Population 70,000 (2011)
Saint John, Canada
The coastal regions of the Bay of Fundy are believed to have been inhabited by the Passamaquoddy Nation several thousand years ago, while the St. John River valley north of the bay became the domain of the Maliseet Nation.
The mouth of the St. John River was first discovered by Europeans in 1604 during a reconnaissance of the Bay of Fundy undertaken by French cartographer Samuel de Champlain. The day upon which Champlain sighted the mighty river was St. John The Baptist's Day, hence the name, which in French is Fleuve Saint-Jean. The city has the same name in English as well as French.
The Loyalist-dominated communities of Parrtown, on the east side of the Saint John River, and Carleton, on the west side of the Saint John River, were amalgamated by royal charter to become the City of Saint John in 1785, making it the first incorporated city in British North America (present-day Canada).
Until the early first decade of the 21st century, Canada's largest shipyard (Irving Shipbuilding) had been an important employer in the city. During the 1980s-early 1990s the shipyard was responsible for building nine of the 12 Halifax class multi-purpose patrol frigates for the Canadian Navy. However, due to union pressure the shipyard shut down production. The 25 year Union contract with the shipyard ended in December, 2012 year, and this will allow the shipyard to operate under a new contract. Prior to the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway in the late 1950s, the Port of Saint John functioned as the winter port for Montreal, Quebec when shipping was unable to traverse the sea ice in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and St. Lawrence River. The Canadian Pacific Railway opened a line to Saint John from Montreal in 1889 across the state of Maine and transferred the majority of its trans-Atlantic passenger and cargo shipping to the port during the winter months. The port fell into decline following the seaway opening and the start of year-round icebreaker services in the 1960s. In 1994 CPR left Saint John when it sold the line to shortline operator New Brunswick Southern Railway. The Canadian National Railway still services Saint John with a secondary mainline from Moncton.
Saint John is the largest city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, and the second largest in the maritime provinces. It is known as the Fundy City due to its location on the north shore of the Bay of Fundy at the mouth of the Saint John River, as well as being the only city on the bay. Saint John had a population of 70,063 as of 2011. The Saint John metropolitan area covers a land area of 3,362 sq kilometres with a population of 127,761 as of 2011.
Politically, socially and economically, the sea has shaped Saint John. The Fundy City, as the city has been called, has a long history of shipbuilding at the city's dry dock which is one of the largest in the world. Since 2003 shipbuilding has ended on the scale it once was forcing the city to adopt a new economic strategy. The University of New Brunswick, the New Brunswick Museum and the New Brunswick Community College are contributing to Saint John's fast growing research and information technology sectors. As the city moves away from its industrial past it now begins to capitalize on the growing tourism industry with over 1.5 million visitors a year and 200,000 cruise ship visitors a year, creating a renaissance in the city's historic downtown (locally known as uptown).