Christmas was very difficult for many people in Saint John this year due to power outages lasting days due to an ice storm. Fortunately, my family was not affected. Continue reading
A few months ago, I blogged some images of my hometown of Saint John, New Brunswick in its best summer colours. While home for a Christmas visit, I toured the city again, this time with my uncle and in frigid cold weather!
The city has changed a lot over the years, but much beauty is still around for the determined photographer.
Again, the Loyalist Burial Ground catches my eye. Continue reading
Years of travel around the world have made grow even fonder of the beauty and character of the buildings in Saint John, New Brunswick. Not only are these structures special in their appearance, many also have a significant history behind them spanning generations, and stories that could be told forever.
Sadly, the city does not appreciate the treasures that line its streets as they have demonstrated willingness to destroy it due to “lack of need”, arson, or sheer empathy from community leaders and citizens.
I would like to share some of my favourite images captured during my visit to my hometown this summer.
This view from Fort Howe, one of the city’s tallest points, is dominated by a large (and mostly empty) viaduct leading into the city. A few decades ago, this area was filled with many blocks of residential neighbourhoods that were removed during urban renewal. Harbour Station (centre-left) takes its name from an old train station that occupied its side, and the harbour itself which filled much of the valley centuries ago before it was filled in.
A couple enjoys the fountain in the Loyalist Burial Grounds, the city’s original burial ground. It was closed as a cemetery in 1848, and has been a place to relax lined with trees and gardens ever since.
All of these buildings served many functions in their past, but they have been restored and repurposed for storefronts and restaurants. At night, the street in this whole area is buzzing with night life.
Prince William Street in the Trinity Royal Preservation Area is home to many heritage buildings like this one that add so much character to the area.
Another old brick building shows its age very well.
Local memorabilia is on display for cruise ship visitors, and locals of course, who come into Barbour’s General Store.
While the owner hasn’t fully maintained the original facade of this building, it’s unique shape and brick work are still beautiful and very much intact.
My high school’s current building was built in the 1930’s during the Great Depression, but even then, it seems that plain wasn’t an option for Saint John. Inside this beautiful facade, visitors are greeted with a granite staircase and portraits of past principals. Saint John High School is actually Canada’s first publicly funded school beginning as the Saint John Grammar School in 1805.
German Street almost feels like a tunnel with many tall trees overhead. Dozens of old heritage homes occupy small lots and fetch prices typically only seen in much larger cities.
The vacant Paramount Theatre doesn’t look like much on the outside these days, but it was once an attraction that brought in people from all over Atlantic Canada to view events. Many have rallied to save the old theatre, going so far as to even create a documentary that aired on CBC. A business plan was created to make use of both theatre spaces inside as well as the lobby for a cafe. Sadly though, the $3.5 million needed to get the project started hasn’t become available. The owner is on track to destroy this former jewel, and convert it into a parking lot. This is unconscionable to me given its potential.
The new Hans W. Klohn Commons building at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John is one of the newest additions to the city’s roster of architecturally significant buildings. Its design proves that there are still some community leaders around that care about beauty in addition to function. I only hope it is a sign of things to come.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my brief tour of the city.
Here are some photos from my Christmas with the family at home in Saint John.
The kitchen is all ready for Christmas.
Me and my sister
My sister and my grandmother
While home for a summer visit to Saint John, I did the usual tour of my favourite places. Tired of capturing just pictures, I created a video tour of the city. Hopefully you will enjoy it as much as I do. Sadly, I did not have enough time to include everything that I believe fully represents Saint John, but I hit on many of the areas that are important to me.
Also check out some photos I took in a separate blog post.
While home in Saint John for a summer visit, I took photos around town as I usually do. I also created a video which I have entered in a separate blog post.
Here are some of my favourites:
I have probably taken this shot before in Rockwood Park, but I don’t care. It always looks beautiful.
From a fairly remote area of the park, I took this photo overlooking Lily Lake with a view of Uptown.
The St. John River as seen from UNBSJ is always a beautiful site.
The clock donated by Irving is a wonderful addition to the foot of King Street. The architecture of Brunswick House behind makes it even better. It was made by the Electric Time Company.
Uptown during a work day is generally a quiet place when there are no tourists. These guys are always outside, though!
This view of Saint John Harbour reminds us that this is a working port, even though the major tourist attractions are not far away.
Check out my Saint John tour video in my other blog post.
This month, I returned to Saint John for a visit. Of course, I tried to time this to occur in July when the Port City usually has less than horrible weather. I was in luck on a few sunny days and went out with my camera.
There are some very nice, well kept homes in Millidgeville. I was drawn to the colour of this house. Hopefully no one saw me, wondering why I’m randomly taking a picture of this house.
From this shot in the North End, Saint John looks quite dense! However, what you don’t see here is the large open area of mostly-empty highway lanes and roads in between the buildings in the foreground and the uptown high rises in the distance.
Uptown Saint John!
The view from Harbour Passage is somehow one of the most scenic you can find anywhere on the ground in the city, even though there isn’t anything entirely unusual in this area.
Measure twice, cut once! Work is progressing on the Market Square expansion to add new office space. From where this guy is standing, it’s a long way down if something goes wrong!
Someone’s porch has a nice, decorative clock on the patio of their uptown condo. I can’t imagine actually wanting to sit here though simply because people like me are always walking or driving by.
On the first sunny day in a while, Saint John Harbour is entirely void of any cruise ships. Oops. I liked the lines visible in this photo. This same picture should (hopefully) look entirely different in 10 years because the coast goard site at the left will hopefully be redeveloped. Many the city will find a way to actually use the new cruise ship terminal properly and get rid of that tacky white tent too. While we’re at, they could condemn the Canada “Customs Building” (which actually has no customs offices inside anymore) for unsightly premises. It is ugly!
Barbour’s General Store is looking nice at its new location across from city hall. This building has moved many times in its history. It must have a solid structure! The Brunswick House office tower is visible in the window reflections.
A horse chows down at Rockwood Park. It seemingly has no problem living off the system.
A lifeguard seat is empty at Fisher Lakes. Actually, there was lots of people at this beach behind me. This was the last photo I took in Saint John while home, just a couple hours before I hopped on my plane to go back to Calgary.
In total seriousness on April 1st, the NB Minister of Education, Kelly Lamrock, announced that he had decided to keep the North End schools open (an issue I declared my stance on in a previous blog post). This is despite the fact that education council members at the local level recommended to close the two schools.
Lamrock’s reasoning was that these were community schools, and removing them would “disempower” the communities. Plus, money isn’t everything, and there’s a projected population boom coming, soooo, not such a good time to close schools. Duh. Still, the decision was shocking because Lamrock actually listened to people (of reason) who are not being used to listened to.
It was only a few years ago that the school district argued for these two schools to become community schools, a special status under the provincial government, because of their importance to the community. To argue that we don’t need these schools anymore a short time later is wrong and stupid, and, if this were a commercial company involved, grounds for fraud. It is simply horrible that any of these people supported closing the schools. I wonder if any of these ever walk through the North End, with a purpose other than a photo shoot as seen in my last blog post.
Money and supposedly better facilities at a bigger building is always declared as a benefit of closing smaller schools. However, this was a unique situation where this argument does not apply.
While Millidgeville North has green fields nearby, so do Lorne School and Hazen-White. Lorne, one of the city’s newest school buildings actually, uses the city-owned Shamrock Park down the street, which is about a distance equal to the distance between the Millidgeville North building and its green fields. Furthermore, students living near their middle school can attend after school activities, something you cannot do when you need to catch a bus home right after school. Lorne actually has a city community centre attached to it.
There are some stupid mothers in Millidgeville who are disappointed that the schools are staying open because they are afraid their precious children are going to end up in trouble by going to a school in a neighbourhood where the police are taking active action against crime. There was a police raid. It was actually great for students. While the police were outside making the streets safer, all the students were kept safe inside, enjoying free pizza provided by the police. To the average middle school student, especially in a poorer neighbourhood, this was probably the highlight of a week. If you asked the average middle school student if they’d be in favour of more police action to make the neighbourhood safer that keeps them inside enjoying free pizza, I’m sure the results would be heavily slanted towards… YES.
So the more police action happening, dear beloved concerned mothers of Millidgeville, the safer your precious children will be. Besides, this is a city issue, and all the same types of issues affect all schools. A larger school, such as Millidgeville North Middle School, would have been probably been a larger centre of these problems, simply due to a larger student population.
By the way, I am qualified to speak on all sides of this issue. I grew up in Millidgeville, and I attended Lorne School and was regularly encouraged by the teachers there. I got good marks, and went on to graduate from Saint John High School with High Honours, and graduate in the First Division with a university degree in Computer Science. I am now pursuing my Master of Computer Science. My most recent school project has resulted in me receiving calls from media all over the world looking for interviews.
It’s too bad that I went to Lorne School in the North End and not a “better” school. I might have actually amounted to something.