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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
April 20, 2021
Requesting Your Feedback on Safe Cycling Infrastructure
Port Hawkesbury is looking for public feedback for safe cycling infrastructure on Granville Street Bicycle Nova Scotia and the Town of Port...
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April 19, 2021
RESIDENTIAL SPRING CURBSIDE SPRING CLEAN-UP 2021
  RESIDENTIAL CURBSIDE SPRING CLEAN-UP...
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April 19, 2021
PROVINCIAL VOLUNTEER REPRESENTATIVE CEREMONY - April 26th, 2021
The Town of Port Hawkesbury's Volunteer Representative of the year is Mary Johnston The Provincial Volunteer Representative Ceremony will be...
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April 17, 2021
Mobile Testing. Unit
The Pubic Health Mobile Unit will be doing COVID 19 testing at the Port Hawkesbury Civic Centre on Tuesday, April 20 from 10:00 am. to 5:00 p.m....
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