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Port Hawkesbury History

Port Hawkesbury 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 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.

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.

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Latest News
November 12, 2018
Notice of Construction: Hiram Street Repaving
Please be advised that asphalt milling work will be taking place on Hiram Street in front of the Fire Hall on Tuesday, November 13th.  The work...
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November 09, 2018
Strait Area Pool - Closure
The pool will be closed on Sunday Nov 11th, and Monday Nov 12th in observation of Remembrance...
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November 05, 2018
Pitt Street / Napean Street Reconstruction Project
Notice to Residents of Pitt Street New concrete sidewalk will be installed on Pitt Street between Queen Street and Granville Street today through...
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November 02, 2018
Prime Suspects: Canada’s Prime Ministers in Caricature by Bruce MacKinnon Travels to Port Hawkesbury
Prime Suspects: Canada’s Prime Ministers in Caricature by Bruce MacKinnon Travels to Port Hawkesbury   In this solo exhibition,...
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