"In the early 20th century, New Brunswick was a very big deal. . . . But over the decades, New Brunswick slipped back into relative obscurity." This how the largest travel book guide publisher in the world, Lonely Planet, begins its introduction to our province, noting most travellers simply drive-through the province.
The problem is for most Canadians - never mind those from outside our - borders - New Brunswick is the dark matter on the map of the country. Dark matter makes up much of the universe, but it cannot be directly observed as it emits no light or energy. Canadians know were here, but they just can't see us, even as they traverse the four lanes that whisk them from Quebec and Maine to the Confederation Bridge or the welcome centre at the Nova Scotia border.
It's no wonder. Our newest welcome centre, just off the four lane, bringing travellers into New Brunswick at St. Stephen, is astonishingly non-descript. If