Gaelic: Baile a' Chlamhain / An Gut
|Nickname(s): Cape Breton's Front Porch|
|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)|
|• Density||433.4/km2 (1,123/sq mi)|
|Time zone||AST (UTC-4)|
|• Summer (DST)||ADT (UTC-3)|
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 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. The port is served by tugs of Svitzer Towing such as the tug Point Chebucto. Historically it was a stop for American coastal steam ships.
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. 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.
- 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.
- Aaron Johnson, an NHL draft pick now playing with the AHL's Hartford Wolfpack.
- 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).
- 101.5 (FM) - The Hawk
- SAERC FM - 93.9
- SAERC TV
The Reporter, Community Newspaper
- Shipping in Canada (PDF). Statistics Canada. pp. 26, 60.
- Mac Mackay, "The Announcement", Tugfax, July 23, 2010
- "Plant Line Ocean Trips". The Independent. Jul 6, 1914. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
- Charles Armour and Thomas Lackey Sailing Ships of the Maritimes, p. 23