The Saint John City Market has been chosen as Canada's Great Public Space for 2013 by the Canadian Institute of Planners.

The City Market was one of 68 entries in the contest. Finalists were selected from more than 100,000 public votes cast across the country during a four-month voting period that closed on Sept. 23.

Saint John City Market

Saint John's City Market was chosen as Canada's Great Public Space for 2013 (Tourism NB)

Contest judge Teresa Ritteman noted the market is a cultural and historic icon.

"It's unique architectural character reflects the local landscape and traditions of Saint John as a port city," stated Ritteman. "It provides year-round economic opportunities and social interaction for people of all ages and abilities, fosters local food security and promotes the use of public and active transportation in its interconnectedness with the rest of the city."

While the City Market was chosen the national winner in the category, the McAdam Train Station was named as the People's Choice in the Great Public Spaces category.

McAdam train station

The McAdam train station was the People's Choice in the Great Places in Canada contest. (Tourism N.B.)

The contest is staged annually by the institute to celebrate places Canadians love and to highlight the role of professional planners in creating these places.

Saint John Mayor Mel Norton welcomed the news.

"The City Market is a historic centerpiece of our revitalized city centre and embodies what we all love most about Saint John," said Norton. "For over a century, it has been a place where friends and neighbours meet to enjoy food and wares from around the world."

The Saint John City Market is the oldest continuing farmer's market in Canada, with a charter dating from 1785.