Why Saint John

Here’s why Saint John is the premier location for your next development: we have all the fundamentals you need to succeed.

Our site solutions give you easy access to international markets. Our essential services ensure that you get up and running quickly and smoothly. And you have a champion in Develop Saint John because we help bust through barriers to get your development up and running as quickly as possible!

There are many more compelling reasons to choose Saint John for your development project. Let’s talk about them, and how Develop Saint John lays a solid foundation for your growth.


Develop Saint John - Why Saint John
Develop Saint John - Business Climate

Business Climate

Saint John is experiencing promising growth. The fuel that’s driving our growth? Our skilled, educated workforce.  From advanced manufacturing, to professional and customer services, to health sciences, energy, and ICT, all the expertise you need to thrive in our diverse and vibrant economy is here for you.

Working with partners such as Opportunities New Brunswick, Develop Saint John continues to attract and encourage businesses to locate in Saint John. But more than that, we work with our partners to create an environment where business can succeed.

Community Living

We have a strong sense of community in Saint John. After all, we were Canada’s first incorporated city. And while we are proud of our Trinity Royal Heritage Conservation Area, our National Historic Sites, and our Saint John City Market (Canada’s oldest continuously operated farmers’ market), don’t let our historical designation fool you. We are progressive and vibrant. We are a safe, clean, affordable, fun, and friendly community.

Saint John has a lively bar scene, more than a dozen art galleries, new restaurants opening regularly, a variety of coffee shops, and an exceptional craft brewery industry. There are plenty of entertainment options to choose from at venues such as the iconic Imperial Theatre, Harbour Station, and the Trade and Convention Centre. With fairs and festivals, Quebec Major Junior Hockey, plays, concerts, and expositions of all sorts, and you’ll see that Saint John is where you want to be.

Develop Saint John - Community Living
Develop Saint John - Health and Education

Health & Education

Saint John’s highly collaborative health and education cluster is enabling health innovation, promoting investment, and providing ready market access for advances in medicine and learning.

Nowhere else can you find an Ivy League-standard medical school like Dalhousie Medicine New Brunswick located right next to the province’s largest healthcare facility and teaching hospital, the Saint John Regional Hospital. Also nearby, the University of New Brunswick, which offers Health Sciences, Information Sciences and Nursing as part of the Science, Applied Science, and Engineering Faculty.

Saint John’s strategic location, which offers ready access to the EU, Brazil, and the eastern United States, and our cluster of health services and education providers makes our city the ideal location to pilot and launch clinical trials for new healthcare products and services.

Here, students learning how to start companies, collaborate, and network. That’s a unique medical innovation, and the best part is that Saint John’s patients are benefiting first.

Local and Regional Data

Saint John’s population is 68,000, but the census metropolitan area population is 126,000, according to recent Statistics Canada data.  And within a one-hour commute, you have access to a population of more than 270,000.

Our Uptown Saint John area has led the region’s population growth with a rate of +15%, which stands in contrast to a 2.2% decline in neighbouring communities and a 0.5% provincial decline.

In 2017, Saint John’s employment rate rose 0.4% from the previous year to 6.8% (Source: Statistics Canada, Nov 2017, seasonally adjusted three-month rolling average). The median family income in Saint John is $73,600 (9.3% higher than the provincial average).

Saint John has one of Canada’s most diverse economies, with a workforce skilled in energy, ICT, manufacturing/ fabrication, construction, creative, financial, and back-office support services. Essentially, we have the people to support your projects, and your growth, and that means greater economic and regional growth.

Develop Saint John - Local and Regional Data
The highway to Saint John town (New Brunswick Canada).

Location and Access Information

Access all major markets from Saint John. 

Meetings. Exports. Imports. When it comes to getting business done here or around the world, you’re are well connected in Saint John. Air, land, or sea, here are a few reasons why Saint John is the place to be:

  • Ready access to the Trans-Canada highway at Sussex and to United States highways at Calais, Maine, via Highway #1—New Brunswick’s main arterial highway
  • Around-the-clock, year-round flights, Medivac, and general aviation at the Saint John Airport
  • Close proximity to Port Saint John, a deep-water port that operates year-round, is serviced by both rail and truck traffic, and features advanced terminal facilities that can easily handle containers, forest products, and bulk cargo such as petroleum products, salt, and potash
  • Rail access to both the western and northeastern United States through NB Southern Railway, as well as to CN’s Saint John/Moncton short line, which connects you to central Canada
  • A convenient link between Saint John and Digby, Nova Scotia, through Bay Ferries’ Princess of Acadia Ferry
  • The barge facility at Spruce Lake Industrial Park, purpose built for the advance manufacturing sector, has the capacity to service barges with an overall length of 125 m, a beam of 31 m, and moulded depth of 6.4 m

Low Cost of Doing Business

The KPMG Competitive Alternatives 2016 study compared 26 location-sensitive cost factors across 19 distinct business operations in 100 cities within 10 counties.

The two low-cost leaders within the New England and Atlantic Canada region were Fredericton and Moncton, each with equivalent business costs—with a cost index of 83.3. The results for Saint John, as a profiled city in the study, were equally impressive: 83.4.

The cost of doing business in Saint John is more than competitive. One more reason you should develop your project right here, right now.

Develop Saint John - Municipal Taxes