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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Atlantic Canada’s Densest Neighbourhoods – Saint John

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EDITOR’S NOTE: Based on feedback from an earlier post on urban density, Spacing Atlantic will feature one of the top five dense residential neighbourhoods in Atlantic Canada each week. Last week’s neighbourhood: Downtown St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador.

So, why density? Residential density, the number of people living in a given area, is one of the most important characterisitcs of urban areas. High densities create vibrant streets, support main street commercial areas, and encourage walking, biking and transit use. But how dense should our neighbourhoods be? What types of buildings create high densities? What do high density neighbourhoods look like?

Hopefully this series encourages people to look around their neighbourhood and ask: how does density affect the quality of my neighbourhood?

Without further ado …

4 – Uptown Saint John, New Brunswick

Atlantic Canada’s fourth densest neighbourhood, Uptown Saint John, is the office, retail and entertainment core of Canada’s first incorporated City: Saint John, New Brunswick. Dozens of blocks in Uptown are part of the Trinity Royal Heritage Area. Most buildings in the Heritage Area were built following the Great Fire of 1877. These buildings are mostly brick townhouses, office buildings and small apartment buildings, from the era when Saint John was one of Canada’s largest manufacturing centres. Opposite the Historic Area, the business district has modern office towers and malls that were built in the 1960s and 1970s.

Population Density: 5863 people/ km2

Dwelling Density: 37 units/ hectare

Banner photo by Rukasu1, all others by Seeing Is, a member of Spacing Atlantic’s flickr pool



  1. This is great – it’s pieces like this that make me want to move back to the Maritimes.