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City Market

47 Charlotte Street, Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1979/07/12

City Market - front façade on Charlotte Street.; PNB
City Market
City Market - rear façade on Germain Street; PNB
City Market
City Market - Interior; Saint John City Market
City Market

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1874/01/01 to 1876/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2006/12/01

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

City Market is a four-storey Italianate/Second Empire style masonry building built between 1874 and 1876. Located on Charlotte Street in Saint John, it runs the full block to Germain Street. The interior of Saint John City Market houses shops and a long open market hall for vendors on the ground level, above these are offices.

Heritage Value

City Market is designated a Provincial Historic Site for its continuous use as a city market for more than a century and for its architecture.

Narrowly escaping the fire that swept through the City in 1877, City Market is recognized for its continuous use since its completion in 1876, making it the oldest continually-operating farmer's market in Canada. The Market Bell is still rung every morning and evening to signal the opening and closing of the Market

Designed as a fusion of the Italianate and Second Empire styles by Saint John architects McKean and Fairweather, City Market is also recognized for being a rare and distinguished example of a 19th century public market building. The interior houses shops and a long open market hall for vendors on the ground level, above these are offices.

Source: Department of Wellness Culture and Sport, Heritage Branch, Site File: Vol. III-12845or7/D, 24.

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements that describe the location of City Market include:
- location at the City’s centre ;
- locally crafted 1880 wrought iron gates at the main entrance.

The character-defining elements that describe the Second Empire details include:
- mansard roof;
- curved dormers on Charlotte Street façade ;
- rectangular massing.

The character-defining elements that describe the Italianate style include:
- arched windows;
- exterior four-storey front volume known as the Charlotte Street Tower constructed of red brick and buff sandstone;
- height of the ground floor ;
- shallow arched central main entrance;
- un-fluted Corinthian sandstone pilasters at the building corners;
- slightly recessed arched forms at the side façades continuing the rhythm of the market hall windows into the second floor office windows above.

The character-defining elements that describe the second and third storeys of the front office portion include:
- rows of arch-top windows divided by stylized Corinthian pilasters;
- sandstone sills and arched lintels;
- ornate cornice of brick dentil work;
- tripartite arrangement of a small flat-roofed central dormer with a pair of thin arch-top windows, bounded on both sides by larger dormers with triple windows.

The character-defining elements that describe the rear market hall include:
- elongated basilica form;
- walls built entirely of 12 inch-thick unreinforced brick, which thicken to 24 inches where they support the roof rafters;
- exterior walls capped with a brick cornice and brick chimneys;
- side walls two-storey arched window openings at the North and South Market Street facades with four receiving and delivery doors on each side;
- semi-circular windows at the high interior clerestory.

The character-defining elements that describe the distinctive interior spatial qualities of the Market Hall include:
- sloping floor;
- centre and side aisle bench merchants;
- outside wall stall merchants;
- numerous ornately-balustraded wood stairs leading to the upper storage rooms;
- roof structural system of 20 hand-hewn queen post trusses resting on long tie-beams decorated with carved pendant stubs;
- beams pegged to prominent cross-bracing and curved wooden arch supports with upper roundel trim;
- interior steel support columns with Victorian capitals supporting the roof structure;
- columns varying in height from 20 feet to 30 feet as the Market floor slopes down 10 feet from Charlotte Street to Germain Street;
- Deputy Market Clerk’s office set above the Market Hall and its corresponding narrow winding wood stair;
- Market Bell;
- “Musquash” Mounted Moose Head hanging on the Market wall since 1910;
- “John McDonald Jr.” etched & stained glass windows;
- Market Hall’s decorated interior pilasters and painted wood wainscoting;
- iron meat scale at the South entrance with overhead rail and weights.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Province of New Brunswick

Recognition Statute

Historic Sites Protection Act, s. 2(2)

Recognition Type

Historic Sites Protection Act – Protected

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services
Eating or Drinking Establishment
Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building


Commerce / Commercial Services

Architect / Designer

McKean and Fairweather



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport - Heritage Branch - Historic Places Files

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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