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History of Saint John

Saint John was originally nurtured by its aboriginal inhabitants, the  Mi’kmaq and Maliseet long before its European discovery. On a voyage in 1604, Samuel-de-Champlain named the city.

After 14,000 American British supporters arrived in 1783 following the American revolution, Saint John, the ‘Loyalist city’ was incorporated by Royal Charter in 1785, making it Canada’s first incorporated city.

Also referred to as ‘the Port City,’ Saint John became a leading industrial centre since the nineteenth century, predominantly due to a shipbuilding trade.  The city quickly grew, with the largest influx of immigrants occurring during the Irish famine of the 1840’s, adding ‘Canada’s most Irish City’ to its list of names.

The City's harbour has welcomed people from across the globe and each group  has left an imprint on Saint John history through culture, architecture and people.