My hometown is Saint John, New Brunswick. I was born & raised on the west side of the city and lived there until I went to university in 2004. After I graduated and moved back to SJ, I relocated to the uptown so I could be closer to work, friends and pubs.
When I’m travelling somewhere new, I often look for blogs with city guides. I’ve written many of them for my previous blog, but never actually did one for the place I know best – Saint John.
The Port City is home to great pubs & restaurants, brilliant people and lots of great, local shops. CN Traveler voted it the 5th Best Place to Live in Canada if you want to live somewhere friendly. Saint John is the only city on the shore of the Bay of Fundy, home to the world’s highest tides. It is Canada’s oldest incorporated city and is a popular tourist destination. It is known for its historic uptown streetscapes, cultural attractions and its natural wonders. The best thing about the city, aside from the people, is that its a mix of old meets new.
My biggest recommendation to anyone visiting the city is to look up. Check out the incredible architecture, especially along Prince William Street, Germain Street and Canterbury Street, all in the uptown core.
If you want an amazing meal, check out Thandi’s or Italian by Night for dinner, with Urban Deli or the City Market being my recommendations for lunch. For a chilled out glass of wine, you have to check out Happinez, a brilliant wine bar set underneath Britt’s pub on Princess Street. You step down into the wine bar, where you’re brilliantly welcomed and served delicious wine.
If you want a fun night out, I’d recommend working your way through the boardwalk options, before making your way up Grannan Lane for a drink at Port City Royal.
The city has changed so much since I left, but every time I go back, I’m always so pleased to see the city prospering. New restaurants opening, new faces who’ve relocated to the city, and lots of new shops. The differences between London and Saint John are unbelievable, as you can imagine, but some of the stark differences I’m reminded of each time I go are:
- The friendliness. There is no one more friendly than an East Coaster, and I think Saint John probably tops the list for the nicest in the maritimes. Everyone is so friendly and genuine. It almost catches me off guard every time I go back.
- There are literally no queues. You don’t have to spend your life waiting for something in a queue. Everything just moves along.
- There is no traffic. I remember moaning when my 7 minute drive to work was 20 minutes due to road works. I would kill for a 20 minute commute. You can get anywhere you need to in 20 minutes or less in Saint John.
- Everything is slower. People just move at a different speed. No one is in a rush to do anything. Everything you need will get sorted, but in a toned down, non-rushed manner.
- The cost of housing is insanely cheap. My husband and I often look online at properties for sale in my hometown and desperately weep at what we could have if we lived there.
I miss my hometown some days. Some days, we think about moving back. We’re totally happy in London, but it’s easily to get run down by this city. It’s easy to wish for something a bit more chilled out. For now, we’re staying put in the UK, but who knows what the future holds for us.