Moncton is a Canadian city located in Westmorland County in south-eastern New Brunswick. Situated in the Petitcodiac River Valley, it lies at the geographic centre of the Maritime Provinces. The city has gained the nickname "Hub City" because of its central location and also because Moncton has historically been the railway and land transportation hub for the Maritimes.
The city proper has a population of 69,074 (2011). The Moncton CMA has a population of 138,644 (2011) and has the fifth fastest growth rate of all the metropolitan areas in Canada. The Moncton CMA also has the fastest growth rate of any urban region east of Saskatchewan. The CMA includes the neighbouring city of Dieppe and the town of Riverview, as well as adjacent suburban areas in Westmorland and Albert counties.
Although the area was originally settled in 1733, Moncton is considered to have been officially founded in 1766 with the arrival of Pennsylvania Dutch immigrants from Philadelphia. Initially an agricultural settlement, Moncton was not incorporated until 1855. It was named for Lt. Col. Robert Monckton, the British officer who had captured nearby Fort Beauséjour a century earlier. A significant wooden shipbuilding industry had developed in the community by the mid 19th century, allowing for incorporation, but the shipbuilding economy collapsed in the 1860s. The town subsequently lost its charter in 1862 but regained it in 1875 when the community's economy rebounded, mainly due to a growing railway industry. In 1871, the Intercolonial Railway of Canada chose Moncton to be its headquarters, and Moncton remained a railroad town for well over a century until the closure of the Canadian National Railway (CNR) locomotive shops in the late 1980s.
Although the economy of Moncton was traumatized twice—by the collapse of the shipbuilding industry in the 1860s and by the closure of the CNR locomotive shops in the 1980s—the city was able to rebound strongly on both occasions