Debert, Nova Scotia Canada

Discover Debert, Nova Scotia: A Blend of History and Community

Debert, Nova Scotia, an unincorporated farming community, is home to a population of 1,471 (as of 2006). Nestled in the central-western part of Colchester County, Debert is approximately 20 km west of Truro. This community boasts two churches, a Royal Canadian Legion branch, a skating rink, a community centre, two vehicle repair garages, a convenience store, and a volunteer fire department.

Debert, Nova Scotia: A Rich Mining History

Debert is situated near coal and iron ore deposits that were mined in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The community became a station stop on the Halifax-Montreal mainline of the Intercolonial Railway in the 1870s. This railway line continues to operate under the ownership of Canadian National Railway (CN Rail), with passenger service provided by Via Rail, although Debert is no longer a stop.

Military History of Debert, Nova Scotia

During the Second World War, Debert was the location of a Canadian Army base named Debert Military Camp and an adjoining Royal Canadian Air Force station named RCAF Station Debert. The camp was capable of accommodating division-size units where personnel received training prior to deployment to Europe. RCAF Station Debert was used as a British Commonwealth Air Training Plan facility, training pilots and aircrew from Commonwealth nations for military service.

Post-war demobilization brought many changes to Camp Debert, with many of the barrack buildings and workshops being demolished. Materials salvaged from the demolition were reused to construct new homes in Debert and throughout Colchester County. For a brief period after the war, the Nova Scotia Agricultural College operated out of the old Camp Debert hospital due to a major fire at the principal campus in Bible Hill.

In the early 1960s, Camp Debert was chosen as the location for a Regional Emergency Government Headquarters, also known as a "Diefenbunker". This facility became the focus of the newly formed CFS Debert by the late 1960s. The primary unit attached to CFS Debert was the 720 Communications Squadron, which maintained the REGHQ and provided communications support to Canadian Armed Forces units throughout Atlantic Canada and around the world.

Debert, Nova Scotia: A Hub for Aviation

In 1971, the aerodrome and training facilities were declared surplus and were purchased by the provincial government to create the "Debert Air Industrial Park" and a municipal airfield. Today, Debert Airport is the location of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets Summer Glider Scholarship program for the Atlantic region, where more than 50 cadets earn their Transport Canada Glider Pilot License during a 6-week course each summer.

Paleo-Indian Discovery in Debert, Nova Scotia

A significant Paleo-Indian site was discovered on the grounds of the old military camp. Researchers from Saint Mary's University conducted a thorough archaeological excavation on the site, which was designated a National Historic Site of Canada on 19 October 1972.

Climate of Debert, Nova Scotia

Debert has a humid continental climate with warm, wet summers with cool nights and long, cold, and very snowy winters. Its inland position gives it some of the warmest summer days in all of Nova Scotia, but also some of the chilliest winter nights.