Discovering History in Saint John & the Towns by the Bay

October 16, 2023

Saint John, with its warm heart and wealth of heritage waiting to be uncovered, is nestled right in Canada's Maritimes.

Saint John and neighbouring Bay of Fundy towns Rothesay, Quispamsis, Grand-Bay Westfield, and Hampton each offer their own special highlights. A unique blend of rich heritage, breathtaking natural beauty, and vibrant urban experiences make these Towns by the Bay worth visiting, even during the colder months.

Over the years, Saint John witnessed its share of significant historical events, such as the arrival of Loyalist refugees, who helped shape the city's identity, plus other curious events like that time Oscar Wilde came to visit; when Saint John was too hungover to welcome a Prince; when it was the sight of Canada's first flight; and when the bank located at 125 Prince William Street got burgled by a robber who got stuck in the chimney!

The "Port City's" strategic location made it a bustling port, contributing to its economic growth and cultural diversity. The city has endured challenges such as the Great Fire of 1877 which led to a remarkable rebuilding effort.

Today, Saint John stands as a dynamic city, celebrated for its maritime heritage, picturesque waterfront, and vibrant community, while continuing to honour its compelling past.

I was recently given the opportunity to spend a weekend in Saint John with Envision Saint John. Join me as I take you on a tour of the historic sights, captivating museums, and storied landmarks, which weave together tales of the city's history.

Read Backyard History's full blog by clicking here.

Backyard History

Backyard History unearths the often hilarious, mostly mysterious, always surprising untold tales of Canada’s East Coast, as only a Maritimer can spin them.

Backyard History is a popular newspaper column published widely across the Maritimes, written by Andrew MacLean, telling forgotten stories of Atlantic Canada's past.


Looking for more bay-cation inspiration? Find a variety of itineraries highlighting different ways others have explored HERE and start planning your trip today!