Fredericton: Top 10

(continuer en français) – Last updated: January 9, 2022

New Brunswick’s capital still has that friendly, small-town look that is easy to get around, yet there is more to it than it seems. The present city was founded in 1783 by British Loyalists on the ruins of an Acadian village. Both cultures remain in Canada’s most bilingual province. Here are the ten most important places to visit.

01. Garrison

The town was primarily a British garrison from 1784 to 1869. The parade ground is located in the centre of the city, with changing of the guard performed by volunteers in old-time uniforms. Of the many buildings, there survives the officers’ mess dating from the early 19th century, it overlooks the lawn square where many events are held throughout the year.

02. Government House

The Governor’s Residence, built in 1828, reverted to being the living and working quarters of the province’s Lieutenant Governor in 1996. For many years, the building was occupied by public services, such as a school for the deaf and dumb and a hospital during the First World War. The gardens fronting the river are open to the public.

03. Legislative Assembly

The Parliament was built of stone in 1882, replacing the old one destroyed by fire. New Brunswick was one of the founding provinces of Canadian Confederation in 1867, since then federal and provincial authorities have complemented each other. Political life is strongly inspired by British parliamentarism, with a Premier elected by Parliament.

04. Farraline House

Built in 1809, the Farraline House is located near the Parliament. It was the home of several politicians, including a premier and a Lieutenant-Governor. It is also a traditional Fredericton wood construction. In 1907, the house was donated for use as a retirement residence, which it still is.

05. Playhouse

The performance hall is a gift from Lord Beaverbrook to his home province. He became a media tycoon and a British minister in both world wars, his generosity helped establish a local cultural scene and hosted troops on tour in North America. For a city of 60,000 people, this is a significant cultural institution.

06. Convention Centre

Adjacent to the Playhouse and complementing each other in their missions, the Convention Centre adds, among other things, an auditorium with more than 1,200 seats. The centre opened its doors in 2011 and its architecture gives a modern touch to the city centre, until then predominantly dominated by a rather classical style that has changed little since the 19th century.

07. Beaverbrook Art Gallery

It was another gift from Lord Beaverbrook to Fredericton in 1959. In addition to funding the first building, part of the initial collection came from his own collection. These included English painters but also Canadian artists such as the Group of Seven painters. Other exhibition spaces were added to form the Provincial Art Gallery.

08. Christ Church

The Anglican Cathedral of Christ Church is a Victorian Gothic Revival building from the mid-19th century. Its plan is copied from a 15th century parish church in England. The use of stone was a change from the practice of building in wood in America. Destroyed by lightning in 1911, the spire gained ten meters in the reconstruction.

09. Old Burial Ground

This former public park was transformed into a cemetery in 1784 and remained in operation until 1886. It was therefore mainly the English founders of the city who were buried there, as well as veterans of the War of 1812. Today, trees and lawns have returned the cemetery to its original vocation as a green space, the tombs providing a feeling of solemnity without being morbid.

10. Fredericton’s Older Houses

Downtown Fredericton is not made up of tall buildings or commercial thoroughfares. Instead, the Historic Garrison District, the few blocks in the centre of the city, has many old houses that have retained their historic character. They have often been converted into offices for independent professions or small businesses.

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    • For the spire, actually it is the original plan which was followed; during the initial construction, the technology of the time did not make it possible to reach the planned height.
      Group of Seven, they are the pride of Canadian painting, to me it’s a mix of Hudson Valley School and post impressionism. So far I have seen the most comprehensive collection at the McMichael Museum in Kleinburg near Toronto.


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