Moncton, New Brunswick

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For the parish, please see Moncton, New Brunswick (parish)

Moncton (Template:Coor dm, AST, 2001 population 61,046, metropolitan population 117,727) is one of the eight cities in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. The metropolitan area includes the city of Dieppe and the town of Riverview. Moncton was named after Robert Monckton, a British military officer who oversaw the deportation of the Acadians from the local area.

Moncton, New Brunswick
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Geography

Moncton is located in southeastern New Brunswick, Canada; in the Petitcodiac River valley, along the north bank of a section of the river where it bends from a west-east flow to a north-south direction. As such, the early settlers in the region nicknamed this area "The Bend" (in French le Coude). Moncton is located at the geographic center of the Maritime Provinces. Moncton is nicknamed the "Hub City", partly for this reason and also because it historically was the railway "hub" for the Maritime Provinces.

History

The area now known as Moncton began as an Acadian settlement called "Le Coude." The Acadians first settled the area in the late 17th century. After the deportation of the Acadians in 1755, the settlement lay empty until a group of eight immigrant families arrived from Pennsylvania in June 1766. They were armed with a land grant issued by the Philadelphia Land Company, one of the principal investors of which was Benjamin Franklin. A township gradually grew on the site and the new community was named after Lt.-Colonel Robert Monckton, the British military officer who led the capture of nearby Fort Beausejour in 1755 and then subsequently oversaw the deportation of the Acadians from the Petitcodiac and Beaubassin regions. The new community of Moncton quickly flourished as a centre for ship-building and was incorporated as a town in 1855. However, the birth of the age of steam and iron ships brought a quick end to local prosperity and Moncton surrendered its charter in 1862. A second era of prosperity came to the settlement when Moncton was chosen as the site for the headquarters of the Intercolonial Railway in 1871. Moncton was reincorporated in 1875 with the motto "Resurgo" (I rise again). Moncton achieved city status on April 23rd, 1890. The municipal coat of arms illustrates Moncton's agricultural, industrial and railway heritages, along with the world famous Tidal Bore, an ever popular tourist attraction.

Language, Culture, & Demographics

While Moncton is a majority English-speaking community, the city has an active French-speaking Acadian minority population (35%), many of whom speak the Chiac variant of Acadian French. The city hosted the Francophonie Summit in August of 1999. This was the largest conference ever held in the city with heads of state and delegates from 54 countries around the world in attendance.

The growth rate of the city of Moncton is 0.7% annually, which is greater than the provincial average. The greater metro area boasted a population of 117,727 people as of 2001 national census, but the current population is estimated to be well over 120,000. Historically, the population of the city has been racially very homogenous with almost all residents originating from northwest Europe (Great Britain, France and Ireland). This is slowly changing but it remains a challenge to attract visible minorities as new immigrants to the city.

Racial composition

  • White: 97.3%
  • All others: 2.7%

Religious composition

Linguistic composition

  • Anglophone: 65%
  • Francophone: 35%

A large proportion of the population of the city (40%) is bilingual. The only other cities in Canada that approach this level of linguistic duality are Ottawa and Montreal.

For a medium sized city, Moncton is actually quite blessed with cultural and recreational facilities. The Capitol Theatre is an 800 seat painstakingly restored 1920's era vaudeville house that serves as the centre for cultural entertainment for the city. A school for the performing arts is currently being organized by the theatre. The Atlantic Ballet Theatre is based in Moncton and also operates its own school. Theatre l'Escaouette is a francophone live theatre company that has its own auditorium. The Moncton Coliseum, a 7,000-seat arena, serves as a venue for major concerts and trade shows and is the home of the Moncton Wildcats of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. There are two main museums in the city, The Moncton Museum and Le Musée Acadien at Université de Moncton.

Moncton is home to the Northrop Frye Literary Festival, a bilingual literary celebration in honour of world renowned literary critic and favorite son Northrop Frye. This celebration attracts authors from around the world and takes place in the month of April. The World Wine and Food Exposition is the largest event of its kind in eastern Canada and takes place every November.

Transportation

Moncton is serviced by a newly expanded international airport, the Greater Moncton International Airport. Moncton is also serviced by railway companies VIA Rail Canada, and Canadian National Railway, which at one point, was one of the main employers of the city. Moncton is also located on the Trans Canada Highway, at the junction of all major road routes in the Maritime Provinces. Because of these attributes, Moncton has become a major transportation, distribution, commercial and retailing centre.

Attractions

The Moncton area has several major attractions:

  • Champlain Place - The largest shopping mall in Atlantic Canada, located in Dieppe.
  • Crystal Palace - An indoor amusement park adjacent to Champlain Place that includes a hotel, a movie theatre and a Chapters bookstore.
  • Tidal Bore - A phenomenon created by the extreme tides of the Bay of Fundy which actually reverses the downstream flow of the Petitcodiac River. A causeway built across the river to Riverview in the 1960s has significantly diminished the effects of the bore, although efforts are underway to have the causeway replaced by a bridge in order to restore the river flow.
  • Magnetic Hill - An optical illusion created by local topography, is also the site of a major tourism development, including a nationally recognized zoo and a water theme park called "Magic Mountain". Magnetic Hill also features a major outdoor concert site. Pope John Paul II held a papal mass there in 1984. The Rolling Stones will hold a concert there on the 3rd of September,2005. There have been some reports that they are considering holding a second show later that month due to the speed at which tickets were sold for the first.

Moncton is well situated as a tourism destination. There are two national parks within a one hour drive of the city (Fundy National Park and Kouchibouguac National Park). The warm water beaches of the Northumberland Straight are only 15 minutes away and the Hopewell Rocks are only a half hour's drive. The Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island is also only a one hour's drive from the city.

Education

Moncton is home to two universities: Université de Moncton, the largest French language university in Canada outside of Quebec,and Atlantic Baptist University, a small Christian liberal arts and science institution. In addition, the University of New Brunswick offers health sciences degree courses in Nursing and Medical X-ray Technology based out of the Moncton Hospital. Mount Allison University, consistently ranked as one of the best undergraduate universities in Canada is located in the nearby town of Sackville.

There are also two campuses of the New Brunswick Community College located in the region; NBCC Moncton campus is anglophone while CCNB Dieppe is francophone. These institutions specialize in training for trades and technology. There are also a number of private colleges in the city including the Moncton Flight College[1] (http://www.mfc.nb.ca), one of Canada's oldest and most prestigious flight schools.

Health Facilities

There are two major regional referral and teaching hospitals in Moncton; The Moncton Hospital (principally anglophone, 400 beds, affiliated with Dalhousie University Medical School, tertiary services in neurosciences, vascular surgery, orthopedics, trauma, burn unit, medical oncology, neonatal intensive care,) and the Hopital Georges-L. Dumont (principally francophone, 350 beds, affiliated with Université de Sherbrooke Medical School, tertiary services in oncology (including radiation oncology) and nephrology). Between these two institutions, Moncton serves as the main medical referral centre for the central Maritime region.

Media

Moncton has two daily newspapers, the Times & Transcript (anglophone—New Brunswick's largest daily), and l'Acadie Nouvelle (francophone). There are five television stations in the city, (Radio-Canada (The regional CBC French service), and four anglophone TV services, CBC, ATV, Global and Rogers Cable). There are also 12 broadcast radio stations (eight English and four French) in the city. There are two more radio stations in the planning stages.

Buildings

  • Aliant Tower- A 35 storey concrete microwave communications tower which dominates the skyline.
  • Place Assumption Place- A 20 storey office building which is the headquarters of the Assumption Mutual Life Insurance Corporation. This is the tallest office building in New Brunswick

Economy

After twice going bankrupt, the city of Moncton was incorporated successfully in 1890, with the motto Resurgo ("I rise again").

The Intercolonial Railway and National Transcontinental Railway were major employers during Moncton's early years. These companies merged to form part of Canadian National Railways, and CNR then became the largest employer in the region with major railway yards and locomotive shop facilities located throughout the city. In 1988 CNR closed its locomotive shops in Moncton, throwing thousands out of work and forcing the federal and provincial governments to step in with economic restructuring packages to diversify the Moncton economy. Moncton was so despondent that at one point in the late 1980s, prior to the changes having a positive impact, the city's official motto was Moncton - We're OK.

Diversification in the 1990s saw the rise of information technology, led by call centres which made use of the city's bilingual workforce. Retail, manufacturing and service expansion began to occur in all sectors and within a decade of the closure of the locomotive shops, Moncton had more than off-set this loss of employment. Moncton is now the fastest growing city in the Maritime Provinces and is expected to become New Brunswick's largest city within the next 5-10 years.

A number of regionally prominent corporations have their head offices in Moncton including Atlantic Lottery Corporation, Assumption Mutual Life Insurance, Atlantic Blue Cross Insurance, Pizza Delight Corporation, Major Drilling International, and Co-op Atlantic. There are a number of major call centres in the city including Royal Bank of Canada, UPS Courier, Fairmont Hotels, Rogers Communications, America Online and OAO Technologies. A burgeoning high tech sector includes companies such as Whitehill Technologies and Spielo Manufacturing. Several arms of the Irving corporate empire have their head offices in Greater Moncton. These include Midland Transport, Majesta Tissues, Irving Personal Care, Master Packaging and Cavendish Farms. A number of transportation companies are located in Moncton, the largest and most important of which is Armour Transportation Group. Molson Breweries has recently announced that they will construct a new brewery in the Caledonia Industrial Park.

Major planned development projects in the city's central core include a new courthouse, 160+ room hotel, convention center, new retail, and a four lane bridge to Riverview, across the Peticodiac River. The bridge will dramaticaly reshape the traffic flow and layout of the downtown area, as Vaughan Harvey Boulevard, a major artery, is to be re-aligned and extended to accommodate traffic flow onto the bridge. CN Rail plans to construct a railroad bridge over this extension. Futhermore, Albert Street, Bridge Street, and Assumption Boulevard will all be realigned and/or expanded.

Once completed, the current Gunningsville bridge will be demolished.

The retail sector in Moncton is increasingly becoming one of the most important aspects of the local economy. Major retail projects such as the Moncton Power Center, located on Trinity Drive and now Plaza Boulevard, have quickly become major destinations for locals and tourists alike. Major tenants of this development include Atlantic Superstores, Costco, Wal-Mart, Kent, Sears, Winners, Staples, Old Navy, Pier One Imports, Empire Theatres and the Home Depot.

Government

The current mayor of Moncton is Lorne Mitton (May 2004).

Notables born in Moncton

External sites

af:Moncton eo:Monktono pt:Moncton (Nova Brunswick)

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