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King’s Square

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:

War Memorial Kings Square
Canadian Merchant Navy
1914 – 1918 1939 – 1945 1950 – 1953
The Life Line Of The World
In Honour And Grateful Memory Of
Our Glorious Dead Who Fell In The
Great War 1914 – 1918
Great War 1939 – 1945
Korea 1950 – 1953
Memorial Number 2
Next to the southwest is a monument to Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley, 1810 – 1896 one of the Fathers of Confederation, and twice held the position of Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick.
Charles Gorman.
Charles Gorman – In memory of one of Saint John’s greatest athletes, this monument honours the former world speed skating record holder Charles Gorman.
the last alarm
The Last Alarm – this monument is dedicated to the memory of Saint John Firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.

Kings Square map

Public Memorial to John Frederic Young
The very first monument to be erected in King’s Square stands in the southeast quadrant in honour of John Frederic Young who, during a storm in October 1890, attempted to rescue ten year old Frederick E. Mundee from drowning at Courtney Bay when he was overcome by the sea. The plaque on the “Young” monument bears the following inscription: “Erected as a Public Memorial to John Frederic Young, who in the nineteenth year of his age lost his life on the thirtieth day of October, A.D. 1890 in Courtney Bay, Saint John, New Brunswick while endeavouring to rescue Frederick E. Mundee from drowning. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for a friend.”
Great Fire Memorial
Great Fire Memorial – On the east side of King’s Square is one of the reminders of the Great Fire that destroyed more than 1,600 buildings in 1877, this was a piece of melted medal found in a hardware store after the Great Fire.
Loyalist Cross
Loyalist Cross – Across the street from the Loyalist Burial Grounds on the east side of King’s Square, stands the Loyalist Cross monument. Constructed in 1934, it was erected to honour the Loyalists who were among the first settlers of Saint John. The cross was unveiled on the 150th anniversary of the founding of New Brunswick.