Edmundston, New Brunswick Canada

Discover Edmundston, New Brunswick: A City Rich in History and Culture

Edmundston, a city nestled in Madawaska County, New Brunswick, Canada, is a place of rich history and vibrant culture. Established in 1850, the city has grown to a population of 16,437 as of 2021. On January 1, 2023, Edmundston expanded its borders by amalgamating with the village of Rivière-Verte and parts of two local service districts.

The Historical Roots of Edmundston, New Brunswick

Edmundston's history dates back to the early colonial period when it served as a camping and meeting place for the Maliseet (Wolastoqiyik) Nation during seasonal migrations. By the mid to late eighteenth century, one of the largest Maliseet villages had been established at Madawaska, becoming a refuge site for other Wabanaki peoples.

The city of Edmundston now surrounds a federal Indian Reserve (St. Basile 10/Madawaska Maliseet First Nation). Originally named Petit-Sault (Little Falls) in reference to the waterfalls located where the Madawaska River merges into the Saint John River, the settlement was renamed Edmundston in 1851 after Sir Edmund Walker Head, who was Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick from 1848 to 1854 and Governor-General of Canada from 1854 to 1861.

Edmundston, New Brunswick and the Aroostook War

Edmundston was at the centre of the Aroostook War of 1839, a skirmish over boundary lines between the U.S.A. and what was then British North America. The conflict led to the construction of a small fortification (Fortin du Petit-Sault) in anticipation of a possible attack by the Americans. The area was declared an independent state called the "Republic of Madawaska," by American-born industrialist "Colonel" John Baker. Although the "Republic" was never legally recognized, the concept has remained popular with the francophone Brayon residents on both the Canadian and American sides of the border.

The Amalgamation of Edmundston, New Brunswick

In 1998, Edmundston, Saint-Basile, Saint-Jacques, and Verret merged to form the City of Edmundston. In 2023, Edmundston expanded again to include Rivière-Verte and parts of adjacent local service districts.

The Geography of Edmundston, New Brunswick

Edmundston is located at the edge of the New Brunswick "panhandle," in the northeastern section of the Appalachian Mountains at the junction of the Saint John and Madawaska Rivers in the northwestern part of the province. The city is strategically situated only a few kilometres from the border with Quebec and on the border with the United States, opposite the town of Madawaska, Maine.

The Demographics of Edmundston, New Brunswick

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Edmundston had a population of 16,437 living in 7,707 of its 8,117 total private dwellings. The median household income in 2005 for Edmundston was $42,551, which is below the New Brunswick provincial average of $45,194.

Language in Edmundston, New Brunswick

Edmundston is 95 per cent francophone, the highest such proportion of all cities in the province. Edmundston is the third-largest predominantly francophone city in North America outside of Quebec and the Caribbean.

Ethnicity in Edmundston, New Brunswick

Unlike most other francophones living in the Maritimes, most people living in the Edmundston area do not consider themselves Acadians other than for statistical purposes. Residents speak with a distinctive local accent, colloquially called "l'accent brayon".

The Climate of Edmundston, New Brunswick

Edmundston experiences a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification Dfb). The highest temperature ever recorded in Edmundston was 37.2 °C (99 °F) on 3 June 1919. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −43.6 °C (−46.5 °F) on 16 January 2009.

Arts and Culture in Edmundston, New Brunswick

Every June, Edmundston plays host to the Festival Jazz et Blues d'Edmundston (The Edmundston Jazz and Blues Festival). Every year in August, there is a large cultural festival in Edmundston called the Foire Brayonne. The festival is one of the biggest French themed festivals held in Canada east of the province of Quebec.

Attractions in Edmundston, New Brunswick

Edmundston hosts two provincial historical sites: Cathedral of Immaculate Conception and Fortin du Petit-Sault. Other tourist attractions include de la République Provincial Park, an 18-hole golf course, a pedestrian downtown with a number of retail stores, restaurants, a hotel and a convention centre. You can also visit the Antique Automobile Museum, the Madawaska Historic Museum, and many other museums.

Transportation Infrastructure in Edmundston, New Brunswick

Edmundston is served by New Brunswick Route 2, a four-lane all weather divided highway and, on the other side of the Saint John River, by U.S. Route 1. There is a municipal airport 17 kilometres north of Edmundston which serves general aviation traffic. The Trans Canada Trail passes through Edmundston, having been converted for pedestrian and bicycling use after abandonment of the New Brunswick Railway.