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COMMUNITY OF LOUISBOURG
The community of Louisbourg is located on Cape Breton Island in the Province of Nova Scotia. It is easily accessible by road and air. With a population of 1265 Louisbourg's economy is based on the fishery and tourism.
The fishery and employment has been effected by the moritorium on cod fishing, but there is still an active lobster and crab fishery during the summer. As well, there are several small fish processing plant that is active for most of the year.
Tourism is a growing part of our lives. Louisbourg is located beside the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site, Canada’s premier historic reconstruction. We are also fortunate to have the scenic resources of our beautiful island. The Cape Breton Highlands National Park and the Cabot Trail are within easy driving distance as is the Alexander Graham Bell Museum at Baddeck.
Our Historic Attractions
The Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site is our major attraction. This is Canada's most ambitious historical reconstruction presenting a portion of a part of the 18th-century French fortified town of Louisbourg. In the early 1700s the French colony was home to 2100 civilians and a garrison of 700 soldiers. Louisbourg was important because of the fishery and as a hub for international trade between the France, the West Indies, Quebec, Acadia and New England. In addition to massive stone fortification walls there are over 60 reconstructed buildings interpreted by staff wearing costumes appropriate to the year 1744.
The Sydney & Louisburg Railway Museum consists of an 1895 station and freight shed, both designated Provincial Heritage Properties. In the museum there are artefacts and exhibits relating to the history of the S&L railway. In the freight shed there is a model of the S&L line as it existed in the 1940/60 period. A modern "round house" which is nearby is used to store rolling stock in the winter. In the summer it houses and exhibit of quilts, a Marconi wireless exhibit and hosts evenings of local entertainment.
The Louisbourg lighthouse, constructed in 1923/24, is located at the entrance of the harbour. It is perched on a volcanically formed outcrop of rock. Nearby are the ruins of the 18th-century French lighthouse and a 19th century lighthouse. From the lighthouse there are excellent vistas along the coastline, out into the Atlantic ocean and across the harbour to the Fortress.
Louisbourg Harbour has been a haven for hundreds of years. The first recorded visit by a European was on July 7, 1597, when Captain Charles Leigh in the Chancewell sailed into the English port.
A 10 minute drive will take you to Kennington Cove and its wonderful sandy beaches. At this historic location New Englanders came ashore in 1745 and the English in 1758, beginning sieges that lead to the fall of Louisbourg. Today, there is only the sand, sun and sea. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy the entire day.
The Louisbourg Playhouse
The Louisbourg Playhouse is located in the centre of town. It began life as 17th century "bear pit" on the set of the Walt Disney movie Squanto: A Warrior's Tale, filmed at the Fortress of Louisbourg. A number of conveniences have been added by the Playhouse Society but the interior still retains the rustic and rough hewn character of the original. Throughout the summer and fall the Playhouse features a variety of entertainments at 8PM each evening.
For those who like diving adventure there is plenty in Louisbourg. There are wrecks of French men-of-war from the siege of 1758 lying on the bottom. Louisbourg Harbour is a protected area but you may visit with a guide.
Located on Louisbourg's waterfront the boardwalk is a pleasant place to spend an evening. There is a wharf where visiting sailing vessels dock and it is just a few minutes walk from the large government wharf where fishing boats, cruise ships and coast guard vessels dock. The 70 foot high signal mast welcomes visitors from around the world to the harbour.
Walking around the community and along the north shore of the harbour is a pleasant way to spend an afternoon or evening. For the more adventurous there is the Simon's Point walking trail in the National Historic Site which leads to the coast. You can spend many hours walking along the coast from the lighthouse or from Kennington Cove.
Places of Worship
- Church of God, Pentecostal Church
- First United Church
- Saint Bartholomew's Anglican Church
- Stella Maris Roman Catholic Church
- Zion Presbyterian Church