Saint John is an industrial city. There’s no mistaking the slight tang of sulfur in the air when the wind is blowing the right (or wrong) direction. There’s no avoiding the pulp and paper mill at the site of Saint John’s most famous landmark, the Reversing Falls (Rapids). I was told recently about a survey conducted with tourists at Reversing Falls; one of the questions was about whether they found the sight of the pulp mill offensive. But the tourists didn’t see a problem with having the mill there. What they wanted to know was the history of it — how did the pulp mill get there; what role did it play in Saint John’s history, what does it tell us about the role of timber and pulpwood in the growth of the city? And when you look at it like that, this pulp mill is at least as much a landmark as the blockhouse on Fort Howe, with perhaps more historical significance.
Taken on November 19, 2009