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Fredericton, New Brunswick

Fredericton, 2001 population 47,560, is the provincial capital of New Brunswick, Canada. The city is situated on the St. John River in the west-central portion of the province.

The Fredericton area was first called Ste. Anne's Point after it was permanently settled in 1732 by Acadians fleeing Nova Scotia after the British took over the territory. The British captured Ste. Anne's Point after the expulsion of the Acadians in 1755, burning the city to the ground.

In 1783, United Empire Loyalists settled in Ste. Anne's Point after the American Revolution, although many died on the long, arduous journey from the United States. When New Brunswick became a province in 1785, Ste. Anne's Point became the provincial capital, winning out over present-day Saint John due to its central inland location. A street plan was laid out to the west of the original townsite, King's College (now the University of New Brunswick) was founded, and the locale was renamed "Frederick's Town." A building was constructed to house the provincial legislative assembly in 1788, but it was destroyed in 1880. Two years later, the present Legislature Building was constructed. In 1973, the city annexed several bedroom communities, such as Nashwaaksis, Marysville, Barker's Point and Silverwood.

The same attributes that made Fredericton the capital city also made it an ideal spot for a military installation. Many of the original military buildings downtown still stand, and are now tourist attractions.

In 1848, Fredericton achieved city status after building the Anglican Christ Church Cathedral.

Today, Fredericton is known for its large elm stands, numerous public spaces, and the scenery of the Saint John River valley. The city is served by two universities, the University of New Brunswick and Saint Thomas University. There is a large arts community, headlined by the Playhouse (home base of Theatre New Brunswick, the province's largest stage troupe) and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. There are no major industries in the city, as the provincial government and the universities are by far the largest employers.

The current mayor is Les Hull, who won a close battle with incumbent Sandy diGiacinto in May 2001 after losing in 1999.

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