The port town of Lunenburg is situated just an hour away from Halifax along Nova Scotia’s beautiful south shore. It’s a town rich with history and people proud to call it home.
The entire town is a UNESCO world Heritage site. It’s literially like walking back in time. The homes and buildings pop with colour and are beautifully crafted with mid-1700’s style architecture.
Planted right in the middle of Lunenburg, St John’s Anglican Church was built in 1753. It remained the same until 1840 when it was redesigned with a more gothic look. It suffered from a major fire in 2001 and took four years to restore. It is also the second Anglican Church to be built in Nova Scotia, next to St Pauls Anglican Church in Halifax.
The Lunenburg Academy is a fantastic building for its time with its frame being entirely made out of wood and stands three stories high. Behind the Academy you’ll find an eerie yet beautiful graveyard. the Academy is visible from almost every part of the town.
When Lunenburg was founded; it started as an agricultural settlement with many farms strategically placed along the south shore. Though, by the 19th century the town had become a fishing hotspot for the offshore banks fishery. They not only recruited fisherman but they built the fishing schooners as well! Many of these fishermen took to the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and the fishing banks off Nova Scotia. The town was incorporated as of October in 1888 and it had helped the construction of the Nova Scotia Central Railway in 1889, which then helped develop fishing exports and other industries such as the Lunenburg Foundry
The dory shop in Lunenburg is home to all those photogenic dories found around the town. The business has been going for almost a decade and is still going today!
While wooden shipbuilding was renowned all over Nova Scotia, the Lunenburg boat building yards specialized in fishing schooners. The most famous was Bluenose built in 1921 by Smith & Rhuland, a schooner which brought in record breaking catches and won the International Fishermen’s Trophy. The Bluenose to this day still appears on all Nova Scotia license plates and the Canadian dime.
It might not be known as much these days, but the town of Lunenburg has seen its fair share of war. From the Lunenburg campaign that was sparked from multiple raids by first nations tribes on the town in 1756 to the war of 1812; aiding the British to attack American ships.
To the east of Lunenburg is the fishing community of Blue Rocks. The name is very straight to the point as the whole settlement it built upon large slate rocks that are weathered from the ocean.
It is a must visit place during the summer to see all the colours at their peak. It’s also one of Canada’s finest places for sea kayaking; with it’s own kayak rental shop at the point of Blue Rocks!
Growing up just minutes away from Lunenburg made the place feel like a second home. Now being moved away to Halifax, I can never wait to get back! It’s a place we are definitely lucky to call part of the maritimes and a major part of our history in Canada!
Words & photos by Colby Veinotte*