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Our History

We Have Been Waiting 200 Years For Your Visit

Canada’s Premier Historic Seaside Town

18th Century – Established in 1783 by Loyalists from Castine, Maine, St. Andrews is one of New Brunswick’s oldest and most distinctive settlements. The original plat, now the nucleus of the modern town, is a neat rectangle half a mile deep and a mile long, laid out on a south facing hillside that slopes gently toward the harbour. It is a classic example of colonial town planning. The broad, straight streets form a regular grid, broken at intervals by open squares for public buildings and a market place. Except for Water Street, which runs along the shore, all the street names have royal or colonial associations. Thirteen are named after the children of George III and his wife, Charlotte, and two after faithful servants of the crown; the remainder are King, the show street, Queen and Prince of Wales. St. Andrews is a symbol as well as an enduring settlement.

19th Century – For about fifty years after its founding, the town prospered. St. Andrews was both the shiretown and a garrison town for British soldiers. It was also a thriving merchant settlement. Located at the tip of a long, narrow peninsula at the mouth of the St. Croix River it was, as one observer remarked, “prettily situated” to supply protected West Indian and British markets. Lumber and fish were shipped to the West Indies, in exchange for molasses and rum (still the favourite tipple), and lumber and wooden sailing vessels to Great Britain.

Separated from Maine ports only by a bay and a tangle of islands, the town’s merchants and shipowners also enjoyed a flourishing carrying trade when Great Britain and the United States were at odds or at war. Needing the other’s goods, but forbidden to trade, each country used St. Andrews merchants and ship owners to transfer goods “along the lines” (the international boundary) between British and American vessels.

Sadly, with the decline of hostilities and the withdrawal of the colonial preference in the 1830s and 1840s the town’s economy crumbled. By 1880 the population had fallen to two thousand, roughly its present level, and perhaps half of that figure at the beginning of the century. Economic relief came only toward the end of the century with the building of railways and the desire of the rich to escape the summer heat, humidity and associated diseases of the eastern and seaboard cities. Blessed with offshore waters kept cool by the giant tides of the Bay of Fundy, and with a magnificent harbour and bay, St. Andrews was a natural choice for development as a fashionable summer resort.

20th Century – Until the 1930s the town was an exclusive summer retreat. Overnight trains from Boston and Montreal brought prosperous, and often prominent, Americans and Canadians to well appointed hotels and elegant summer houses. Many came for a month or a season and, if they owned summer houses, they arrived with an entourage of maids, cooks, chauffeurs, and, in some cases, butlers. But with the growing wealth of the middle classes, and the increasing availability of the car, the town’s days as an exclusive resort were numbered. The hotels remain well appointed and the summer houses retain their elegance, but today’s visitors are far more likely to arrive by family car and chartered bus than chauffeured limousine.

As well as attracting health-seeking summer visitors, the great tides and cool water of Passamaquoddy proved irresistible to marine scientists. The Bay is extremely rich in plant and animal life. The Federal Government had maintained a biological research station in St. Andrews since 1908. The “Station,” as it is known to townspeople, is now the senior member of a trio of research and teaching institutions. The others are the Huntsman Marine Science Centre, which has university affiliations, and the Atlantic Salmon Federation, a privately funded organization dedicated to the well-being of the wild Atlantic Salmon.

With wild fish stocks in decline, government research is now directed at fish farming, widely regarded as the only means of sustaining a viable inshore fishery. The first government-supported experiments in salmon farming in the late 1970s have blossomed into a vital commercial enterprise that now provides year round employment and pumps millions of dollars into local economies.

*Write Up Credit: St Andrews Chamber of Commerce

 

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Town Wharf

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Breathtaking Scenery

Everything about the town is special, including the status as a National Historic District, one of the oldest and loveliest in the Maritimes. St. Andrews is a treasure trove of beautiful architecture, unparalleled scenery and rich marine life. Today it offers all the features of a thriving modern resort, yet the streets remain steeped in turn-of-the-century charm.

The Charlotte Coastal Region Tourism Association produced the below video which shares the incredible views of the region all year long. Kingsbrae Garden is showcased several times throughout, adding to the beauty which makes many visitors become residents!

Visit this summer to discover why 80,000 plus visitors annually choose St. Andrews as their vacation destination of choice. From friendly service, to great scenery, to award winning attractions, St. Andrews is truly a special place to visit.

Accommodations

Algonquin

The Algonquin Resort

The Algonquin is one of Canada’s most luxurious and legendary resorts. Rich in history, meticulously restored to its original splendour, and complete with every modern comfort you could desire, this year-round destination truly offers the best of the past with contemporary amenities. The iconic building and its grounds are an oasis. Elegant guest rooms, contemporary dining, indoor and outdoor pools, waterslide, a pampering spa, private beach, manicured gardens, and cocktails on our historic veranda add up to a vacation to savour and remember.

http://algonquinresort.com/

Motels, Inns, Bed & Breakfasts

St. Andrews by the sea offers a wide range of unique places to stay in and around the beautiful town. For more information on accommodations please visit the below link:

St. Andrews by the Sea Accommodations

tara manor inn

Attractions

Fundy Discovery Aquarium

An enormous display that depicts the magnitude of the Bay of Fundy tides anchors the aquarium, while Huntsman’s resident harbour seals Loki and Snorkel entertain you with their antics. New for 2016: Behind the Scenes Tours! Visitors to Huntsman also enjoy our sturgeon, seahorses, salmon, intertidal creatures, and underwater viewing of Bay of Fundy fishes. Other things to enjoy include the Periwinkle Café & Gift Shop, children’s play area, feature films, interactive displays, the walking path to the beach, and so much more!

Fundy Discovery Aquarium Webpage

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Minister's Island

Ministers Island

Ministers Island is an enchanting place to experience. Lying just off the shore near St. Andrews, New Brunswick, Canada, this 500-acre island is only a part-time island. You reach it by driving over the seafloor approximately one kilometer (1/2 mile).

Once there, you are immersed in an experience from the late 19th and early 20th century – the summer estate of Sir William Van Horne, the driving force behind the Canadian Pacific Railway.

Sir William’s vast house, his equally large barn and his bathhouse/artist’s hideaway are on view, as are the beautiful carriage lanes through the woods and fields. Time stands still, and you’re swept up in an atmosphere that makes you forget all about your everyday life and the here-and-now.

Ministers Island Webpage

More on Attractions

For more information on one of the many attractions in our area visit: St Andrews By the Sea Attractions