his family built an industrial conglomerate in the city during the 20th century with interests in oil, forestry, shipbuilding, media and transportation. Irving companies remain dominant employers in the region with the most important businesses being eastern North America's first deepwater oil terminal, a pulp mill, a newsprint mill and a tissue paper plant. Until the early 2000s, Canada's largest shipyard had been an important employer in the city. During the 1980s-early 1990s the shipyard was responsible for building 9 of the 12 Halifax class multi-purpose patro frigates for the Canadian Navy. However, the shipyard was left without contracts for almost a decade following the warship construction.
Other important economic activity in the city is generated by the Port of Saint John, the Moosehead Brewery, the New Brunswick Power Corporation which operates three electrical generating stations in the region including the Point Lepreau Nuclear Generating Station, Aliant Telecom which operates out of the former New Brunswick Telephone headquarters, numerous information technology companies and the Atlantic Health Sciences Corporation - operator of New Brunswick's largest health care facility, Saint John Regional Hospital. There are also a number of call centres which were established in the 1990s under provincial government incentives.
City Hall Address:
15 Market Square
St John, NB E2L 4L1