Lying in the heart of Saint John is King’s Square, a gracious public square complete with immaculate gardens,
walkways, monuments and bandstand. But it wasn’t always this nice, at one time before urban sprawl the square
sat on the fringes of the city. It was not much more than a bog used as a market area, including a place where
vendors prepared their animals for market. It wasn’t uncommon to find animal heads, hooves and bones lying
about the grounds.
With the growth of the city, the square was given a much needed face lift. Its boggy grounds were drained, refuse
cleared away and by the mid 1850s the square was laid out in its present format – in the pattern of the ‘Union
Jack’ with lots of grass area. Like so many other structures in Saint John, the original bandstand built in the
square was a casualty of the Great Fire of 1877. The current bandstand was gifted to the citizens of the City Saint
John in 1908 and in 1912 it was dedicated to King Edward VII. Some say that it is the only two-storey bandstand
in North America.
Starting at the head of King Street on the west side of the King’s Square stand one of six monuments placed throughout the square. The War Memorial was built to honour those who lost their lives in World War I, World War II and the Korean War. The plaques adorning the monument include: