Home / Accueil

M R F N Building

011 Canterbury Street , Saint John, New Brunswick, E2L, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2004/01/01

Photograph of the building looking north on Canterbury Street towards King Street and illustrating the building's relationship with the neighbouring buildings; City of Saint John 2004
Contextual view of the building
Photograph displaying the storefront and detailing the cast iron pillars, storefront cornice, entrance, and window designs; City of Saint John 2004
MFRN Building Storefront
No Image

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1877/01/01 to 1881/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/08/17

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The M R F N Building is a four storey brick commercial building with Italianate characteristics at the northernmost block of Canterbury Street. The building is located in the Trinity Royal area which was recognized in the City of Saint John Preservation Areas Bylaw in 1982.

Heritage Value

This building is significant as one of a collection of Italianate and Second Empire style commercial buildings that were built between 1877 and 1881 after two thirds of the City of Saint John was destroyed in the Great Saint John Fire of 1877. Various trades’ people occupied the buildings on Canterbury Street, located one street further up from the waterfront than Prince William Street. This street is known for the banking, business and professional services that took place. Among the early occupants of the M R F N Building were plumber David Carroll in 1882 and an organization called the Fireman's Mutual Relief Fund.

This building serves as a reminder of the strong will of the Saint John merchants to rebuild the city after the fire. The brick and stone architecture sent a message that the city would be more fire resistant in the future. The elements and level of design demonstrate that the city was rebuilt in grander fashion.

Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John

Character-Defining Elements

The architectural elements relating to the Italianate style of the building include: The Storefront - metal cornice with brackets; - four brick columns and four cast iron columns; - three square two-over-two windows and one plate glass window with sandstone sills on south side of the store; - two small four over four transom windows over both south and north doors; - south side of store has two plate glass windows and four side by side one-over-one windows with sandstone sills. The Upper Stories - 2nd and 3rd floor have eight windows each. They are one over one with segmented arches. Projecting brick arches with sandstone sills painted black; - original roof-line above 3rd floor has dentils, corbel band and other decorative brick work; - projecting course of bricks above the top storey windows; - corbel band under present metal roof-line cornice; - end chimney. Other elements include: - The inscribed M R F N and other lettering on second storey.



New Brunswick

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NB)

Recognition Statute

Community Planning Act

Recognition Type

Local Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1877/01/01 to 1877/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Architecture and Design

Function - Category and Type


Commerce / Commercial Services


Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Planning and Development Department - City of Saint John

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




Related Places



Advanced SearchAdvanced Search
Nearby Places