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Moncton, New Brunswick

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Moncton in New Brunswick.

 

Moncton is a city located in Westmorland County, New Brunswick. The city is situated in southeastern New Brunswick, within the Petitcodiac River Valley, and lies at the geographic centre of the Maritime Provinces. The community has gained the nickname "Hub City" because of its central location and also because Moncton has historically been the railway and land transportation hub for the Maritime Provinces.

Arts and culture

Moncton's Capitol Theatre, an 800-seat restored 1920s-era vaudeville house on Main Street, is the main centre for cultural entertainment for the city. The theatre hosts a performing arts series and provides a venue for various theatrical performances as well as the New Brunswick Symphony Orchestra and the Atlantic Ballet Theatre of Canada. The adjacent Empress Theatre offers space for smaller performances and recitals.

The Moncton-based Atlantic Ballet Theatre tours mainly in Atlantic Canada but also tours nationally and internationally on occasion.Théâtre l'Escaouette is a Francophone live theatre company which has its own auditorium and performance space on Botsford Street. The Anglophone Live Bait Theatre is based in the nearby university town of Sackville. There are several private dance and music academies in the metropolitan area, including the Capitol Theatre's own performing arts school. The Canadian Poetry Association national headquarters is located in Moncton.

The Aberdeen Cultural Centre is a major Acadian cultural cooperative containing multiple studios and galleries. Among other tenants, the Centre houses the Galerie Sans Nom, the principal private art gallery in the city.

The city's two main museums are the Moncton Museum on Mountain Road and the Musée Acadien at Université de Moncton. The city has several recognized historical sites. The Free Meeting House was built in 1821 and is a New England-style meeting house located adjacent to the Moncton Museum. The Thomas Williams House, a former home of a city industrialist built in 1883, is now maintained in period style and serves as a genealogical research centre and is also home to several multicultural organizations. The Treitz Haus is located on the riverfront adjacent to Bore View Park and has been dated to the early 1770s both by architectural style and by dendrochronology. It is the only surviving building from the Pennsylvania Dutch era and now serves as the city's principle tourist information centre.

Moncton is home to the Frye Festival, an annual bilingual literary celebration held in honour of world renowned literary critic and favorite son Northrop Frye. This event attracts noted writers and poets from around the world and takes place in the month of April.

The Atlantic Nationals Automotive Extravaganza, held each July, is the largest annual gathering of classic cars in Canada. Other notable events include The Atlantic Seafood Festival in August, and the The HubCap Comedy Festival and the World Wine Festival, both held in the spring.

Tourism, entertainment and shopping

Magnetic Hill is on the northwestern outskirts of Moncton and is now the city's most famous attraction. It is a gravity hill optical illusion, where the local topography gives the impression that you are going uphill when in fact you are going downhill.

The "Magnetic Hill Illusion" is a popular tourism draw and both the city and province have built major tourism developments on the surrounding properties to capitalize on this. The complex includes The Magnetic Hill Zoo, a nationally accredited and award winning zoo with over 400 animals displayed in themed exhibit areas. It is the largest zoo in Atlantic Canada, has well developed and popular educational program and has recently been ranked as the 4th best zoo in Canada. Also on site is Magic Mountain Water Park, the largest water park in Atlantic Canada, with a half dozen large water slides, a lazy river, wave pool, children's splash pool and a 36-hole mini-golf course. The Magnetic Hill Concert Site, a large outdoor concert facility which holds one or two large concerts every year is located nearby. The Rolling Stones performed there in 2005 in front of 85,000 fans. More recently, The Eagles played there in the summer of 2008 in front of 55,000 fans. Both AC/DC and Bon Jovi played at the hill in 2009, with the crowd for the AC/DC concert exceeding 70,000. The Magnetic Hill Concert Site has developed a reputation for holding the largest concert productions in the entire country. U2 has just announced that their last stop on their current North American tour will be at Magnetic Hill in July 2011. The New Brunswick Casino, which also encompasses a hotel and 2,000 seat entertainment venue also opened at Magnetic Hill in 2010. The performance space at the casino has already hosted many top acts on the casino circuit.

At present, the major destinations for shopping enthusiasts are the Wheeler Park Power Centre and Champlain Place, which, at 816,000 square feet (75,800 m2), is the largest shopping mall in Atlantic Canada and has over 160 stores and services. Moncton is home to New Brunswick's only Bay department store.

Crystal Palace, an indoor amusement park with a dozen rides including a roller coaster and a wave swinger was built adjacent to Champlain Place in 1990 to take advantage of the tourist traffic generated by the mall. It is a popular family destination and has Top Attraction status with tourism New Brunswick. This complex also includes a hotel, restaurant, Chapters bookstore and a multiplex cinema complex.

The Pump House Brewery is a brewpub opened in 1999 by a local fire department chief and his wife. It was given 6 gold and 3 bronze medals in the 2005 Canadian Brewing Awards, achieving the title of Canada's Brewery of the Year and has since become a popular destination for visitors to the city's downtown.

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