Truro | The Canadian Encyclopedia



Truro, Nova Scotia, incorporated as a town in 1875, population 12,954 (2021 census), 12,261 (2016 census). The Town of Truro is located along the Salmon River 100 km northeast of Halifax on Cobequid Bay, Minas Basin. The town derives its name from New England settlers and likely honours Truro in Cornwall, England.


The Mi’kmaq (Mi’kmaw, Micmac or L’nu, “the people” in Mi’kmaq), Indigenous peoples who are among the original inhabitants in the Atlantic Provinces of Canada, had a village along the Salmon River. Their name for the area described how the powerful tides affected the rivers flow near its mouth. Today their descendants form the nearby Millbrook First Nation (see Reserves in Nova Scotia).

A land grant including the area was awarded in 1689 by Louis XIV, and Acadians were present as early as 1701, finally leaving in 1755 in the turbulent year of the deportation (also referred to as the expulsion or the Great Upheaval).

The Acadians spelled the Mi’kmaq name as Cobequit (or Cobequid). Truro received its present name in 1759 from New England settlers, likely in honour of Truro in Cornwall, England. Transports of settlers arrived in the 1760s and further development of the town began.

Did you know?
No. 2 Construction Battalion, the largest Black military unit in Canadian history, was headquartered in Truro during the First World War. The unit’s chaplain, Rev. William Andrew White, was minister of Zion United Baptist Church in Truro.


A major railway centre since the days of the Intercolonial Railway, Truro is a terminus for people travelling to most parts of Nova Scotia. Metal foundries, machinery, printing and lumbering have bolstered the economy in the past. The Brookfield Dairy Company, purchased in 1972 by Scotsburn Dairy and located in Truro since 1894, is a major employer. In 2014, Saputo, one of Canada’s most prominent dairy companies, took over production of their products. In 2017, Scotsburn was acquired by Quebec dairy giant Agropur.

Stanfield's Textile Mills, the towns oldest surviving industry established in 1870, is still a large employer. In addition, Crossley Carpet Mills Ltd, a polymer manufacturer, and Andrs Wines Ltd (now Andrew Peller Ltd), are in Truro. Always a thriving farming area, Truro is home to the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (founded in 1905), the one agricultural college in Atlantic Canada. The Nova Scotia Teachers College (1855-1997) was also located here; its facilities are now used as a campus of Nova Scotia Community College.

External Links