The Central Peninsula is the economic and cultural heart of Saint John and the broader Fundy region. It is an incredibly dense and walkable place, and is notable across Canada for its cohesive and intact historic built form.
The Central Peninsula is also a very challenged place. City boundaries have grown to encompass an area half the size of the City of Toronto, with a population of only 70,000. This creates challenges for delivering and maintaining municipal services and infrastructure, and has led to disinvestment in the core, visible in the numerous vacant and underutilized properties. The Central Peninsula also faces the typical challenges associated with a working port: despite more than five kilometres of waterfront, there are minimal opportunities for the public to engage with this natural feature.
Today, there is growing optimism and vibe about the Central Peninsula, and signs of success, particularly in the Uptown neighbourhood. There’s renewed interest in living in the City’s historic core, especially among young professionals, empty nesters, and retirees. This demographic shift has brought about a wave of new restaurants, shops and bars, as well as a growing arts and culture scene. Other positive changes include the Irving Home Office, which will net 500 new workers to the Central Peninsula each day, and commitments from the provincial government for a new provincial museum and a middle school.
The Central Peninsula Neighbourhood Plan (CPNP) builds on the direction of PlanSJ – the City’s municipal plan, which came into force in 2011. This detailed neighbourhood plan aims to build on recent momentum and addresses some of these challenges through a set of place-making concepts which will demonstrate how targeted public and private sector reinvestment can create distinct and memorable places that deliver new economic, social, environmental, and cultural benefits to the City, while also being responsive to market realities and compatible with adjacent land uses and built form.