Off grid living in New Brunswick ( The Picture Province )

New Brunswick is located in the eastern part of Canada, this province was amongst the first ones to be colonized by the French in 1600. This province has two official languages, French and English, schools and universities teach in both languages. Although if you do not speak french you will still be able to manage as most of the population is bilingual. New Brunswick’s population is around 780k people and during the past couple of years, it has started to rise slightly.

New Brunswick is a fairly good province for off grid living, the cost of living and the cost of property is not that high and the local economy is fairly strong. You also have the ability to grow your own food and the local authorities offer several incentives for renewable energy. On the other hand, the local climate is probably not the best for off grid living, although if you come from the northern US or from one of the northern provinces then you will have no problems.

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This province doesn’t have any cities with over 100k population, in fact, most of the population is scattered around in smaller cities and towns. The biggest cities in New Brunswick are Moncton with 78k population, followed by Saint John 70k, Fredericton 64k, Dieppe 28k, Riverview 20k, and Quispamsis with 19k residents. The capital city of this province is Fredericton, which is an important cultural hub, most of the region’s artists live here and this town hosts the Harvest Festival every year.

From an off grid living perspective, this province can be a real paradise, in fact during the past couple of years more and more people are moving to the smaller towns and cities, especially people who are coming from the capital Ottawa. New Brunswick is a border province, it is right next to Main, which certainly helps the local economy. This province was amongst the first ones to be visited by the Vikings around 500 years before America was officially discovered.

There are several Viking settlements found in this province, and to this day nobody knows for sure what happened to these settlements. Some historians claim that these settlements have been abandoned due to the harsh local climate and the lack of food, although the most probable cause for the fall of these settlements is conflict. If you want to take a loot at the eastern neighbor of NB then check out my recent article Off grid living in Newfoundland and Labrador ( The Rock ).

New Brunswick climate

New Brunswick’s climate is humid continental, which means that summers are hot and winters are cold. New Brunswick has the sea in the south and in the east, which means that the local weather can be fairly unpredictable and extremely humid. The average summer temperatures are between 68F and 85F ( 20C and 30C ) the average winter temperatures are below freezing and while the arctic winds are blowing it can get as low as -22 °F ( -30 °C ). If you want to compare this province to its southern neighbor then check out my recent article Off grid living Maine ( The Pine Tree State ).

Types of crops grown in New Brunswick

The most commonly grown crops in New Brunswick are corn for grain, canola, soybeans, cranberries, blueberries, hay, and potatoes. The local climate isn’t the best for growing crops, and if you want to grow your own food in this province then you will need to set up a greenhouse. Generally speaking, the most fertile lands are in the southwestern regions of this province. If you want to compare this province to its northern neighbor then check out my recent article Off grid living in Quebec ( La Belle Province ).

Freshwater availability in New Brunswick

As this province has a humid continental climate there is plenty of fresh water. The average yearly rainfall is one of the highest in the entire country, it is around 46″ ( 1118 mm ), due to the high humidity the average yearly snowfall is also high at around 150″ ( 3800 mm ) although most of the snowfall is in the northern parts of the province.

New Brunswick wildlife

New Brunswick has a fairly diverse wildlife, the most common ones are seals, moose, deer, whales, black bears, wolves, foxes, coyotes, and bobcats. The most common fish found in this province are the American shad, brook trout, burbot, chain pickerel, lake whitefish, muskellunge, white perch, striped bass, Atlantic sturgeon, blueback herring, Atlantic cod, and white hake. You will need a fishing license both for freshwater and saltwater fishing https://www2.gnb.ca/content/gnb/en/services/services_renderer.1115.Fishing_Licence.html.

Generating power off the grid in New Brunswick

  • Solar power: New Brunswick gets plenty of sunshine, especially during the summertime. This province also offers several rebates and incentives for solar power like the New Home Energy Savings Program, and the Total Home Energy Savings Program (THESP) which is offered to Énergie NB Power, and the rates will be different from one region to another. In addition to this, you can also use the Federal Tax Provision for Clean Energy Equipment.
  • Wind power: In some areas, people tend to stick with wind turbines, especially near the coast. The local authorities also offer incentives for wind power setups like the Federal Tax Provision for Clean Energy Equipment and the THESP.

New Brunswick off grid laws

Living off the grid in New Brunswick is legal, and for many people living here, it is a way of life. New Brunswick’s education system is one of the best in the country, although you can homeschool your children, but you will have to read the homeschooling laws carefully as they are strict.

Road access in New Brunswick

The road access in New Brunswick is somewhat better than in the neighboring provinces, although the population density is fairly low, but so is the size of the province which makes getting around fairly easy. For the most part, New Brunswick has roads all across the province, although in some northwestern areas there are not a lot of roads.

Price of land in New Brunswick

The price of land is a little bit higher than the national average near the bigger cities, although the price of property and land drop significantly in the northern parts of the province. The good news is that there are a lot of off grid homesteads in this province, so with a little bit of luck, you will be able to find a proper off grid place below the market price.

New Brunswick cost of living

The cost of living is around the national average, some would even say that it is fairly cheap. New Brunswick has a favorable geographic location when it comes to roads and transport, most areas have road access and the cost of importing items is not that high. As this province is a border province there are a lot of companies in this area that focus mainly on exporting locally manufactured items.

New Brunswick jobs

Currently, the unemployment rate is around 7.9% which is higher than the 6.9% national average. The minimum wage is $11.50 which is around the same level as in the neighboring provinces. The biggest industries are real estate, public administration, manufacturing, healthcare, construction, finance, transportation, fishing, trade, and tourism.

New Brunswick natural disasters

The most common natural disasters in New Brunswick are earthquakes, wildfires, tornadoes, storms, hurricanes, floods, and flash floods. The most commonly occurring natural disasters are floods, mostly because the tide in New Brunswick is one of the highest in the country, which often forces rivers to flow upstream when the tide is high.

In conclusion

Overall New Brunswick is a good place for off grid living, during the summertime the climate is one of the best in the country for growing crops, and you can also fish both in freshwater and saltwater. The cost of living in the bigger cities is slightly higher but living near a smaller city or town will drastically reduce the cost of living.