Grand Falls is a town located in Victoria County, New Brunswick, Canada. Grand Falls is situated on the Saint John River. The town derives its name from a waterfall created by a series of rock ledges over which the river drops 23 metres (75 ft). Its population was 5,326 at the 2016 census. Take a look below for 25 fun and interesting facts about Grand Falls, New Brunswick, Canada.
1. In 1686, Monsignor de Saint-Vallier (of Quebec) was the first known person to mention in writing the magnificent falls for which Grand Falls is named. His words describing the area can be found on a monument erected at the mouth of Davis Park in 1986.
2. He recounts his trip to the region in 1686. He writes: “On May 16 we arrived at a place called Grand Sault St-Jean-Baptiste. Here the river falls madly from a height of 60 feet, forming a huge waterfall that thick fog envelops the tumult of the falls far warns mariners descended in canoes.” It also notes the presence of some French settlers in the region.
3. In 1695, the territory between Grand Falls and Médoctec was granted the manor in Sieur Rene D’Amours.
4. The French missionaries, Récollets, visited Great Falls in 1691 and Antoine de Lamothe Cadillac mentioned the presence of a fort in 1693.
5. The latter was used to supply the passengers, who became more numerous from the Seven Years’ War.
6. In 1763, the region fully passed into British hands and its French population diminished due to the deportation. In 1783, the Loyalists settled in Acadia and the province of New Brunswick was created the next year.
7. In 1785, the Acadians in Fredericton and nearby were evicted from their land and in June 1785, a group decided to establish the region of Grand Falls and the rest of Madawaska and this with the agreement of the Maliseet people.
8. In 1791, Thomas Carleton, then Governor of New Brunswick, built a fort at Grand Falls. The Madawaska region was then disputed between Quebec, New Brunswick and the United States. The War of 1812 showed that the area’s roads were not safe and in 1875, the colonial government of New Brunswick decided to build a road from Woodstock to Grand Falls.
9. In 1816, the government gave a grant to two settlers to settle between Grand Falls and Presque Isle. The territorial differences culminated in the Aroostook War in 1838 and Webster–Ashburton Treaty in 1842, gave Grand Falls to the province of New Brunswick. In 1838, James Brown and George Hayward visited Grand Falls and mentioned the presence of a sawmill owned by John Caldwell staffed by French Canadians and Acadians.
10. In 1840, Lieutenant Cavalié Mercer, an Englishman stationed in Woodstock, made the first paintings of the city. In 1842, Grand Falls was included in Colebrook Township, named in honour of the Governor of New Brunswick, William MacBean George Colebrooke. The first survey was done for the British army in 1844 by the Deputy Gordon, while Colonel Beckwith designed the town plan. The survey was made from a large elm to the west, which has now disappeared. The lots were in turn divided into 1847 by the engineer C. Inches.
11. Grand Falls is located in the valley of the Saint John River, south of Madawaska, 55 kilometres southeast of Edmundston, on the Canada–United States border.
12. Grand Falls is located at the north-west of Victoria County.
13. The eastern part of the town, located on the left bank of the river is actually in the county of Madawaska, not to be confused with the eponymous region. Aroostook County, Maine is located to the west.
14. Grand Falls is adjacent to St. André to the north, and the parish of Drummond to the east.
15. Grand Falls has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb) with vast seasonal differences and being cold for the latitude.
16. Grand Falls stands as the most bilingual town in Canada at 78.5% speaking English and French and is only one of two municipalities in Canada with an official bilingual name. The other is Greater Sudbury. (fr: Grand-Sudbury)
17. Three main industries reside in Grand Falls: potato farming, potato processing (The McCain frozen food plant) and tourism. The town is also a local commercial centre for Victoria County, catering to the surrounding communities of Plaster Rock, Perth Andover, Blue Bell, and New Denmark.
18. Tourism centers around the Saint John River’s falls and gorge located in the center of town. Two tourist attractions line the river; the Malabeam Information Centre and La Rochelle. The Malabeam Center faces the falls and is across the Grand Falls Farmers Market located on Madawaska Road. La Rochelle provides camping sites, access to the gorge via stairwell and a pontoon-boat ride that goes through the gorge.
19. New attractions for both locals and tourists alike are the addition of the Zip Zag; a zip line to traverses the width of the gorge which the falls empty into. Kayak tours and a rock climbing wall also provide additional entertainment.
20. The falls are also home to the Grand Falls Generating Station which provides electrical power by use of a hydro electric dam completed in 1931, and provides 66 MW of electricity.
21. Among the main retailers of Grand Falls as of January 2018 are Walmart, Canadian Tire, Home Hardware, Dollarama, Giant Tiger, Atlantic Superstore, Kent Building Supplies Shoppers Drug Mart, Jean Coutu, Foodland, and Rossy.
22. Among the main activities located in Grand Falls, one can visit the Grand Falls Golf Course, the Grand Falls Marina, the Museum, the Farmer’s Market (summer), numerous camp grounds, Grand Falls Airport, and the Grand Cinema 3. The town of Grand Falls has also acquired a new arena, the E & P Sénéchal Centre. The multi-purpose 1200+ heated seat arena opened in late August 2009. The town also has a cross-country ski club, Kahoutek Ski Club, with many kilometers of groomed trails adjacent to the Golf Club and the E.P. Senechal Centre.
23. There are many outdoor activities you can do in Grand Falls such zip lining by the gorge and waterfalls, kayaking, canoeing, boating in Saint John river or enjoying a pontoon ride to view the spectacular Grand Falls Gorge in the summer.
24. Most tourist-centric locations are only opened during the tourist season.
25. Every year the town celebrates its Regional Potato Festival. This event coincides with the end of June and beginning of July, during the Canada Day weekend. It includes a carnival, a Broadway block party, a bistro with live entertainment, the Miss Grand Falls Gala, fireworks and several other events.