Sheet Harbour, Nova Scotia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sheet Harbour
Rural Community
Sheet Harbour is located in Nova Scotia
Sheet Harbour
Sheet Harbour
Location within Nova Scotia
Coordinates: 44°55′N 62°32′W / 44.917°N 62.533°W / 44.917; -62.533Coordinates: 44°55′N 62°32′W / 44.917°N 62.533°W / 44.917; -62.533
Country  Canada
Province  Nova Scotia
Municipality Halifax Regional Municipality
District 1
Founded 1784
 • Type Regional Council
 • Governing Council Halifax Regional Council
 • Community Council Marine Drive Valley & Canal
 • Total 188.38 km2 (72.73 sq mi)
Highest elevation 114 m (374 ft)
Lowest elevation 0 m (0 ft)
Population (2001)
 • Total 820
Time zone AST (UTC-4)
 • Summer (DST) ADT (UTC-3)
Canadian Postal code B0J 3B0
Telephone Exchange 902 885
Part of a series about Places in Nova Scotia
Sheet Harbour Welcome Sign

Sheet Harbour is a rural community on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia, Canada. It is part of the Halifax Regional Municipality and lies along the Marine Drive on Trunk 7 approximately 117 kilometres east of Halifax,


Sheet Harbour is a small rural community located on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia, in the eastern third of the Halifax Regional Municipality. It is the major community in the area. being the shopping, job & educational hub for about 5,500 people. Sheet Harbour is located slightly inland compared to other coastal communities in the area, due to the length of the harbour.

The population of Census Tract 2050154.00, which includes Sheet Harbour & several surrounding communities is: 3,478 as of 2011.

Physical Harbour[edit]

Sheet Harbour is located on the shores of Sheet Harbour (the harbour itself), a 2-pronged harbour: The west & wider arm is the Northwest Arm. The eastern & smaller arm is referred to as the Northeast Arm. The 2 arms connect just below Church Point, 2.8 Km southeast of where West River meets the Northwest Arm. The harbour continues southeast-ward, past the Sheet Harbour Industrial Port. Then, the harbour curves, then flows southwest-ward, where is meets Sheet Rock, then flows in to the Atlantic Ocean.

The Northwest Arm is the wider arm out of the two. It is, on average, about 500 metres wide. It flows 2.8 Km northwest (hence the name), until it meets the mouth of West River at the West River Falls.

The Northeast Arm flows northwest/north for 1.2 Km, under the East River Bridge, then curves northeast & flows for 0.45 Km, where it meets East River. The average width of the Northeast Arm is 130 metres.

The harbour from Church Point, where the 2 arms meet, to Sheet Rock is referred to as Sheet Harbour. After Church Point, It flows 3.2 Km southeast-ward past the Sheet Harbour Industrial Port & the community of Watt Section, Nova Scotia. It then curves & flows 6.8 Km southwest-ward/southward toward the Atlantic, passing southeast of Mushaboom, Nova Scotia, northwest of Sober Island, Nova Scotia & east of Taylor Head Provincial Park, where it meets Sheet Rock.

The Two Rivers[edit]

Two rivers empty into the harbour: West River into the Northwest Arm, & East River into the Northeast Arm.

West River begins near the Musquodoboit Valley. Several smaller streams flow into the river as it progresses southeast-ward toward Sheet Harbour. It gradually widens as it progresses toward Sheet Harbour. Lake Alma flows into West River via the Union Dam Flowage. When the river reaches 6.0 Km northwest of the head of the Northwest Arm, the river flows in to Sheet Harbour Lake. Sheet Harbour Lake ends just before the West River Bridge, where Nova Scotia Trunk 7 passes over the West River, just before the West River Falls. West River Bridge provides a great view of the falls. The falls are 0.50 Km long, & carries water from 22 metres elevation down to sea level. The river then empties into the Northwest Arm.

East River originates in the extreme northwest of Guysborough County, then flows southwest-ward into the Halifax Regional Municipality. Similar to West River, Several small streams merge with the river as it flows downstream. Lake Mulgrave & Governor Lake both flow into East River via streams. The river flows through the Liscomb Game Sanctuary. The river enters the Marshall Flowage just after exiting the Game Sanctuary. In Malay Falls, Nova Scotia, the river exits the Marshall Flowage, & enters the Ruth Falls Flowage. After it exits the Ruth Falls Flowage, the river flows past The Ruth Falls Power Plant, a hydro generating station. It narrows back into a river, & 4.0 Km downstream, is flows into the Northeast Arm.

Grand Lake, a large lake west of Sheet Harbour, also empties into the harbour via West Lake & Little West River in West Sheet Harbour.


The settlement began in 1784 by Loyalist refugees and British veterans of the American Revolution and became a prosperous centre for the lumber industry.

Sheet Harbour was named "Port North" on the Royal Navy Chart that was published in 1778. It was decided that "Port North" was not descriptive enough so its name was changed to Sheet Harbour because of a white, flat rock that looks like a sheet (named Sheet Rock). Sheet Rock can be found at the entrance of the harbour. Sheet Harbour for about two decades was known as Cambell Town, this name fell into disuse and became known as Sheet Harbour.[1]


The economy of Sheet Harbour is based on the tourism, fishery and forestry. In October 1885 the Halifax Wood Fibre Company located the first sulphide pulp mill in Canada at East River, Sheet Harbour. The site is now occupied by the Wildlife Centre and a Camp Ground. A stone monument commemorates the pulp mill. Later on October 5th 1925 a ground-wood pulp mill owned by the American Pulp and Wrapping Paper Co. of Albany New York began operation on the West River at the head of the Northwest Arm of Sheet Harbour. This pulp mill replaced a saw mill owned by Rhodes & Currie, which AP&W had purchased from Rhodes and Currie in 1923 and which remained in operation through a number of different owners until destroyed by Hurricane Beth in August 1971. (Coady 1988 and edited by John Wood of the MacPhee House Museum, Sheet Harbour 2015)In the 1990s, the Nova Scotia Government built a common user deep water dock and industrial park. This currently ships wood chips for the pulp industry and was used to service the Sable Offshore Energy Project with natural gas pipes processed at coating plant there making them suitable for placement on the ocean floor.

The Sheet Harbour and Area Chamber of Commerce operates a Visitor Information Centre at the MacPhee House situated on the site of the ground-wood Pulp Mill just east of the road bridge where the Highway #7 crosses the West River at the entrance to Sheet Harbour. The MacPhee House Community Museum there has a collection interpreting "Life before plastic" (TM)For a virtual tour

The river where the old lumber mill used to sit until a storm destroyed it. The remains are still visible to the side of the picture.


Sheet Harbour has a C@p Site for public use. It is located at the public library. It has a fax machine and is able to send emails.


  • Seaside Festival: Hosted by the local Lions Club every August for the last 60 years. It includes a parade, fireworks and much more.
The beginning of the Seaside Festival Parade August 9, 2008
  • Winter Parade: it is held in December, near Christmas.
  • Annual Fish Derby: Hosted by the local Ground Search & Rescue. It is hosted in Malay Falls, Nova Scotia in early June.
  • The area has many ATV and walking trails.
  • Sheet Harbour's Rockets Field which is one of the two baseball fields in Sheet Harbour
  • Taylor Head Beach - a nearby day-use Provincial Park with extensive hiking trails
  • Liscombe Lodge Resort & Conference Centre is located 56 Km/51 Min. northeast on Nova Scotia Trunk 7 toward Sherbrooke, Nova Scotia in Liscomb, Nova Scotia.
  • Spry Bay Campground: A campground located near Taylor Head Beach, just a minute west of the park.

Programs for Kids[edit]

The 2610 Royal Canadian Army Cadet Corps is in Sheet Harbour. This Corps has put Sheet Harbour on the map in Cadet circles for its ability to produce the best young Air Rifle shooters in Canada.


Sheet Harbour Bridge
  • Total Population - 820
  • Total Dwellings - 426
  • Total Land Area - 188.384 km²


The community is at the junction of three highways: Trunk 7, Route 224,and Route 374. The community also has a small harbour authority and a commercial port. A new bridge is currently under construction to replace the East River Bridge, which is nearing the end of it's life span: It was built in the late 1950's. Construction began in late 2014. There will also be road modifications because of the new bridge. The bridge, along with surrounding road modifications, is expected to be completed in late 2015. The old bridge is scheduled to be demolished in 2016. The new bridge is expected to have a lifespan of 75 years.



Sheet Harbour boasts a Home Hardware Store, an NSLC, a Public Library, which is owned & operated by Halifax Public Libraries, a convenience store, a small park, a takeout, a Police Station, which is run by the RCMP & a Fire Station, & 3 churches. The Fire Station is located near the Helipad, which is operated by Sheet Harbour & Area Ground Search & Rescue. Sheet Harbour also hosts 1 apartment building, 2 gas stations, operated by Irving Oil & Wilson Fuel (Wilsons Gas Stops) respectively, a Foodland Grocery store & 2 banks, operated by Scotiabank & Credit Union respectively. Just west in Spry Bay, Nova Scotia is a Dept. of Transportation & Public Works, owned & operated by the Nova Scotia Government. The Sheet Harbour Industrial Port is located 5 minutes west of Sheet Harbour. It is run by the Halifax Port Authority. A windmill is in operation in Watt Section, Nova Scotia, just east on Nova Scotia Trunk 7. Ruth Falls Power Plant, a hydro generating station, is active in Malay Falls, Nova Scotia, 10 minutes north of Sheet Harbour.

Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital/Harbourview Lodge[edit]

Eastern Shore Memorial Hospital is a hospital located in Sheet Harbour. It is owned & operated by Capital District Health Authority. It has 16 beds for patients. Its purpose is to serve the eastern third of the Halifax Regional Municipality, from East Ship Harbour to Ecum Secum. It was opened in 1949. There is a war monument & gardens in front of the site where Duncan MacMillan Nursing Home once stood. The hospital offers quite a few services. It is connected to Harbourview Lodge, a nursing home, by a hallway. Harbourview Lodge was built in 2011 to replace Duncan MacMillan Nursing Home, because DMNH was getting old; it was built in 1948 originally as ESMH. It was converted into a nursing home in 1983 after the current ESMH building was built.

Taylor Head Provincial Park[edit]

Just 10 minutes west of Sheet Harbour on Nova Scotia Trunk 7 in Spry Bay, Nova Scotia is Taylor Head Provincial Park. It has 2 beaches. The entire park is located on a peninsula which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. It contains over 15 Km of pristine coastline. Hunting and firearms are forbidden in the Park. The Park contains over 22 Km of walking/hiking trails, and over 1 Km of beautiful beaches. It is open from May-October each year.


  • Beach Walk 1 Km; Easy Hike
  • Bob Bluff Trail 3 Km; Moderate Hike
  • Spry Bay Trail 4 Km; Moderate Hike; Loop Trail
  • Bull Beach Trail 6 Km; Moderate Hike
  • Headland Trail 8 Km; Challenging Hike; Loop Trail

Sheet Harbour Industrial Port[edit]

The Sheet Harbour Industrial Port was built in 1986. It is located 5 minutes west of Sheet Harbour. It has common user docks & is regularly used to export wood chips & import Wind Turbine segments. It is run by the Halifax Port Authority. It is a major employer in Sheet Harbour.


A plan is in the works for Halifax Regional School Board to close Sheet Harbour Consolidated School, Duncan MacMillan High School, Lakefront Consolidated School, located in Tangier, Nova Scotia, & Eastern Consolidated School, located in Moser River, Nova Scotia & replace those schools with a larger, more modern Grade Primary-12 School somewhere in Sheet Harbour. It is unknown at the time where & when the school will be built.


  1. ^ Found in Sheet Harbour: A Local History by James E. Rutledge written in 1954, page 9-10. Howard Coady; Sheet Harbour History, Lancelot Press Ltd. 1988 Hantsport N.S.

External links[edit]