What is Uptown Saint John Inc.?
We represent about 650 business in a geographically defined 20 block area. Covering a large part of Uptown Saint John, our target area is described as the central business district, or the main “hub” of the peninsula. We are a not for profit, operating through a levy from business owners that is legislated and collected by the government on our behalf. We use these funds to deliver a wide array of services to the businesses in our geographic area. Day to day we advocate for our business; this can be on issues ranging from the environment, to city beautification. We also work with our partners to provide clean and safe streets along with marketing for the district. This in addition to creating the space for urban design and development.
Operation Falcon is occurring now – with 2,700+ workers, many coming from out of town, what is your pitch for coming uptown to spend free-time?
If you want to get the essence of Saint John, and get the cultural experience, you absolutely have to come uptown. Being in the Uptown connects you to the city, to the restaurants and the chefs, the theatre and so much more. We are such a walkable city, even with the shortest, steepest hill on a main street in Canada.
But even so, at both ends of the hill we have major assets; the Port and the Bay of Fundy at the bottom, King’s Square sitting at the top, and so much more in between. From the City Market, a historical treasure from the 1800’s to all the boutique shops, there really is so much to explore.
If you want to catch the buzz – the hum – Uptown really is the place to be. As the saying goes, you really can live, work and play right here in the core of our city.
You’ve mentioned that Saint John feels like it’s on the cusp of something big. What do you mean by that?
Operation Falcon certainly has something to do with it. We often hear about potential for new jobs, and new growth, but it’s amazing to see it actually come to light. When people are actually coming in, and we have numbers and timelines to show it, it gives the city a lot of hope. It shows that we aren’t a city where everyone is getting up and leaving, we are creating a pull and people are staying.
But this goes beyond just the energy and industrial sectors. With the growth of ICT in Saint John, the upcoming port expansion and the new call centers coming to Uptown there is so much happening all across the board.
The Chop Chop restaurant festival is wrapping up this weekend, can you tell us a bit more about it?
Saint John has so many wonderful restaurants, and Chop Chop is our chance to show them off. For a full week, restaurants will put on fixed menus, at fixed prices, with a dollar from each purchase going to support Lunch Connection, a program providing free hot lunches to deserving children and Youth.
This year, we put a new twist on the event by placing the focus on the amazing chefs who prepare the incredible dishes. I’ve heard so many stories of people coming from Moncton and Fredericton just to enjoy a special meal at one of our restaurants, so it’s wonderful to celebrate the people who are making that happen for our city. The event wraps up Nov. 8!
For more info, menus and prices, check out www.chopchopsj.com
To see some of the delicious creations from Saint John Chefs, check out www.instagram.com/uptownsaintjohn
We’re chatting in your new office space on Canterbury Street, why the move?
We’re stepping up our game, and continuing to work with partners to build strong ties in the community. This new space, accessible on street level, will have room to incubate new ideas and new business. WE can have people come in, share our home, and use the window’s to display marketing collateral as they look to build and grow their business. It will also allow us to host mixers, and increase our visibility and presence within the bustling uptown core.