The Young Men’s Christian Association in Saint John, New Brunswick, began as a literary society in the mid-1850s.

By 20 November 1867, the YMCA was officially organized and plans were made to build an appropriate facility. By 1872, its first building was constructed and housed parlours, reading rooms, classrooms, a library, gymnasium and a large theatre that could seat 850 people. In 1870, the Young Women’s Christian Association was formed in Saint John. Both organizations were originally intended to provide places where groups of like-minded citizens could interact and a “healthy mind in a healthy body” could be formed.

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