Moncton is a city in Southeastern New Brunswick, Canada. It is located inland of the Bay of Fundy and Acadian Coast. Moncton has a population of about 72,000 (2016), with a metropolitan population of about 145,000 (2016), making it the largest city and the largest metropolitan city in New Brunswick.
HistoryThe Moncton area was settled by Europeans in 1733, but is considered to have been founded in 1766 with the arrival of Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants from Philadelphia. It began as an agricultural settlement. The city was named for Lt. Col. Robert Monckton, the British officer who had captured nearby Fort Beauséjour a century earlier.
A significant wooden shipbuilding industry had developed in the community by the mid-1840s, allowing for the civic incorporation in 1855, but the shipbuilding economy collapsed in the 1860s. In the 1870s, the community's economy rebounded, mainly due to a growing railway industry. In 1871, the Intercolonial Railway of Canada had chosen Moncton to be its headquarters, and Moncton remained a railway town for well over a century until the closure of the Canadian National Railway (CNR) locomotive shops in the late 1980s.
The climate tends to be more continental than maritime during the summer and winter seasons, with maritime influences somewhat tempering the transitional seasons of spring and autumn.
Winter days are typically cold but generally sunny. Daytime high temperatures usually range a few degrees below the freezing point. Major snowfalls typically average 20–30 cm (8–12 in) and are frequently mixed with rain or freezing rain. Spring is frequently delayed because the sea ice that forms in the nearby Gulf of St. Lawrence during the previous winter requires time to melt, and this will cool onshore winds, which can extend inland as far as Moncton. The ice burden in the gulf has diminished considerably over the course of the last decade (which may be a consequence of global warming), and the springtime cooling effect has weakened as a result.
Summers are warm and humid. Daytime highs sometimes reach more than 30 °C (86 °F). Rainfall is generally modest, especially in late July and August, and periods of drought are not uncommon. Autumn daytime temperatures remain mild until late October. First snowfalls usually do not occur until late November and consistent snow cover on the ground does not happen until late December. It can occasionally experiences the effects of post-tropical storms. The stormiest weather of the year, with the greatest precipitation and the strongest winds, usually occurs during November to mid-January.
By carFrom the US:
- I-95 through Maine to the Trans-Canada Route 2, through Fredericton to Moncton.
- Route 9 (through Maine) to Route 1 (Canada) through St. Stephen, Saint John and up to Moncton.
- Route 185 to Edmundston, and then down the Trans-Canada Route 2 to Moncton.
Greater Moncton Roméo LeBlanc International Airportlocated on Route 15 to Shediac in the Dieppe Industrial Park.
Airlines serving Greater Moncton:
- Air Canada Express - (Halifax, Montreal, Toronto)
- WestJet - (Montreal, Toronto, Hamilton, Calgary)
- United Express - (Newark)
- Porter - (Toronto, Ottawa)
Halifax Stanfield International Airport (YHZ) is located 2 hours away in Nova Scotia with many more direct and non-stop flights to other cities in Canada, the United States, and Europe.
Rail service to Moncton is provided three times per week by VIA Rail and its Ocean train, operating between Montréal and Halifax via Quebec City.
Moncton railway stationaddress: 1240 Main Street
Only Maritimebus serves Moncton and the Maritime area (NB, PEI, NS).
- If you are coming from Montreal, you have to take Orleans Express to Rivière-du-Loup (7/day, $79 with tax, 5-7 hr) and after Maritime Bus to Moncton (2/day, $82 without tax, 8 hr)
- from Halifax (NS), 2/day, $49 plus tax, 4hr 30min
- from Charlottetown (PEI), 2/day (8:15AM, 12:50PM), $33.75 plus tax, 3hr20min
Moncton is pretty easy to get around. There are two main streets into the city: the Trans-Canada and Wheeler Boulevard, connecting both ends of town. Main Street and downtown Moncton are equally easy to navigate; signs are posted to all the main attractions.
Codiac Transit serves the greater Moncton area 7 days a week (limited schedule on Sundays), from around 7AM to 10PM. Fare is $2.25, and free transfers are available to let you reach your destination even if you have to change bus. A bus circles every hour or so, excepted the Express which is on a 15-minute run, from the Champlain Mall to the Northwest Centre.
Magnetic Hill Optical IllusionLocated in Magnetic Hill Attraction Park. A gravity hill, a type of optical illusion created by rising and descending terrain, in which it appears that cars roll uphill when in neutral gear.
phone: +1 506-856-4383address: 20 Mountain Road, MonctonHouses a permanent exhibit on the history of Moncton and travelling exhibits. Entry is free of charge. The Transportation Discovery Centre features an array of interactive exhibits and hands-on activities about shipbuilding, railway and aviation, ehich have played a major role in the development of Moncton as a city and as a commercial centre since the early 19th century.
phone: +1 506 858-4088address: Pavillon Clément-Cormier, 405 avenue de l’Université35,000 objects and photographs representing all aspects of Acadian life. The permanent exhibition gives visitors a glimpse into the history of the Acadians and the daily life of the Acadians of the past through a range of objects on display. The temporary exhibition room offers travelling exhibitions from different museums and exhibitions from the collection of MAUM.
- Tidal Bore Park - toward the east end of Main Street in downtown Moncton has amphitheatre-style seating for bore viewing. The tidal bore happens when the Bay of Fundy rising tide brings water counter to the normal flow of Petitcodiac river. The once-famous thundering flow has been reduced to a 6-inch ripple by nearby causeway, but still an unusual sight when it is visible. An electronic display board at the park, or the folks at the city's information booth on Main St, can tell you when to see this phenomenon, which occurs twice a day.
phone: +1 506-384-9463address: 860 Front Mountain Rd.Estate-grown strawberry, raspberry, rhubarb and local New Brunswick grapes, blueberry, cranberry, apple, pear and maple vinted here in the cellar. Panoramic view of Moncton down to the Chocolate River and the entrance to the Bay of Fundy. Gift shop full of wine accessories, artisan maple syrup products, jams. Stay at their B&B as old as Canada and be treated to a homemade, country breakfast with the owners sharing stories and hints for your travelling plans.
address: 811 St George Blvd, MonctonCentennial Park offers a large outdoor playground for kids and a water playground (summer only). In the lower section of the park you can rent paddle boats on the artificial lake and visit the island in the centre of the lake. On weekends you can catch many locals enjoying the sun and picnics. There is also an outdoor pool/beach which charges admission. Centennial Park also offers many wooded walking and biking trails which serve as cross country ski trails in the winter.
- Parlee Beach, Shediac. A beautiful beach on the Northumberland Strait. Be alert as swimming warnings for fecal bacteria are common and updated weekly.
- Plage Aboiteau Beach, Cap-Pele. A much less crowded alternative to Parlee Beach. Parking is $5 during summer months.
- Magnetic Hill Zoo. At the Magnetic Hill Attraction Park. Magnetic Hill Zoo houses more than 400 animals, including over 100 indigenous and exotic species. Birds, mammals, insects, reptiles, and fish find a comfortable and safe home in this park.
- Magic Mountain. Water park located in the Magnetic Hill Attraction Park.
- Poley Mountain. Biking in the summer, skiing and snowboarding in the winter located in Sussex, a 50-minute drive from Moncton.
- Lakeside Golf Club, Shediac Road.
- Magnetic Hill Golf Club, on Mountain Road across from McDonald's.
phone: +1 506-387-3850address: Riverview
- Capitol Theatre, Main St. Catch a show at the oldest theatre in New Brunswick.
- Empress Theatre, Main St.
- MacSweeny's Dinner Theatre, Main Street above Club Cosmo.
- Irishtown Nature Park. Largest urban nature park (). Drive north on Elmwood Drive.
- TreeGO Moncton is open daily during the summer months, and is located in Centennial Park
phone: +1 506-859-7770address: 21 Casino Drive
- Trinity Power Centre, off Wheeler Blvd at Mountain Road. Has the usual big box stores.
- Champlain Mall. Largest single-storey mall in Eastern Canada. Located in Dieppe on Paul Street. Wal-Mart, Cineplex, Chapters Books.
- North West Centre, Mountain Road. Formerly Moncton Mall.
- Downtown Moncton. Main Street and Saint George Urban Quarters has many boutiques and shops.
Pastalli Ristoranteaddress: 611 Main StItalian cuisine, grill your own gourmet garlic bread.
phone: +1 506 855-5335address: 589 Main St.Excellent seafood, steaks, pasta.
- Graffiti, Main St. Greek cuisine.
phone: +1 506 855-2337address: 5 Orange LaneMicrobrewery try the Muddy River Stout! Not to miss: brick oven pizza (crust is infused with beer). Order the beer sampler to try the various types of beer brewed on site.
Cafe Archibaldaddress: 221 Mountain RdAt Archibald intersection. Intimate cafe with great service where meal and dessert crêpes are a specialty.
- Little Louis: fine cuisine at its best, this may be city's best hidden secret.
- Hynes, a diner-style restaurant with very good home cooking. The best burgers.
- Vitos, an inexpensive but excellent pizzeria.
phone: +1 506-388-4833address: 125 Church St.Vegetarian restaurant.
- Zen Gardens, Mountain Rd. Unique Asian vegetarian restaurant.
Taj Mahal Flavour of Indiaaddress: 882 Main St.Indian, mughlai, and tandoori cuisine. First family-owned and -operated Indian restaurant in Moncton, since 2003.
Mexicali RosasVery good Mexican cuisine.
Old Triangleaddress: 751 Main StIrish pub.
phone: +1 506 854-2537address: 131 Mill Road
St. James' Gatephone: +1 506 388-4283address: 14 Church StGood food and spirits, an awesome place to have a drink.
Oxygen Complexphone: +1 506 854-0265address: 125 WestmorlandHas two other venues in the complex: the Paramount Lounge & tge Manhattan. Great place for live bands.
Cosmoaddress: 700 Main stAll kinds of events go on here. New and fun: jam nights on Thursdays- starts at 10:30PM.
Zen GardenBiggest selection of tea. Healthy drinks
Navigator's Pubphone: +1 506 854-8427address: 191 Robinson StreetIrish-style pub. Bilingual staff, draft special.
phone: +1 506 857-8779address: 234 St GeorgeGay and lesbian bar. Dance floor, cheap drinks, pool tables.
address: 47 Fleet Street
- Delta Beausejour, Main Street. In the heart of downtown, close to restaurants and pubs. Some rooms have views of the Petitcodiac. Indoor pool with the largest waterslide in the Maritimes. $151-$272 per night.
- Crowne Plaza Hotel, Main St. across from Highfield.
- Rodd Moncton, Main St. $90-$168. Rooftop pool during summer months.
- Chateau Moncton, independent hotel modeled after a chateau, located on the Petitcodiac River on Main Street. Many rooms have excellent views of the river, which is steps away.
- Best Western, located on Lewisville Road.
- Super 8, located in Dieppe and within walking distance from the Airport.
- Lewisville Road, Shediac Rd, Lewisville.
- Holiday Inn, Mountain Rd.
- Marriott Residence Inn, Main St. $166-$255 per night.
address: 1062 Mountain Road
phone: +1 506 389-1718address: 1650 Main StBilingual, credit card only
- Moncton Public Library, 644 Main St, hours: 10AM-5/9PM, Wifi+shared computer
- Starbuck on Main st/Church st (wifi & plug)
- Moncton has blanket Wi-Fi in many areas (including Main St, City Hall Plaza, Assomption Plaza, Riverfront Park): http://www.moncton.ca/wifi/
Hopewell RocksWalk on the ocean floor thanks to the Bay of Fundy's high tides (second highest in the world.) Truly a fabulous sight. Bring your camera. Check the website for the low-tide time, and get there within three hours on either side of low tide to see the islands best. (Kayaking is available if the tide's high.) A nice 10-minute walk through the woods takes you to a large stairwell to the ocean floor, where you can easily walk among a half-dozen enormous (more than 30 m high) columns of fir tree-topped sandstone islands. A golf-cart shuttle can whisk you back to the park information facility, which features a good explanation of how the islands came to be, a snack bar and gift shop. The ride from Moncton is about 45 minutes. Entrance to Fundy National Park is another 30 minutes but definitely worthwhile in good weather.
- Fredericton - historic capital of New Brunswick.
- Bay of Fundy - Fundy National Park offers great hiking and camping.
- Saint John - Oldest incorporated city in Canada with various attractions such as Reversing Falls.
- Prince Edward Island
- Many sites in Nova Scotia. Halifax is 2½ hours drive east of Moncton.