Fredericton

Destination Location

Fredericton
  • 45.963589, -66.643115:primary
  • 45.8689003, -66.5372009:secondary

Overview

A large part of Fredericton's charm is that it's both a cozy small town and a city competing on the (art) world stage. The capital of New Brunswick flanks both sides of the majestic St. John River and features tree-lined residential streets alongside historic buildings and technical infrastructure that rivals any other Canadian city.

You won't have to go far to find a cultural experience. Fredericton is home to countless historic sites, museums with world-class art, several great music venues and some world-renowned festivals. The city also boasts the highest number of working artisans per capita in Canada.

Don't worry about getting stuck inside, though. Fredericton has a variety of outdoor activities to keep you out in the fresh air. In fact, WestJet Magazine voted Fredericton number six on the list of most walkable cities in Canada. That distinction is no doubt supported by the network of over 88 kilometres of trails that run on both sides of the St. John and Nashwaak rivers. 25 trails, which connect to the Greater Trans Canada Trail System, wind through urban, suburban and wilderness environments and are open to walkers, runners and bikers. Fredericton's motto is "Fredericopolis silvae filia noblis," or "Fredericton, noble daughter of the forest," and it's no wonder.

Not interested in hitting the trails? Hit the slopes instead and go skiing at Crabbe Mountain, featuring the largest vertical descent in the Maritimes. Other winter options include skating at one of the city's outdoor rinks, while paddling on the St. John River will give you a unique view of the city in the summer. You could top off your day with a visit to Lighthouse on the Green, where you'll find a variety of homemade ice cream flavours waiting to tempt you.

If you're looking for a good photo op, wander by City Hall to say hi to the ornamental cherub on top of the fountain. Known as "Freddie the Little Nude Dude," he is older than the Statue of Liberty (having already passed his 130th birthday). Or visit Fredericton's Christ Church Cathedral, the home of "Little Ben," the working model for Big Ben.

From culinary experiences to one-of-a-kind retailers in the downtown area, Fredericton will keep you full and ready to go. No matter what your interests, Fredericton will undoubtedly deliver.

Destination basics

The climate in Fredericton is generally moderate, though weather can range from mild to hot in summer, when the average temperature is 23C. Some winter days can be very cold, thought the average winter temperature is a mild -5C. Bring your snow boots if you take a winter trip, though. Average snowfall in February is 21cm.

Average monthly temperature and average monthly rainfall diagrams for Fredericton
Inspired by a farm-to-table philosophy, and infused with global flavors, Fredericton’s culinary scene is a smorgasbord of experiences.  From fine dining to fast food, and classic Canadian, to Asian fusion, Fredericton will leave you spoiled for choice.

Downtown
Downtown lies at the center of it all, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise to find that the city’s best restaurants are clustered here, within walking distance of each other. The neighborhood’s culinary offer has something to suit every taste, with several fine dining restaurants, casual pubs, trendy wine bars, and riverfront eateries to choose from. Start your day with a coffee and croissant at the Chess Piece, or head to Cora for a heartier breakfast. For lunch, bask in the sunshine at the Lunar Rogue Pub where you can enjoy a pint of local brew and a fully-loaded plate of nachos on the street-side patio. For casual, alfresco dining with a view, the Lighthouse on the Green boasts unmatched riverfront views. For one of the best burgers in town, head to the 540 Kitchen & Bar, while BrewBakers promises inspired local eats. Spend your evening sampling local brews at the James Joyce Pub, alongside charcuterie platters and shared plates. For dinner, you’ll be spoiled for choice from gourmet dining at restaurants like Palate, to Japanese at Naru and Greek at Dimitri’s. Round-off your culinary adventure with a drink at Vault 29 or a glass of wine at the Corked Wine Bar.

Uptown
Although Uptown Fredericton cannot compete with Downtown’s varied culinary map, the neighborhood nonetheless offers a few noteworthy restaurants. The neighborhood’s restaurants are mostly clustered in and around Regent Mall, Corbett Centre, and the Uptown Centre, with a mix of fast food, chain restaurants, and locally-owned, independent eateries. Begin your culinary exploration of Uptown with a visit to the Cabin. This quintessential diner serves up homestyle food in a laid-back setting and is best known for its made-from-scratch lobster rolls, pies, and milkshakes. Another local favorite is William’s Seafood. This counter-serve restaurant has been a staple of Uptown’s dining scene for over 60 years and continues to offer a simple menu of fresh fish and seafood, served alongside hand-cut fries. For a taste of Asian spice, sample classic Japanese staples like sushi, teriyaki, and bulgogi at Tomotachi, or savor Pan Asian cuisine at Saigon Noodle. For a refined steak dinner, try the Regency Room, while Grimross offers craft beer brewed in-house.

Northside
Fredericton’s Northside offers a surprisingly varied array of restaurants to choose from. For a fine dining experience, the Schnitzel Parlour serves up traditional European cuisine, while Wolastoq Wharf offers some of the finest seafood to be had in Fredericton. For a more casual meal, Claudine’s serves up homestyle East Coast comfort food, while Pizza Twice whips up a variety of pizzas, subs, and salads using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. Feeling particularly famished? Head to Misu for a Chinese buffet, or savor a casual steak dinner at the Red Lantern Pub. Top your visit to the Northside with a stop by the tasting room at the TrailWay Brewery, for American-style, small-batch, craft beer.

Beer and Wine
Fredericton’s boasts a booming craft brewery scene, with several top-notch options making up the city’s offer. From the finest ales at Picaroons Brewtique and craft cider at Red Rover, to craft beer at local tasting rooms like Grimross, Grey Stone, and TrailWay, Fredericton promises delight. For wine connoisseurs, the Corked Wine Bar is the best place to sample local and global wines. 
The city of Fredericton is split down the middle by St. John River. The scenic waterway runs through the heart of the city, splitting Fredericton into two distinct regions - the Northside and the Southside. While the Southside is characterized by a bustling downtown core and charming suburban neighborhoods, the Northside is made up of distinct communities that were once independent settlements, each with an identity that is all their own.

Downtown
Downtown forms the historic and cultural core of the city, along the southern bank of the meandering river, St. John. Here, historic attractions like the Legislative Building and Christ Church Cathedral vie for attention alongside cultural gems like the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Fredericton Region Museum, and the Playhouse. From the Changing of the Guard at the Garrison to exploring a multitude of specialty shops and restaurants, downtown encapsulates the past and present of Fredericton in its embrace.

College Hill
As you ascend the slope to the southeast of downtown, you will come across an area known as “College Hill”. College Hill is home to the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University, each an attraction in its own right. Revered by students as stalwarts of educational excellence, and admired by tourists for their historic architecture, both campuses boast a youthful, diverse and vibrant offer.

Odell Park
To the southwest of downtown lies Odell Park. This sprawling oasis of green is a preserved forest, riddled with trails that invite you to take a break from the city sprawl and hike, bike or ski your way across the park. Nearby, the Fredericton Golf & Curling Club and the Fredericton Botanic Garden are other popular attractions.

Skyline Acres / Southwood Park

Further east lie the suburban neighborhoods of Skyline Acres and Southwood Park, composed of new, affluent areas centered around an older, suburban community.

Uptown

Just beyond the hill, where the landscape plateaus, is the Uptown district. The neighborhood is one of the city’s most popular shopping districts and is home to the Regent Mall - Fredericton’s largest shopping center. Here, you will also find Corbett Centre and Uptown Centre, alongside several strip malls and restaurants. 

Northside

The Northside of Fredericton consists of the neighborhoods of Devon, Nashwaakis, Marysville and Baker’s Point. Each of these was originally an independent settlement before they were amalgamated with the capital city. Marysville, in particular, has retained much of its original charm, distinguishing it from its surrounds. The original Acadian village was destroyed in 1758 and was reestablished over a century later by Alexander Gibson. Marysville is best known as one of the country’s best-preserved mill towns, originating in the 19th Century. The historic Cotton Mill and brick duplexes still stand and remain a testament to the neighborhood’s intriguing past. The Northside also encompasses the St. Mary’s First Nation - a Wolastoqiyik, or Maliseet, Nation Reserve.
Downtown Fredericton forms the core of the city’s entertainment offer, with everything from museums and art galleries, to theaters, live music venues, and nightclubs. Along St. John River and further away, the city also has much to offer outdoors enthusiasts.

Museums and Galleries
Fredericton celebrates the arts and culture in its myriad forms at its museums and galleries. Begin your exploration of downtown at the Fredericton Region Museum and the Soldiers’ Barracks where you will be granted a glimpse into the city’s past, while Science East nearby promises a fun-filled day of learning through interactive science experiments. The New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame is another popular attraction. Favored by sports fans of every age, the Hall of Fame recognizes and celebrates the achievements of top New Brunswick athletes, teams, and coaches through varied interactive exhibits and a stunning collection of over 200 charcoal portraits, one of each of its honored members.

Those who enjoy the fine arts are sure to be dazzled by the Beaverbrook Art Gallery’s vast collection. Established in 1959 by William Maxwell "Max" Aitken, Lord Beaverbrook, the gallery is New Brunswick’s provincial art gallery and boasts a permanent collection that includes artwork by the likes of Cornelius Krieghoff and Bruno Bobok. In particular, the museum’s collection focuses on Canadian artwork from the 18th Century to the present, with emphasis on the work of artists from the Atlantic Canadian region. Not too far away if Gallery 78. Fredericton’s oldest private gallery is housed within a beautiful Queen Anne style mansion. Visit the gallery to explore artwork in a variety of mediums created by regional Canadian artists. Gallery on Queen is another popular destination for the visual arts in downtown Fredericton.

Performing Arts
The Fredericton Playhouse forms the core of the city’s cultural offer, with a varied program of live performances including everything from concerts and ballet to classical theater, musicals, and original theatrical productions. With a schedule packed with performances by local and touring groups, the Playhouse is a year-round destination for the performing arts. Of special note are performances by the Fredericton Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra New Brunswick, the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada, and Theatre New Brunswick. In summer, the outdoor theater at the Historic Garrison District takes center stage with a cultural program of free concerts, film screenings, and live theater. Other popular venues include the Memorial Hall at the University of New Brunswick’s Centre for the Musical Arts and the Charlotte Street Arts Centre.

Nightlife
Fredericton offers a varied nightlife scene that is centered around downtown. From elegant wine bars, and upscale lounges, to laid-back pubs and lively nightclubs, there’s a little something of everything. Savor fine wine at Corked, relax on the patio with a pint of beer at the Lunar Rogue Pub, or dance the night away at Boom! And Klub Khrome. If you fancy a game of pool, try Dooly’s, or sample regional brews at the James Joyce Pub.

Outdoors
Explore the city’s scenic locale along St. John River, or delve into the forest amidst the suburban sprawl. Spend your day exploring the trails that riddle Odell Park’s forests, as you hike beneath the verdant canopy of the trees in summer. In winter, the park is transformed into the ideal destination for cross-country skiing. For a more relaxed outdoors experience, walk along the Riverfront Trails that run along both banks of St. John River, or stroll through Wilmot Park instead. Golfers can enjoy a round of golf at the Fredericton Golf Club near Odell Park. The 18-hole course features sprawling greens, manicured fairways and sand traps for a challenging game. The city also offers a variety of sports facilities, including tennis courts, baseball fields, and ice arenas.

Festivals
Fredericton boasts a year-round program of music, food, and cultural festivals. Summer brings with it the promise of food festivals like the annual RibFest, alongside music festivals like the River Jam, the New Brunswick Summer Music Festival, and the Harvest Jazz & Blues Fest. Cultural festivals like the annual Pride Festival and St. Mary’s Pow Wow also draw quite an audience. The Historic Garrison District boasts a summertime extravaganza of its own with guided tours, historic reenactments, live performances and film screenings to look forward to. Craft shows, film festivals, county fairs and holiday celebrations complete the city’s summertime offer, while winter brings with it celebrations like the Kinsmen Santa Claus Parade and the Fredericton Poutine Festival.

Shopping
For shopping, head to the Regent Mall, Corbett Centre or Uptown Centre for top retail brands, while downtown is the place to look for unique gifts, original artwork, and trendy clothing at some of the city’s best specialty shops, and independent boutiques. For a taste of local flavor, visit the Boyce Farmers’ Market on Saturdays for seasonal produce, gourmet coffee, fresh bread, regional wines, and artisanal chocolates. You’ll also find a variety of handmade crafts at the Market.
Fredericton

Province: New Brunswick

Country: Canada

Fredericton by the Numbers
Population: 58,220 (City); 105,688 (Metropolitan)
Elevation: 20-100 meters / 66-328 feet
Average Annual Precipitation: 109.47 centimeters / 43.1 inches
Average Annual Snowfall: 214.8 centimeters / 84.57 inches
Average January Temperature: -9.4°C / 15.1°F 
Average July Temperature: 19.4°C / 66.9°F

Quick Facts
Electricity: 120 volts, 60Hz, AC

Time Zone: GMT-4 (GMT-3 Daylight Saving Time); Atlantic Standard Time (AST)

Country Dialing Code: +1

Area Code: 506

Did You Know?
Fredericton is home to the nation’s oldest university building. Built 1829, the Old Arts Building, or the Sir Howard Douglas Hall, forms a part of the University of New Brunswick campus in Fredericton and is still in use.

Built between 1845 and 1853, Fredericton’s Christ Church Cathedral is North America’s oldest Gothic Revival cathedral.

Orientation
Fredericton is the provincial capital of New Brunswick, located 177 kilometers (110 miles) to the west of Moncton, and 113 kilometers (70.22 miles) to the north of Saint John. The city is bisected by Saint John River, which runs from west to east through the heart of the city.
Fredericton’s stunning architectural landscape, along the scenic shores of Saint John River, tell the tale of a city that has always been at the heart of New Brunswick’s administrative, governmental, and educational spheres.

Long before the first European settlers arrived here, the valley was home to the Wolastoqiyik or Maliseet. The French explorer, Samuel de Champlain, was the first to arrive in 1604 on St. Jean Baptiste Day, giving the river its name. Although he chose not to settle here, he paved the way for future explorers and pioneers. The next on the scene was the French commander of Acadia, Joseph Robineau de Villebon, who built Fort St Joseph at the confluence of the Nashwaak and St. John rivers in 1692. Although the fort withstood an attack by the British in 1696, the settlement soon moved across the bay to Port Royale. The site was inhabited by French Acadians for a time during the early 1700s, however, no physical marker of the early history of the city remains today.

The story of Fredericton really begins in 1783 with the arrival of the British Loyalists. In 1784, the newly named New Brunswick was granted the status of a separate colony, and in 1785 Colonel Thomas Carleton was named its first governor. He chose St Anne's Point (a name given to the site by the French Acadians) as the capital over Saint John, as the city’s more remote location was easier to defend against attack by the Americans. The settlement was renamed “Fredericktown” in honor of Prince Frederick, the second son of King George III. While the city’s status as the capital of New Brunswick spurred the construction of grand administrative buildings, the establishment of the University of New Brunswick and the Provincial Normal School transformed the city into a hub for educational pursuits. The 19th Century, in particular, saw the construction of some of the city’s most grand architectural attractions, the most noteworthy of which are the Old Arts Building (1829), Christ Church Cathedral (1848), and the Legislative Building (1882). Replete with grand Victorian mansions and humble vernacular homes, New Brunswick’s historic core is a testament to the city’s rich heritage.

Points of interest in Fredericton

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