South Harbour, Nova Scotia

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South Harbour, Nova Scotia is located in Nova Scotia
South Harbour, Nova Scotia
South Harbour in Nova Scotia

South Harbour is a small community in Victoria County, Nova Scotia, Canada. The community is located in the Aspy Bay region of Cape Breton Island. It sits on the Cabot Trail, and borders the Cape Breton Highlands National Park to the south.


The earliest European settlers were English, Scottish and Irish, who arrived around 1830. The earliest land grantees settled in 1881. A schoolhouse was established in the community in 1883.[1]


Properly speaking, South Harbour is a misnomer - the sole outlet of the “harbour” is a channel through a sandbar into the ocean, and is too small for commercial watercraft to traverse. The sandbar is narrow enough that the salty ocean water seeps into the harbour, causing the harbour's water to be brackish. Therefore the body of water is actually an estuary. The channel periodically plugs and unplugs, and shifts location up and down the sandbar. The two main freshwater sources that feed into South Harbour are Effie's brook and Glasgow brook.


The harbour and beach are frequented by many varieties of ducks and geese. The brackish water is ideal for a variety of mollusks.


As is the case with many communities on Cape Breton Island, the fisheries play a large role in the economy. Oysters and mussels are harvested in the harbour. A quarry and asphalt plant are also located in the community. Tourism is playing an increasing role in the local economy, with many opportunities for outdoor activities in the region.


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Coordinates: 46°51′43.03″N 60°27′57.61″W / 46.8619528°N 60.4660028°W / 46.8619528; -60.4660028 (South Harbour, Nova Scotia)