New Brunswick offers a world of delight. These fun and incredible New Brunswick facts will help fuel your curiosity as you travel the province.
New Brunswick, with its vast forests and epic coastlines, is one of the most beautiful yet least-visited provinces in Canada. Home to the highest tides in the world, New Brunswick dazzles with natural beauty, delightful towns, and incredible food. But this Maritime province also holds a LOT of secrets.
If you’ve ever wanted to know more about a province where cars roll uphill, and rivers flow backward, the New Brunswick facts that we’ve collected will blow your mind.
New Brunswick borders Quebec to the north, Nova Scotia to the east, and the U.S. state of Maine to the west. With over 83% of the province covered in forested land, it’s one of the wildest provinces in Canada. These fun facts about New Brunswick will show you a little bit more about the province and why it’s one of Canada’s hidden gems.
Fun New Brunswick Facts
There are way more New Brunswick fun facts than we can list on a single page, but we’ve laid out the most fun, exciting, and mind-blowing tidbits to help fire up your brain and engage your soul. With so many incredible places to visit in New Brunswick, we’ll break down the facts into categories to help you find the facts that you’re looking for.
- New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual province in Canada. English and French have been the province’s official languages since 1969.
- Around 8.5% of people in New Brunswick speak French only, while 34% are fluent in both French and English.
- The province of New Brunswick is the traditional land of the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, and Passamaquoddy First Nations. Today, these nations account for about 4% of the province’s population.
- New Brunswick is the largest province in the Canadian Maritimes. It has an area of nearly 73,440 sq. km (28,354 sq. miles). The other two Maritime provinces are Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.
- New Brunswick became one of the first four Canadian provinces in 1867. It joined Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia.
- New Brunswick is the third smallest province in Canada after Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia. It accounts for just 0.7% of Canada’s total area.
- The population of New Brunswick is less than 800,000 residents, the second lowest of any province, but still more than any of Canada’s three territories, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut.
- There are six Canadian cities that have a greater population than the entire province of New Brunswick. These cities are Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, and Ottawa-Gatineau.
- 83% of New Brunswick is covered in forest. The Appalachian Mountains cover much of its northern half.
- The world’s oldest intact shark fossil, which was over 409 million years old, was discovered near Atholville in the heart of the Appalachian Range.
- In 1861, New Brunswick was the first province or state in North America to use secret ballots in its election
- Fredericton’s Willie O’Ree was the first black player in the NHL.
- A wealth of celebrities have come from New Brunswick including Donald Sutherland, Acadian author France Daigle, Acadian musician Cayouche, folk musician Stompin’ Tom Connors, fiddler Don Messer, 11th Canadian Prime Minister R. B. Bennett, hockey players and coaches Rick Bowness and Randy Jones, and Ultimate Fighter Ryan Jimmo among others.
New Brunswick Lighthouses
These facts about New Brunswick dip into the magical lighthouses and marine history of the province. From pirates to ship-building, New Brunswick has been a vital part of Canada’s marine heritage.
- New Brunswick has more than 60 lighthouses and is famous for its inland lighthouse system that helps boats travel the province’s inland rivers.
- The Head Harbour Lightstation on Campobello Island is the second-oldest lighthouse in New Brunswick. It’s accessible on foot only at low tide.
- The town of St. Martins, New Brunswick, is believed to be the only place in the world where you can include two covered bridges and a lighthouse in a single photograph.
- The Pendlebury or St. Andrews Lighthouse is the oldest remaining mainland lighthouse in New Brunswick. It was built in 1833.
- One of the longest natural sandbars in the world is at Eel River Bar. There’s saltwater on one side, and fresh water on the other
- Miscou Island Lighthouse was built in 1856. It’s held up with wires after being moved in 1946 due to shoreline erosion. The original lighthouse is still in use today.
New Brunswick History
New Brunswick is one of Canada’s first four provinces and the first city to be brought into the Confederacy is the province’s capital. Its contributions to Canada both nationally and on the world stage are monumental.
- In the early 1700s, the settlements in New Brunswick were called Acadia (Acadie), an official colony of New France. This was a different colony than the district of Quebec in what was then the colony of Canada. Evidence of the Acadian culture can be found throughout much of New Brunswick.
- In 1713, the British took over Acadia during Queen Anne’s War, which was waged from 1702–1713.
- Fort Beauséjour was built by the French in 1751. The fort was an attempt to fight back against British rule. Today, it is preserved as a National Historic Site. The site is a popular tourist attraction that is close to Moncton.
- In 1755, the British took over the fort and began expelling the Acadians, mostly to Louisiana. This event was called the “Great Expulsion.” During this time, between 11,000 to 14,000 Acadians were forcefully deported. Approximately 5,000 of them died.
- New Brunswick was named after King George III, who was also Duke and Prince-elector of Brunswick-Lüneburg and the King of Great Britain and Ireland from 25 October 1760 until his death in 1820.
- The first European to see New Brunswick was French explorer Jacques Cartier.
- In 1604, French explorer Samuel de Champlain reached the mouth of the Saint John River, where the city of Saint John now lies.
- After the Treaty of Paris (1763), what is now New Brunswick became a part of the British colony of Nova Scotia. New Brunswick became its own district in 1784.
- In 1785, Saint John became Canada’s first incorporated city.
- The first French settlement in North America was attempted in 1604 on Saint Croix Island, near St. Andrews-by-the-Sea.
- The University of New Brunswick is tied with the University of Georgia as being the oldest University in North America. It’s located in Saint John and was the first English university in Canada.
- New Brunswick’s last fatal duel between George Frederick Street and George Ludlow Wetmore occurred on October 2, 1821, in New Maryland.
- Beaver Harbour was the first community in British North America to forbid slavery.
New Brunswick Cities and Towns
These facts about New Brunswick highlight the unique characteristics and offerings of some of the province’s most amazing towns and cities. Whether you’re exploring the historic streets of Fredericton, drinking wine on Magnetic Hill, or immersing yourself in the hilly streets of Saint John, each place has its own distinct charm and attractions to discover.
- The capital of New Brunswick is Fredericton. The city sits inland on the Saint John River. The city has a population of 58,200.
- The largest city in New Brunswick is Moncton, with a population of around 108,000 residents.
- Nearly half of all residents of New Brunswick live in rural areas. This is one of the highest percentages of any Canadian province.
- Canada’s first museum is the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John. It was established in 1842.
- Due to the high tides of the Bay of Fundy, the Saint John River near the city of Saint John flows backward twice per day. This has created an effect called “Reversing Falls.” There are several overlooks in town where you can witness this phenomenon.
Travel In New Brunswick
These fun facts about travel in New Brunswick showcase the province’s natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and unique experiences waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re exploring scenic drives, encountering majestic marine life, camping by the ocean, or strolling under one of Canada’s most iconic landscapes, New Brunswick offers a wide range of exciting and memorable travel experiences.
- New Brunswick gained the nickname “The Picture Province” thanks to its beautiful landscapes. It has also been named “The Loyalist Province”, as most English People in New Brunswick are descendants of United Empire Loyalists.
- New Brunswick has three distinct coastlines that stretch for approximately 2,250 km (1,398 miles).
- There are only eight cities in New Brunswick. Those cities are the capital of Fredericton, Saint John, Moncton, Dieppe, Edmundston, Campbellton, Bathurst, and Miramichi.
- The Bay of Fundy, which lies in-between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, has the highest tides in the world. Much of it can be visited in places such as Fundy National Park, Hopewell Rocks Provincial Park, and Cape Enrage.
- The Saint John River system is the second-largest river system on North America’s Atlantic Coast. It stretches from the northwest of New Brunswick to the southern coast, where it empties into the Bay of Fundy in Saint John.
- New Brunswick can be reached via major airports, major highways, cruise ships, ferries, and trains.
- The Appalachian Mountain Range, which runs through New Brunswick, is one of the oldest mountain ranges on earth. It was originally part of the Central Pangean Mountain Range that existed before the continents broke. Among the current mountain ranges that were once part of this range are the Scottish Highlands, the Ouachita Mountains, and the Little Atlas Mountain Range of Morocco
- The highest peak in the Maritimes is located within Mount Carleton Provincial Park. It is 820 metres (2,690 feet) in height.
- The town of Shediac was named “The Lobster Capital of the World.” The town is home to the World’s Largest Lobster statue. This statue is 10.5 m (34 ft.) long and 4.5 m (15 ft.) high. It weighs over 90 tonnes.
- Grand Manan Island in the Fundy Isles is one of Canada’s most popular birding destinations. Over 360 species of birds migrate through the island.
- Former US president Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife Eleanor used to have a summer cottage on Campobello Island. The island is just off the coast of Maine. It is now preserved as the Roosevelt Campobello International Park and is run by the governments of both Canada and the United States.
- The Bay of Fundy is one of the world’s best places for whale watching. Massive plankton blooms provide a feeding ground for up to 15 unique species of whales such as Fins, Humpbacks, Pilots, and Right Whales.
- New Brunswick is home to more than 55 covered bridges. Kings County has been dubbed the Covered Bridge Capital of Atlantic Canada.
- The world’s longest covered bridge is in Hartland, New Brunswick. The bridge measures 390 metres (1,282 feet) long.
- The second-largest ocean tidal whirlpool in the world is located off of Deer Island. It gained the nickname “Old Sow
- New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are connected by the 12.9 km (8 mi) Confederation Bridge, the longest bridge in Canada, and the world’s longest bridge that goes over ice-covered water.
- There are two Canadian National Parks in New Brunswick. Fundy National Park near Moncton and Kouchibouguac National Park on the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
- Hopewell Rocks is one of the most famous attractions in New Brunswick and one of the most iconic features of Canada. These stone flowerpots can reach 12-12 metres in height (40-70 feet) and can be walked through at low tide and kayaked through at high tide.
- Magnetic Hill near Moncton has a fascinating optical illusion in which cars and water appear to move uphill all on their own. Magnetic Hill has become one of the province’s most popular attractions and it even has its own winery, the Magnetic Hill Winery.
- The world’s largest axe can be found in Nackawic, New Brunswick. It measures an astonishing 15 m (49 ft) in height.
- More than 160 billion tons of water rush into the Bay of Fundy with each tide change and there are two tide changes each day. The amount of water that comes into the bay for one tide change is enough to fill the Grand Canyon twice.
- The Bay of Fundy’s mudflats are home to microscopic mud shrimp. These mudflats offer a buffet for 95 percent of the world’s semipalmated sandpipers as they migrate from the Arctic to South America for the winter.
Food In New Brunswick
These fun facts about food in New Brunswick highlight the province’s culinary delights, from its world-famous lobster town to the epic amount of potatoes produced in the province. Exploring the diverse flavours and tastes of New Brunswick is a delightful experience for any food lover.
- Fiddleheads, an edible fern that closely resembles the spiral end of a violin or fiddle, are a New Brunswick delicacy. They can be found growing along riverbanks in the spring.
- One-third of the world’s frozen French fries originate in New Brunswick. These frozen fries are mostly manufactured by McCain Frozen Foods, which was founded in the province in 1957. Potato farming is here is so big that a bad crop in 2021 caused a world shortage of potatoes.
Facts About Things We Can Thank New Brunswick For
- The Compound Steam Engine was also invented in Fredericton in 1845 by Benjamin F. Tibbets.
- the SCUBA tank was invented by James Elliot and Alexander McAvity in Saint John, New Brunswick in 1839.
- The Snowblower was invented by Robert Carr Harris in Dalhousie back in 1870.
- Sardine Cans were invented by Henry T. Austin in Blacks Harbour, in 1932.
- The clothes washer with roller wringer was invented by John E. Turnbull in Saint John, in 1843.
- Thomas Campbell invented the combined hot and cold water faucets in Saint John in 1880.
- Crossword puzzles were invented by Edward R. MacDonald, in Shediac in 1926.
- The dump box for trucks was invented by Robert T. Mawhinney in Saint John, in 1920.
- Sabian Cymbals, Meductic, is one of the first cymbal-manufacturing companies in North America.
- Moosehead Brewery, founded in Saint John in 1867, was Canada’s first independent brewery.
- McDonald’s Restaurants “McFlurry“, invented by Ron McLellan of Bathurst, 1995
These New Brunswick Facts Are Just A Taste
These New Brunswick fun facts are a great way to get to know this incredible province. Whether you’ve been to New Brunswick before or you’re planning your first trip, the beauty, attractions, and people of the province will win your heart.
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Kevin Wagar is a founder and editor of We Explore Canada. He has been working in the travel media industry since 2015 when he founded his family travel website Wandering Wagars – Adventure Family Travel.
Over the years Kevin has developed a deep love for his home country and aims to showcase the incredible experiences and amazing small businesses found within it.