Welcome To
Acadia Broadcasting NewsThe Latest and Greatest ContentYour Trusted Local Source


The Brown House in uptown Saint John, owned by J.D. Irving, Ltd., was demolished on Jan. 9, 2023. Image: Brad Perry

Historic ‘Brown House’ Demolished In Uptown Saint John

By Brad Perry Jan 9, 2023 | 4:10 PM

It is the end of the line for a dilapidated heritage building in uptown Saint John.

The Brown House, owned by J.D. Irving, Ltd. (JDI), was demolished on Monday.

It ends months of controversy surrounding the decades-old building and future plans for the site.

Back in August, city council voted 6-3 to remove three properties at 111-119 King Street East from the local heritage conservation area.

One of the properties was home to the Brown House, which was built in 1941, and the other two were vacant.

The move paved the way for JDI to demolish the building at the corner of King Street East and Carmarthen Street and build a playground in its place.

More than a dozen people spoke out against the proposal during a public hearing in July, with some accusing JDI of neglecting the building so it had to be demolished.

Others said JDI was only asking for the heritage designation to be removed so it could maintain control over the property.

Under the city’s heritage bylaw, there is no need for a property to be removed from a heritage conservation area in order for a building to be demolished.

However, an applicant must first list the building for sale “at a reasonable price” for at least one year and accept “reasonable offers” within 10 per cent before the Heritage Development Board will issue a demolition permit.

Chris MacDonald, vice president of government relations for JDI, told council on July 11 that they had no plans to sell the property given its close proximity to the company’s head office.

“It’s important, from our perspective, to maintain that property because then we have control over that property. Once it’s sold, you never know what’s going to happen with it,” said MacDonald.

JDI also had no interest in fixing up the property, which has been vacant since 2016 due to poor living conditions and safety concerns.

MacDonald said if the building did not come down, it would likely sit there for several more years until it was torn down as part of the city’s Vacant and Dangerous Buildings Program.

“It is likely the building will continue to deteriorate,” said MacDonald. “It’s clearly beyond feasible repair, so it is going to come down one way or the other.”

According to city staff, the playground will cost between $500,000 and $1 million to build.


Leave a Reply