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The modern town of Riverview is the product of hundreds of years of natural and human development and the amalgamation of three smaller villages in 1973: Bridgedale, Gunningsville and Riverview Heights. The Town’s location on the edge of the Petitcodiac River has made Riverview an important gateway to the Upper Bay of Fundy Region including the world-renowned Hopewell Rocks and Fundy National Park.

The first settlers

The Mi’gmaq people lived along the Petitcodiac River long before even the earliest of European settlers. They had camps along the river, which they originally named Pet-Kout-Koy-ek meaning “the river that bends like a bow.”

In the 18th century the Petitcodiac River was home to nearly a thousand Acadians for whom the river provided a means of nutrition and travel. They used the rich nutrients of the marshlands of the area and their ingenuity to create some of the most fertile lands in North America. In 1755, the 7-Year war between France and England resulted in the deportation of the Acadian population.

In the following years, the area became populated by people known as the Pennsylvania Dutch Settlers. They can now be seen as some of the earliest “permanent settlers” to the area. Not surprisingly, some of the family names are still common in Riverview to this day, such as Stief (Steeves), Treitz (Trites), Somers, Jones, and Lutz (Lutes).

The beginning of Modern Riverview

In 1947, the Dobson family recognized a need for larger growth outside of just agriculture on the side of the Petitcodiac now known as Riverview. They created a construction company and built 49 new homes. In the heart of today’s Riverview, the buds of a new town began to flower.

The Power of the Petitcodiac

The Petitcodiac is part of a unique ecosystem that for years was the lifeblood of its surrounding area and is the home to many marine species. Following the power of the tides, industry sprang up in the area with shipbuilding, sandstone and trade allowing the economy along the River to flourish. Sadly after the addition of the causeway in the late 1960s, traffic, both man-made and marine, diminished along the River. The opening of the causeway in 2010 has allowed the river to regain some of its former glory.

5 Bridges that connect us to the world

Since 1867 the Town of Riverview and its neighbour, Moncton, have been connected by five different bridges, all named the Gunningsville bridge and sometimes lovingly renamed by locals. Storms destroyed the first two bridges, the third was replaced by the fourth, locally known as the “Old Bridge”, where many unfortunate motorists lost side mirrors. The modern bridge opened in 2005, and has dramatically improved traffic between the neighbours

Sustainability, art, community building

Today, the Town continues to grow and evolve as a community for people seeking a home outside of the city. The community has focused on unity, accessibility, and sustainability, and has opened itself to being a centre for art, culture and wellness. Through festivals and special events, all members of the Town are welcome and invited to be creative, get active and be engaged citizens.

Riverview’s role in the UNESCO designated Fundy Biosphere makes it even more committed to sustainability and working in tandem with nature, much like the earliest settlers of the area.