Fredericton, New BrunswickFredericton has a very robust and stable economy making for an excellent real estate market with little fluctuation. With Fredericton being the capital of New Brunswick and home to two large universities, Fredericton provides a very comfortable standard of living with a variety of housing options including family homes, executive homes, condos and townhouses. Depending on the area, age and size of the home, housing prices run from $100,000 to $1,000,000 with the average home selling price for the Fredericton Real Estate Board area being $180,000.
Fredericton is the capital of the Canadian province of New Brunswick. Fredericton is an important cultural, artistic and educational centre for the province and Fredericton Real Estate is a big part of this importance. Fredericton boasts two universities - the University of New Brunswick and the liberal arts focused St. Thomas University. Fredericton is also home to cultural institutions such as the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, many Fredericton Real Estate institutions, the York-Sunbury Museum and The Playhouse. Fredericton is home to the annual Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival every fall which attracts regional and international jazz and blues artists. The city also contains a growing IT and commercial sector. The city boasts the highest percentage of residents with a post-secondary education in the province and one of the highest per capita incomes. The population of the city of Fredericton is 48,000 (greater Fredericton 81,346, both per the 2001 census), although unofficial reports suggest a number closer to 50,750 (greater Fredericton 84,523) due to the student population which is often not counted in official censuses. Fredericton real estate is an important aspect of this population increase. The first major expansion of the city occurred on July 1, 1945 when it amalgamated with the town of Devon. Fredericton real estate experienced a great boom at this time. Today the city of Fredericton comprises Fredericton proper, and the boroughs of Silverwood, Nashwaaksis, Barker's Point and Marysville, which were incorporated into the city in 1973.
The City of Fredericton is bisected by the Saint John River - this creates distinctive regions of the city characterized as "The Northside" and the "Southside." The Southside is characterized by a downtown core consisting of provincial government departments, historical buildings, and numerous business establishments, banks, and law firms. Downtown also hosts many of the city's cultural attractions such as The Playhouse, the York-Sunbury Museum, and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, to name a few. Many notable historical buildings are also located in or near downtown, including many grand Victorian-era residences, the Provincial Legislature Building, and Christchurch Cathederal. South of downtown the city's elevation rises along a gently sloping hill (part of the river valley feature of the city where there is another sloping hill on the Northside). This "Hill area" of the city consists of many middle to upper income neighbourhoods, leading some to dub it "sirloin hill" or "mortgage hill", in reference to the higher housing costs. The "Hill Area" also includes an area known as "College Hill", where the adjoining campuses of the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University are located, slightly southeast of the downtown area. South of the universities is the Doctor Everett Chalmers Hospital, the main hospital serving central/western New Brunswick. East of the universities is the Skyline Acres/Southwood Park area - a growing suburban district of the city. Further east - on the eastern city limits - is the Industrial Park consisting of box stores, wholesalers, and warehouses. Southwest of downtown, in the Hill area, is a large preserved forested area - O'Dell Park. Its trails and wooded areas are a favourite for hiking, jogging and cross country skiing for city residents. West of the park is the Hanwell Road, Golf Club Road, and Silverwood neighbourhoods consisting largely of suburban residences. South of the "Hill Area" - where it plateaus, is a sizeable shopping district consisting of two Malls - The Fredericton Mall and The Regent Mall as well as numerous other retail outlets.
The City's "Northside" consists of several boroughs which were at one time separate communities. These include Devon, Nashwaaksis, Marysville and Barker's Point. These communities are largely suburban neighbourhoods and retail outlets. Union Street, which runs just north of the Saint John River includes numerous retail outlets as well as an eclectic array of businesses including IT firms, law firms, and real estate agents, among others. Also located on the Northside is the Brookside Mall - one of Fredericton's major retail outlets. Also on the northside is Marysville which is Canada's only intact British-style Mill town. Built in the 19th century under the direction of mill owner and businessman Alexander "Boss" Gibson, Marysville grew into a prosperous Mill town with an ideal location along a tributary of the Saint John River. Marysville still retains many British style dwellings as well as the original Mill which has since been converted to provincial government offices. The Northside is also home to the Saint Mary's First NationAboriginal reserve, which includes a community centre and a shopping centre along with private residences. During the Christmas season, residences of the Saint Mary's First Nations sport some of the most colourful and creative decorations in the city.
Climate and Geography
Fredericton is located in the middle of the Saint John River valley, with most of the city's post-war suburban development occurring on gently sloping hills on either side of the river, although the downtown core is flat and lies low to the river. At an altitude of approximately 17 metres above sea level, the city of Fredericton is embedded in the Pennsylvanian Basin and it contrasts markedly from the geologically older parts of the province. Roughly, there are two distinct areas in the region that are divided around Wilsey Road, in the east end of the city. In one area the underlying bedrock is topographically dominant whereas the other is controlled byPleistocene and recent deposits leading to the rivers in the area being shallow and wide. Fredericton and its surroundings are rich in water resources, which, coupled with highly arable soil, make the Fredericton region ideal for agriculture.
The Saint John River and one of its major tributaries, the Nashwaak River, come together in Fredericton. The uninhabited parts of the city are heavily forested. Fredericton enjoys a mild climate compared to most of Canada, although its location away from the coastline means it is more prone to extreme temperatures than most other major cities in Atlantic Canada. The average January lowtemperature is -15°C; while the average high in July and August is 26°C.  The city gets a fair amount of precipitation, although major paralyzing snow and rain storms such as blizzards andhurricanes are uncommon compared to more coastal cities likeMoncton or Halifax (but do happen on occasion). On average, Fredericton receives approximately 1100 mm of precipitation per year. Snowfall is common between late November and early April, and snow usually stays on the ground beginning in December. Flooding occurs during the spring of most years on area rivers and affects the city's low lying neighbourhoods.
Fredericton's status as an educational centre is evident in the city's two degree granting universities: the University of New Brunswick and St. Thomas University. The University of New Brunswick - commonly abbreviated UNB - was founded in 1785 and - along with the University of Georgia - is the oldest public university in North America. Built in 1826, UNB's Old Arts Building is the oldest university building still in use in Canada. UNB also houses Renaissance College which is a leading elite leadership training institution in New Brunswick. UNB houses a Faculty of Law which is one of two Anglophone common-law schools in Atlantic Canada. Saint Thomas University is the province's only Catholic university and has been located in Fredericton since 1964, when it moved from its Chatham, New Brunswick campus. Commonly abbreviated as STU, it is a leading liberal arts university that boasts programs in gerontology, criminology, journalism, social work, native studies, and education.
Adding to Fredericton's cultural and artistic life is the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design which houses the province's leading programs in photography and visual arts. The New Brunswick Community College maintains a small campus in Fredericton providing two year degree programs oriented to quick entry into the job market however NBCC's major campuses are located in other communities. The Maritime College of Forest Technology maintains its English-language campus in the city; MCFT is a small post-secondary school training students from across the Maritime provinces. Fredericton is home to two public high schools. Fredericton High School, which was once the largest school in the Commonwealth of Nations, primarily serves students living on Fredericton's south side. It is also one of the oldest public high schools in Canada tracing its beginnings to 1785 - having celebrated its bicentennial in 1985.
Fredericton High School is home to several important sports teams - including basketball, hockey, soccer, and football - which dominated New Brunswick provincial high school sports championships during much of the 1980s and 1990s. Leo Hayes High School, which opened in 1999, primarily serves students living on Fredericton's north side. In addition, there are four middle schools, fourteen elementary schools and three private schools in the city. A recent issue with middle schools in the city has been the location of George Street Junior High and Albert Street Junior High close to the city centre. This fails to account for the city's changing demographic which has seen the growth of suburban neighbourhoods. Recent discussions have involved possibly closing down either George Street Junior High or Albert Street Junior High to replace them with a suburban Junior High School - possibly to be located in Skyline Acres in the Eastern part of the City.
Fredericton is also serviced by the French language École Sainte-Anne which provides K-12 French language education. École Sainte-Anne is in the same building as that used by the French community centre - the Centre communautaire Sainte-Anne, which also houses the French public library, and an amphitheatre. École Sainte-Anne is administered by a school district system separate from that which governs the English language schools in the city. Economy During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the lumber industry - with corresponding mills - were a primary sector of Fredericton's economy. Over the course of the 20th century, these industries declined and gave way to the provincial government and the universities being the primary employers in the city. The policies of centralizing provincial government functions during the 1960s under New Brunswick Premier Louis Robichaud-along with the expanded role of the public sector characteristic of the 1960s/70s - led to a sizeable expansion of the city's population. It was during these decades that the Hill area on the city's Southside was largely developed and bedroom communities such as New Maryland emerged.
The 1960s also saw an expansion of the University of New Brunswick - due to increased post-war university enrollments - as well as the construction of the Fredericton campus of Saint Thomas University. Also contributing to this expansion was the move of the Law School to the Fredericton area. This expansion of the post-secondary sector also contributed to Fredericton's population growth during the 1960s and 1970s. Since then, the city's population has continued to grow though at a slower rate due to slower growth of the government sector - along with hiring freezes and in some cases layoffs - during the Frank McKenna and Bernard Lord governments. In recent years, increased student enrollments at the city's universities have led to greater demand for rental property. This has led to the construction of new university residences and apartment buildings in the city and increased rates of rent - making them the highest rental rates in the province. It is due to the predominance of the universities and government in the city, that Fredericton has not been subjected to the severe economic fluctuations faced by other Atlantic Canadian cities that have had to deal with mill shutdowns and the decline of the fishing industry in recent decades. It is for this reason that Fredericton is one of the few Atlantic Canadian cities, along with Moncton and Halifax, Nova Scotia that has actually reported a population increase in recent years. Lately, the city has also tried to entice technology firms, with mixed success.
Several local IT companies have specialized in e-Learning services making Fredericton an e-Learning hub. The city has been investing actively in IT infrastructure. The City of Fredericton was recently the winner of the "Judges Innovation Award" at the 2004 C.I.P.A. (Canadian Information Productivity Awards) due to their "Fred-eZone" free municipality wide WiFi network initiative. This and other innovations by the city's utelco, e-Novations, led world-leading technology company Intel to do a case study on their successes. Fred-eZone spans much of the city’s downtown and parts of surrounding residential areas, as well as peripheral commercial areas such as Fredericton's Regent Mall. Recently, the New Brunswick government has been seeking to attract more immigrants to the province (and consequently the Fredericton area) to increase the labour force and compensate for an aging population. The Greater Fredericton Region has also established an investment attraction tool, Invest Greater Fredericton  , to provide investors and site selectors with one central source for economic information such as real estate, demographics, key industries and more.