Saint John Uptown and City Market Tour

Saint John City Market

The Saint John City Market in Saint John, New Brunswick is the oldest continuously operated farmer’s market in Canada, with a charter dating from 1785. The market is located at 47 Charlotte Street.

Prior to the establishment of the market at its current location, the city of Saint John operated several public markets. The government of New Brunswick enacted a law for a public fish market, located in the Water street slips to be operated by the city of Saint John, in 1855. Another was a hay market, run at the head of King Street. The first two buildings to house the market, both made of wood, were destroyed by fire. The current building, in the Second Empire style, was designed by the architects J.T.C. McKean and G.E. Fairweather and completed in 1876. The 1876 building narrowly escaped the 1877 fire that destroyed 40% of the city’s buildings.

The current building has a unique roof structure, resembling an inverted ship’s keel. Made of wooden trusses, the structure was reportedly built by unemployed ship carpenters of the day.  Also, the floor slopes with the natural grade of the land.

Some of the businesses in the market have been operating continuously there for more than 100 years. Facing onto Kings Square, the market is connected to the city’s indoor pedway system.

The market was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1986.

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