By Doug Underhill
The City of Miramichi was born
January 1, 1995. It was the result of a plan in 1994 by former Premier Frank McKenna to bring together the major communities
around the Chatham/Newcastle area.
The birth of the new city was a rocky one. People objected to the imposed amalgamation
and the appointment of a transition team to lead the city. Two Newcastle councilors brought forth a court challenge and won
forcing an election in February, 1995. Janice Morrison won the election and served as the Citys first Mayor. She was followed
by Rupert Bernard in the mayors chair. Bernard won a second term in May of 2001.
The City of Miramichi has a population
of approximately 22,000 and is the most centrally located city in the province. It comprises the former towns of Newcastle,
Chatham and the villages of Nelson-Miramichi, Douglastown, Loggieville and several local service districts like Chatham Head,
Nordin, Taintville, Moorefield and several others. It has a large land mass reaching from Eelground in the west to Bartigog
in the east.
The concept of a city was to better consolidate the area so that all communities could work together
instead of against one another in the promotion of the region. Today Miramichi boasts a modern region hospital, one of the
largest coated paper mills in the world with UPM-Kymmene Miramichi Inc. and thriving business community. It has three industrial
parks with the newest being Sky Park located on the former CFB Chatham.
The City of Miramichi also has several recreational centers, two arenas, two bowling alleys, two marinas and a retirement
village called Retirement Miramichi Inc. which comprises the former CBB Chatham. The city has its own radio station CFAN at
7.90 on the AM dial and its own weekly newspapers the Miramichi Leader and Miramichi Weekend along with an airport and shipping
Within the city is the NB Community College-Miramichi Campus which has been a leader in technology. It
also offers university courses for the first year in conjunction with St. Thomas University, University of New Brunswick and
Mount Allison. There are two English High Schools and one French, two public libraries, two museums, St. Michaels Basilica
and several cultural centers.
The city is the base for fishing, hunting and snowmobiling and a host of other outdoor
activities for all seasons. It has two baseball parks, numerous softball fields, track and field facilities, a skateboard
park, go-cart park, two indoor swimming pools, beaches, camping areas, golf course, and car racing parks. Miramichi has a
Maritime Junior A Hockey League team known as the UPM Timberwolves. There are also numerous maintained walking, hiking trails
and cross-country skiing trails.
The Miramichi is also known as the City of Festivals including the Irish Festival
which makes Miramichi the "Irish Capital of Canada" and the Miramichi Folk Song Festival which is the oldest of its kind in
But most importantly the Miramichi is famous for its river which is known world wide for its salmon
and natural beauty, and its friendly people. The City of Miramichi is the gateway to a whole region where "Hospitality here
is Home-made." Come and experience "The Mighty Miramichi" and all it has to offer.