If you are interested in walking through Saint John, then try out the three self-guided historical walks showcasing different parts of Saint John’s heritage. The Saint John Visitor’s centre has a more detailed map and history on the buildings and parks along these walks; check out their website to download your own map www.discoverSaintJohn.com. The New Brunswick Museum also offers guided walking tours of Uptown Saint John.
The Loyalist Walk
– 14,000 British ‘United Empire Loyalists’ fled north to Saint John in 1783 to escape persecution during the American Revolution and the Loyalist Walk explores the ‘old Saint John’ following the footsteps of these Loyalists. Some highlights of the walk include the County Courthouse with the only free-standing spiral staircase from the 19th century known to exist in Canada
today. The Loyalist House, built around 1810 is
the oldest building in Saint John and was one of the few buildings untouched by the Great Fire of 1877.the oldest building in Saint John and was one of the the oldest building in Saint John and was one of the few buildings untouched by the Great Fire of 1877.
St. John’s (Stone) Anglican Church built in 1825 was also untouched by the Great Fire and was declared a National Historic Site in 1992. The Saint John Arts
Centre first opened in 1904 and served as the Saint John Free Public Library for almost 80 years. Other highlights include the Firefighters’ Museum, Imperial
Theatre, Trinity Church, Loyalist Burial Grounds, City Hall, King’s Square, and City Market.
– During the Great Fire of 1877, over 21 streets were totally destroyed leaving more than 13,000 people homeless, and leaving the city’s uptown and southern peninsula completely obliterated. Saint John took on a new architectural look when rebuilt, and now boasts some of the best Victorian
architecture in Canada. The Victorian Walk will take you south and east
of King’s Square where you will see many stately
homes built by some of the prestigious families in
the area. A few of the highlights include 91 Leinster
Street, built originally around 1900 as a residence, it
was converted in 1965 to a funeral home, then sold
in 2008 and now houses the Saint John Jewish Historical
Museum. Built in 1839, 95 Wentworth Street was home to the Centenary Methodist Church before being sold in 1999; locally known as ‘Gothic Arches’. At 134 Sydney Street is Caverhill Hall (the Castle), built by brewer and mayor Simeon Jones. The whole area east of King’s Square and south to Queen Square is well worth the walk, here you will see architecture depicting Italianate, Second Empire, Queen Anne Revival, Neo-Gothic, Craftsman and Bungalow styles.
Prince William Walk
Totally destroyed by the Great Fire in 1877, this district was rebuilt and is part Trinity Royal Preservation Area. This walking tour encompasses Market Square (where the Great Fire is purported to have started) Prince William Street, Queen Street and portions of Germain and King Street. The Prince William Walking Tour showcases the diverse
architecture of Saint John. Here you will find a mix of elaborate architecture
with Corinthian columns, Queen Anne Revival, Second Empire, Italianate facades and whimsical sandstone carvings. Some highlights of the walking tour include Barbour’s General Store (sitting near the site where G.E. Barbour Company first started their business in 1867); Chubb’s Corner (corner of Prince William and Princess Streets) was designed by local architects and features 16 sandstone head carvings the third floor; Old Post Office (113 Prince William) is a three-and-a-half storey structure built in Second Empire style with a mansard roof and high Roman arch windows. The Bank of New Brunswick (119-125 Prince William) is a freestone Greek Revival building complete with Corinthian columns and a larged peaked pediment. Other notable mentions on this walk include the former City Hall, Palatine building, Seamen’s Mission,
Stoneleigh Terrace, Three ‘Sisters’ Lamps at St Patrick’s
Square and Celtic Cross.