Saint John

For other places with the same name, see Saint John (disambiguation).

Saint John is the largest city in the Canadian province of New Brunswick, located in the south of the province on the Bay of Fundy.


Saint John is a city whose population is composed almost entirely of the descendants of Irish immigrants and British loyalists. Canada's oldest incorporated city, Saint John boasts a metro population of approximately 125,000 and routinely plays host to cruise ships and individual tourists from all over North America. (Note: Saint John is never spelled St. John - locals will be very quick to point this out).


 Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Daily highs (°C) -3 -2 2 8 15 20 22 22 18 12 6 0
Nightly lows (°C) -14 -13 -7 -1 4 8 12 12 8 3 -2 -10
Precipitation (mm) 139 94 118 104 118 101 102 90 117 125 134 149

See the Saint John 7 day forecast at Environment Canada

Temperatures in Saint John vary by season. In the summertime temperatures are usually around 22 degrees celsius and in the wintertime they usually dip to around 3.9 degrees celsius. Rain is common in the spring and autumn, but it usually doesn't rain much in the summer. Fog is not uncommon during the summer months. There is the occasional heavy snowfall in the winter; however, snow is usually moderate.

Get in

Driving to Saint John is usually not a hassle, unlike many other cities. However, during recent years, traffic has been steadily increasing. And for travellers driving from Fredericton to Saint John on Highway 7, care is required because of the risk of moose collisions at certain times of year and certain times of the day.

Saint John is only 107 km (66 miles) from the Calais/St. Stephen border between Canada and the United States of America. Driving distances from major cities are 496 km (310 miles) from Portland, Maine, 940 km (588 miles) from Montreal, Québec and 424 km (265 miles) from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

For residents of western Nova Scotia planning to visit Saint John, your best bet is the ferry from Digby. There are three crossings daily from mid June to mid October, these take two and a half hours on average. During the rest of the year there is at least one crossing daily and they usually take two hour and forty-five minutes.

Maritime Bus runs from Saint John to Moncton.

There are eleven car rental dealerships in the city including an Avis Rent A Car at the Saint John Airport.

Saint John Airport (IATA: YSJ) is served several times daily by flights from Montreal, Toronto, Fredericton, and Halifax. Bus service with Acadian Bus Lines deposits travellers at 199 Chesley Drive just a short walk uptown along the Harbour Passage paved walking trail. Train service is not available to Saint John directly, but is available to the nearby city of Moncton, where travellers can then make the two hour SMT bus ride into Saint John.

Saint John also boasts a booming cruise ship industry and has cruise ships enter the city's dock on a regular basis.

Saint John's Market Wharf also provides a convenient if unserviced space within the harbour for pleasure boaters, making it easy for power or sail vessels coming in from the Fundy to berth and enjoy the Uptown shopping or dining. Longer term moorage is not available in the harbour, although it is available several miles up the Saint John River. Unfortunately, there are no fuel or marine services at the wharf, and the wharf is used by local fishing boats as well as pleasure craft.

Get around

Buses are available from approximately 6AM to Midnight for public transport within the city. Schedules are available on the buses themselves and in information booths throughout the city. Fare is $2.75 for adult passengers; discounts are available for children, seniors and students with proper identification.

Taxi service in Saint John is run on a zone to zone basis (no meters). There are several companies available in Saint John for this service.

Some Companies offer both debit and credit in their cabs, but you have to ask for this service as it is not available in all Cars. Approx. prices for taxi services in Saint John, based on one person in the taxi and no stops are as follows:

If you are staying outside of the city in Rothesay or the Surrounding area, expect to pay above 15.00. Cab rides to the Airport can run in the 20.00 range. For people who need to make a short stop to pick up cash or something quick, most drivers will charge you an extra buck. But make sure you ask, because they are supposed to charge you for another stop. Some will do this right off the bat if you don't ask. Also, most cab drivers are more than happy to have your repeat business, so if there is someone you like ask for their car number and next time you call you can ask for the same person.

Within the Uptown it is possible to travel on foot between the City Market, Brunswick Square Mall, Market Square, the Canada Games Aquatic Centre, Mercantile Centre and Harbour Station via underground and pedway connections without venturing outside. (The "Inside Connection".) This is very useful during the winter. During the rest of the year, Uptown Saint John also offers a very pleasant and fairly accessible walking experience, with clear, well-maintained sidewalks and crosswalks, and fairly straightforward navigation. (Unlike many older cities, Saint John's Uptown is laid out in a simple, grid design.)



The City Market uptown is the oldest operating farmers market in Canada, with fruits, vegetables, fresh seafood, Java Moose (a local brewed coffee house with good take-home coffee beans), and on Saturdays, various vendors with foods from around the world. Uptown is also home to hundreds of independent shops with a wide variety of food and merchandise. A stroll down King Street finds stores selling local arts and crafts, while across the street the Brunswick Square Mall offers commercial stores (clothes, shoes, cards, books, music, Laura Secord chocolates). On Germain and Canterbury Streets (both off King Street) independent merchants offer used books, records and international cuisine.

There are eight local shopping centres of varying quality; a few are mere strip malls or have fallen into the "dead maĺl" pattern of discount stores, vacancies or non-retail uses such as telephone call centres. The largest local malls are McAllister Place and East Point Shopping Centre in the east end, or Brunswick Square and Market Square uptown. The city's east side is also home to numerous big-box stores, mostly chains ranging from clothing to hardware to electronics.


A variety of locations for dining in are available in Market Square. For the more thrifty traveller an eatery is located in Brunswick Square, or try the side aisles of the City Market for fresh salads, sandwiches, and other local fare.



Finding a place to stay in Saint John shouldn't be a hassle. For those of you who prefer a comfortable stay near everything you could possibly wish to see, try one of the hotels or B&Bs in the uptown. Hotels in Saint John cost on average $120 per night for a single. However, if you are traveling on a budget there are still some comfortable motels around the city.

For camping underneath the stars, Rockwood Park or the village of St. Martins are suitable choices.

A few cottages or country inns may be found in the city, with many more in the suburbs and nearby country.


Internet access is available in several areas within the "Inside Connection", including a convenience store in Market Square and an Internet Cafe located en route between Market Square and Brunswick Square. In addition, many coffee places also offer free wi-fi. Any Java Moose or Starbucks locations will offer this. Also, on King Street in the uptown area, there is UZone which is an internet cafe. They also offer by the hour Video Gaming and LAN gaming.

Stay safe

Saint John is safe compared to most cities; however, it is a good idea to walk on well-lit busy streets after dark and not on darker side streets. Street crime is rare but not unheard of. You are relatively safe in the commercial/retail area of Uptown, where the hotels are located. The South End, an area just next to Downtown, can be dangerous.

Go next

Routes through Saint John

Fredericton Jct N  N  S  END

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Friday, February 06, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.