From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
City of Edmundston at night
City of Edmundston at night
Flag of Edmundston
Edmundston is located in New Brunswick
Location of Edmundston in New Brunswick
Coordinates: 47°21′47″N 68°19′34″W / 47.36292°N 68.32603°W / 47.36292; -68.32603
Country  Canada
Province  New Brunswick
County Madawaska
Parish Madawaska
Established 1850
City April 1, 1952
Electoral Districts   

Provincial Edmundston-Saint Basile
 • Type City Council
 • Mayor Cyrille Simard
 • Councillors
 • Land 107.00 km2 (41.31 sq mi)
 • Urban 38.07 km2 (14.70 sq mi)
 • Metro 902.18 km2 (348.33 sq mi)
Highest elevation 264 m (866 ft)
Lowest elevation 151 m (495 ft)
Population (2011)[3]
 • City 16,032
 • Density 149.8/km2 (388/sq mi)
 • Urban 13,660
 • Urban density 358.8/km2 (929/sq mi)
 • Metro 21,442
 • Metro density 23.8/km2 (62/sq mi)
 • Change 2006-11 Decrease3.7 %
 • Census Ranking 232 of 5,008
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
 • Summer (DST) ADT (UTC-3)
Postal code(s) E3V, E7B
Area code(s)
Dwellings 7,861
Median Income* $42,551 CDN
NTS Map 021N08
Website www.ville.edmundston.nb.ca

Edmundston /ˈɛdməndstən/ is a Canadian city in Madawaska County, New Brunswick.[4]


Sir Edmund Walker Head.
Sir Edmund Walker Head, on behalf of whom the city of Edmundston was named.

During the early colonial period, the area was an important meeting place and hunting/fishing spot of the Maliseet (Wolastoqiyik) nation. A considerable sized village was located there around the turn of the 19th century. Formerly, the settlement was located around the falls at the confluence of the Madawaska-St. John Rivers; currently there is a federal reserve a few kilometres from Edmundston (St. Basile 10/Madawaska Maliseet First Nation). Originally named Petit-Sault (Little Falls) in reference to the waterfalls located where the Madawaska River merges into the Saint John River, the settlement was renamed Edmundston in 1851 after Sir Edmund Walker Head, who was Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick from 1848 to 1854 and Governor-General of Canada from 1854 to 1861.[5] Originally a small logging settlement, Edmundston's growth is mostly attributed to the city's strategic location.

Aroostook War and the "Republic of Madawaska"[edit]

Edmundston in 1872.
Edmundston in 1872.

The area was at the centre of the Aroostook War, a skirmish over boundary lines between the U.S.A. and what was then British North America. Originally confined to a disagreement between the State of Maine and the Colony of New Brunswick, the dispute eventually spread to involve the Government of the United States in Washington, DC and the British Colonial Administration in Quebec City, seat of the Governor General of Canada, who had supreme authority over all of British North America, including New Brunswick. In the wake of this international conflict, a small fortification (Fortin du Petit-Sault) was built in anticipation of a possible attack by the Americans,[6] to complement the much larger fortification located at Fort Ingall (now Cabano) in nearby Canada (now Quebec). One of the central figures at the origin of the conflict was American-born industrialist "Colonel" John Baker, who had established sawmills and other lumber-related industries on the eastern shores of the St. John river, an area claimed by the British that Baker wanted to be declared part of Maine as he was a fiercely nationalist American.

When the terms of the treaty that was signed following the conflict left Baker's properties firmly planted on British soil, and with the lack of support from the US Government to oppose the decision, Baker was facing the dilemma of either moving his facilities across the river on the American side, or to accept British sovereignty. Unwilling to do either, he declared the area an independent state called the "Republic of Madawaska," declaring himself head of state with the overwhelming support of the local, mostly French-speaking but independent-minded population. The "Republic" was never recognized and never had legal existence, but nevertheless the concept has remained so popular with the francophone Brayon residents on both the Canadian and American sides of the border that they refer to the region as the Republic of Madawaska to this day, and each mayor of Edmundston still receives the title of "President of the Republic of Madawaska." Baker's wife, Sophie Rice, designed the Republic's "eagle" flag that is still in use and a common sight in the area.


In 1998, Edmundston, Saint-Basile, Saint-Jacques and Verret merged to form the City of Edmundston. The nearby Village of St-Hilaire was supposed to amalgamate as well, but the province changed their minds as it would make the geographical size of the new city too large.


Edmundston is located at the edge of the New Brunswick "panhandle," nestled in the northeastern section of the Appalachian Mountains at the junction of the Saint John and Madawaska Rivers in the northwestern part of the province.

Edmundston is strategically situated only a few kilometres from the border with Quebec and on the border with the United States, opposite the town of Madawaska, Maine, to which it is connected by the Edmundston–Madawaska Bridge.


Historical populations
Year Pop.   ±%  
1871 400 —    
1911 1,821 +355.2%
1921 4,035 +121.6%
1931 6,430 +59.4%
1941 7,028 +9.3%
1951 10,753 +53.0%
1961 12,791 +19.0%
1971 12,365 −3.3%
1981 12,044 −2.6%
1986 11,497 −4.5%
1991 10,835 −5.8%
1996 11,033 +1.8%
2001 17,373 +57.5%
2006 16,643 −4.2%
2011 16,032 −3.7%
In 1998, Saint-Basile, Saint-Jacques, and Verret were annexed by the City of Edmundston.

Edmundston had a population of 16,643 people in 2006, which was a decrease of 4.2% from the 2001 census count (the first post-merger). The median household income in 2005 for Edmundston was $42,551, which is below the New Brunswick provincial average of $45,194.[7]

The city is 95 per cent francophone, the highest percentage of all cities in the province. Edmundston has the third-highest percentage of francophone speakers in North America outside of Quebec and Haiti, behind Clarence-Rockland, Ontario, which has a population exceeding 20,000 and is 68 per cent francophone, and Dieppe, which has a population of 18,565 (2006 Census) and is roughly 80 percent francophone. There are higher numbers of francophones in other Canadian cities outside the Province of Quebec such as Ottawa (122,665), Sudbury (45,420), Toronto (34,900), Winnipeg (26,855), Moncton (20,425), Timmins (17,390) and Edmonton (15,715), but francophones are a minority group in those cities. Unlike most other francophones living in the Maritimes, most people living in the Edmundston area do not consider themselves Acadians other than for statistical purposes. Most of them descend from French-Canadians who originally came from Lower Canada (now Quebec) along with a few Irish immigrants to settle the area in the century between 1820 and 1920, and absorbed the small group of Acadians who had arrived earlier. Nor do they consider themselves Québécois despite their heritage, mainly due to the politicization of Quebec-specific issues they do not feel concerned with. The local accent (colloquially called "l'accent brayon") is quite unique.


Christianity is the dominant religion of the city's inhabitants, with most residents being Roman Catholics. Moreover, Edmundston gives its name to the episcopal see of the region. Edmundston covers four Catholic parishes. Protestant denominations established in city include the Anglican Church of Canada, the United Church of Canada, the United Pentecostal Church International and a French Christian Church called Église de l'Espoir d'Edmundston. A relatively small number (±100) of Muslim immigrants and converts live in Edmundston and the surrounding area, practicing in their own community centre or mosque.[8]


Climate data for Edmundston
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 cm (inches) 8
Source: Weatherbase [9]


Forestry is one of the city's major industries, with several sawmills and paper plants in the vicinity, the largest being the Twin Rivers pulp mill, formerly owned by Fraser Papers. The Edmundston pulp mill is paired with a Twin RiversTemplate:Fraser Papers Progress Report 1980-Fraser's New off machine Blade coater Program paper mill directly across the Saint John River in Madawaska, Maine, through which liquified pulp slurry is piped — one of only two such installation anywhere along the Canada–United States border.

An illuminated sign and plastics manufacture owned by Pattison Sign is also important to the city's economy. IPL a company that manufactures plastic eating utensils has a facility in Edmundston.

The city is the site of the regional hospital for the area. There is a campus of the French language Uiniversity of Moncton in Edmundston. The New Brunswick Community colege system has a campus in Edmundston.

Arts and culture[edit]

Every June, Edmundston plays host to the Festival Jazz et Blues d'Edmundston (the Edmundston Jazz and Blues Festival).

Every year in August, there is a large cultural festival in Edmundston called the Foire Brayonne. The festival is one of the biggest French themed festivals held in Canada east of the province of Quebec.


The Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, in downtown Edmundston.

Edmundston hosts two provincial historial sites:

  • Cathedral of Immaculate Conception: Built in 1924, the cathedral's architecture is said to be a synthesis of Roman and Gothic styles. Its granite facade has been recently restored, and can accommodate more than 1,200 people.
  • Fortin du Petit-Sault: Erected at the culmination of the boundary disputes between the United States of America and British North America (an international conflict known as Aroostook War) in 1841 prior to the signing of the Webster-Ashburton Treaty. This small fort was rebuilt in 2000.

Other tourist attractions include de la République Provincial Park, an 18-hole golf course, a pedestrian downtown with a number of retail stores, restaurants, a hotel and a convention centre. You can also visit the Antique Automobile Museum, the Madawaska Historic Museum, and many other museums.

The New Brunswick Botanical Garden is in suburban Saint-Jacques, on seven hectares with more than 80,000 plants, making it the largest arboretum east of Montreal.[citation needed]

Edmundston is fortunate to have a downhill skiing facility in the city at Mont Farlagne. This facility has 3 lifts ,a t-bar ,a double chair, and a quad chair. It has 14 trails and an elevation of 690 feet. Snowmaking is available. Five trails are lit for night skiing.



The offices of the Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Madawaska—Restigouche (Bernard Valcourt) and the Member of the Legislative Assembly for the provincial riding of Edmundston-Saint Basile (Madeleine Dubé) are located in downtown Edmundston.



The city has two francophone K-8 schools, an anglophone K-12 school, a francophone high school, a community college campus affiliated with the New Brunswick Community College, and a university campus affiliated with the University of Moncton.


First number of Le Madawaska
First number of Edmundston's native newspaper, Le Madawaska, authored by Albert-M. Sormany & Maximilien-D. Cormier. Dated 27 November 1913.

Edmundston is served by five newspapers: Le Madawaska, L'Étoile — Édition La République, L'Acadie Nouvelle, The Telegraph Journal and Info Weekend), two local radio stations (CJEM-FM, CFAI-FM) and a regional bureau of Radio-Canada.

The area also receives the Quebec City-based newspapers Le Journal de Québec and Le Soleil which will cover notable events in the region.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Government of New Brunswick website: Edmundston
  2. ^ a b 2006 Statistics Canada Community Profile: Edmundston, New Brunswick
  3. ^ Census profile: Edmundston, New Brunswick (City)
  4. ^ New Brunswick Provincial Archives - Edmundston
  5. ^ Denis Michaud, "La ville de Sir Edmund: l'histoire d'un nom et d'un personnage politique", Onomastica Canadiana, vol 85, no 1, June 2003.
  6. ^ Jones. Howard "Anglophobia and the Aroostook War," New England Quarterly, Vol. 48, No. 4 (Dec., 1975)
  7. ^ "Edmundston, New Brunswick — Detailed City Profile". Retrieved 2009-09-09. 
  8. ^ Mubareka, Aboud. Members of the Muslim Community of Edmundston and Surrounding Region, 2010 Community Census, Muslim Community Center of Edmundston, 2010.
  9. ^ "Weatherbase: Historical Weather for Edmundston, New Brunswick". Weatherbase. 2011.  Retrieved on November 24, 2011.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 47°22′35.4″N 68°19′31.25″W / 47.376500°N 68.3253472°W / 47.376500; -68.3253472 (Edmundston, New Brunswick)