Oxford

Discover Oxford, Nova Scotia: A Historical and Tourism Perspective

Oxford, Nova Scotia: A Brief Overview

Oxford is a quaint town nestled in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, Canada. Despite its small size and population, it holds the prestigious title of being the world's largest processor and distributor of individually quick frozen (IQF) wild blueberries. Located 32 km (20 mi) east of Amherst, Oxford is conveniently serviced by Routes 104, 204, 301, and 321.

The History of Oxford, Nova Scotia

Oxford, Nova Scotia, was founded in 1792 by settler Richard Thompson. The town's name, "Oxford," has an interesting origin story. It is derived from the shallow river that was used to enter the town. Early settlers used oxen to cross, or "ford", the river, hence the name "Oxford."

The Geography of Oxford, Nova Scotia

Oxford, Nova Scotia, is situated at the junctions of three rivers, with River Philip being the largest. Much of the town lies in a floodplain, making floods a common occurrence during the springtime. Salt Lake, located between the Black River Road and the Trans Canada Highway, is connected to the River Philip through a series of swamps and meadows.

Demographics of Oxford, Nova Scotia

According to the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Oxford, Nova Scotia, had a population of 1,170 living in 533 of its 576 total private dwellings. This represented a slight decrease of -1.7% from its 2016 population of 1,190. With a land area of 10.68 km2 (4.12 sq mi), Oxford had a population density of 109.6/km2 (283.7/sq mi) in 2021.

Industry in Oxford, Nova Scotia

Oxford, Nova Scotia, is proudly known as the wild blueberry capital of Canada, being situated in a large blueberry growing region. The town's largest employer, Oxford Frozen Foods Ltd., processes up to three million pounds of berries a day during peak season. The plant and over 12,000 acres of blueberry land are owned by local businessman, John Bragg, who added another 15,700 acres in the Acadian region of northern New Brunswick in 2014. Historically, Oxford was home to a vibrant manufacturing industry, with a woollen mill and foundry being key employers.

Transportation in Oxford, Nova Scotia

Oxford, Nova Scotia, is centrally located in Cumberland County and is well connected to the provincial and national road network. The Trans Canada Highway (Highway 104) passes just south of the town, and provincial routes 204, 301, and 321 travel through town via Pugwash Road, Birchwood Road, Water Street, Upper/Lower Main Street, and Little River Road. Maritime Bus services the town, stopping at the Irving gas station not far off the highway. Historically, the town had freight and passenger rail service via CN's Oxford Subdivision, known locally as the 'Short Line'. Although passenger service was discontinued in 1960 and the line was abandoned in the 1990s, the abandoned rail line has been reborn as a part of the Trans Canada Trail system. This section of the trail extends 127-km (78-mi) from Oxford to Pictou, winding through farms, fields, and forests for all-season recreational use.

Sources