Oromocto | The Canadian Encyclopedia



Oromocto, New Brunswick, incorporated as a town in 1956, population 9,223 (2016 census), 8,932 (2011 census). The town of Oromocto is located at the junction of the Oromocto and Saint John rivers, 22 km southeast of Fredericton. The Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) called the Oromocto River Wel-a-mook'-took (“deep water”) because of its good canoeing. The northeastern portion of the town bounds the Oromocto First Nation’s reserve, Oromocto No. 26.

Settlement and Development

The French had a small settlement at Oromocto in the late 1600s. After 1763, New England traders used the location during their speculations on the Saint John River.

The British army built Fort Hughes at the townsite during the American Revolution. The fort was meant to protect the new settlements, the overland route to Quebec City, and the rich harvest of pine masts for the Royal Navy. When the American Revolution ended in 1783, Loyalists began to arrive and prosperity continued.


Timber remained the economic mainstay well into the 20th century with shipyards, sawmills and the business of the local merchants supplying the hinterland settlers. The most far-reaching changes occurred in the 1950s when Canadian Forces Base Gagetown was established on Oromocto’s borders.

When the town expanded to provide for the military influx, a comprehensive plan was adopted. Today, CFB Gagetown is the Oromocto’s primary employer.