Fredericton, New Brunswick


fr:Fredericton (Nouveau-Brunswick)

For the Canadian federal electoral district of the same name, see Fredericton (electoral district)

Fredericton, population 47,560 (greater Fredericton 81,346, both per 2001 census), is the capital of the province of New Brunswick, Canada. The city is situated on the St. John River in the west-central portion of the province.

The Fredericton area was first called Ste. Anne's Point after it was permanently settled in 1732 by Acadians fleeing Nova Scotia after the British took over the territory. The British captured Ste. Anne's Point after the expulsion of the Acadians in 1755, burning the city to the ground.

In 1783, United Empire Loyalists settled in Ste. Anne's Point after the American Revolution, although many died on the long, arduous journey from the United States. When New Brunswick became a province in 1784, Ste. Anne's Point became the provincial capital, winning out over present-day Saint John due to its central inland location. A street plan was laid out to the west of the original townsite, King's College (now the University of New Brunswick) 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. A building was constructed to house the provincial legislative assembly in 1788, but it was destroyed in 1880. Two years later, the present Legislature Building was constructed. In 1973, the city annexed several bedroom communities, such as Nashwaaksis, Marysville, Barker's Point and Silverwood.

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.

In 1848, Fredericton achieved city status after building the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral.

Today, Fredericton is known for its few elm stands, numerous public spaces, and the scenery of the Saint John River valley. The city is served by two universities, the University of New Brunswick and Saint Thomas University. There is a relatively large arts community, headlined by the Playhouse (home base of Theatre New Brunswick, the province's largest stage troupe) and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. Fredericton has an active live music scene with pubs and other venues offering a wide variety of live music from both local and non-local talent. It is home to the annual Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival. There are no major industries in the city, as the provincial government and the universities are by far the largest employers. The St. Mary's First Nation, located on the north side, is the only First Nation in Canada located in a city.

As the provincial capital, Fredericton is home to the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame.

The current mayor is Brad Woodside, who first served from 1986 to 1999 but was re-elected in 2004.

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