Stanley, Nova Scotia

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Stanley, Nova Scotia is located in Nova Scotia
Stanley, Nova Scotia
Stanley in Nova Scotia

Stanley is a community in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, Hants County, located in the Municipal District of East Hants.[1] Stanley is most renoun for being the birthplace of the acclaimed Canadian poet Alden Nowlan.


Stanley was first settled by New England planter John Smith in 1760 the village on the banks of the Kennetcook River. He was quickly followed by John Anthony (1767) and James Campbell (1772).[2]

After the American Revolution (1784), the area became part of the Douglas Township and settled by the soldiers of the 84th Regiment of Foot (Royal Highland Emigrants). The community is named for Governor General of Canada Lord Stanley of Preston in 1883,[3] after whom the Stanley Cup of the National Hockey League is named.

During the Second World War (1939–45), Stanley became the site of the Stanley Airport, which the Canadian Air Force used from March 17, 1941 until January 14, 1944 throughout the Battle of the St. Lawrence. Many of the citizens of Stanley assisted the war effort by actively supporting the Canadian Air force in training Commonwealth pilots. Barracks were built for three hundred and sixty trainees and supports staff; also the hangar to house the aircraft was erected and gained the title of largest building in Hants County.

Currently, the Stanley Airport is maintained by the Stanley Sport Aviation group.1

Alden Nowlan[edit]

Cairn for Alden Nowlan in Stanley, Nova Scotia
Until age 14, Alden Nowlan's home in Stanley

Stanley is the birthplace of renowned writer Alden Nowlan. Nowlan won the Governor General’s Award of poetry, and he is ranked alongside Canada's great poets. Nowlan grew up exposed to violence, alcoholism and poverty in precarious family circumstances. Self-educated for much of his life, he dropped out of school in grade five. He taught himself to read by befriending a librarian at the Library in Windsor, Nova Scotia (There is currently a plaque in the Windsor library dedicated to Nowlan). He graduated as a teenager from a two-week program offered by the Folk School in the Kennetcook Hotel, Kennetcook, Nova Scotia (February 1953). Published at age 19, he went to work for newspapers in New Brunswick.


According to Statistics Canada, the total population of East Hants, which is the Municipality in which Stanley resides is 21,387 as of 2006. The primary language in East Hants by 96% is English. Labour and Income: The Employment rate is 63% and the unemployment rate is 6.7%. The median income for males is 34,340 and for females it’s 17,381.

Community Events[edit]

Stanley holds an annual Pumpkin weigh-off which took place last on September 19, 2009. Stanley Sport Aviation holds the Stanley Fly, typically on the Canadian Labour Day weekend.

Coordinates: 45°5′8″N 63°55′24″W / 45.08556°N 63.92333°W / 45.08556; -63.92333 (Stanley, Nova Scotia)


Primary Texts

  • Cook, G.M. (2003). One Heart, One Way. Lawrencetown: Pottersfield Press. (p. 21)


  1. ^ Nearly halfway between the equator and the North Pole, Stanley is fifty-six kilometers north of Halifax and twenty-three kilometers east of Windsor, Nova Scotia, on Route 236.
  2. ^ Bruce Fergusson (1967). Place names of Nova Scotia.p. 643
  3. ^ Bruce Fergusson (1967). Place names of Nova Scotia


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