Inverness, Nova Scotia

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Gaelic: Baile Inbhir Nis
Inverness NS Canada.jpg
Inverness is located in Nova Scotia
Location of Inverness, Nova Scotia
Coordinates: 46°13′49″N 61°18′23″W / 46.23028°N 61.30639°W / 46.23028; -61.30639Coordinates: 46°13′49″N 61°18′23″W / 46.23028°N 61.30639°W / 46.23028; -61.30639
Country  Canada
Province  Nova Scotia
County Inverness
Established 1904
Electoral Districts     

Cape Breton—Canso
Provincial Inverness
 • MLA Allan MacMaster (PC)
 • MP Rodger Cuzner (L)
Population (2011)
 • Total 1,387
Time zone UTC-4 (AST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-3 (ADT)
Postal code(s) B0E
Area code(s)

Inverness (Scottish Gaelic: Baile Inbhir Nis) is a Canadian rural community in Inverness County, Nova Scotia. It is about 1 hour north from the Canso Causeway and about 1 hour south from Cape Breton Highlands National Park. In 2016 its population was 1,248, up 2.2% from 2011.[1] This population growth can be attributed to an increased tourism industry centering around the 2 golf courses that have been built in the town over the last number of years.


Historical population

Located on the west coast of Cape Breton Island fronting the Gulf of St. Lawrence, Inverness sits astride a small coal seam which was exploited from the late 19th century to the mid-late 20th century, beginning with a mine opened by William Penn Hussey of Massachusetts. Before Hussey industrialized the coal operations of the town it was exploited by the locals, but without a means to export the coal it was never mined in earnest. Hussey was able to secure financial backing from European investors and soon dredged a portion of the sand dunes to connect MacIsaac's Pond to the Gulf of St. Lawrence. With that done he had a few piers and wharves built, laid a small railway and all of a sudden was shipping coal to foreign markets[8]. It is noted that Hussey was concerned with making a profit (which he did) and within the span of about 10 years his infrastructure fell into disrepair and he sold of interests.

Immediately following Mr. Hussey's departure the town entered the era of William Mackenzie and Donald Mann during the 1890s. These two (whom local streets are named after) were able to lobby the Government in order to fund a Railway project from Port Hawkesbury to Inverness. As a result of this endeavor they were able to open several more mines in and near Inverness during the early 20th century. These were shaft mines and extended from the area between the town and the beach out under the ocean in some cases. As a result of this boom the population of the town of Inverness (incorporated in 1904) soared to over 3,000 by 1922. Many of the mines closed following World War II with the last one closing in the early 1990s following a fire.

Inverness Raceway was established in 1926, and harness races are held twice weekly between May and October.[9]

The town had experienced economic hardship since large scale industrial coal mining ended. However there has been a recent upwards trend in population and a huge boost in tourism thanks to the introduction of spectacular golf courses to the area. Canada's only true links golf course, Cabot Links (opened in 2011) is located on the site formerly occupied by the coal mine shafts and overlooks the beaches, and the harbour. Cabot Links is currently ranked #43 in the entire world by Golf Digest.

Private investors Ben Cowan-Dewar and Mike Keiser saw some success with Cabot Links, but the destination of Inverness has really hit its stride with the introduction of second course. Just north of the community is Cabot Cliffs, which opened to much fanfare. It is ranked outstandingly at #9 in the world by Golf Digest and features some spectacular cliff views[10].

Notable people[edit]

  • Allan MacEachen, former deputy Prime Minister of Canada.
  • Alexander MacLeod, author.
  • Onna White, choreographer and dancer.
  • Al MacInnis, former professional hockey player (common misconception, Al may have been born at Inverness Hospital, but he was certainly raised and grew up in Port Hood, NS)


  1. ^ "Census Profile, 2016". Statistics Canada. 2017-11-29. Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  2. ^ [1] Archived 2014-10-19 at the Wayback Machine., Censuses 1871-1931
  3. ^ [2] Archived 2013-12-09 at the Wayback Machine., Census 1941-1951
  4. ^ Census 1956-1961 Archived 2016-08-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ [3] Archived 2014-12-23 at the Wayback Machine., Census 1961
  6. ^ [4], Censuses 1981-2001
  7. ^ I:\ecstats\Agency\BRIAN\census2
  8. ^ "History of Inverness County, Nova Scotia". Retrieved 2018-06-04.
  9. ^ "Inverness Raceway in Canada". NewMedia Holdings. Retrieved 27 July 2010.
  10. ^ Szurlej, Ron Whitten,Dom Furore, Stephen. "Ranking: World's 100 Greatest Golf Courses - Golf Digest". Golf Digest. Retrieved 2018-06-04.

External links[edit]