Truly deserving of its name, Harbour Station is located in the center of Saint John on land that was once part of the Saint John Harbour. The city was a major railway center at the turn of the 20th century; the land was reclaimed and provided the base for two majestic railway stations-the Union Depot was constructed in 1884 and then replaced by the grand Union Station in 1933.
In 1973 Union Station was no longer a viable component in the railway’s plans, so it was demolished; but even today; this magnificent marble structure is still remembered with pride and a sense of loss by many Saint John residents. The land sat idle for 18 years as politicians and area residents worked towards fulfilling their goal to have a world-class entertainment facility, which in 1992 was realized as construction began on a six-thousand seat multi-purpose sporting and entertainment complex.
With the biggest capital project in the City’s history now in full swing, the facility needed a name that would be distinctive and meaningful. After much discussion and consideration, the Saint John Regional Exhibition Center was dubbed Harbour Station. The name denotes the history and geography of the site and is a comfortable connotation of a place where people gather. The name has come to be recognized nationally and internationally as a proud symbol of Greater Saint John. With construction literally finishing on October 1, 1993, Harbour Station opened its doors on the 2nd day of October to a sold-out Cabaret concert in the round. Earlier in the year, the Calgary Flames hockey club relocated its farm team to Harbour Station and the Saint John Flames was then the newest member of the American Hockey League. The Flames and 6135 frenzied fans had their home opener on October 19. We were on our way!