East Coastal Drive, Day 13 – Reversing Falls

I had planned a kayak trip for the afternoon. I would leave the pugs sleeping in the hotel room while I went paddling. However, I was really drawn to the area of Saint John we were staying in. Also, my friend Don had offered to show me the Reversing Falls. I cancelled my kayak trip and headed over to Wolastoq Park where I would meet Don and his dog Sadie. Wolastoq is the Indigenous word for the St. John River.

In the back is where the Bay of Fundy tide comes in.

To the left is where the St. John River flows under the bridge into the bay.

At low tide, the two meet and create a turbulent whirlpool in the area on the right of the bridge. Don says you will see a big flock of seagulls circling around to catch the fish that are lifted out of the water. It only lasts for a short time. You need to get there before low tide and wait for the event. The water backing up the St. John River gives it the name Reversing Falls. There is a viewing platform down on the right.

The park site used to be a sanitorium. It was abandoned and removed and the park was built. It contains statues of the founders of Saint John and prominent business leaders like Irving. When the fog comes in, the heads of the statues peek through and can be quite spooky.

One statue, dedicated to the Indigenous Wolastoiyik people tells the creation story of Koluskap. In the old days, beavers were huge animals. One in particular decided to build a dam where the river meets the bay. The dam flooded their hunting grounds. They went to the powerful Koluskap to plead their case.

He asked the beaver 3 times to remove the dam. Beaver refused. With one mighty blow of his club, Koluskap smashed the dam and created the rapids.

He didn’t want Beaver to endanger his people anymore so he made him smaller. Sadie wanted to be in the picture but kept an eye on Beaver.

Took the pugs back to the hotel to nap. I went out to explore some of the area. Across the street was a candy shop. Thought about getting some Dunkin Donuts’ Caramel Macchiato cereal for camp mornings (yeah, right).

Now, how is this for dog-friendly – poop bag stations. Saw 3 different stations on my walk.

Went to the City Market which reminded my of a small St. Lawrence market in Toronto. Saw some silk screen t-shirts of camping that I really liked. The artist, Cynthia, was not at the booth. Her company is Fiddling Ferns I emailed her. She explained that she spends more productive time in the studio but is going to mail the t-shirts out to me.

Wandered over to Prince William Street. It is a national historic site. It consists of a series of late-Victorian buildings built just after the Great Fire of 1877. The rebuilt buildings were of stone and brick instead of wood. They were neglected for years. Between 2004 and 2008 they were repaired and restored.

They are now occupied by shops and restaurants. I stopped for lunch at one – The Cask & Kettle – an Irish pub.

They have their own house brews so I ordered the Lady Aberdeen Irish Cream Ale. Only in an Irish pub will you get a glass with a Panic Line.

Had the beer battered haddock Fish Tacos with the pickled cabbage. Tasty. The last time I had a pint at a national historic site was in Halifax at Henry House.

Got back to take the pugs out for a touristy stroll. We have 2 clocks to talk about. Here is the Bank of Montreal – part of the Prince William Street site. The shiny, new clock in the background commemorates the 225th anniversary of the incorporation of Saint John as a city – May 18th 1785. It is Canada’s first incorporated city.

The other clock is outside the Market Square building. Called the Market Square Timepiece, it was designed and carved by John Hooper of Hampton, NB. The clock mechanism is by Jack Massey of Darling’s Island. And the colouring by Kathy Hooper.

There is no clock face, no hands. How it works is the circular serpent and the 4 figures above it rotate every 6 hours. The tail points to the numerals to indicate which hour. You can see the 6 and 12 in the centre of the piece, just below the circular snake.

The serpent grasping its tail represents eternity. The 4 figures represent “passing time”.

We walked back down Prince William Street going a little further than I did before. The Bank of New Brunswick building – another 1877 building

We made it to the King’s Square park, established in 1785. The two tiered bandshell in the back was constructed in 1909. Eve, Raisin and Greta each took time to roll in the grass, lap up some water and smile contentedly.

Back at the hotel, they had dinner and promptly fell asleep. It was a long walk for them and they were tired. I went back to Market Square for dinner and listen to the music on the stage. I posted a Live Facebook video of the moment.

Big day tomorrow as we say goodbye to New Brunswick and hello to Nova Scotia.

One comment

  1. Very interesting. Always love the photos. The girls look very happy in the last photo. As always your meal choice looks yummy.

Comments are closed.