Canterbury, New Brunswick

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Canterbury Main Street
Canterbury Main Street
Canterbury is located in New Brunswick
Coordinates: 45°53′21″N 67°27′50″W / 45.88903°N 67.46378°W / 45.88903; -67.46378Coordinates: 45°53′21″N 67°27′50″W / 45.88903°N 67.46378°W / 45.88903; -67.46378
Country Canada
Province New Brunswick
County York
Parish Canterbury
Incorporated 1966
 • Type Village Council
 • Mayor Elaine B. English
Population (2011)[1]
 • Total 336
Time zone EST (UTC-4)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-3)
Website Canterbury Website

Canterbury (2011 population: 336[2]) is a village in York County, in the Canadian province of New Brunswick. The village is located west of the Trans-Canada Highway at the intersection of Route 122 and Route 630. The mayor is Elaine B. English.


Tracing its roots to the forestry and railway industries, Canterbury was once was home to over 1000 residents and served as a service centre for the surrounding area of western York County. There were at least three general stores, a small department store, a railway hotel, bank, and a butcher as late as the mid-1960s, all gone now.

Early settlers of the area were Loyalists ( possibly disbanded soldiers of the King's American Regiment and their families ) displaced by the end of the American Revolution (1780s) later augmented by immigrants from Ireland (Ulster and Donegal, circa 1840 or so).

In the winter of 1865, Canterbury was briefly the focus of much military activity when some 9000 British troops passed through the village on their way to "The Canadas" (Ontario and Quebec). The British government had become alarmed about the possibility of an American invasion following the end of the American Civil War and sent this military contingent to reinforce the garrisons in The Canadas. As it was winter, the shipping season in the St. Lawrence River was closed leaving overland travel from British colonies in the Maritimes as the only option. The closest rail connection to Quebec from the Atlantic coast in the 1860s was the New Brunswick and Canada Railway line extending from the port of St. Andrews through Canterbury to the end of rails in nearby Richmond Corner. The large contingent of British troops debarked passenger trains at the station and were then driven by horse drawn sleigh up the Saint John River and then across to the St Lawrence to Levis (opposite Quebec City) where they re-boarded passenger trains operated by the Grand Trunk Railway.

Prior to 1966 Canterbury was a local improvement district governed by a chairman and secretary and 3 councillors and than in 1966 it was incorporated as a village, with a mayor, secretary and 3 councillors later adding a fourth councillor and at present has a village office on Main Street.

Rail transportation[edit]

The New Brunswick and Canada Railway extended the former St. Andrews and Quebec Railway line to Canterbury in 1859, placing Canterbury roughly halfway between Woodstock to the north and McAdam to the south. The New Brunswick and Canada Railway was purchased by the New Brunswick Railway in 1882. In 1890, the New Brunswick Railway was purchased by the Canadian Pacific Railway, which operated the line through Canterbury to serve its rail network in the upper Saint John River valley until rail service was abandoned in the early 1990s. The original CPR passenger station on Water Street in Canterbury was demolished in the 2000s and the rail line is now a rail trail and part of the Sentier NB Trail system.


In the 2011 Census, Statistics Canada originally reported that the Village of Canterbury had a population of 331 living in 132 of its 150 total dwellings, an -8.1% change from its 2006 population of 330.[2] Statistics Canada subsequently amended the 2011 census results to a population of 336 living in 134 of its 152 total dwellings, a -6.7% change from 2006.[3] With a land area of 5.34 km2 (2.06 sq mi), it had a population density of 62.92/km2 (163.0/sq mi) in 2011.[2][3]


Canterbury has a school called Canterbury High School, which educates students from kindergarten to grade 12 all in one building. The school has escaped closure several times, but had its future sealed in 2002 with an extensive construction overhaul and addition of a new gym. Prior to 1975, Canterbury High School held grades 7-12, The Old Green School house beside Mill Street housed Grade 1,2,3 and 6 and Grades 4 and 5 where held in Meductic School.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]