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Fredericton Heritage Trust York Street Audio Tour

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City of Fredericton
Rabbit Town, York Street Audio Tour, Fredericton Heritage Trust, New Brunswick, Canada

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Click for full list of buildings on tourThe next street crossing York is Aberdeen. It formed the northern boundary of an important working class community informally called Rabbit Town. In the late 1890's an industrial enclave was developing at the back of town (then around Aberdeen Street). When the first train station was built in 1869, citizens questioned its location because it was beyond city limits. Would passengers be safe as they walked north from the Station into town? How long would it take to get home? However, as Fredericton grew, the location of the train station no longer felt remote. In fact, with all the industries growing around it at the dawn of the 20th century, the train station was ideally situated to serve the commercial and shipping interests.

Three footwear factories, tanneries, and the Chestnut Canoe Factory, for example, were growing their businesses quickly. They used the trains to move their goods out to national and international markets. Mass-produced and well-priced footwear for North Americans and others further afield was in high demand. So the section of York Street around Aberdeen and south to what is now Dundonald Street was just humming with factories and businesses.

All this activity sponsored a housing boom in the area. However, most of those residents did not actually work at the factories. They built their own communities that extended past the York Street train station at Aberdeen Street going southwards and up the hill as far as Montgomery Street. Rabbit Town's eastern boundary became Regent Street, and its western boundary was Smythe Street. But no one is sure how that relatively large area of town became known as ‘Rabbit Town'.

(Click for more info Word | PDF ).

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