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King’s Square: Saint John’s Historic Heartbeat

Where History Meets Harmony

King's Square in Saint John lies in the heart of uptown, serving as a remarkable testament to the city's rich heritage. Established in 1785, just a year following the formation of New Brunswick, this historic urban park was named in honor of King George III. Today, it stands not only as a serene retreat in the bustling city but also as a living museum, encapsulating the essence of Saint John's storied past.

A Tribute to Heritage and History

King's Square is often celebrated as one of Canada's most memorable urban squares. It is a place where the tranquility of nature beautifully intertwines with the echoes of history. As visitors stroll through its pathways, they are walking in the footsteps of generations past. The park's design pays a subtle yet profound homage to the city's Loyalist founders, with its pathways intricately arranged to mirror the British Union flag.

 

An Iconic Landmark: The King Edward VII Memorial Bandstand

Dominating the centre of King's Square is the majestic King Edward VII Memorial Bandstand. This two-storey edifice, adorned with a copper roof and an elegant metal framework, was a generous gift from the City Coronet Band in 1909. It not only serves as a focal point of the park but also as a symbol of the enduring legacy of King Edward VII.

 

Surrounded by Cultural Icons

The square is encircled by several significant buildings that add to its cultural and historical ambiance. These include the Saint John City Market, the Imperial Theatre, and the Admiral Beatty Hotel - each with its own unique story and contribution to the city's tapestry.

 

 

Monuments of Remembrance and Honour

Scattered throughout the park are various monuments and plaques, each telling a tale of bravery, sacrifice, and significant contributions to the city’s heritage. Among these is a monument dedicated to Charles Gorman, a celebrated local speed skater who competed in the 1924 and 1928 Winter Olympics. Another poignant memorial is the 20-foot-tall monument honouring the young hero, John Frederick Young, who tragically lost his life while attempting to save a boy in 1890. Additionally, “The Loyalist Cross” stands as a tribute to the province's first settlers, unveiled on New Brunswick’s 150th anniversary in 1934.

 

Resilience and Restoration

In 2019, Hurricane Dorian left its mark on King's Square, causing the loss of five of its nearly two-century-old trees. In a display of resilience and commitment to preservation, seven new maple trees were planted in 2021, symbolizing the ongoing efforts to maintain the park's natural beauty and historical significance.

 

A Living Legacy

King's Square is more than just a park; it's a vibrant piece of Saint John's living history. It represents a harmonious blend of natural beauty, historical significance, and urban charm. As visitors wander its pathways, sit by the bandstand, or simply enjoy the shade of its towering trees, they are partaking in a legacy that has been cherished for generations. King's Square remains a cornerstone of Saint John's cultural and historical landscape, inviting everyone to experience a piece of New Brunswick's rich and colourful past.