Saint John, city (1991 pop. 74,969), S N.B., Canada, at the mouth of the St. John River on the Bay of Fundy. A major year-round port, it has an excellent harbor, large dry docks, and terminal facilities and maintains extensive shipping connections with Europe, North and South America, and the West Indies. The city is the commercial, manufacturing, and transportation center of New Brunswick, though it is being challenged by Moncton. It has pulp and paper mills, oil and sugar refineries, and food-processing plants. Lumbering and fishing are important. The site was visited (1604) by Champlain, and a fort and trading post was built (1631–35) by Charles de la Tour. In the struggle between France and England for possession of Acadia, the fort was captured and recaptured several times, finally becoming British in 1758. Growth of the city dates from 1783, when a large party of Loyalists from the United States established themselves there on land grants. The settlement was called Parr Town and in 1785 was incorporated with Carleton and named St. John, becoming the first incorporated city in Canada. Benedict Arnold lived and conducted a business there from 1786 to 1791. Much of the old city was destroyed by fire in 1877. Among notable features in St. John are Market Slip (1783), the old Loyalist Burying Ground (1783), Martello Tower (fortification; built 1812), the old court house (1830), the Roman Catholic cathedral and bishop's residence (1853), the New Brunswick Mus., and the Reversing Falls rapids on the St. John River. A branch of the Univ. of New Brunswick is in the city.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
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