Louisbourg, Nova Scotia

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"Louisbourg" redirects here. For the fortress, see Fortress of Louisbourg.
Louisbourg
Community
Louisbourg harbour
Louisbourg harbour
Louisbourg is located in Nova Scotia
Louisbourg
Louisbourg
Location of Louisbourg, Nova Scotia
Coordinates: 45°55′N 59°59′W / 45.917°N 59.983°W / 45.917; -59.983
Country  Canada
Province  Nova Scotia
Regional Municipality Cape Breton
Incorporated Town 1901
Dissolved August 1, 1995
Area
 • Land 3.3 km2 (1.3 sq mi)
Population (2011)
 • Total 1,023
 • Density 286.8/km2 (743/sq mi)
Time zone Atlantic (AST) (UTC-4)
 • Summer (DST) ADT (UTC-3)
Area code(s) 902

Louisbourg is an unincorporated community and former town located in Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

History[edit]

The town's name was given by French military forces who founded the Fortress of Louisbourg in 1713 and its fortified seaport on the southwest part of the harbour, in honour of Louis XIV. The harbour had previously been known and used by European mariners since at least the 1590s, when it was known as English Port and Havre à l'Anglois. The French settlement that dated from 1713 was much altered after its final capture in 1758. Its fortifications were demolished in 1760 and the town-site abandoned by British forces in 1768. A small civilian population continued to live there after the military left.[1]

Subsequent English settlers built a small fishing village across the harbour from the abandoned site of the fortress. The village grew slowly with additional Loyalists settlers in the 1780s. The harbour grew more accessible with the construction of the second Louisbourg Lighthouse in 1842 on the site of the original French lighthouse destroyed in 1758. A railway first reached Louisbourg in 1877, but it was poorly built and abandoned after a forest fire. However the arrival of Sydney and Louisburg Railway in 1894 brought heavy volumes of winter coal exports to Louisbourg Harbour's ice-free waters as a winter coal port. The harbour was used by the Canadian government ship Montmagny in 1912 to land bodies from the sinking of the RMS Titanic.

Incorporated in 1901, the Town of Louisbourg was disincorporated when all municipal units in Cape Breton County were merged into a single tier regional municipality in 1995.

Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1941 1,012 —    
1951 1,120 +10.7%
1961 1,417 +26.5%
1981 1,410 −0.5%
1986 1,355 −3.9%
1991 1,373 +1.3%
1996 1,267 −7.7%
2001 1,157 −8.7%
2006 988 −14.6%
2011 946 −4.3%
[2][3][4] 2006 population adjusted to match 2011 boundaries.

Name[edit]

Pronounced "Lewisburg" by its largely English-speaking population, the present community has been identified by slightly different spellings over the years by both locals and visitors. The town was originally spelled Louisburg and several companies, including the Sydney and Louisburg Railway adopted this spelling. On 6 April 1966, the Nova Scotia House of Assembly passed "An Act to Change the Name of the Town of Louisburg" which resulted in the town changing its official name to the original French spelling Louisbourg.

Economy[edit]

Louisbourg's economy is dominated by the seasonal tourism industry and seafood processing. The depletion of ground fish stocks has negatively affected local fish processing operations in recent decades.

In the 1960s, Parks Canada completed a partial reconstruction of the Fortress of Louisbourg. Today this National Historic Site of Canada is the town's dominant economic engine, employing many residents and attracting thousands of tourists every year. The fortress holds large scale Historical reenactments every few years to mark important historical events and attract visitors to the town. The most recent in July 2008, commemorated the 250th anniversary of the first British siege victory over French forces in July 1758.[5] The town's more recent history is preserved at the Sydney and Louisburg Railway Museum located in the restored railway station in the centre of town.[6]

Annually, the community hosts the Louisbourg Crab Fest.[7] A large golf course and residential resort is planned near the community; designed by Nick Faldo, the resort was expected to open in 2010 but development stalled in the recession.[8]

Louisbourg is home to the Louisbourg Playhouse, a theatre company operating in an Elizabethan theatre that was used as a prop in the live action 1994 Disney film Squanto: A Warrior's Tale.[9]

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Louisbourg
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 14
(57)
13
(55)
17
(63)
19
(66)
29
(84)
31.7
(89.1)
31
(88)
32
(90)
31.5
(88.7)
24
(75)
20
(68)
13.5
(56.3)
32
(90)
Average high °C (°F) −0.9
(30.4)
−1.4
(29.5)
1.4
(34.5)
5.3
(41.5)
10.7
(51.3)
16
(61)
19.8
(67.6)
21
(70)
17.8
(64)
12.1
(53.8)
6.8
(44.2)
2.1
(35.8)
9.2
(48.6)
Average low °C (°F) −8.8
(16.2)
−9.5
(14.9)
−5.8
(21.6)
−1.3
(29.7)
2.6
(36.7)
7.2
(45)
11.9
(53.4)
13.6
(56.5)
10.1
(50.2)
4.9
(40.8)
0.5
(32.9)
−5.1
(22.8)
1.7
(35.1)
Record low °C (°F) −26
(−15)
−25
(−13)
−23
(−9)
−13.5
(7.7)
−7
(19)
−1.5
(29.3)
4
(39)
3.5
(38.3)
−1.7
(28.9)
−4.5
(23.9)
−12
(10)
−20.6
(−5.1)
−26
(−15)
Precipitation mm (inches) 143.1
(5.634)
126.9
(4.996)
139
(5.47)
133
(5.24)
121.2
(4.772)
115.5
(4.547)
109.8
(4.323)
107.9
(4.248)
128
(5.04)
155.1
(6.106)
159.3
(6.272)
160
(6.3)
1,598.8
(62.945)
Source: Environment Canada[10]

Fictional usage[edit]

Louisbourg (spelt Louisberg) was mentioned in Nathaniel Hawthorne's story Feathertop. The town is also a major setting for Thomas H. Raddall's 1946 novel Roger Sudden. The town "Louisburg" is mentioned in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's Evangeline. The 2011 film Take This Waltz begins with a re-enactment scene from the fortress and features the lighthouse in several shots.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Johnston, A. J. B. (2013). Louisbourg: Past, Present, Future. Halifax: Nimbus. 
  2. ^ 140.pdf, Canada Year Book 1955
  3. ^ [1], Canada Year Book 1967
  4. ^ [2], Census Profile - Designated place
  5. ^ Grand Encampment Web Page
  6. ^ *"Sydney and Louisburg Railway Historical Society" UCCB Societies Page
  7. ^ Crab Fest web page
  8. ^ Resort Web Page
  9. ^ Louisbourg Playhouse Web Page
  10. ^ Environment Canada Canadian Climate Normals 1971–2000, accessed 16 July 2009

References[edit]

Further reading[edit]

Coordinates: 45°55′11.5″N 59°58′22.1″W / 45.919861°N 59.972806°W / 45.919861; -59.972806