Container village to boost tourism in port city

News release

July 30, 2021 · Saint John, New Brunswick · Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

Canada's tourism sector is a key economic driver and the Government of Canada continues to ensure that tourism businesses and organizations, as well as municipalities and Indigenous communities dependent on the sector, are resourced and ready to start back up as our economy reopens. That is why the federal government, through ACOA, is supporting the Port of Saint John to develop tourism infrastructure and contribute to the city’s recovery efforts.

Governments invest in re-development of Port property

Today, Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint John – Rothesay, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, along with New Brunswick Minister of Environment and Climate Change and minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation, the Honourable Gary Crossman, announced a total contribution of over $1.7 million to the Saint John Port Authority.

The Government of Canada, through ACOA, is announcing a commitment to provide a non-repayable contribution of $1,295,000, while the Government of New Brunswick, is providing a

contribution of $450,000 to the Port to establish a container village. The announcement will be made during the opening ceremonies of the AREA 506 Waterfront Concert Series.

The container village, consisting of customized containers for local businesses, retail and hospitality vendors, as well as a stage, lounge and plaza, will create new tourism experiences and business opportunities along the City’s waterfront.

This investment demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to supporting the tourism sector, as well as spurring job creation and prosperity across the country. 


“The Government of Canada recognizes the tremendous value of the tourism industry in Atlantic Canada. By supporting projects like this one, we will continue to help businesses and organizations attract more visitors to the region as restrictions are lifted.”

- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“For the tourism industry to come back strong, we need the support of the community. That is why we are proud to develop tourism infrastructure like the container village in Saint John, which will help reposition Atlantic Canada as a destination of choice and prepare the region to welcome more visitors when the time is right.”

- Wayne Long, Member of Parliament for Saint John – Rothesay

“By investing in this type of infrastructure, we are positioning the tourism sector for a strong recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as the industry re-opens. Container village, combined with other recent investments in uptown infrastructure and the Fundy Quay development, are transforming the city and will help build a better New Brunswick.”

- Gary Crossman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporationbut the word

“We are pleased and excited today to share in this announcement of a new and permanent container village on Water Street, adjacent to our primary cruise terminal. This development, and our partnership with the AREA 506 team, represents a unique opportunity to expand waterfront access to both residents and visitors. The development will provide engaging retail opportunities, outdoor performance areas, and community-oriented spaces that both elevate and complement the great existing attractions in our Uptown core as well as those currently in development in our Port City. With our partners at AREA 506 we thank both the Government of Canada and Province of New Brunswick for their support in creating this new attraction for the

- Captain Chris Hall, Interim CEO, Port Saint John

“Since our inception in 2016, Port Saint John has been an incredible partner and we could not be happier to work with them to develop a new, permanent home to elevate the experience for cruise passengers, as well as to create an incredible new destination for local residents and regional tourism.  We are excited to extend the AREA 506 experience across the entire season to provide a place for live entertainment, waterfront drinks and incredible retail experiences beginning next Spring”.

- Ray Gracewood, Founder and Chairperson, AREA 506

Quick facts

  • The Port of Saint John, Atlantic Canada’s largest port by volume, occupies 300 acres of land along 12,800 feet of waterfront of the Saint John Harbour. With several marine facilities situated on either side, the Port has a diverse cargo base, handling an average of 28 million metric tonnes of cargo annually, including dry and liquid bulks, break bulk, and containers.

  • Budget 2021 includes measures to revitalize Canada’s tourism sector through $1 billion to help tourism businesses recover, and support festivals and cultural events that provide jobs and growth in many of our cities and communities.

  • The federal funding announced today is provided through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF), which supports strategic projects that build the economies of Atlantic Canada's communities.

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic
Development and Official Languages

Dominique Bouchard
Communications Officer

Mary-Ann Hurley-Corbyn
Director of Communications
Regional Development Corporation

Paula Copeland
Director, Communications
Saint John Port Authority

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