We travelled to Fredericton NB for a 5 day vacation. The Capital of New Brunswick is beautiful and has a lot of history related to the struggles and wars between France and England, including the War of Independence of 1776-1783, Benedict Arnold, John André and Jonathan Odell. Fredericton being close (75 miles) to the border with Maine was a British garrison town on the St-John river, it had a strategic position.
It has opulent architecture, a lot of American Federal with French Second Empire style, some Italianate, the houses are beautiful and many have kept their coach house in the back garden on large lots, very Patrician looking. The Anglican Cathedral is a copy of Norfolk UK. Fredericton was a city of some wealth brought by the fact that the Imperial troops where stationed there until 1869 when Britain at this point withdrew all troops from Canada. The downtown near City Hall and the Legislature had some 50 stone garrison buildings. Officers mess with a bowling green. The tower of the Legislature appears to be a copy of the tower of the Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin. Unlike Charlottetown, all civic buildings are made of stone. The association with the army continues with Gagetown Canadian Armed Forces base with its airport outside Fredericton.
The Saint John River crosses the city, wide and impressive, one of the historical rivers of Canada, it flows all the way to St-John NB formerly known as ParrTown on the Bay of Fundy. Several railway bridges crossed the river but they like the railway have been dismantled and one is used as a pedestrian foot bridge connecting the North and South Side of Fredericton.
You cannot visit Fredericton and not notice the name Beaverbrook. Max Aitken Lord Beaverbrook 1879-1964 was a local boy who made good in spades and he donated hundreds millions to Universities, created the Beaverbrook Art Gallery which houses his collection of Dali, Picasso also Dutch, French, Italian and English painters. He also built a Symphony Hall which stands next to the Provincial Legislature. Until 1969 Canadian Citizens where British Subjects and so Beaverbrook went to England and became the owner of a chain of Newspapers and was the Magnate of Fleet Street, he was also a personal friend of Sir Winston Churchill and served in his Cabinet occupying several key Ministerial Portfolios from 1939-1944. To Canadians, Beaverbrook financed the War Artists Program during the First World War 1914-1918 and commissioned over 1000 paintings of what is known today as Canadian War Art and of the contribution of Canadians to this conflict. Many of the painters later became famous, some joined the celebrated Group of 7 who marked the Canadian art world from 1919 to 1934. The War Paintings are now located in the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. His second wife Marcia Anastasia Christoforides Aitken, Dowager Lady Beaverbrook 1910-1994 was a philanthropist, an art collector, and racehorse owner after Beaverbrook’s death she continued his work and to this day two important Charitable Foundations in the UK and in Canada continue. She had previously been married to Sir James H. Dunn, saviour of Algoma Steel in 1935. She died in 1994 and many people remember her well in Canada.
On the restaurant scene, Fredericton offers a different and more varied food scene, we went to several good restaurants. One that stands out was The Schnitzel Parlour & Fackelmann’s Chocolate on Union Street. Serving authentic German Cuisine. They received twice thanks from HM the Queen for their chocolates. Queen Elizabeth is known for her love of handmade chocolates. The fare is Schnitzel and German sausages served with great flair, you absolutely need reservations to dine there and I know people who have waited weeks to be able to secure a reservation.
I also bought an aquarelle at the Gallery 78, on Queen Street. It is housed in the Mansion of Dr Crockett. Many of the artists are well known and some of the art is Museum quality. This is a gallery for art connaisseurs, great service and knowledgeable gallery staff. The piece I bought is entitled Apple Tree by Cathy Ross. I just loved it on first sight great attention to details.
Cathy Ross was born in Saint John, New Brunswick Canada. She studied at Mount Allison University and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. In 1983 she was awarded a scholarship to study at the Banff School of fine Arts. In both 1981 and 1983 Cathy was the recipient of Elizabeth T. Greenshields Foundation grants.
In her professional career she has exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions in Canada and the US. Her work is represented in collections across Canada, including: Memorial University, NFLD; New Brunswick Museum, Saint John NB; The Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa; Banff Centre, Alberta; Dofasco Inc., Hamilton; and the Burnaby Art Centre, Burnaby BC.
We also visited 2 large fruit, vegetable and meat markets one called the Green Pig near Moncton and the other Moxon’s on the St-John River leaving Fredericton. All in all it was a great 5 days and I just loved Fredericton as a city.
Here are some pictures of the city:
We will have to go back, it is only 4 hours away from Charlottetown and an easy drive.