They say, Saint John, New Brunswick is a city of firsts.

It is Canada’s first incorporated city and the only city located on the Bay of Fundy, a body of water known for the highest tides in the world. It opened the first public museum in Canada (now known as the New Brunswick Museum), claimed the first orchestra to accompany silent moving pictures in North America, and the first female golf champion (Mabel Gordon Thomson) hailed from Saint John – just to name a few accolades.

brick architecture in saint johnCashmere and Cocktails | Lauren Mullaly

brickGrannan Street | Emilie Iggiotti

In 1877, a fire devastated Saint John and when the city was rebuilt, public buildings were overwhelmingly reconstructed using bricks. The result is a historic city with unique and beautiful architecture to marvel upon. Modern day travellers will also appreciate the vibrant food and beverage scene, boasting some 80 bars and restaurants that span ten blocks near the harbour front, all locally owned and independently operated.

4 Unmissable Saint John Highlights

Stonehammer UNESCO Global Geopark is located on the traditional, unceded territory of the Wolastoqiyik, Peskotomuhkatik and Mi’kmaq peoples – which today – is home to many diverse First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples. It was one of the first places in Canada to be explored by geologists; in 1857, a group of young men in Saint John formed the “Steinhammer Club.” Stonehammer tells the story of plate tectonics and the geologic history from this 2,500 square-kilometre region in southern New Brunswick dating back one billion years, showcasing natural history and the connection to the land and its people.

Stonehammer UNESCO Global GeoparkReversing Falls Rapids | Sabrina Pirillo

The Reversing Falls Rapids demonstrates the power of nature. This natural wonder and Canadian phenomenon features a series of rapids along the Saint John River running through a narrow gorge before emptying into the Bay of Fundy. The result? A captivating series of rapids and whirlpools worth a look.

Irving Nature ParkEnvision Saint John

Irving Nature Park is an oasis only minutes from the uptown (downtown) area. This environmental retreat was developed with the intention of protecting the environment. It encompasses a total of 243 hectares sandwiched between a salt marsh and the Bay of Fundy, and features a bird sanctuary.

Saint John City MarketSaint John City Market | Matt Hewitson

Another claim Saint John has on record is the Saint John City Market, the oldest continuing farmers’ market in Canada and a National Historic Site. It is where a traditional farmers’ market meets Maritime crafts and local and international food stations. For a more Saint John “firsts,” locate the plaque at the back of the market for a detailed list.

A New Space, Old Container

aerial view of area

Opened in June of 2022, the Area 506 Waterfront Container Village celebrates everything that is cool about Saint John’s identity as a port city. It is a diverse collection of retail shops, a performance space, boasts a colourful Graffiti Alley, a waterfront Container Lounge, food trucks, public art and pop-up activities - all wrapped up in more than 60 shipping containers.

The Village is open Wednesday through Sunday until November 3 which coincides with the cruise ship schedule that pulls into the port. And bonus, the entire space is licensed so you can shop with a glass of bubbles in-hand.