Great places to live: New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island

Saint John, New Brunswick
Saint John is situated on the Bay of Fundy at the mouth of the Saint John River. The population of 74,000 takes pride in the city’s roots as a Loyalist refuge after the American Revolution and as Canada’s first incorporated city.

Watching the weather
Average Jan. temp (daily mean): -8.1 C
Average July temp (daily mean): 17.1 C
Annual rainfall: 1,147.9 mm
Annual snowfall: 256.9 cm

Setting up house
Bungalow: $121,500
Standard two-storey: $155,800
Condominium: $87,500
Monthly rent on a two-bedroom apartment: $504
(Sources: The Royal LePage Survey of Canadian House Prices 2003; CHMC Rental Market Report 2003)

Getting around
Bus service is provided through the Saint John Transit Commission – 19 routes, 14 of which are in use on Saturdays and two of which are on Sundays and holidays. Saint John Airport hosts international and regional flights, and Via serves the city regularly.

Enjoying your life
Celebrations 1604-2004 honours the00th anniversary of the discovery and naming of the St. John River. Annual festivals salute jazz and blues, buskers, Shakespeare’s plays and St. John’s Acadian heritage. hearing assistance is provided at the beautifully restored 1913 Imperial Theatre, and there’s more entertainment and art at the St. John Centre. Continuing education classes at the University of New Brunswick’s St. John campus and New Brunswick Community College are mind-flexing. The city’s museum, Canada’s oldest, has a Hall of Whales that will enthral grandchildren. The Old City Market, near upscale stores in the city’s heart, is a treasure chest of fresh food. Calories can be burned off skating at several arenas or swimming in the Canada Games Aquatic Centre. Harbour Station provides an exciting 6,000-seat venue for hockey, figure skating and trade shows. Cherry Brook Zoo helps promote conservation and has a native medicine herb garden while the Irving Nature Park focuses on the circle of life at the Bay of Fundy shore. St. John boasts five golf courses within a half-hour’s drive, including public golfing at the 18-hole Rockwood Park Golf Course and Aquatic Driving Range, 10 minutes from the city.

Calling the doctor
• There are two hospitals, the largest being Saint John Regional Hospital, a 529-bed acute-care teaching hospital offering state-of-the-art medical services with specialty services, including eye, ear, nose and throat, orthopedics, and rheumatology rehabilitation. St. Joseph’s Hospital is a general health-care facility with opthamology and day surgery as well as a geriatric medicine program.
• More than 100 family physicians, 141 specialists and 68 dentists in the entire health region.
• Long-term care: the health region has 13 elderly care LTC facilities.
• St. Joseph’s Hospital houses the Breast Health Clinic (506-632-5555) with stereotactic biopsy capability as well as an accredited eye bank.

What they’re saying
“There is so much about Saint John to enjoy: the Imperial Theatre, Saint John City Market, Irving Nature Park, Rockwood Park, Marathon by the Sea, Loyalist Days and the many other events this city by the bay has to offer. Your days are filled from dawn to dusk. It’s a great city, and I love living here.” Marilyn Upton

Provincial fact
New Brunswick reported the lowest break-in rate of all the provinces in 2002.

Next page: Summerside, Prince Edward Island

Summerside, P.E.I.
Summerside, population 15,000, has long been a major tourist destination in eastern Canada and a leading commercial centre in the province. Now, interest is rising in this city on the sunny southern side of the island as a place to live the good life.

Watching the weather
Average Jan. temp (daily mean): -7.9 C
Average July temp (daily mean): 19.1 C
Annual rainfall: 806.0 mm
Annual snowfall: 281.7 cm

Setting up house
Bungalow: $101,000
Standard two-storey: $120,000
Condominium: While they aren’t big sellers in Summerside now, local realtor Rick Dufresne of Century 21 Northumberland Realty predicts interest will grow in the next few years; construction of a new complex on the waterfront begins soon.
Monthly rent on a two-bedroom apartment: $500 to $550

Getting around
In-town travel is restricted to taxis, but bus service is expected eventually, launching with a seniors’ bus route. Charlottetown Airport is the closest for international and regional flights. Bus service is offered over Confederation Bridge.

Enjoying your life
A talent show, lobster suppers, harness racing and a midway are just some of the action during Summerside’s Lobster Festival. This year, Acadie de l’Île en Fête will mark 400 years of Acadian settlement. Celtic heritage is celebrated at the College of Piping all summer, beginning with the Summerside Highland Gathering. Lunchtime films screen weekly at the Eptek Art and Cultural Centre, which also has local and national art exhibits. The LeFurgey Cultural Centre, an artisans’ co-operative, has fine crafts. Harness horse racing is popular at the Summerside Raceway. Skaters and hockey players keep Cahill Stadium and Steele Arena busy. Binoculars help identify the multitude of birds during walks along Confederation Trail. One of the oldest maintained gardens on the continent can be found at the Holman Homestead. It’s also home to the International Fox Museum, which details Summerside’s former fur industry. The Silver Fox Curling and Yacht Club has year-round activity. Golf is a premier attraction on P.E.I.; the championship 18-hole Summerside Golf and Country Club overlooks the city’s harbour.

Calling the doctor
• Prince County Hospital is a 112-bed acute-care facility providing services in surgery, internal medicine, obstetrics, pediatrics, psychiatry, radiology, pathology, endoscopy, anesthesia, rehabilitation, oncology, and emergency.
• Summerside Medical Centre (clinic), physiotherapy clinic.
• 19 family physicians, 21 specialists, 10 dentists.
• Long-term facilities: Summerset Manor has 119 beds; Wedgewood Manor has 75 beds.

What they’re saying
“We moved to Summerside in 1975 on a two-year trial basis for three reasons: to escape the concrete jungle; to focus on life quality issues rather than the pressures of a high-intensity urban lifestyle; and to settle in a safe community for our children’s formative years. We are now at the 29-year mark, and we have found Summerside continues to offer the lifestyle and quality of life we prefer. Those of you seeking family-oriented, lower-stress lives should explore the Summerside option.”  Gregg Guptill