Truro, Nova Scotia

Truro (Mi'kmaq: Wagobagitik) is a town in central Nova Scotia, Canada. Truro is the shire town of Colchester County and is located on the south side of the Salmon River floodplain, close to the river's mouth at the eastern end of Cobequid Bay.



Hub of Nova Scotia
Begun In Faith, Continued In Determination
Location within Nova Scotia
Coordinates: 45°21′53″N 63°16′48″W
Country Canada
Province Nova Scotia
IncorporatedMay 6, 1875
  BodyTruro Town Council
  MayorW.R. (Bill) Mills
  MPLenore Zann (L)
  Total34.49 km2 (13.32 sq mi)
19 m (62 ft)
  Density355.5/km2 (921/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC-4 (AST)
Postal code span
Area code(s)902 & 782
Telephone Exchanges902-305, 843, 890, 893, 895, 896, 897, 898, 899, 956, 957, 986
Highways Hwy 104 (TCH)
Hwy 102
Trunk 4
Route 236
Route 311
Median household income (2005)$37,056
Total private dwellings6,574
NTS Map011E06


The area has been home to the Mi'kmaq people for several centuries. The Mi'kmaq name for the Truro area, "Wagobagitik" means "end of the water's flow". Mi'kmaq people continue to live in the area at the Millbrook and Truro reserves of the Millbrook – We’kopekwitk band.[2][3]

Acadian settlers came to this area in the early 1700s. The Mi'kmaq name for the Truro area was shortened by the settlers to "Cobequid", and the bay to the west of the town is still named Cobequid Bay. By 1727, the settlers had established a small village near the present downtown site of Truro known as "Vil Bois Brule" (Village in the burnt wood).[4] Many Acadians in this region left in the Acadian Exodus which preceded the Expulsion of the Acadians in 1755. In 1761, the British settled the area with Presbyterians of predominantly Ulster Scottish origin who came from Ireland via New England. They named the new settlement after the city of Truro in Cornwall, United Kingdom.

Originally a small farming community, the construction of the Nova Scotia Railway between Halifax, and Pictou in 1858 caused the municipality to experience a fast rate of growth which increased even more when the railway connected to central Canada in 1872 and became the Intercolonial Railway. The Intercolonial, which later became the Canadian National Railway built a large roundhouse and rail yard in Truro. Further rail links to Cape Breton and to the Annapolis Valley through the Dominion Atlantic Railway in 1905 increased the town's importance as a transportation hub for Nova Scotia. The railway also attracted industries such as the Truro Woolen Mills in 1870 (which later became Stanfield's) and provincial institutions like the provincial Normal School (later the Nova Scotia Teachers College) and the Nova Scotia Agricultural College. The town officially incorporated in 1875. Many figures from the town's past are featured in over 40 tree sculptures which were carved in tree trunks after Truro lost most of its Elm trees to Dutch Elm Disease in the 1990s.[5] The history of the town and surrounding county is preserved at the Colchester Historical Museum (c.1900-1901), which is designated under the provincial Heritage Property Act.[6]

Black history

African Nova Scotian residents are located in three main areas. The residents of Upper/Lower Ford Street (“the Marsh”) are descendants of Black Loyalists and Black Refugees. Young Street (“the Hill”) has people from a number of different cultural and ethnic diversities. Black Loyalist descendants make up the vast majority of people in the third area, West Prince Street (“the Island”). Many of Truro's black community has roots in the historically imporant Black Nova Scotian settlements of Guysborough County. Zion United Baptist Church, first founded in 1896 on Prince Street, has long been the spiritual heart of the community.[7]

Truro is also the birthplace of world-renowned contralto, Portia White (1911–1968). To support herself while taking music lessons at the Maritime Conservatory of Performing Arts she taught school in Africville and Lucasville. Her national debut occurred in 1941 at the Eaton Auditorium in Toronto, and her international debut came at the Town Hall in New York in 1944. She gave a Command Performance for Queen Elizabeth II at the opening of Confederation Centre in Charlottetown in 1964. A monument commemorating Portia White stands on the grounds of the Zion United Baptist Church.

A number of other prominent Black Canadians have roots in the town. One of Canada's most well known civil rights leader, Burnley Allan "Rocky" Jones, was raised in "the Marsh" neighbourhood of Truro.[8] Art Dorrington, the first black hockey player to sign an NHL contract was raised in "the Island".[9]

Infrastructure and attractions

Truro is known as the Hub of Nova Scotia as it is located at the junction between the Canadian National Railway, running between Halifax and Montreal, and the Cape Breton and Central Nova Scotia Railway, running between Truro and Sydney. Until the 1980s, Truro also hosted a junction between the Canadian National and Canadian Pacific Railway's former Dominion Atlantic Railway line running through Windsor and down the Annapolis Valley to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.

An important highway interchange is located just north of Truro in the rural community of Onslow where Highway 102 ends at Highway 104 - both four lane expressways. Secondary roads Trunk 2 and Trunk 4 intersect in the town. Important tertiary roads Route 236 and Route 311 end in the nearby communities of Lower Truro and Onslow respectively. Some of these roads also form part of the Glooscap Trail which is a scenic drive for tourists. Truro railway station is served by Via Rail's Ocean line.

Nova Scotia Power has several transmission line corridors in or near Truro; additionally Bell Aliant, EastLink and 360networks route most of the major telephone and data communications lines in the province through the town.

Six large sections of the Berlin Wall are no longer located along the Cobequid Trail, on the Agricultural Campus of Dalhousie University.[10]


Truro has two public high schools, Cobequid Educational Centre and the francophone École acadienne de Truro. Post-secondary options include a campus of the Nova Scotia Community College, and The Institute of Human Services Education, as well as the Agricultural Campus of Dalhousie University in the neighboring village of Bible Hill.


Truro has three ice hockey rinks: Deuvilles Rink, Rath Eastlink Community Centre, and the Colchester Legion Stadium. Truro is home to the Truro Bearcats, a Junior "A" ice hockey team who are four time MJAHL Champions. (Canadian) Football is also a popular sport in the town with all games being played on Friday night at the Truro Amateur Athletic Club (TAAC) grounds. Truro Raceway conducts harness races every Sunday. Truro is also home to a rugby club, which hosts the World Indoor Sevens Rugby Championships.

Truro also has a senior baseball team, the Truro Senior Bearcats, that play in the Nova Scotia Senior Baseball League.[11] Their home field is at the Truro Amateur Athletic Club (TAAC).

Lacrosse has become a very popular sport in Truro over the recent years. There is a minor lacrosse association, the Truro Bearcats Lacrosse Association, which allows youth to take part in organized lacrosse teams and games.[12] As well, there is a junior A lacrosse team, the Mi'Kmaq Warriors, that plays in the East Coast Junior Lacrosse League.[13] They play in the summer months out of the Colchester Legion Stadium.

Truro enjoys a vibrant soccer scene centered about the local "CC Riders" soccer club which serves "Tier 2" soccer for both genders and all ages. Outdoor soccer takes place between May and October and indoor 7-a-side and pickup games run through the winter months.

Finally, there is also curling, bowling, swimming, softball, baseball, tennis, golfing, martial arts, snowboarding, snowshoeing, basketball, volleyball, skiing and most everything else either at school and/or local club level.

Notable people


Truro has a humid continental climate (Köppen climate classification dfb) similar to the vast majority of The Maritimes.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Truro was 35.6 °C (96 °F) on 19 August 1935 and 15 August 1944.[14][15] The coldest temperature ever recorded was −38.3 °C (−37 °F) on 22 January 1934.[16]


Historical population

In the 2016 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, the Town of Truro recorded a population of 12,261 living in 6,052 of its 6,574 total private dwellings, a change of 1.7% from its 2011 population of 12,059. With a land area of 34.49 km2 (13.32 sq mi), it had a population density of 355.5/km2 (920.7/sq mi) in 2016.[1]

Canada 2016 CensusPopulation% of Total Population
Visible minority group
South Asian1151%
Other and mixed visible minority950.8%
Total visible minority population8607.3%
Aboriginal group
First Nations3553%
Total Aboriginal population5955.1%
European Canadian10,28087.6%
Total population11,735100%

See also


  • Davis, Stephen A. (1997). Mi'kmaq. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Nimbus Publishing Limited. ISBN 1551091801.
  1. "Population and dwelling counts, for Canada, provinces and territories, and census subdivisions (municipalities), 2016 and 2011 censuses – 100% data (Nova Scotia)". Statistics Canada. February 8, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  2. Davis 1997, p. 71.
  3. "Mi'kmaw Bands in Nova Scotia". Cape Breton University. Retrieved August 21, 2017.
  4. C. Bruce Fergusson, "Truro", Place-Names and Places of Nova Scotia Nova Scotia Archives (1967), p. 684
  5. "Tree Sculpture Committee", Town of Truro Archived 2013-01-01 at
  6. Colchester Historical Museum. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved November 17, 2010.
  7. "Marking African Heritage Month at Truro's Zion Baptist Church | The Chronicle Herald". Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  8. "Treason of the Black Intellectuals? For Burnley A. ('Rocky') Jones (1937-)". Odysseys Home. University of Toronto Press. 31 January 2002.
  9. "Art Dorrington: A hockey pioneer | Truro News". Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  14. "August 1935". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  15. "August 1944". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  16. "January 1934". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 20 March 2016.
  17. "Truro, Nova Scotia". Canadian Climate Normals 1981–2010. Environment Canada. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  18. "Truro". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  19. "Truro NSAC". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  20. "Daily Data Report for September 2010". Canadian Climate Data. Environment Canada. Retrieved 27 June 2016.
  21. , Censuses 1871-1941
  22. , Census 1941-1951
  23. 1762 Census Archived 2013-03-07 at
  24. , Censuses 1871-1931
  25. Census 1956-1961
  26. , Census 1961
  27. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-10-05. Retrieved 2018-04-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link), Censuses 1981-2001
  28. , Census 2006
  29. "Community Profiles from the 2016 Census, Statistics Canada - Census Subdivision". December 6, 2010. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  30. "Aboriginal Peoples - Data table". October 6, 2010. Retrieved April 13, 2013.
  1. Climate data was recorded at Truro from January 1873 to August 1915, at Truro NSAC from January 1910 to April 2005 and at Debert from December 2003 to present.

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