Moncton

Destination Location

Moncton

Overview

Discover the many natural wonders in and around Moncton, New Brunswick. Start by visiting Fundy National Park – a 206-kilometre expanse of parkland full of rare birds and marine life. Next, experience the highest tides in the world at Hopewell Rocks or relax on the beaches of Kouchibouguac National Park.

Then there is Magnetic Hill – one of the most fascinating natural attractions in Canada. Drive along a mountainous road where you can put your car in neutral and watch as it seemingly climbs uphill on its own! How is this possible? Just ask a local to explain.

New Brunswick is also home to the Le Pays de la Sagouine village, a wildly popular cultural attraction celebrating Acadian culture, largely based on the writings of author Antonine Maillet. Located on its very own island, the village offers live theatre, music, comedy and dance, all in an enchanting natural setting. Visitors here will discover the unique Acadian way of life, where evenings come alive with dinner theatre and musical shows. The whole cast of characters, accompanied by two house bands, will keep your fingers snapping and your feet tapping throughout your visit.

Those visiting in the winter can also check out the Hubcap Comedy Festival in February. Watch some of Canada’s funniest acts at venues across the city and relax with a good laugh.

Whether you’re looking for an authentic lobster feast, a place to golf and relax or some hopping nightlife, you’ll find it all here in Moncton.

Moncton is a fantastic destination for:

  • beach
  • outdoor adventure
  • golf

Airport served by: Moncton, NB (YQM)

Destination basics

Pack appropriately for the season and you should be set for your trip to beautiful Moncton, New Brunswick. Of course, it’s always a good idea to check the forecast (and don’t worry – it rarely gets very cold here).

Warm, humid summers and cool, wet winters are typical of Moncton climate. Despite its maritime location, summer temperatures here average in the mid-20s C and have been known to climb as high as 30 C. Winter temperatures hover between 0 C and a few degrees, which make large snowfalls common. The area often receives 20 to 30 cm of snow along with rain and freezing rain, with most storms hitting the region from November until mid-January.

Average monthly temperature and average monthly rainfall diagrams for Moncton
Located on the shores of the Petitcodiac river, Moncton is instilled with a quiet charm that may seem underwhelming at first. It occupies a central space in the Maritime provinces, earning the moniker ‘Hub City', a title that also alludes to its celebrated history as a transportation hub for the railways. As such, the city has only a handful of museums and historic landmarks worth visiting, however its major claim to fame includes legendary tidal bores and its proximity to the Hopewell Rocks. Although Moncton is mainly discounted as a sleepy transit town, people who stay longer are mesmerized by its amber sunsets and stunning natural beauty.

Downtown Moncton
The Main Street is an arterial thoroughfare in Downtown Moncton that is dotted with several restaurants, cafes, shopping boutiques and upscale hotels. In and around the street, major landmarks like Resurgo Place, the Moncton Museum and the historic Capitol Theatre assert their presence. At Bore Park, go watch the quirky phenomenon of the Tidal Bore as the Petitcodiac river retreats in an upstream fashion, creating towering waves that inspire amazement.

Magnetic Hill
Located toward the city's Northwest End, at the foothills of the Lutes Mountain, the Magnetic Hill neighborhood holds more quirks in store for visitors. This unusual knoll is the site of a terrain-driven optical illusion that causes drivers to believe they are being pulled upward by a force. Besides this amusing attraction, Magnetic Hill is also home to the largest zoo in Atlantic Canada, a sprawling water park called Magic Mountain, and the Magnetic Hill Concert Site.

Surrounding Areas
Most of the other Moncton neighborhoods are fairly nondescript and either comprise of residential communities, or public schools and colleges. In the neighborhood of Sunny Brae, the Université de Moncton is indicative of the city's French connection. Nearby, you will find a few greenscapes such as the Le Parc écologique du Millénaire and the Sunny Brae Park. Further north near Mapleton Place, Elmwood Drive features a bustling dining scene, with longstanding establishments like the Igloo Beverage Room and Marc's Fried Clams.

A little further away facing the Northumberland Strait, the town of Shediac is just a short drive from Moncton. The town holds quite a few stellar natural attractions like the Parlee Beach Provincial Park and the Kouchibouguac National Park.

Down south near the Bay of Fundy, Hopewell Rocks is where brilliant naturally-cut tidal rocks tower above sandy shores.
Known as Atlantic Canada's Entertainment Capital, Moncton does a fair job of living up to this title. Home to a historic vaudeville theater, and a host of museums and galleries, Moncton has much to offer.

Museums
Moncton is made up of small, interesting museums that document various facets of the city's history. Besides the Resurgo Place that features a detailed history of the city's beginnings and its tryst with the railway industry, there are a few smaller museums that merit a visit as well. While the Lutz Mountain Heritage Museum houses curious exhibits from the days of early settlement and genealogy records, the Musée Acadien at the University of Moncton features artifacts and photographs documenting the golden era of Acadian history.

At the historic Thomas Williams House on Park Street, visitors will learn a bit more about the bygone Victorian era, as well as the house's proprietor, who was once the treasurer of the Intercolonial railway. Other museums that lie within an hour's drive from the city include the Albert County Museum in Hopewell Cape, the Campbell Carriage Factory Museum in Sackville and the New Brunswick Railroad Museum in Hillsborough.

Art Galleries
Moncton has a fledgling art scene that focuses on promoting local Canadian artists. For a riveting visual art narrative by native artists, visit the Galerie Sans Nom at the Aberdeen Cultural Centre. The Capitol Theatre Art Gallery on Main Street is also a hidden gem of sorts, and hosts rotating exhibitions by local artists in the theater lobby. The Moncton Gallery at the City Hall operates on a similar concept, and holds regular exhibitions worth browsing through.

Performing Arts
Moncton's main source of entertainment is comprised within the 1920s Capitol Theatre, located on Main Street. Go here if you want to catch live stage productions of Theatre Brunswick, or savor the melodious symphonies of the New Brunswick Orchestra. It is also home to the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada, and hosts dance performances and comedy shows in both English and French. The Moncton Coliseum Complex is another sprawling space for trade shows, large-scale concerts and big-ticket sporting events. Live music aficionados should check the calendar at the Magnetic Hill Concert Site for big banner concerts. Besides having hosted bands like U2 and The Rolling Stones in the past, this concert venue is also the site of the Magnetic Hill Music Festival. Those who prefer something more traditional will appreciate the dinner shows at the McSweeney Company Dinner Theatre.

Outdoor Recreation
Moncton's location on the Petitcodiac River and the surrounding wilderness makes it a favored spot for outdoor buffs. Stunning national parks that lie along the Bay of Fundy coast offer myriad opportunities like hiking, biking, canoeing and kayaking. An hour's drive from Moncton, and you will reach the marvelous Fundy National Park. Trek along picturesque waterfalls, babbling brooks and explore the depth of the Acadian forest. The park contains several campgrounds as well. You can also take the northern route and reach the glorious wetlands of the Kouchibouguac National Park. There are a number of bicycle trails and boardwalks along the salt marshes, and areas for viewing the diverse wildlife.

Closer home, the Irishtown Nature Park is one of Canada's largest urban parks. Hike across lakeside trails, watch droves of birds take flight, or indulge in kayaking activities on the lake. Come winter, this beautiful park becomes a prime location for snowshoeing. Besides national parks, Moncton is also famous for its fun-filled water destination, the Magic Mountain Water Park. Frolic in the Wave Pool, take the speed slide at The Kamikaze, and ride through the Turbo Tunnel for a splashy end. The park also contains a Puddle Jumpers Pond for smaller kids.
A walk along Moncton's downtown core presents the city's culinary advancement in the recent years. The city's dining scene is slowly gaining steam owing to its use of fresh, local ingredients, and a willingness to experiment with global cuisines. As a result, not only will you find several seafood restaurants here, but will also stumble upon the exotic cuisines of Malaysia, Vietnam and India.

Downtown Moncton constitutes the city's most vibrant neighborhood, with restaurants and cafes packed along the Main Street in a close knit fashion. After a round of sightseeing, a desire to kick back with a beer and delicious grub is what drives people toward the Pump House Brewery and Restaurant. Guzzle seasonal ales and draft beers while munching on a slice of pizza or sandwich. The Laundromat Espresso Bar on George Street has a similar setup, and regulars vouch for their Celtic Knot beer. A fascinating mix of beer and live music is on offer at the Old Triangle Irish Alehouse, but for something with more focus on food, head to the Tide & Boar a little further up the street. This atmospheric gastropub is famous for its fabulous charcuterie menu.

If a refined dinner is on the agenda, then few can match the sophistication of the Windjammer, a fine dining restaurant that tips its hat to the city's shipbuilding past with its inspired name. Not only this, it also serves award-winning Atlantic cuisine with locally sourced ingredients. The bylanes of Main Street is where you will find globally-inspired eateries, from fusion Malaysian cuisine at Cinta Ria's to the quaint Indianness of Taj Mahal. The city is also home to a smattering of Vietnamese eateries like Vien Dong and Red Satay Grill, also located in the downtown core.

Explore the city's seafood specialties at the Catch 22 Lobster Bar, that serves authentic New Brunswick fare like Lobster Chowder and Seafood Casserole. At the Aberdeen Cultural Centre, pay homage to the city's French connection at Les Brumes du Coude, a classic bistro with a daily changing menu.

Moncton

Province: New Brunswick

Country: Canada

Moncton by the Numbers
Population: 71,889
Highest Elevation: 70 meters / 230 feet
Lowest Elevation: 0 meters / 0 feet
Average Annual Precipitation: 114.6 centimeters / 45.11 inches
Average Annual Snowfall: 282 centimeters / 111 inches
Average January Temperature: -8.7°C / 16.3°F
Average July Temperature: 18.5°C / 65.3°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?

Celebrated author Kurt Vonnegut and film director Quentin Tarantino were both born in Moncton.

Orientation

Moncton occupies the southeastern section of the New Brunswick province, and is located in the Petitcodiac River valley, on the Bay of Fundy. It is located 66.7 kilometers (41.5 miles) away from the city of Amherst, NS.

Long before the French Acadians settled near the Petitcodiac river valley, the land was inhabited by the Mi'kmaq tribe of aboriginals. In 1670, the Acadians' settlement was marked near the Petitcodiac and Memramcook river valleys, steadily moving inward to occupy the current geographic location of Moncton. Near the river, the settler established a marshland farming community that they christened The Bend, or Le Coude. Nearly two decades later, the British seized the river valley region, and Governor Charles Lawrence decreed the eviction of the Acadians from the region in what was known as the ‘Great Upheaval'.

The year 1766 heralded the arrival of the Pennsylvania Dutch settlers, who seized control of the upper river valleys, and re-established the farming community founded by the Acadians. From then on, Moncton saw gradual economic and industrial success, marked by the establishment of the shipbuilding industry. This further facilitated the incorporation of Moncton as a town in 1855. Soon after, the advent of steam-powered ships spelled instant doom for the wooden shipyard industry, which closed 1858. In 1871 again, the city rose like a phoenix from the ashes, when it was chosen to headquarter the Intercolonial Railway of Canada (ICR).

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