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Geography of New Brunswick


Geography of New Brunswick

Road map of New Brunswick.

New Brunswick (French: Nouveau-Brunswick) is one of Canada's three Maritime provinces, and the only officially bilingual province (French and English) in the country. Its capital is Fredericton, though its largest city is Saint John


  • Physical geography 1
    • Rivers 1.1
  • Cultural Geography 2
    • Communities 2.1
    • Cities and major municipalities 2.2
  • Gallery 3
  • Parks 4
    • National parks 4.1
    • Provincial parks 4.2
    • Municipal parks 4.3
    • International parks 4.4
  • Heritage and historical sites 5
    • National 5.1
    • Provincial 5.2
  • See also 6
  • External links 7

Physical geography

Seal Cove, Grand Manan Island. Southern New Brunswick is rockbound and dominated by the extreme tidal range of the Bay of Fundy, which is of significant economic importance to the province.
New Brunswick is bounded on the north by Quebec's Gaspé Peninsula and Chaleur Bay and on the east by the Gulf of Saint Lawrence and Northumberland Strait. To the east, the narrow Isthmus of Chignecto connects it to peninsular Nova Scotia, most of which is separated from the mainland by the Bay of Fundy. On its west, the province borders the American state of Maine. The boundary with the U.S. was settled during the "Aroostook War" of 1838-39 which was largely instigated by businessman and political activist John Baker. New Brunswick is one of two provinces (the other being Alberta) to border a single U.S. state.

The total land and water area of the province is 72,908 square kilometres. About 80% of the province is forested, with the other 20% consisting of agricultural land and urban areas. The major urban centres lie in the south of the province. The bulk of the arable land is found in the Upper St. John River Valley, with lesser amounts of farmland found in the southeast of the province.

Underlain by sandstone bedrock, coastal areas of eastern New Brunswick are typically flat to undulating and are often deeply indented by tidal inlets.
While New Brunswick is one of Canada's Maritime Provinces, it differs from its neighbours both ethnoculturally and physiographically. Both Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are either wholly or nearly surrounded by water and the ocean therefore tends to define their climate, economy and culture. New Brunswick, on the other hand, although having a significant seacoast, is sheltered from the Atlantic Ocean proper and has a large interior which is removed from oceanic effects. New Brunswick therefore tends to be defined by its rivers rather than its seacoast.

The major river systems in the province include the St. John River, Petitcodiac River, Miramichi River, St. Croix River and the Restigouche River. The St. John River is thought to be the second longest river on the North American eastern seaboard between the St. Lawrence River and the Mississippi River.

The Kent Hills Wind Farm sits atop an extension of the Appalachian Mountain range in southeastern New Brunswick.
New Brunswick lies entirely within the Appalachian Mountain range, a chain of ancient, eroded mountains which have created river valleys and low, gently rolling hills throughout large parts of the province. The eastern and central part of the province consists of the New Brunswick Lowland within the Gulf of St. Lawrence lowland forests ecoregion, whereas the Caledonia Highlands and St. Croix Highlands extend along the Bay of Fundy coast, reaching elevations of 300 metres. The northwestern part of the province is the remote and more rugged Miramichi Highlands, Chaleur Uplands, and the Notre Dame Mountains with a maximum elevation at Mount Carleton of 820 metres.

The northern seacoast, along Miramichi Bay, the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the Bay of Chaleur is called the North Shore, a region predominately Francophone, but with sizable English-speaking communities as well.


See Full Article Rivers of New Brunswick

Grand Falls, New Brunswick. Besides contributing energy for hydroelectric plants, the 673 km (418 mi) St. John River nourishes thousands of hectares of prime agricultural land in western New Brunswick.
The majority of western New Brunswick is drained by the Saint John River system. The river, which rises in northern Maine, empties into the Bay of Fundy in Saint John. Notable tributaries within the province include the Madawaska River, Tobique River, Meduxnekeag River, Nashwaak River, Oromocto River, Nerepis River and Kennebecasis River. Other water bodies within the Saint John River system are Grand Lake (which itself is fed by the Salmon River), Washademoak Lake (fed by the Canaan River), and Belleisle Bay. The high tides of the Bay of Fundy often cause the Saint John River to flow upstream, an effect most pronounced at the Reversing Falls in Saint John.

The Petitcodiac River Shepody River, Tantramar River, and Memramcook River empty into Chignecto Bay at the head of the Bay of Fundy. Like the Saint John River, the Bay of Fundy tides cause another upstream phenomenon, known as a tidal bore. The construction of a causeway on the river at Moncton, approximately 50 kilometres upstream, has lessened the tidal bore's effect and changed the river's ecosystem.

Other rivers which empty into the Bay of Fundy include the St. Croix River, Digdeguash River, Magaguadavic River, Lepreau River, Musquash River, and Big Salmon River.

Bridge across the Miramichi River in northeastern New Brunswick.
The system of the Miramichi River, which flows into Miramichi Bay at the city of Miramichi, drains a large portion of central New Brunswick. There are two main branches, the Southwest Miramichi River and Northwest Miramichi River, with several smaller tributaries such as the Dungarvon River, Renous River, Bartholomew River and Cains River. The Miramichi River system is noted for its salmon pools and parks.

The Restigouche River system drains a large portion of northwestern and north-central New Brunswick. The river flows into the Bay of Chaleur at its head near Dalhousie, and like the Miramichi, is renowned for its salmon fishing. Notable tributaries are the Kedgwick River, Patapedia River, and Upsalquitch River.

The Nepisiguit River is another notable river feeding the Bay of Chaleur. Smaller rivers into the bay include the Caraquet River, Tetagouche River and Jacquet River.

The Northumberland Strait is fed by the Kouchibouguac, Kouchibouguacis, Richibucto, Bouctouche, Cocagne and Shediac Rivers; while the Gulf of St. Lawrence is fed by the Tabusintac, Big Tracadie and Pokemouche Rivers.

Cultural Geography

New Brunswick is a rural province with nearly half of the Province's residents living in rural areas (rural in this instance is defined by type of services available and boundaries of local government units). However, as population growth occurs around the periphery of major cities, these "urban adjacent" areas begin to be more urban in character, in large part describing a departure from a rural community population base.

In the geographical sense, many prominent communities owe their existence to a relationship with or dependence on navigable water because of the access to land and resources it provides.


Local Service Districts in the Province's municipal system. Most unincorporated communities relate to residence in the County, like elsewhere, the Townships, or more recently, in the "shire".

Cities and major municipalities

The major urban areas of the province are Greater Saint John (Saint John, Quispamsis, Rothesay) and Greater Moncton (Moncton, Riverview, Dieppe). Moncton being the largest Metro at 126,424 and Saint John coming in second at 122,389. Greater Fredericton (the provincial capital) has a census agglomeration population of 85,688. The population of New Brunswick is majority English-speaking but with a substantial (35%) French-speaking minority called Acadians (from "Acadia", the former name of this region during the French colonial period). Most Acadians migrated to the area from the Vienne region of France. New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province in Canada.

10 largest municipalities by population
Municipality 2011 2006 2001 1996 1991
Saint John 68 043 69 661 72 494 74 969
Moncton 64 128 61 046 59 313 56 823
Fredericton 50 535 47 560 46 507 46 466
Dieppe 18 565 14 951 12 497 10 650
Miramichi 18 129 18 508 19 241 21 165
Riverview 17 832 17 010 16 653 16 270
Edmundston 16 643 17 373* 11,033 10,835
Quispamsis 15 239 13 757 13 579
Bathurst 12 714 12 924 13 815 14 409
Rothesay 11 637 11 505 11 470 N/A
largest metropolitans by population
Metropolitan 2006 2001 1996 1991
Greater Moncton 126 424 118 678 113 491 107 436
Greater Saint John 122 389 122 678 125 705 125 838
Greater Fredericton 85 688 81,346 78,950 74,718
Bathurst 31 424 32 523* 25 415 25 734
Miramichi 24 737 25 274 N/A N/A
Edmundston 21 442 22 173 22 624 22 205
Campbellton 17 888 18 820 16 867 17 183
  • asterisk denotes boundary change

Saint John is a port city that is full of maritime culture and the only city on the Bay of Fundy. The city is the oldest incorporated city in Canada with a large urban setting, having some of the most impressive 19th century architecture in Canada. Saint John's main industries include; Tourism, IT,Health and Education sector as well as heavy industry on the East Side including the largest oil refinery in Canada. The city is also home to Moosehead Breweries/ James Ready Breweries. Saint John is an artistic city with a downtown filled with local art galleries with some of the finest restaurants and theatres in Eastern Canada.

Moncton is the largest Metropolitan in New Brunswick, it is the fastest growing city east of Toronto, and is in the top 10 in Canada. Moncton is principally a transportation, distribution, commercial and retail centre. Moncton has a sizeable francophone Acadian minority (35%). The majority of Moncton's recent growth is due to rural depopulation of the north shore of the province.

Fredericton, in addition to being the capital and bureaucratic centre of the province, is a university town, and home to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, Theatre New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, and other amenities, including Christ Church Cathedral, whose foundation is the oldest in Canada or the United States. Fredericton is nicknamed the "City of Stately Elms". It has boasted of the largest stand of elms outside of Central Park since Dutch Elm Disease devastated this species in the early 20th century.



National parks

New Brunswick has two national parks.
Park Location Size Activities Campsites
Fundy National Park Alma 207 km² extensive hiking trails (1 is 100 km long), boardwalk, mountain biking, golfing, fishing, birdwatching, swimming, cross-country skiing, skating... 3 campgrounds, 1 group campgrounds, backcountry camping
Kouchibouguac National Park Richibucto 238 km² swimming, cycling, canoeing... campgrounds, group camping, backcountry camping

Provincial parks

There are eleven provincial parks.

Park Location Size Activities Campsites
Anchorage Provincial Park Grand Manan 139-ha. hiking trails, bird watching 100
de la République Provincial Park Edmundston 44-ha. botanical garden, trails, tennis & volleyball, playground, horseshoe pits, boat ramp, picnic sites, antique automobile museum, heated pool 150
Herring Cove Provincial Park Campobello Island 425-ha. wildlife (bald eagles, ospreys, beavers), various hiking trails, picnic sites, kitchen shelters, playgrounds, 9-hole golf course, pro shop, beach 88
Mactaquac Provincial Park Mactaquac 525-ha. 18-hole championship golf course, various hiking trails (1 wheelchair accessible), beach, windsurfing, canoeing, fishing, picnic sites 300+
Mount Carleton Provincial Park Saint-Quentin 17,000-ha. Mount Carleton, 62 km long hiking ridge, biking trails, canoeing (3 lakes & 2 rivers)
Murray Beach Provincial Park Murray Corner 29-ha. Northumberland Strait beach 111
New River Beach Provincial Park Pocologan 89-ha. Bay of Fundy beach, nature trail 100
Oak Bay Provincial Park St. Stephen camp at the mouth of the St. Croix River 115
Parlee Beach Provincial Park Shediac 33-ha. Northumberland Strait beach 165
Sugarloaf Provincial Park Atholville 1136-ha. mountain hiking trails, biking trails, alpine slide 76
Val Comeau Provincial Park Tracadie–Sheila campsite is 70 m from the beach

Municipal parks

Park Location Size Activities
Beech Hill Park Sackville walking, cross-country skiing
Blackville Municipal Park Blackville trails, playground, barbecue pits
Carleton Park Fredericton trails, picnic tables, boat launch
Centennial Park Moncton beach, hiking, horseshoe pits, wheelchair-accessible playground, water park, lawn bowling, cross-country skiing, outdoor skating
Irishtown Nature Park Moncton 890-ha kayaking, canoeing, hiking, wetlands, cross-country skiing
Irving Nature Park Saint John 243-ha hiking along the Bay of Fundy, free guided tours, birdwatching, lookout tower, free barbecue pits
Killarney Lake Park Fredericton swimming, walking trails
Mapleton Park Moncton 121-ha birdwatching, hiking trails, cross-country skiing, sledding, ice skating
Miramichi Skate Park Miramichi BMX, skateboarding and in-line skate park
Morrissey Rock Park and Scenic Lookout Tide Head picnicking over the Restigouche River
Odell Park and Odell Arboretum Fredericton 175-ha. trails, barbecue pits, duck pond, outdoor skating, cross-country skiing
Parc du Vieux Moulin Nigadoo swimming
Petit Témis Interprovincial Linear Park Edmundston 130-km long cycling path along the Madawaska River and Lake Témiscouata, snowmobling
Richelieu Municipal Park Neguac
Ritchie Wharf Park Miramichi shipbuilding-themed park, dock & boat launch
Riverfront Park Moncton paved and dirt paths for wheelchairs, bicycles, in-line skates, walking and running, part of Trans Canada Trail
Rockwood Park Saint John 890-ha. 10 freshwater lakes, hiking trails, campsite, zoo, golf club
Rockwood Park Beach Saint John swimming, hiking, arboretum
Sackville Waterfowl Park Sackville birdwatching, boardwalks and trails, Tantramar Marsh
Sandy Point Park Baie-Sainte-Anne beach, campsite
Sir Douglas Hazen Park Oromocto Fort Huges Military Blockhouse, marina
Wilmot Park Fredericton 4.9-ha. trails, lawn bowling, courts, playground

International parks

Roosevelt Campobello International Park, on Campobello Island is operated jointly by Canada and the United States and preserves the family cottage of former United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

Saint Croix Island International Historical Site; in the middle of the Saint Croix River, although actually located in the state of Maine and operated by the United States National Park Service, is a significant Canadian historical site and a Parks Canada interpretive centre is located on the Canadian shoreline opposite the island.

Heritage and historical sites


Free Meeting House in Moncton
Site Location Description
Beaubears Island Shipbuilding and Boishébert near Miramichi 19th-century shipbuilding & Acadian refugee settlement, 1756–59
Carleton Martello Tower Saint John fortification built to defend the city during War of 1812
Christ Church Cathedral Fredericton gothic-revival architecture in this 150 year old Anglican cathedral
Fort Beauséjour Aulac remnants of 1751 French fort
Fort Gaspareaux Port Elgin military ruins and cemetery of 1751 French fort
Fredericton City Hall and Bicentennial Tapestries Fredericton oldest city hall still in use in the Maritime provinces with 27 tapestries depicting the history of the capital city
Moncton Free Meeting House Moncton built in 1821
Historic Garrison District Fredericton York-Sunbury Museum in the former 1839 officer's quarters, guided tours, changing of the guard
Honourable Charles Connell House Woodstock built in 1840
Loyalist House Saint John Loyalist period furnishings, circa. 1810-1833 Georgian house, tea with the mayor every Wednesday in July and August
McAdam Railway Station McAdam granite, 3-storey station built between 1900-1911 by the Canadian Pacific Railway
Monument Lefebvre Memramcook multi-function building, symbol of Acadian cultural revival
No.2 Engine House/Saint John Firefighters Museum Saint John 1840-1841 built neo-classical fire hall, exhibit of the Great Fire of 1877
Partridge Island Saint John quarantine station during Irish immigration in the 19th Century, also military posts from the 18th century through World War II, world's first steam-operated fog horn built in 1852
Queens County Historical Society and Museum Gagetown birthplace of Sir Leonard Tilley, restored courthouse, Loyalist and Victorian furnishings, genealogical research centre
St. Andrews Blockhouse St. Andrews restored wooden blockhouse from War of 1812
St. Andrews Historic District St. Andrews walking tour
Tilley House Gagetown built in 1786, birthplace of Sir Leonard Tilley in 1818


Site Location Description
Beaverbrook House Miramichi built in 1877, childhood home of Lord Beaverbrook
Bell Inn Provincial Historic Site Dorchester built in 1811, the oldest stone structure in the province
Bonar Law Historic Society Rexton birthplace of former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Andrew Bonar Law with a 19th-century working farm
Cathedral of Immaculate Conception Edmundston mixture of Roman and Gothic styles, construction began in 1924, exterior of granite, can accommodate more than 1200 people
Chapelle de Beaumont Memramcook built for the Aboriginal people of Beamont Cape in 1842
Charlotte County Archives, the Old Gaol and the Charlotte County Courthouse St. Andrews built in the 19th century, classical-revival style, oldest continuous use courthouse in Canada, the jail was built in 1832
Doak Provincial Historic Site Doaktown built for the family of Robert Doak in 1825
Fortin du Petit-Sault Edmundston built in 1841 during the boundary dispute between the US and England, re-built in 2000
Hampton Gaol Hampton the jail originally built in Kingston, New Brunswick, it was taken down and rebuilt brick-by-brick in 1870
Historic Garrison District Fredericton York-Sunbury Museum in the former 1839 officer's quarters, guided tours, changing of the guard
Keillor House Dorchester built of stone in 1813, Regency-style mansion
Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick Fredericton seat of government since 1842, library has more than 50,000 books
MacDonald Farm Provincial Historic Site Bartibog built in the 1820s, Georgian stone house
Maison Historique Pascal-Poirier Art Gallery and Museum Shediac built in 1825, Acadia's first senator is featured
Ministers Island Historic Site St. Andrews 50-room, sandstone mansion built in 1890
Monument Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Rogersville Msgr. Marcel-François Richard, responsible for the 19th Acadian cultural revival
Old Carleton County Court House Woodstock built in 1833 and restored in 1966
Old Victoria County Registry Office and Courthouse Perth-Andover built in 1902
Old Victoria County Registry Office and Courthouse Perth-Andover built in 1902
Partridge Island, New Brunswick Saint John quarantine station during Irish immigration in the 19th Century, also military posts from the 18th century through World War II, world's first steam-operated fog horn built in 1852
Queens County Court House Gagetown built in 1836
Queens County Historical Society and Museum Gagetown birthplace of Sir Leonard Tilley, restored courthouse, Loyalist and Victorian furnishings, genealogical research centre
Saint-Henri de Barachois Church Barachois built in 1826, oldest standing wooden church in Acadia
Sheriff Andrews House Provincial Historic Site St. Andrews built approx. 1820
St. Andrews Historic District St. Andrews
St. Michael's Museum and Genealogical Centre Miramichi built in 1846

See also

External links

  • Official site of the Government of New Brunswick
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