An isthmus (narrow strip of land) connects southeastern New Brunswick with Nova Scotia. Prince Edward Island lies to the east of the province, across the Northumberland Strait. The coast is quite marshy, with many rivers and streams leading to the sea. The largest of these is the Saint John River, which measures 673 kilometres (418 miles) long.
The Bay of Fundy is the province’s largest bay, at 150 kilometres (90 miles) long, and separates New Brunswick from Nova Scotia. It is shaped like a large funnel, and its forceful tides have created a large section of salt marshes that are home to a wide array of marine, plant, and animal life. New Brunswick’s summers are the warmest in all of Canada, with an average daytime temperature of 23.3C (73.9F). Heavy winds off both the land and sea make for frequent and dramatic temperature changes. The Bay of Fundy is often shrouded in fog year-round.
Here are some more interesting facts about New Brunswick:
- Founded in 1785, Saint John is Canada’s oldest city.
- New Brunswick has the highest tides in the world, reaching up to 17 metres (56 ft)—the height of a four-storey building. Two hundred billion tonnes (220.5 billion tons) of water rush in and out of the Bay of Fundy twice a day every day!
- The world’s first individually wrapped chocolate bars were made in 1910 in Saint Stephen—Canada’s Chocolate Town. They sold for five cents apiece.
- New Brunswick is Canada’s only officially bilingual province. English and French are the official provincial languages.
- The famous Reversing Falls are a series of waterfalls on the Saint John River. The incoming tides from the Bay of Fundy force the falls to reverse their course and flow uphill twice a day, defying the force of gravity!
- In late summer, hundreds of thousands of semipalmated sandpipers, or “peeps,” feed on mud shrimp at Shepody Bay. They eat enough (between 9,000 and 20,000 shrimp a day for two weeks) to double their weight before taking off on a 4,600-kilometre (2,860-mile), non-stop flight to South America!