Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This Ain't Kansas... or Halifax

Moving 413 km from the familiar confines of Halifax, NS to Saint John, NB to be with my fiancée sounded like a great idea - and it is the most fantastic thing to have ever happened to me.  That being said, this city has provided a number of surprises that I have not expected, at least not in the magnitude experienced.  The intention of this blog is to highlight some of the differences and, perhaps, vent and maybe even get motivated to initiate change when possible.

Saint John is a tremendously historical city that has always been one of the major centres of Atlantic Canada.  It is Canada's oldest incorporated city; home of Canada's first public museum, first chartered bank, oldest public high school, first YWCA, first Miss Canada, first public playground; first quarantine station in North America; the world's first foghorn (oh, there'll be more on this subject); the world's first police union; and there is actually more.

The name of the city is most commonly spelled "Saint John," as opposed to the abbreviated "St. John."  Both are acceptable, but in order to further remove themselves from being mistaken for the similar St. John's, Newfoundland "Saint John" is what you'll see most often and be prepared to have your head chewed off should you shorten it.  I'm one of those that actually prefers to see the unabbreviated name myself.  I bring this up because I noticed as I am writing this that the "location" this site has is the "St. John, NB" spelling.  Haven't they received enough nasty emails to warrant a change?  Am I sounding petty enough to dismiss yet?

According to the 2006 census, Saint John has a population of 68,043 and the metro area numbers 129,364.  That ranks it as the third largest city in Atlantic Canada, behind Halifax and St. John's.  Moncton, NB is pretty much the same size with lower city numbers, but higher metro numbers.

Okay, I'm aware this is boring, but two particular stats - being one of Atlantic Canada's largest cities and the fact that it is only 413 kms away by car (that is 257 miles for the metric system impaired) from Halifax - made me believe living in Saint John would be more or less the same as living in Halifax.  I was wrong.  Dead wrong.

1 comment:

  1. To clarify the nomenclature issue a bit for you: the city is properly spelled Saint John, while the county and the river are spelled St. John. This is why you see both spellings -- it depends on the context. (Blame the government. *grin*)

    And yeah -- I'll acknowledge that we're a little touchy on the subject, but that mostly comes from years and years of having an incorrect apostrophe-S ringing in our ears. (Visit the City Market on a cruise ship day and start tallying.) It gets like sandpaper on bare skin after a while.

    The spelling of S-a-i-n-t is one of the few defenses we have; please don't try to steal it from us. ;)