Over the past decade, residents of Fredericton have expressed a desire for Officers Square to be a peopled urban space with capacity to host special events that helps foster a strong sense of community and that brings business into the downtown. The City has been working hard to revitalize this cherished gathering space and national historic site and we’re excited to be entering the final phases of this project and to share them with you!
The revitalized Officers' Square will include:
- a new perimeter wall and cast ornamental fence to replace the former one that had failed. The new wall respects conservation principles but is stronger than the previous one. The wall is also built to preserve the roots of the large trees that grow near it.
- a rain-protected stage to accommodate community theatre troupes to large festivals, and everyone else in between. The stage facility will also store electrical equipment for users, a “plug and play” capability that will dramatically lower costs for community groups wanting to use the facility.
- a new stage and electrical infrastructure that will provide electrical services to run the hugely popular Garrison Night Market and other community events in the space.
- a new chilled ice-skating track and walkway constructed around the perimeter of the Great Lawn will be enjoyed during all four seasons. The track and walkway was shifted to the north to protect the newly-discovered paleo shoreline.
- a new seating area in front of the Fredericton Museum: The Front Porch Plaza will be a spot to gather with friends, meet a date for lunch and just enjoy being in Officers’ Square.
- a playground and water feature at the northeast corner of the Square.
You can view renderings of how Officers’ Square will look once these much-needed updates and exciting additions are made here. As for when the work will happen, the work will roll out as follows:
Wolastoqey/City Joint Development Area (JDA)
Resulting from the Officers’ Square Archaeological Impact Assessment, a 18th Century paleoshoreline was discovered in the southwest corner of the Square. The City immediately set this area aside to be jointly designed and developed with the Wolastoqey Nation, and this area is now called the Wolastoqey/City Joint Development Area (JDA). As the City proceeds with the redevelopment of the Square, the JDA will be fenced off and not included in the redevelopment plans for Officers’ Square. The only exception will be the replacement of the existing retaining wall along the west side of the Square and the replacement of the existing access from Queen Street for people with mobility issues. Going forward, the City will collaborate with the Sitansisk and the other Wolastoqey Communities to complete a design and then develop the JDA. This project is part of the City’s ongoing commitment to partner with the Wolastoqey to ensure that, together, we create a First Nation presence in the downtown that promotes the Wolastoqey History, Language, Traditions and Culture.