Mabou, Nova Scotia

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Coordinates: 46°04′19″N 61°23′30″W / 46.07194°N 61.39167°W / 46.07194; -61.39167

Mabou, Nova Scotia is located in Nova Scotia
Mabou, Nova Scotia
Mabou in Nova Scotia

Mabou (Mi'kmaq: Mȧbu or Scottish Gaelic: An Drochaid "The Bridge") is a small Canadian rural community located in Inverness County on the west coast of Nova Scotia's Cape Breton Island. The population in 2011 was 1,207 residents.[1]


View of Mabou from the shore of the Mabou River
St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, Mabou

The name Mabou is thought to derive from Mi'kmaq name Malabo, shortened from Malabokek, meaning "place where two rivers meet" (the Mabou and Southwest Mabou rivers). It is also thought to mean "Shining Waters" or "Sparkling Waters".

During the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century Mabou's primary economic activity was underground coal mining with several collieries located in the surrounding area. The Inverness and Richmond Railway opened in 1901 to connect the mines in Mabou and Inverness to wharves in Mabou and Port Hastings.

Mining activity ceased following World War II and the railway was abandoned during the late 1980s. Today Mabou is primarily a fishing port for a small fleet of lobster boats. It also hosts a high school serving central Inverness County. It is also a very strong community with many farms.

Notable residents[edit]

The Rankin Family (Jimmy, Raylene, Heather, Cookie and John Morris), a renowned group of singers-songwriters and proprietors of the local establishment The Red Shoe Pub, along with former Premier of Nova Scotia Rodney MacDonald, hail from Mabou, as does cartoonist Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant). Robert Frank and Philip Glass also have summer homes in this area.


The community is located at the head of an inlet off the Gulf of St. Lawrence named "Mabou Harbour" and is surrounded by low mountains which are part of the Creignish Hills.

Present day[edit]

Mabou is the home of the An Drochaid Museum, which houses Mabou's history, cultural artifacts and records for public viewing. Glenora Distillers, producers of North America's only single malt scotch whisky, is located in Mabou.


External links[edit]