Port Hawkesbury

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Port Hawkesbury
Gaelic: Baile a' Chlamhain / An Gut
Official seal of Port Hawkesbury
Nickname(s): Cape Breton's Front Porch
Port Hawkesbury is located in Nova Scotia
Port Hawkesbury
Port Hawkesbury
Location of Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia
Coordinates: 45°36′55″N 61°21′51″W / 45.61528°N 61.36417°W / 45.61528; -61.36417
Country  Canada
Province  Nova Scotia
Municipality Inverness County
Founded 1789
Incorporated January 22, 1889
 • Mayor Billy Joe MacLean
 • Governing Body Port Hawkesbury Town Council
 • Total 8.11 km2 (3.13 sq mi)
Highest elevation 54 m (177 ft)
Lowest elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2011)
 • Total 3,366
 • Density 433.4/km2 (1,123/sq mi)
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
 • Summer (DST) ADT (UTC-3)
Postal code B9A
Area code(s) 902
Telephone Exchange 625
Median Earnings* $48,141
NTS Map 011F11
Website townofporthawkesbury.ca
  • Median household income, 2005 ($) (all households)

Coordinates: 45°36′55″N 61°21′51″W / 45.61528°N 61.36417°W / 45.61528; -61.36417 (Port Hawkesbury Nova Scotia)

Port Hawkesbury (Scottish Gaelic: Baile a' Chlamhain) is a town located on the southwestern end of Cape Breton Island, on the north shore of the Strait of Canso, in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.

The town was originally named Ship Harbour (after the harbour upon which it is located) and is largely a service centre for western Cape Breton Island with many of its residents working in large industries in an industrial park located in the adjacent community of Point Tupper, Richmond County. The town's schools are Tamarac Education Centre (Grades primary-8), SAERC (Grades 9-12) and the Strait Area Campus of the Nova Scotia Community College.

The community is named after Admiral Sir Edward Hawke.[1]

The Port[edit]

The Port of Port Hawkesbury is the second largest by tonnage annually in Canada, second only to Vancouver, British Columbia due to large volumes of crushed rock and gravel shipments and oil trans-shipments. The Port handled 31.6 million metric tonnes in 2006, 21.6 million tonnes of crude petroleum.[2] The port is served by tugs of Svitzer Towing such as the tug Point Chebucto.[3] Historically it was a stop for American coastal steam ships.[4]


Know by its first name as Ship Harbour, Port Hawkesbury built ships for the timber export trade in the early and mid 19th century, such as the brig James, the subject of one of the earliest ship portraits in Canada.[5] Schooners and fishing boats were also built for the inshore and banks fishery by firms such as the noted boatbuilder H.W. Embree and Sons. The port further developed in the 19th century when railway connections arrived. The construction of the Canso Causeway increased the shelter capacity of the deepwater port leading to further growth in shipping of bulk commodities and the establishment of several heavy industries such as the pulp mill.

Historical residents[edit]

  • Henry Embree, noted 19th-century boatbuilder
  • Henry Nicholas Paint (1830–1921), member of Parliament for Richmond county, merchant and land owner. His family (settling from Guernsey) received land grants at Belle Vue on the Strait of Canso in 1817 and at Point Tupper in 1863, and did much to develop the local communities in the area.
  • Arthur John Langley (1888–1982) entrepreneur, civic politician, mayor for several terms. Owned marine railway in Point Tupper.

Notable people[edit]

  • Aaron Johnson, an NHL draft pick now playing with the AHL's Stockton Heat.
  • Mark Day, a film and television actor now living in Toronto and Los Angeles.
  • Lynn Coady is an author. Her best selling novels include Strange Heaven, Play the Monster Blind, Saints of Big Harbour, the Giller Prize nominated Antagonist (2011) and the Giller Prize Winning Hellgoing (2013).
Historical population
Year Pop. ±%
1901 633 —    
1911 684 +8.1%
1921 869 +27.0%
1931 1,011 +16.3%
1941 1,031 +2.0%
1951 1,034 +0.3%
1956 1,078 +4.3%
1961 1,346 +24.9%
1981 3,850 +186.0%
1986 3,869 +0.5%
1991 3,991 +3.2%
1996 3,809 −4.6%
2001 3,701 −2.8%
2006 3,517 −5.0%
2011 3,366 −4.3%
[6] [7]


The Reporter, Community Newspaper


  • Burnt Island Provincial Park
  • Lennox Passage Provincial Park


  1. ^ https://archive.org/stream/placenamesofprov00browuoft#page/116/mode/2up
  2. ^ Shipping in Canada (PDF). Statistics Canada. pp. 26, 60. 
  3. ^ Mac Mackay, "The Announcement", Tugfax, July 23, 2010
  4. ^ "Plant Line Ocean Trips". The Independent. Jul 6, 1914. Retrieved August 1, 2012. 
  5. ^ Charles Armour and Thomas Lackey Sailing Ships of the Maritimes, p. 23
  6. ^ Census 1956-1961
  7. ^ I:\ecstats\Agency\BRIAN\census2

See Also[edit]

External links[edit]