Dalhousie, New Brunswick

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Official seal of Dalhousie
Dalhousie is located in New Brunswick
Location within New Brunswick.
Coordinates: 48°04′N 66°22′W / 48.06°N 66.37°W / 48.06; -66.37
Country Canada
Province New Brunswick
County Restigouche
Parish Dalhousie
Founded 1827
Town Status 1905
Electoral Districts   

Provincial Dalhousie-Restigouche East
 • Type Dalhousie Town Council
 • Mayor Clem Tremblay
 • Land 14.51 km2 (5.60 sq mi)
Population (2011)[2]
 • Total 3,512
 • Density 242.1/km2 (627/sq mi)
 • Pop 2006-2011 Decrease 4.5%
 • Dwellings 1,816
Time zone AST (UTC−4)
 • Summer (DST) ADT (UTC−3)
Postal code(s) E8C
Area code(s) 506
Highways Route 134
Route 275
Website www.dalhousienb.com

Dalhousie is a Canadian town located in Restigouche County, New Brunswick.[3]


Dalhousie, N.B., looking toward Restigouche River, circa 1900

Dalhousie is the shire town of Restigouche County and dates European settlement to 1800. The Town of Dalhousie has been through some very distinct periods between its founding in 1825 and today. Prior to 1825, few showed much interest in the northern part of the province, but in that year the Great Miramichi Fire raged through central New Brunswick and into Maine, destroying the forests that were the mainstay of the province's economy. Lumbermen looked north to the great pine stands of the Nipisiguit and the Restigouche.[4]

Dalhousie, located at the mouth of the Restigouche, began to grow. Soon it was a booming town and became the Shiretown of the newly created Restigouche County. Lumber and fishing were the main interests, although agriculture was more important in the early days than it is today.[4]

Lumber Sawmill Workers in Dalhousie, N.B., circa 1900

Dalhousie was the leading town of the area until the arrival of the railway following confederation. With steep hills at its back, the Intercolonial Railway (ICR) bypassed the town while its nearby rival, Campbellton, surged ahead. That would be the situation until the late 1920s, when Dalhousie was picked as the site of a giant paper mill. The International Paper Company built what was then one of the largest newsprint mills in the world and the town changed forever. From 1929 on, the mill would dominate life in Dalhousie.[4]

Parents of some of our older citizens would tell their children that, in some ways, it was a better town before the mill. Certainly the mill is one of the town's most imposing features. It occupies much of one side of the main street, blocking access to and even views of the shore. Dalhousie has been called "a waterfront town without a waterfront." The mill also meant that the town had a high average income. It brought a new and different kind of prosperity. Still, Dalhousie was in the situation of many one-industry towns – dependent on the success of that one main sector of its economy.[4] (For information concerning the 2008 mill closure, see Economy section)

The hilly town site was first laid out in 1826 with the first settlement established by Scottish settlers in 1827. It was named after the 9th Earl of Dalhousie, who was then the governor of both Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Some Acadians displaced in the Great Upheaval also settled in Dalhousie, and to this day there is a very close balance between anglophones and francophones. Many of the present residents can trace ancestry back to the original European settlers in the region. The Eel River Bar First Nation, adjacent to Dalhousie, is home to many Micmac natives, who were the original residents of the region.

Dalhousie was officially incorporated in 1905. It has been, the past, referred to as a Papertown.

Dalhousie is the most northern point in New Brunswick, and thus is in the Maritime provinces. It is situated in the Restigouche River valley at the tongue of the river where it discharges into Chaleur Bay. The valley lies in a hilly region, part of the Appalachian mountain range, although the Dalhousie town site is situated on a hill side several decameters above sea level with some development to its south on a low ridge of approximately 260 metres elevation. The town is surrounded by salt and fresh water bodies, which are home to many species of wildlife, unique birds, and fish. The area is rich in natural resources.

Dalhousie faces Miguasha, Quebec on the Gaspé Peninsula to the north. The city of Campbellton lies 20 km (12 mi) upriver to the west and the city of Bathurst is approximately 80 km (50 mi) southeast along the shore of Chaleur Bay. There are no major centres south of Dalhousie as this is the undeveloped and heavily forested geographic centre of the province.



Historical Census Data - Dalhousie, New Brunswick[7]
Year Pop. ±%
1901 862 —    
1911 1,650 +91.4%
1921 1,958 +18.7%
1931 3,974 +103.0%
1941 4,508 +13.4%
Year Pop. ±%
1951 4,939 +9.6%
1961 5,856 +18.6%
1981 5,707 −2.5%
1986 5,363 −6.0%
1991 4,775 −11.0%
Year Pop. ±%
1996 4,500 −5.8%
2001 3,975 −11.7%
2001A 3,928 −1.2%
2006 3,676 −6.4%
2011 3,512 −4.5%
(A) adjustment due to boundary change.


Canada Census Mother Tongue - Dalhousie, New Brunswick[7]
Census Total
English & French
Year Responses Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop % Count Trend Pop %
1,710 Decrease 0.3% 51.51% 1,520 Decrease 13.6% 45.78% 75 Increase 150.0% 2.26% 15 Decrease 66.7% 0.45%
1,715 Decrease 13.2% 48.31% 1,760 Increase 0.6% 49.58% 30 Decrease 60.0% 0.84% 45 Increase 28.6% 1.27%
1,975 Decrease 9.6% 51.50% 1,750 Decrease 13.6% 45.63% 75 Decrease 50.0% 1.96% 35 Increase 133.3% 0.91%
2,185 n/a 49.94% 2,025 n/a 46.29% 150 n/a 3.43% 15 n/a 0.34%


Climate data for Dalhousie
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) −7
Average low °C (°F) −18
Precipitation mm (inches) 76
Source: Weatherbase [8]


Past Industrial view of Dalhousie

Until January 31, 2008, the economy was dominated by the forestry industry, namely a large pulp and paper mill spanning the waterfront along the Restigouche River. This mill was built to produce newsprint by the New Brunswick International Paper Co. in 1928 (a subsidiary of International Paper). Dalhousie was prosperous for many decades due to the mill and the employment opportunities it created.

The mill underwent ownership changes in 1980, when Oji Paper Co. Ltd. and Mitsui & Co. of Japan purchased 33 per cent of the mill . They grouped it under the name Canadian International Paper and 1991, when it was purchased by Canadian Pacific Limited (who grouped it under their Canadian Pacific Forest Products subsidiary), and again in 1994 (when CPFP changed to become Avenor Inc.). In 1998 Bowater purchased the Dalhousie newsprint mill from Avenor who renamed the mill "Bowater Maritimes Inc.".

The 2007 merger of Bowater and Abitibi Consolidated resulted in the decision by the newly merged company to announce the closure of the Dalhousie newsprint mill on November 29, 2007 due to apparent market conditions. The mill, which produced 640 tonnes of newsprint per day for shipment by rail, truck and ship to domestic and international markets, was officially closed on January 31, 2008. Consequently the economy of the town of Dalhousie is facing uncertainty during the post-industrial adjustment. Due to the closure of this mill, hundreds were left without work in the local economy and were forced to move. The mill has since been completely demolished.

Following the closure of the pulp and paper mill in 2008, Pioneer Chemicals closed a processing plant on the western edge of the town. As a result of the closures of these industries, the New Brunswick East Coast Railway and its subsequent owner CN Rail announced that it was declaring the railway spur into the town surplus. However, a deal was struck between CN and the Port of Dalhousie for this section of line to remain open under a leasing agreement ( November 2011)

The town's only remaining industry is the Dalhousie Generating Station, a thermal power plant operated by NB Power, which is in the process of being decommissioned. While there are several smaller employers, the largest employer in the town at the current time is the Dalhousie Nursing Home.


The town benefits from its geography by having a deep sea port located adjacent to the pulp and paper mill.

It is also served by the New Brunswick East Coast Railway and is located on the Highway 11 arterial highway. Via Rail Canada provides passenger train service 6 days/week with stops at Charlo immediately east of the town and in Campbellton to the west.

The Charlo Airport is located several kilometres east of the town for private and charter service with scheduled air service available at the Bathurst Airport.


Dalhousie has two elementary schools (Académie Notre Dame and L.E.Reinsborough), one middle school (Dalhousie Middle School), and two high schools (Dalhousie Regional High School and École Aux Quatre Vents).


Christianity is the dominant religion, with the Roman Catholic Church being the largest denomination. Protestant denominations include the Anglican Church of Canada, United Church of Canada, Presbyterian Church in Canada and several evangelical groups.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Government of New Brunswick website: Dalhousie
  2. ^ a b c 2011 Statistics Canada Census Profile: Dalhousie, New Brunswick
  3. ^ New Brunswick Provincial Archives - Dalhousie
  4. ^ a b c d http://www.museevirtuel.ca/pm_v2.php?id=exhibit_home&fl=0&lg=Francais&ex=00000587&pg=0
  5. ^ "2006 Community Profiles". Canada 2006 Census. Statistics Canada. March 30, 2011. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  6. ^ "2001 Community Profiles". Canada 2001 Census. Statistics Canada. February 17, 2012. Retrieved 2014-03-16. 
  7. ^ a b Statistics Canada: 1996, 2001, 2006, 2011 census
  8. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Dalhousie, New Brunswick". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved on November 24, 2011.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 48°06′N 66°37′W / 48.100°N 66.617°W / 48.100; -66.617 (Dalhousie, New Brunswick)