Discover Canso, Nova Scotia: A Blend of History and Natural Beauty

Canso, Nova Scotia, a community nestled in Guysborough County, is a treasure trove of history and natural beauty. Located on the north-eastern tip of mainland Nova Scotia, Canada, Canso is a must-visit destination for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

The Geography of Canso, Nova Scotia

Canso is situated on the southern shore of Chedabucto Bay, with the bay's southern limit at Cape Canso, a headland approximately 3 km southeast of the community. The community is the southeastern terminus of Trunk 16, an important secondary highway in Antigonish and Guysborough counties. Due to its location on a peninsula jutting into the Atlantic Ocean, Canso frequently experiences fog, particularly during the warmer summer months.

The Canso Islands: A Historic Archipelago

Canso Harbour is protected by the Canso Islands, a small archipelago lying immediately north and east of the mainland. The largest islands include Durells Island, Piscataqui Island, George Island, and Grassy Island. These islands were designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1925 due to their role as an important fishing base for the French in the 16th century and the British during the 18th century. The remains of early 18th-century British fortifications on Grassy Island, known as "Grassy Island Fort," were also designated as a National Historic Site in 1962.

The Rich History of Canso, Nova Scotia

Canso has been a strategically important fishery base since the 16th century. The harbour of Canso was frequented by European fur traders and fishermen within a dozen years of Columbus's arrival in America. The community has witnessed several historical events, including the Squirrel Affair in 1718 and a raid in 1720, both of which significantly shaped the history of the region.

The Squirrel Affair: A Historic Raid on Canso, Nova Scotia

In 1718, Canso was raided by Cyprian Southack in response to a previous attack by the Mi'kmaq. This event, known as the Squirrel Affair, resulted in the pillaging and burning of the village. The aftermath of the raid led to the fortification of Canso.

The 1720 Raid on Canso, Nova Scotia

In 1720, Canso was attacked again, this time by a group of Mi'kmaq and French fishermen. This raid was significant due to the involvement of the Mi'kmaq and was a chief factor leading up to Father Rale's War.

Recent History of Canso, Nova Scotia

In recent years, Canso has undergone significant changes. In 2012, it ceased to be a separate town and was amalgamated into the Municipality of the District of Guysborough. In 2017, Maritime Launch Services announced plans to build and operate Canada's only active commercial spaceport near Canso.

Attractions and Events in Canso, Nova Scotia

Canso is home to the annual Stan Rogers Folk Festival, which attracts over 10,000 visitors. The town also hosts a regatta during the second week of August, featuring boat races, a mid-way, parade, seaman's memorial, and various activities for the youth.

Transportation in Canso, Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia Trunk 16, a secondary highway important to the counties of Antigonish and Guysborough, terminates in Canso, making it easily accessible for visitors.

Canso, Nova Scotia, with its rich history and natural beauty, is a destination that promises a unique blend of education and entertainment for all visitors.