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Truro, Nova Scotia

History of Truro, Nova Scotia

Situated at the head of the Salmon River, near the entrance to the Cobequid Bay, the area around Truro was originally called "Wagobagitik" by the local Mi’kmaq inhabitants. The name has been interpreted as meaning "end of the water's flow" or “the bay runs far up”, in reference to the world’s highest tides rising up from the Bay of Fundy. Acadian settlers, arriving in the early 1700s, transformed that name into Cobequid. It wasn’t until after the expulsion of the Acadians that settlers of Scots-Irish descent named the town after the city of Truro in Cornwall, England.

Truro had always been an important junction for travelers in Nova Scotia. However, the town’s importance increased dramatically with the construction of the Nova Scotia Railway between Halifax and Pictou in 1858, the Intercolonial Railway in 1872 and its connection to the Annapolis Valley’s Dominion Atlantic Railway at the turn of the 20th century. It became a hub not just for goods and passengers but for industry as well, such as the Truro Woolen Mills, which later became Stanfield’s. Today, Truro continues to act as the center of Nova Scotia’s travel network, situated near the junction of the Trans Canada Highway and the main highway connection to Halifax.

Truro Accommodations

Truro has been known as a resting place since the days of the stage coach. The town is now home to many accommodation options such as modern hotels and motels, charming bed and breakfasts and even nearby campgrounds and cottages. Find a list of Truro accomodations.

Places to Eat in Truro

You’ll find many places to eat in Truro that cater to almost every palate. The town has numerous restaurants featuring cuisine from around the world, charming dining rooms and plenty of opportunity to sample local harvests and seafood. Find places to eat in Truro, Nova Scotia.

Must see Attractions in Truro

If you’re looking for a thrill you won’t find anywhere else, Truro, Nova Scotia is the place to go. It’s just down the road from the head of the Shubenacadie River and what’s been called the world’s wettest roller coaster. Twice a day during high tide, more than 100 billion tonnes of water flows in and out of the Bay of Fundy, sending a wall of water rushing back up surrounding rivers, including the Shubenacadie. Nova Scotia is one of the very few places in the world where you can see this phenomenon known as a tidal bore. This wave of water can reach up to ten feet high as it rolls inland from the bay, momentarily reversing the flow of surrounding rivers and creating a turbulent wake. River rafting companies along the Shubenacadie River regularly take groups of thrill seekers up the river on Zodiacs to ride the bore. It’s a wild ride you’ll never forget!

Things to do in Truro

In the heart of Truro lies Victoria Park – roughly 400 acres of old growth forest, two sets of waterfalls and one dizzying, 175 step climb up Jacob’s Ladder. The park is a great destination for nature lovers, families, skaters (in the winter) and anyone looking for a little tranquility in the middle of town. 

The Marigold Cultural Centre is a fantastic place to experience local music and theatre in an intimate setting. The Centre is also home to a small art gallery, a workshop space for arts-in-education programming and a sports heritage hall. Among the many events that take place throughout the year is the Truro Music Festival – the third oldest music festival in Canada, celebrating its 90th anniversary in 2012.

The hub of Nova Scotia was also an important destination for farmers looking to move their harvests and cattle from farm to market. This tradition continues to this day in the form of the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition, which began in 1946. The five-day event features a major 4-H show, beef and dairy shows, heavy horse pull, light horse show, rodeo, demolition derby, antique farm machinery displays and a wide range of agricultural and craft competitions. The Exhibition site is also home to the Truro Raceway, Nova Scotia’s largest harness racing facility, running races since 1875. Every race day, people gather in the glass-enclosed grandstand to thrill in the races, enjoy a bite to eat and simply admire the horses as they trot from paddock to post.