I spent my reading week in St. John, New Brunswick. As a student in Toronto, I’m used to sirens, car horns, and constant chatter in the streets. Upon my arrival at Sussex Airport, the contrast between cities was already quite clear. I arrived in an airport that housed a single terminal, and two gates — this seemed like a metaphor for the rest of the province of New Brunswick. I loaded my suitcase into my girlfriend’s car and we headed down the seemingly empty highways toward St. John.
Toronto makes downtown St. John look like a residential neighbourhood. In place of towering skyscrapers and neon facades are old theatres, streets filled entirely by pubs and century old buildings, which drape the miniscule skyline of the port town. Admittedly, the tiny nature of the city, the absence of busy street corners and hurried people in suits felt like a deserved rest.
Let’s face it, as great as Toronto is, too long of a stay can make you grow accustomed to the loud atmosphere of the busiest intersection in Canada, something that you should be marveling at. If you find yourself feeling annoyed walking through it, you are not alone. Toronto is great but not for forever, and if you have a chance to leave it for a week and experience something that is the complete opposite, I would advise you to do it.
In order to find nature in Toronto, one would have to ride the subway to High Park, or take a trip to Scarborough to sit near the bluffs. In St. John, nature is hard to miss. On the shores of an outlet that reaches into the Bay of Fundy, lies the 600 acre site known as Irving Nature Park, a mere 10 minute drive out of the city.
Reversing Falls is located just outside the downtown of St. John. The river serves as an outlet to the Bay of Fundy. When the tides from the bay collide into the flow of water from the river, a phenomenon occurs where the flow of the river reverses, thus the name Reversing Falls.
In the distance of the above photo lies Irving Pulp & Paper, which nicely puts the size of the river into perspective for anyone looking down over the spectacle.
I travelled out to observe Reversing Falls just before sundown and I was able to capture the tides clashing against one another, resulting in some pretty incredible rapids. As a storm moved in quickly, I caught the last glimpses of sunlight from on the bridge network in St. John that overlooked the falls. From the opposite side of the bridge, which faces St. John, the city and the river can be viewed simultaneously.