Moving to Canada is a time filled with optimism. It’s also a time when you have to make some big decisions, including the region of Canada where you would like to live, as well as the city where you choose to live. Fredericton, New Brunswick, located in Canada’s Atlantic Region is a great city to consider.
But, before you decide which city to live in, it’s wise to do your research. What’s the job market like for your skills and background? How affordable is housing, including rentals and homeownership? What’s the cost of living compared to other cities? By taking the time and effort to gather this vital information, you can select the best city for your needs, and goals.
Settling in a smaller city such as Fredericton is indeed something to think about. Many newcomers often land in Canada’s largest cities because of the jobs and services they offer. However, you’ll discover that Fredericton, although it’s a small city, provides many of the same amenities and services. As the “start-up capital of Canada”, it attracts entrepreneurs, skilled professionals, international students, and people who value a cleaner, greener life. And, it is much more affordable than major urban cities such as Toronto and Vancouver.
In 2021, Fredericton ranked as one of the top 10 cities in Canada. And, the city is proud to have been named to the Global Top 21 list of Intelligent Communities as well as one of Canada’s best cities to live and work remotely. Discover what the city has to offer you!
About Fredericton, New Brunswick
Fredericton is the capital of New Brunswick and is known for its colonial charm. It’s a quaint city that is rich in culture and history and combines the comfort of a small town with world-class facilities. Culturally, New Brunswick was first inhabited by Indigenous peoples. New Brunswick is also Canada’s only officially bilingual province that blends French and English cultures. While most people speak English in Fredericton, you need to speak both English and French to work in a government job.
Located just outside of Fredericton is Oromocto which is home to Canadian Forces Base Gagetown. This is Canada’s second-largest military base and its rich history goes back over two hundred years.
The Greater Fredericton Region includes the City of Fredericton and the outlying communities of the Town of Oromocto, Village of New Maryland, and Hanwell. As one of Canada’s prettiest cities, you’ll find the residential streets lined with beautiful Victorian homes and architecture.
The beautiful Saint John River flows through the center of the city. Along the river, there’s a network of over 88 kms of wooded paths. So you can easily get back to nature with seasonal activities such as cycling, walking, running, or cross-country skiing along the tranquil trails.
How Many People Live in Fredericton, New Brunswick?
The population of Fredericton, NB is 63,115 as of the 2021 Canada Census. By Canadian standards, it is a small city. Typically, cities with less than 100,000 are defined as small. The population consists of diverse groups including Chinese, South Asian, Arab, Korean, Southeast Asian, and West Asian.
How to Find a Job & Build a Career in Fredericton
Fredericton’s Local Economy
While government services make up a large percentage of Fredericton jobs, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), business and research are key drivers of the economy. Fredericton is the start-up capital of Canada, which makes it a choice destination for talented immigrants, and the #1 micro-city in North America for business (fDI Magazine).
In 2016, Fredericton was named the “Startup Community of the Year”, by Startup Canada. There is also a high concentration of knowledge industry companies in the city because of its highly educated talent pool and well-regarded universities. You’ll find industries related to:
- Clean technology
- Aerospace and defense.
Fredericton also has the most engineers per capita in all of Canada. It’s an innovative smart city and a national leader in cybersecurity, IT, financial services, agriculture and agritech.
Other sectors include:
- Government services
- Natural resources
- Health and social services
- Retail trade
- Accommodation and hospitality.
The Greater Fredericton region has also developed export-focused engineering services and information technology clusters. All of which continue to attract new talent.
Major Employers in Fredericton
Fredericton is home to employers in many industries. The top employers in the region are:
- Mariner Innovations
- Kognitiv Spark.
Career Pathways in Fredericton
Fredericton has a supportive business community that invests in helping newcomers and permanent residents find careers. To search for potential job opportunities that match your skills and experience you can check out:
LIVE WEBINAR DISCOVER FREDERICTON
Fredericton is an amazing place to live. It combines small-town charm with big-city dreams and infrastructure! Imagine a scenic view of the St. John River, gorgeous fall colours and the friendliest Canadians you could meet! Join us for a live chat with city representatives and learn how you can settle in Fredericton and succeed as a newcomer.
The Fredericton Housing Market
It’s important to consider where you want to live in the city and what amenities you want to be close to. Where you choose to live in the city is a big decision. So before you choose a neighbourhood, it’s helpful to assess what’s important to you. For example, schools, work, hospitals, clinics, child care and stores. And, if you don’t have a car, find out about access to public transit. It’s also important to consider cost and availability.
Is Housing Expensive in Fredericton, New Brunswick?
Fredericton is an affordable city that offers a wide range of real estate for both homeowners and renters. However, the city has seen average home prices rising significantly. This growth is due in part to an influx of out-of-province buyers as well as a dwindling housing inventory. However, despite these increasing prices, average rent costs in Fredericton are:
- 135.41% lower than in Toronto
- 25.39% lower than Montreal
- 62.73% lower than in Vancouver.
Finding a Place to Rent in Fredericton
Searching online for private market housing is one way to find a home to fit your budget and needs. You can also browse Rentals for Newcomers to search for available rental units. Here, you can also find current rental prices. If you plan to rent, you should also consider buying renter’s insurance. This will offer you protection for your personal belongings and protect your family. Your landlord’s insurance will not protect you against loss of property due.
Get more information about renting a home: Renting in Canada: What Newcomers Need to Know
Buying a Home in Fredericton
Buying a home in Fredericton is quite affordable. According to a Royal Lepage House Price Survey, the median price of a single-family detached home was 321,000 in December 2021. The average price of a condominium was 235,000.
You can compare that to Toronto home prices where the average cost for a single-family detached home cost is $1,421,200 and condos are $665,400.
Find out more about buying your first home in Canada: First Time Home Buyer: Newcomer Tips
Driving & Public Transit in Fredericton
Driving in Fredericton, New Brunswick
Most residents use a private car to get around for ease and convenience. While there is a transit system, the service is less frequent than you would find in a large urban city.
If you want to drive a car, it’s vital to know the rules of the road. You can download the New Brunswick Driver’s Handbook Drivers need to understand the basics of road safety. If you need to obtain a driver’s license, the province has a graduated licencing process.
For information on driving in Canada and how to get a licence, see:
Fredericton Public Transit
Fredericton transit offers a public transit network for people living in Fredericton as well as its suburbs. A top priority for Fredericton Transit is to provide transit options to driving by introducing changes to systems and services. The city operates 28 buses on twelve routes that run Monday to Saturday from 6:15 am until 11:00 pm. Find out more about Fredericton Transit fares and schedules.
Community Support for Newcomers
Fredericton continues to attract newcomers with a focus on recruiting and retaining international students, and entrepreneurs. The city is also expanding support for broader newcomer groups.
The Multicultural Association of Fredericton is a key contact for newcomers that provides settlement help, employment services, language classes and connections to community services. Fredericton also has one of the most robust immigrant support systems in Atlantic Canada with programs and services to help you succeed.
Learn more about Services in Canada to Help Newcomers Settle.
Language Support in Fredericton
Many immigrant and community organizations offer free language classes for permanent residents. In New Brunswick, you’ll hear both English and French, so it’s important that you feel comfortable speaking in one or both languages. School boards, universities, community colleges and settlement agencies offer free language classes. If you have to get your language skills assessed for study or work purposes, you can consult either:
Many immigrant and community organizations offer free classes for permanent residents to improve their English or French language skills including the:
Personal Finance & Banking
Managing your finances, savings, and investments is important to new immigrants in Canada. And newcomers to Fredericton have access to different banks, credit unions, and financial institutions.
Most banks have programs to help new immigrants open a bank account, get a credit card, mortgage, and get help with other financial products. Visit a local bank branch in person or online to get started. All banks require proof of residence before you open a bank account.
Get more banking tips for newcomers:
Fredericton’s Education System
The Government of New Brunswick manages the school system and is responsible for all levels including elementary, secondary and post-secondary education.
Elementary and Secondary Education
The public school system in New Brunswick provides free education to children aged five years up to youth aged 17 to 18 years. Children start:
- Elementary school (Kindergarten to grade 5) at five years of age
- Middle school (Grade 6 to grade 8) at about 11 years of age
- High school (Grade 9 to Grade 12) at about 14 years of age.
To support New Brunswick’s bilingual culture, the province has English and French school systems. The Greater Fredericton region has two school districts:
Anglophone West School District that governs English schools, and
District Scholaire Francophone Sud that governs French schools.
You can choose whether your child attends a school in an English or French district. However, your child must attend the French or English school that is closest to your residence.
Many international students move to Fredericton to study. Along with its reputation as a smart city, Fredericton has excellent education and research facilities. The city is home to four universities:
The University of New Brunswick (UNB): boasts of a world-class program with a small-university experience. It offers a broad range of undergraduate, graduate programs, continuing education and online learning options. It is the oldest English-language university in Canada, and among the oldest universities in North America. UNB also provides an English Language Programme (ELP) designed to help non-English speakers function in an English setting.
St. Thomas University (STU): is a small Catholic, liberal arts university that welcomes students and faculty from all faiths.
The University of Fredericton (UFRED): is fully online and offers degree, certificate, diploma and degree programs. This school is ideal for professionals seeking to advance their knowledge while balancing their busy personal and professional lives.
Yorkville University: delivers online education and is ranked in the top 10 online universities in Canada.
There are also many college and private training schools such as New Brunswick Community College, The New Brunswick College of Craft and Design, and the Maritime College of Forest Technology.
Read more about education in Canada:
Where to Get Medical Care in Fredericton
Canadians value the high-quality healthcare that they can access. And in Fredericton, it’s no different. Through the New Brunswick Medicare system, citizens and permanent residents benefit from Canada’s universal healthcare. When you arrive and apply for insured medical services, you’ll receive a Medicare card. You have to present the card each time you visit any hospital, doctor, or clinic for medical services.
The province is covered by two health care regions: Vitalité Health Network and Horizon Health Network.
For prescription drugs and some services that the province does not cover, you can pay for additional health insurance plans. Some people have third-party health insurance through their employer benefits packages. When you receive a job offer from an employer, they will tell you what medical benefits they cover on top of your Medicare plan.
How to Find a Family Doctor in Fredericton
Finding a family doctor is a vital first step to ensure your health and well-being. But, finding a family doctor can be difficult. So be sure to start your search early and don’t wait until you are sick. To find a doctor, you can use Patient Connect NB. You may be put on a waitlist until a doctor is available.
If you are unable to find a family doctor, you can go to one of many general non-emergency walk-in clinics in the city.
Get more information about health care in Canada: Steps to Access Free Health Care in Canada
What is Day to Day Life Like in Fredericton?
Things to Do in Fredericton
Fredericton is a vibrant community and a rewarding place to live. You’ll find culture and art, festivals and events, green space, and recreational activities that make the city so liveable.
Public Spaces & Attractions
With its rich heritage and culture, you can visit many of the historic districts that showcase theatre, concerts and architecture. Or, shop for local food at the Boyce Farmers Market. The market is one of Canada’s top 10 community markets.
Restaurants & Nightlife
The city offers everything from sidewalk patios, rooftop bars, to microbreweries. And the city is known for its great festivals including the Harvest Festival and its winter carnival Frostival.
Nature & Natural Landscapes
Fredericton offers more than 88 km of walking trails and 3,076 acres of parkland within the city limits. Odell, Carelton and Wilmot parks are great places to enjoy a picnic. And walkers, runners, and cyclists can explore the City trail system that connects to the Greater Trans Canada Trail System. Swimmers can enjoy a freshwater dip at Killarney Lake. Or, canoe, kayak, or paddleboard along the majestic Saint John River. If you love the outdoors, Fredericton has much to offer with its beautiful scenery and recreation options.
Culture & Diversity in Fredericton
According to 2016 Canada census data, visible minorities account for 10.2% of the population with Chinese, Black, South Asian and Arab making the largest communities. There are plenty of services and resources to support newcomers.
Places of Worship
In Canada, everyone has the right to practise their religion freely. To find a church or religious organization in Fredericton, you can search here. In addition, there is the Maritime Geeta Bhawan Hindu Temple, and the Fredericton Islamic Association.
The Weather in Fredericton
Fredericton is located inland from the Atlantic Ocean. So it has higher summer temperatures and lower winter temperatures than coastal locations in New Brunswick. It has a sunny climate and averages about 2,000 hours of sunshine a year.
Throughout the year, the temperature varies from -14 °C to 26 °C. It is rarely below -23 °C or above 30 °C.
Spring: is a rainy season. The average temperature is about 12°C in March, April and early May.
Summer: While summer begins on June 21, the warm season lasts from May to September with an average daily high temperature of about 20 °C. The hottest month is July with an average temperature of 25 °C and a low of 15 °C.
Fall: the weather cools down and rain often makes an appearance. Average temperatures are about 10°C to 12°C.
Winter: In the winter snow is common from December to March. It’s cold in winter and it snows often, and snow stays on the ground for weeks or months at a time. From December to February, the temperature is usually below 0°C, day and night. Temperatures can drop below -25°C.
Common Questions Immigrants Ask About Living in Fredericton
Is Fredericton a Good Location for Immigrants?
Yes! Over the past 10 years, Fredericton has welcomed thousands of new immigrants. Over 6.8% of the population are immigrants who moved to Fredericton from more than 50 countries around the world.
You can connect with community organizations that offer language training, settlement services, job search services, business support, and family-oriented programs. All of these services make it easier to adapt to life in Fredericton. As well, the City of Fredericton actively works to attract newcomers to build and grow their community.
Is Moving to Fredericton Worth it?
Fredericton is a small city and it has much to offer from affordable housing to jobs to quality of life. Whether you’re an international student, entrepreneur, or high-skilled worker this city is worth exploring.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Living in Fredericton?
Any city in Canada will have advantages and disadvantages. Fredericton is a family-friendly city with residential real estate prices that are much lower than other Canadian cities. Food prices in Fredericton are higher than the national average, but with lower real estate prices, your money stretches further.
While you may need a car in Fredericton, the city is focusing on public transit as an important priority.
It’s a safe city ideal for raising a family, and it’s a great city for professionals or students. And you can move from the bustling downtown area to tranquil parks in a matter of minutes.
For more information, tools, and free webinars about living in Canada visit our Settling in Canada resource page. We’ll help you to settle successfully!