Dalhousie is a town of 3,500 people (2011) on the Acadian Coast of New Brunswick. The town is at the mouth of the Restigouche River on the Bay of Chaleur, known for its snowfall in the winters and as a secret summer paradise. Tourists are surprised at the long stretches of natural beaches and scenic vistas.
Until 2008, the economy was dominated by the forestry industry, namely a large pulp and paper mill spanning the waterfront along the Restigouche River. When the mill closed, the economy of the town faced uncertainty during the post-industrial adjustment. Hundreds of people were left without work in the local economy and some were forced to move. This was followed by the closure of a chemical processing plant on the western edge of the town, the railway spur into the town, and a generating station. While there are several smaller employers, the largest employer in the town is a nursing home.
It was named after the 9th Earl of Dalhousie, who was then the governor of Upper Canada and Lower Canada.
Dalhousie is the most northern point in New Brunswick, and thus is in the Maritime provinces. It is in the Restigouche River valley at the tongue of the river where it discharges into Chaleur Bay. The valley lies in a hilly region, part of the Appalachian mountain range, although the Dalhousie town site is on a hill side several decameters above sea level with some development to its south on a low ridge of approximately 260 metres elevation. The town is surrounded by salt and fresh water bodies, which are home to many species of wildlife, unique birds, and fish. The area is rich in natural resources.
The Eel River Bar First Nation, adjacent to Dalhousie, is home to many Micmac natives, who were the original residents of the region. Dalhousie was settled by Europeans beginning in 1800. Some Acadians displaced in the Great Upheaval also settled in Dalhousie, and there is still a very close balance between anglophones and francophones.
In 1825 the Great Miramichi Fire raged through central New Brunswick and into Maine, destroying the forests that were the mainstay of the province's economy. Lumbermen looked north to the great pine stands of the Nipisiguit and the Restigouche.
Dalhousie, at the mouth of the Restigouche, began to grow. Soon it was a booming town. Lumber and fishing were the main interests, although agriculture was more important in the early days than it is today.
Dalhousie was the leading town of the area until the arrival of the railway following confederation. With steep hills at its back, the Intercolonial Railway (ICR) bypassed the town while its nearby rival, Campbellton, surged ahead. That would be the situation until the late 1920s, when Dalhousie was picked as the site of a giant paper mill. The International Paper Company built what was then one of the largest newsprint mills in the world. From 1929 on, the mill dominated life in Dalhousie.
Dalhousie is on the Highway 11 arterial highway. Dalhousie faces Miguasha, Quebec on the Gaspé Peninsula to the north. The city of Campbellton lies 20 km (12 mi) upriver to the west and the city of Bathurst is approximately 80 km (50 mi) southeast along the shore of Chaleur Bay.
Via Rail Canada provides passenger train service three days per week with stops at Charlo immediately east of the town and in Campbellton to the west.
- 1 [dead link] Charlo Airport (YCL IATA), 291 Morris Street, Charlo (several kilometres east of the town). Provincial Airlines flies from Halifax 3 days a week and from Wabush (Labrador).
More scheduled air service is available at the Bathurst Airport.
- Town Taxi, ☏ .
- Inch Arran Lighthouse, 200 Victoria. The ‘Bon Ami Point Range Front’ lighthouse was constructed on Inch Arran Point in 1870. It was built to guide ship to safety at night. It is recognised as a Federal Heritage Building. The lighthouse remains in operation and in clear weather, can be seen at a distance of 25 km.
- Bon Ami Rocks. This volcanic formation represents a lava flow deposited during the Devonian period, nearly 400 million years ago. It is named for Peter Bonamy, who is considered to be Dalhousie’s first European settler. He moved to the point in 1787.
- Arch Rock, Inch Arran Avenue. The Arch Rock is a natural rock formation carved by the tides. On the edge of the rock an outline of a face can be seen facing the Eel River Bar First Nations Reserve. On top of the rock was a single tree that was said to represent a feather. There is a legend that the chief of the reserve proclaimed that when he died he would return to watch over his people. When he died, it is believed that he was reincarnated on the side of the arch rock overlooking the reserve.
- Restigouche Regional Museum, 115 George St, ☏ . Daily 9AM-5PM. It tells the Restigouche story, from the remote past when creatures swam in tropical seas, to now where villages, towns and a city stand. The museum traces the development of the Mi'kmaq culture, the arrival of Acadian, French, Scottish, British and Irish settlers and the development of logging, ship building and paper industries.
Winter activities include snowmobiling, skiing, snow-shoeing. Summertime includes salmon fishing on the world famous Restigouche River and its tributaries.
- Dalhousie Mountain Trail (the entrance to the trail is next to the Aux Quatre Vents school at 499 Prom Les Jeux Du Canada). Breathtaking views of the Restigouche River and the Bay des Chaleurs.
- Restigouche Farmers’ Market, 357 Miller. Year-round Sa 8AM-1PM. 40 different vendors. Honey, maple syrup, soap, pastry, bread, pottery, jewellery, painting, decorating, knitting, fruit, chocolate, lunch, antique furniture, meat, fish, books, eggs, vegetables.
- East Wind Boutique, 125 Inch Arran Ave., ☏ . Mid-June to early Sep and mid-Oct to Dec 24: 11AM-7PM. A cooperative that features the works of 30 artists and artisans from Restigouche County. Painters, potters, weavers, photographers, jewellers, sculptors, woodworkers, knitters, and stained glass, ceramics, crochet and sewing artists.
As of 2019, many of the restaurants that used to feed the town have closed down, so you can't be too picky here.
- Inch Arran Park Camping, 125, ave Inch Arran Ave, ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ email@example.com. Steps from the Bay of Chaleur, at the mouth of the Restigouche River, this campground has 40 full service and 8 non-serviced sites available to campers. Full service/day $36.50, tent with power/day $30.00, tent (no service)/day $26.00.
- [dead link] 1820 Stewart House. Check-in: 3-8PM, check-out: 11:30AM. Bed & Breakfast. Restaurant, private beach, hiking trails, coffee/tea, parking, washer/dryer, Wi-Fi, pets allowed. From $75.
- Days Inn and Conference Centre Dalhousie, 385 Adelaide Street (downtown, off exit 397A on Route 11), ☏ , toll-free: . Free parking and Wi-Fi, on-site restaurant and convenience store, fitness centre. From $93.
|Routes through Dalhousie|
|Jct W E ← Campbellton ←||N S||→ Bathurst → Miramichi|