Fun Facts

These will add meat to your research and spice to your story. 

One third of the world’s French Fries come from New Brunswick’s “French Fry Capital”, Florenceville-Bristol. This small town is home to the McCain empire. 

Canada’s foremost performer of old-time fiddle music, Don Messer, was born near Harvey Station. Messer gained national recognition on his CBC television show, “Don Messer’s Jubilee”. 

Ganong Bros. Ltd. in St. Stephen invented the first five-cent chocolate nut bar in North America, and the ever popular pink cinnamon-over-chocolate “chicken bone” candy, a Christmas favourite. 

The oldest university building in Canada (1829) is still in use on the University of New Brunswick campus in Fredericton, the Old Arts Building, officially known as Sir Howard Douglas Hall. 

Sir William Van Horne, the force behind the building of the Canadian Pacific Railway, purchased Ministers Island in 1890. His summer retreat near St. Andrews has been opened to visitors. 

Actor and movie star, Donald Sutherland, father of "24" star Keifer Sutherland, was introduced to the theatre through puppet classes at the New Brunswick museum in Saint John. 

The Acadian Flag was adopted in 1884, and the original flag is on exhibit at the Musée Acadian, located in the Clément-Cormier Pavilion of the Université de Moncton. 

Andrew Bonar Law, the Canadian-born son of a Scottish Clergyman, who was born in Rexton, became the Prime Minister of Great Britain in 1922. His 1870s home and birthplace remains open to the public for tours. 

Sir Max Aitken (Lord Beaverbrook), one of the Commonwealth's most famous figures, called Miramichi home. Learn more about his legacy at Beaverbrook House, in Miramichi. Several buildings in his memory, or to which he contributed financially, are present in Fredericton. These include the Lord Beaverbrook Art Gallery, the Aitken Centre Arena, the Playhouse Theatre, and Aitken House residence at the University of New Brunswick, to name a few. 

Boston Red Sox starter, the late Ted Williams, was an expert fly-fisherman, who spent summers fishing on the Miramichi River. 

The Village of Plaster Rock is known as the home of the annual World Pond Hockey Championships. 

Moosehead Brewery, in Saint John, is Canada's oldest independent brewery. 

The St. John River was originally known as “Madawaska”, derived from “Madoueskak”, a Maliseet word meaning “Land of the Porcupine”. Madawaska lives on in the “Republic” of Madawaska, as well as being the name of a tributary of the St. John River, a county in New Brunswick and a town on the Maine side of the US/Canada border. No wonder visitors get confused! 

During the colonial era, lumber from this region was very much in demand, especially by the Royal Navy. It is said that Admiral Horatio Nelson went to war during the Battle of Trafalgar with a fleet whose masts were forged from white pine, floated from Edmundston, down the St. John River. 

After over 40 years of wrangling, the Webster-Ashburton Treaty (known officially as the Treaty of Washington), finally established the St. John River as the international boundary between northern New Brunswick and Maine. The treaty was signed on August 9, 1842.

The French spoken in the Northern New Brunswick region is called “brayon” – a term derived from the textile industry. Brayon (which can also refer to the people themselves) is a blend of Quebecois and Acadian French, with a sprinkling of American English and Scots/Irish idioms thrown in for good measure.

The fertile, alkaline soil of the St. John River Valley is ideal for the cultivation of potatoes. Some farmers plant their crops in a traditional manner, according to the phases of the moon. Scattered along the roads on both sides of the border, you can sometimes spot small stone sheds built into the side of a grassy mound, where potatoes were stored.

The Old Sow, which can be seen off Deer Island, NB and Eastport, Maine, is the second largest whirlpool in the world (after the Maelstrom whirlpool in Norway). Best seen a couple of hours before high tide when it is more active that at other times of the day, the Old Sow gets its name from the loud, slurping sounds that the water makes as it swirls into a vortex.

The Bay of Fundy has the highest tides in the world. They rise at a rate of one metre (3.3 feet) per hour. The tides yield many edible treasures, among them mineral-rich sea salt and “dulse” - dried seaweed, which can be eaten as a snack or used to flavor soups and stews.

The first Miss Canada was from Saint John New Brunswick. Winnifred Blair was crowned Miss Canada in Montreal February 10, 1923. But it was 23 years until the next Miss Canada was crowned.

The first female sea captain in North America is from Alma, New Brunswick. Molly Kool was the first mate on her father’s 70-foot freighter, transporting lumber and gypsum through the Bay of Fundy and Gulf of Maine after passing her sea captain’s exam in 1939. She captained for five years before marrying and settling in Orrington, Maine.