Miramichi, New Brunswick Canada

Discover Miramichi, New Brunswick: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

Nestled in the heart of northern New Brunswick, Canada, Miramichi is a city that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, rich history, and vibrant culture. As the largest city in northern New Brunswick, Miramichi is situated at the mouth of the Miramichi River, where it enters Miramichi Bay. The Miramichi Valley, the second longest valley in New Brunswick, is a sight to behold.

The Formation of Miramichi, New Brunswick

The city of Miramichi was formed in 1995 through the amalgamation of two towns, Newcastle and Chatham, and several smaller communities, including Douglastown, Loggieville, and Nelson. Also included in the amalgamation were the local service districts of Nordin, Moorefield, Chatham Head, and Douglasfield. This amalgamation also incorporated parts of the former local service district of Ferry Road-Russellville, Chatham Parish, Glenelg Parish, and Nelson Parish. On 1 January 2023, Miramichi expanded further by annexing parts of two local service districts on its northern border.

The Rich History of Miramichi, New Brunswick

The Mi'kmaq and French Communities (Before 1765)

Long before European settlement, the Miramichi region was home to members of the Mi'kmaq First Nation. Beaubears Island, at the junction of the Northwest and Main Southwest branches of the Miramichi River, was a natural meeting point for the Mi'kmaq. Following the European discovery of the Americas, the Miramichi became part of the French colony of Acadia. Around 1648, Nicolas Denys, Sieur de Fronsac, established a fort and trading post, Fort Fronsac, on the Miramichi. This establishment was constructed "on the North side of the Miramichi, at the forks of the river".

Scottish and Loyalist Immigration (1765–1800)

The French were defeated at Quebec (1759) and Montreal (1760), and the remaining Miramichi settlement was subsequently burned to the ground by British Commodore John Byron (Foul-Weather Jack) in 1760. The French North American colonies (apart from Saint Pierre and Miquelon) were ceded to the British in the 1763 Treaty of Paris. The Miramichi thus became a part of the British colony of Nova Scotia, and later New Brunswick.

The Great Miramichi Fire of 1825

In 1825, a large forest fire, among the worst in recorded history of North America, devastated a number of communities in northern New Brunswick.

Irish Immigration (1815–1850)

The Irish began arriving in Miramichi in numbers after 1815 at the end of the Napoleonic War and with a few exceptions ceased coming to the area before the great Irish famine of 1847. They came to the area voluntarily to better their lives.

The Looshtauk Tragedy (1847)

Unlike the ports of Quebec, Saint John, St Andrews, Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Charleston and New Orleans, Miramichi did not receive large numbers of destitute and starving Irish during the famine years. Fewer than four so-called coffin ships made it to Miramichi between 1844 and 1849 with less than three hundred people on board.

The Irish in the 1870s and 1880s

By the 1870s the Irish were well established in Miramichi and by this decade less than 20% of them were recent immigrants. In total they represented forty percent of the population of the region spread fairly evenly over the entire Miramichi watershed.

Industry and Politics (1765–1850)

Although subsistence farming constituted one part of the new settlement's economy, the thin, acid soils of the Miramichi were not conducive to agriculture; thus, the lumber industry and Atlantic salmon fishery were the mainstays.

Railway (1875–1950)

In 1875, the region's largest construction project in history was completed when the federal government's Intercolonial Railway (ICR) opened between Moncton and Campbellton.

20th Century Industry and Politics

As the shipbuilding, masting and lumber industries waned, pulp and paper production eventually replaced lumber exports as the mainstay of the area's economy.

Transportation in Miramichi, New Brunswick


Miramichi has good highway connections to other major centres in New Brunswick offered via Highways 8 (west to Fredericton; north to Bathurst and Campbellton) and 11 (south to Moncton, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia).


Miramichi Transit also operates local bus service within the city.


The towns of Chatham and Newcastle were formerly important ports for northeastern New Brunswick.


The Canadian National Railway (CN) northern line between Moncton and Campbellton passes through Miramichi.


Miramichi is located within a 90-minute drive of two international airports (Fredericton International Airport, Greater Moncton International Airport) with scheduled domestic and international flights.

Arts and Culture in Miramichi, New Brunswick


As in other regions of the Maritimes, Miramichi culture is firmly grounded in the Mi'kmaq, Acadian, English, Scottish, and Irish traditions of the region's founding population, particularly in the fishing, sailing and lumbering industries.


Local festivals which celebrate Miramichi culture, and the ancestral roots of the original settlers include:

  • Miramichi Folksong Festival
  • Annual Pow-wows hosted on the nearby Eel Ground First Nation and Metepenagiag Mi'kmaq Nation
  • La Fête Nationale des Acadiens—Acadian Day
  • Miramichi Scottish Festival
  • Canada's Irish Festival on the Miramichi
  • Miramichi Fiddle Festival


The city offers a full range of summer and winter sports programs and facilities, including recreation centres, swimming pools, a golf course, and rinks for skating, curling and ice hockey.

Team Sports

Miramichi has several sports teams, including two ice hockey teams. The home rink of the Miramichi Timberwolves of the Maritime Junior Hockey League is the Miramichi Civic Centre.

Demographics of Miramichi, New Brunswick

In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Miramichi had a population of 17,692 living in 7,990 of its 8,484 total private dwellings, a change of 0.9% from its 2016 population of 17,537.

Visitor Attractions in Miramichi, New Brunswick

The Miramichi River is the centre of all activity. The communities that compose the city line its banks. Beaubears Island, located in the middle of the Miramichi River between Newcastle and Nelson-Miramichi, is home to two National Historic Sites.

Twin City

Monaghan, Ireland. In 1999 Miramichi was twinned with the County Monaghan in Ireland.

Climate of Miramichi, New Brunswick

Miramichi enjoys a cool, moist climate with a mean annual temperature of 4.7 °C (40.5 °F). The January mean temperature is −10.8 °C (12.6 °F), and the mean July temperature is 19.1 °C (66.4 °F).

Discover the charm and history of Miramichi, New Brunswick, and experience a city that truly embodies the spirit of the Maritimes.