Historic Garrison District / History / Evolution of the District

Evolution of the District

18th to 21st century of Historic Garrison District

The large stone building on the west end of Officer’s Square was built to be Officers’ Quarters, and  today houses the Fredericton Region Museum. This structure forms the centrepiece of what is known as the Military Compound.

The Compound was established in 1785 and once contained several buildings. Only 4 of those military buildings remain today: the Soldiers’ barracks, the Guardhouse, the Officers’ Quarters and the Militia stores building. In 1964, it was the first of three buildings that were declared National Historic Sites.

British army officers lived in the stone and wooden buildings until 1869. Then, between 1883 and 1914, the buildings housed the officers of the Royal Canadian Regiment. Canada’s first permanent military unit. After 7 years as an army training base during the First World War and after, the New Brunswick Liquor Commission and other government agencies then used the stone building until the early 1960’s, when the York Sunbury Museum moved in. Now known as the Fredericton Region Museum, it features more than 4,000 square feet of exhibit space and a collection of over 30,000 artefacts. A visit is a fun and exciting way to look into Fredericton’s past.

The Old Soldiers’ Barracks was built in 1827 to house more than 200 soldiers. The upper floors are currently used as classrooms and offices for the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design (NBCCD), while the ground level ‘casemate’ storage units houses several studios where students and recent graduates of NBCCD create. They sell their wares through the nearby Craft & Design shop.

Across the green space of Barrack’s Square, you will find the 1828 Guard House. Visit the restored Orderly Room which looks much as it did in 1829 when it was first occupied by the 1st Battalion of the Rifle Brigade. During July & August, take part in Day in a Soldier’s Life and enjoy song, dance and lively interpretation by the Fredericton Fencibles theatre troupe

In 2017, Carleton Street between Queen Street and the Saint John River was re-designed to become a shared street and is now home to many events such as the Garrison Night Market and is incorporated as performance space for festivals such as Harvest Jazz & Blues.