Moving to New Brunswick: The Ultimate Guide

With the cost of real estate, beautiful scenery, and availability of remote jobs – have you considered moving to New Brunswick? If this is something during the process of planning, this helpful introductory guide is perfect for you.

Located in the heart of the Maritimes, New Brunswick is a beautiful province full of rivers, forests, mountains, and the world famous Bay of Fundy. People travel from across Canada and all over the world to visit this beautiful province and take advantage of everything it has to offer.

Along with seemingly unspoiled natural beauty, there are also a number of urban areas and larger cities in New Brunswick. This is where you’ll find some great employment opportunities, wonderful people, and some amazing options for housing.

For those of you that are planning to move to New Brunswick, you probably have some questions. These might include things like the cost of living, how to find an apartment or home, the best cities to live in, how to get a driver’s license, and plenty of other life-related concerns.

In this post, we put together a helpful guide to make it easier for you to move to New Brunswick. Hopefully this guide will answer any questions you might have and help to streamline the process for you. 

The First Steps After Your Move to New Brunswick

Before anything else, these are some of the administrative tasks you should get working on immediately after moving. Getting these done will make everything else easier and help to prevent any issues in the future.

Get Your New Brunswick Health Card

One of the most important first things to do is to apply for the New Brunswick health card. In New Brunswick their health card is known as the ‘medicare’ card and it’s required to be eligible for New Brunswick health coverage.

The process is fairly simple and it’s easy to switch over if you’re moving from another province. In order to be eligible, you need to be a Canadian citizen or a resident of New Brunswick.

Start by visiting the New Brunswick website and follow the information listed in the registration guide.

Get Your New Brunswick Driver’s License

Next step is to get your New Brunswick driver’s license. This is another relatively easy process, especially if you’re coming from another Province and you already have your full license.

It’s important to transfer your license over as soon as possible to avoid any issues with local laws and regulations. Once you take up residence, this is one of the first steps you should take.

If you’re from another province, all you need to do is fill out the driver’s license application. You will need proof of identity along with residency documents and there is a small fee that needs to be paid.

You can find the information on the New Brunswick website here. There is also some helpful information if you’re a non-resident or moving from a different country.

It might also be helpful to know that motorcycle licenses can easily be transferred as well. This means you don’t need to go through any licensing program and can simply transfer your license once you move. 

Change Your Addresses

The next important thing to do is change all of your officially listed addresses. There was a helpful address change checklist that you can find here from the New Brunswick government website.

This gives you a list of addresses that need to be changed and accounts that may need to be cancelled. Don’t forget to go through things like your phone bill, automobile insurance, and other places where you would need to change your address.

Where to Live in New Brunswick

Unlike Ontario, British Columbia, and Quebec you won’t find any large metropolitan cities or sprawling urban areas in New Brunswick. Instead, you’ll find over 80% of the province covered in trees and an ideal setting if you’re looking for somewhere quiet and laid back.

Here’s a quick look at some of the best cities to live in New Brunswick.

Fredericton

Fredericton is the capital city of New Brunswick. Compared to other capital cities in Canada, this is one of the smaller ones with a quaint metropolitan area.

There are just under 60,000 people living in Fredericton, making it a great choice if you’re looking for a quieter city that still has access to modern amenities. Lately, Fredericton has seen rapid growth in the IT and technology Industries, making it a popular choice among young Canadians.

Real estate prices as well as rental costs are still relatively low in Fredericton compared to the rest of Canada. It’s an affordable location if you’re looking for the most affordable places to live in New Brunswick.

Moncton

With so many different things to do in Moncton, it’s another great choice if you’re planning to move to the Province. Moncton also happens to be Canada’s only officially bilingual city with a town having its own fully French speaking neighbourhood.

There are close to 90,000 people living in Moncton and although it’s not the capital, it’s the biggest city in New Brunswick. Around 30% of the residents are predominantly french-speaking, so you’ll be able to get by just fine as an English speaker.

Just like with the rest of New Brunswick, real estate and rental prices in Moncton continue to remain reasonable. There is also a lot of opportunity for employment, especially for the municipality or government.

Riverview

One of the most unique small towns in New Brunswick is Riverview. This is a very quiet town with just 19,000 residents.

People planning on living in New Brunswick will find Riverview to be a great choice, especially if you’re looking for access to rivers, forests, and hiking trails. The town is surrounded by natural beauty and is truly one of the gems of the problems.

It might be worth mentioning that many people consider Riverview to be a suburb of Moncton. However, it’s definitely its own town with its own charm and defining features.

When you’re living in Riverview you’ll have easy access to the Petitcodiac River as well as the vast tracts of the Acadian Forest. Its proximity to Moncton makes it ideal for easy commuting along with plenty of options for affordable housing.

Saint John

The city of Saint John, New Brunswick is what a lot of people assume is the capital. People also like to mix it up with Saint John’s, which happens to be the capital of Newfoundland.

Located right on the Bay of Fundy, Saint John is one of the largest port cities in Canada and the main hub of employment and commerce in the province. It’s the second largest city in New Brunswick and has a long, rich, and cultural history.

One thing that’s interesting to note is that the residents of Saint John are regularly rated as some of the happiest people in Canada. This is something worth considering, especially if you’re planning on moving to Saint John, New Brunswick.

There is quite a lot to do in this beautiful town and real estate continues to be reasonable compared to the rest of Canada. Saint John is another great option if you’re looking for a big-city living with a small town feel.

What’s New Brunswick Public Transportation Like?

If you’re coming from one of Canada’s bigger cities, ranging from Kitchener-Waterloo up to Vancouver, you might be disappointed with the public transportation in New Brunswick. However, Fredericton, Moncton, and Saint John have their own comprehensive urban transit systems that make it possible to travel around the cities.

Taking the bus in any of these cities is Affordable and easy enough depending on where you’re going. Unfortunately, many of the suburbs won’t have easy access to public transportation and it will be easier to own a car if you’re planning on living outside of the city centre.

Along with public Local transportation, there is also a well-developed public transportation system in New Brunswick. There is easy access to the train, ferry, and intercity buses depending on where you need to go.

Taking the Train in New Brunswick

Most of the train service in New Brunswick is provided by VIA Rail. there is round-trip rail service available throughout the week to the major cities and some of the more popular smaller towns.

The train stops in Moncton and Fredericton as well as Miramichi, Campbellton, and Bathurst. It’s not a form of transportation that can be easily relied on, though if you’re planning ahead you can definitely make it work.

Taking the Ferry in New Brunswick

Given its location in the Maritimes it’s probably not surprising that there are a number of ferry services in New Brunswick. At the time of writing there are 9 different ferry services spread out across the province.

There isn’t any charge to take these ferries that are operated by the government. This makes them convenient and easy-to-use, especially if your destination requires a ferry crossing.

For taking a ferry, double check the schedule online. Some of them run year-round, while others run during the warmer summer months.

Take a look at this PDF here to see all of the different routes and fairy locations. Don’t forget to double-check online to make sure the ferry is actually running.

Taking the Bus in New Brunswick

While not as popular as in Ontario and Quebec, New Brunswick has its own public bus routes available for getting between cities. The service is run by Maritimebus, which is a partner with VIA Rail and makes it easier to get around the Maritimes.

This organization also runs routes into Nova Scotia, which is also convenient for checking out a different province. It’s important to note that most of the connections originated in Moncton and Halifax, with routes available from Amhert, Fredericton, and Borden as well.

You can head over to the Maritimebus website here to book your tickets or to get a better idea of the scheduling and destinations.

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