Fredericton, New Brunswick: Downtown & Waterfront

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Fredericton is New Brunswick’s capitol, and it’s a picture-perfect example of a beautiful Maritime Canada small city.  It’s well worth your time to take a stroll around downtown and check out the waterfront — and the pedestrian bridge.

Location

Fredericton is located in south-central New Brunswick, along the Trans Canada Highway (Route 2).  It’s about an hour to the Bay of Fundy coast, an hour to the United States border, and a little over two hours to Nova Scotia.

My Visit

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I’ll start with a nice picture of Fredericton, on the banks of the Saint John River.  I didn’t think I’d get a picture this crisp and clear, because when I started my exploration, downtown was in a fog.  My hotel wasn’t, but when I drove towards the river, I was swamped by the soupy, damp air.

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Most of downtown is lined up along King, Queen, and Brunswick Streets.  I parked along Queen Street and walked into Officers’ Square.  From the late 1700’s into the mid-1800’s, the British Army was stationed here, and then in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, the Canadian Army used this space. Now, it’s a wide-open public space, used for concerts and events.

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On one side of the square, you’ll find the Officers Quarters — a home for the British (and later Canadian) Officers while stationed in Fredericton.  The building was constructed in phases over several decades, with the work complete in 1853.

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Also on the square, you’ll find the old Post Office and Customs House.  This impressive Second-Empire-style building still displays iron lacework on its central tower.  The building was completed in 1881.  Currently, it’s home to the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame.

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For a better view of the city, you can head over to Fredericton’s Lighthouse on the Green.  It’s not quite as historic as other New Brunswick lighthouses — it’s only been around for a couple of decades.  But, you can still enjoy a view by paying a $2 admission fee, then heading up to the top of the lighthouse for a look around town.  The lighthouse had already closed for the season when I visited in October, but I doubt that the view would have been very good in all that fog!

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Now, about that shot of the river and skyline at the top of the page — you can get that shot by going for a walk over the Bill Thorpe Walking Bridge.  The old railway bridge was re-purposed in 1997 for use by pedestrians.  I’ll tell you much more about it on the next page.

Drivelapse Video

Here’s a look at the drive around Fredericton, New Brunswick:

The Bottom Line

It’s well worth your time to take a stroll around downtown Fredericton, and learn about its history.  Make sure you take a walk across the bridge, too.

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