Early explorers of the eastern coast of North America must have been stunned at the site of 30 foot tides, racing against a waterfall with such strength, as to actually reverse the flow of a great river for several kilometers up stream. Visitors can still marvel at this, and many other sites, in the historic seaside city of Saint Johns, New Brunswick (as distinct from St. Johns, in Newfoundland).
Situated on the north shore of the famous Bay of Fundy, where the St. Johns River empties into the sea, the city has a fascinating history and geography and numerous scenic attractions.
It was the first city to be incorporated in Canada, in 1785. It was populated by Loyalists escaping from the US and later became the site of the first quarantine in North America for those fleeing the Potato Famine. The city still retains a large Irish population.
It was in Saint Johns that inventor Robert Foulis is reported to have heard, through a thick fog, the sound of his daughter playing piano. Being unable to hear anything but the low notes, he came upon the idea of a steam-powered device to emit low frequencies, and the foghorn was born.
The city had an important place as an ice-free winter port before the construction of the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Its economy has been involved in ship building, with forestry and oil, and now, with its deep-sea port, as the hub for a liquefied natural gas pipeline to points in Canada and the American North East. It is home to extension campuses to the University of New Brunswick.
The rocky landscape with granite outcroppings is not well suited to agriculture, but does hold numerous picturesque lakes. Visitors will not only enjoy the harbourside boardwalks, but also exploring sea caves, the Bay of Fundy trail, Irving Nature Park, whale watching and numerous lively festivals that take place from June through every month to November.
The climate is moderately warm in summer, with morning fog that burns off in the afternoons. Winters, especially January and February have well below zero average temperatures.
Saint Johns and is the second largest city in the province, with a population of about 68,000.
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Created in the 1980s in order to preserve the Jewish heritage of Saint John.
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The New Brunswick Museum was established in 1842 and is the oldest continuing museum in Canada.