Windsor, Nova Scotia

Located on the southern shore of the Minas Basin in the Bay of Fundy, it lies exactly halfway between the Equator and the North Pole, Windsor is the “Gateway” to the Annapolis Valley. Windsor is a vibrant community of 4,000 that celebrates its rich history, historic sites, educational institutions, and cultural events.

A favourite son of the community is Judge Thomas Halliburton who created such sayings as whose famous sayings include: “It’s raining cats and dogs”, “The early bird gets the worm”, and “Facts are stranger than fiction”. Howard Dill, the creator of the Atlantic giant Pumpkin Strain, has made Windsor the “Giant Pumpkin Capital of the World.”


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Annual Events

Sam Slick Festival (first weekend of August), with parades, barbecues, car shows, dances, outdoor concerts and fireworks are only some of the events. Windsor Pumpkin Festival (first part of October), witness the gargantuan sizes of these orange giants at the weigh-off, for pumpkins and squash in excess of 800 pounds. Call (902)798-9773 for details

Windsor History

The area around Windsor was inhabited by the Mi’kmaq people, who utilized the rich natural resources of the region for thousands of years. Known to the MicMacs as Piziquid, this area has always been a meeting place.

The first European settlers in the area were the French, who established the colony of Acadia in the early 17th century. The Acadians, applied their agricultural expertise, including dyke building and marshland reclamation, to thrive in the region.

In 1710, the British captured Port-Royal (now Annapolis Royal) and soon extended their control over the rest of Acadia. By the 1700s, the French-Indian War led to the Expulsion of the Acadians in 1755. Acadians in the Pisiquid area were forcibly removed from their lands, which were then resettled by New England Planters and other British colonists.

The town of Windsor was officially founded in 1759 by these New England Planters. The location was strategically important due to its position at the river confluence of the [British renamed] Avon and St. Croix Rivers, which made the community a key agricultural and transportation hub. The town’s strategic location also made it an important military post, with Fort Edward established in the 18th century to protect the region.

In 1788, King’s College (now part of the University of King’s College in Halifax) was established in Windsor. This made Windsor a center for education and intellectual development in Nova Scotia. King’s-Edgehill School, founded in 1788 as well, is the oldest independent school in the Commonwealth outside the United Kingdom.

In the 1800s Windsor became known for its gypsum quarries (to make plaster) which mined and shipped it to various markets, particularly the United States. The Windsor and Annapolis Railway, established in the 1860s, further boosted the town’s economic development by improving transportation links.

Windsor proudly claims to be the birthplace of ice hockey. The game is believed to have been played on Long Pond as early as the early 1800s by students from King’s College School (now King’s-Edgehill School). This connection to the origins of hockey is celebrated by the town and its residents.

The Great Fire of 1897 devastated much of the town’s center, and the town was quickly rebuilt, with the new buildings reflecting the architectural styles of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Windsor is the home of Atlantic Canada’s Largest Historic Mural. Located on the side of Avonian Motors Ltd at 20 Water Street, featuring the bustling waterfront of 1910

Windsor - Minas Bay estuary aeraial view

Windsor Attractions

Avon River Heritage Society Museum

17 Belmont Rd, Newport Landing, NS B0N 2A0
Located near Windsor, this museum focuses on the cultural and natural history of the Avon River region. It includes exhibits on shipbuilding, local history, and the area’s natural environment.

Avon Valley Golf & Country Club

595 Falmouth Back Rd, Falmouth, NS B0P 1L0

A picturesque 18-hole golf course located just outside of Windsor, offering a challenging and scenic golfing experience for players of all skill levels.

These attractions showcase the historical, cultural, and recreational opportunities in Windsor, Nova Scotia, making it an engaging destination for visitors.

80 Avondale Cross Rd, Newport Landing, NS B0N 2A0

Located near Windsor, this winery is known for its beautiful setting and unique wines. The winery’s tasting room is housed in a converted church, making it a memorable place to visit.

Blue Beach Fossil Museum

127 Blue Beach Rd, Hantsport, NS B0P 1P0 (near Windsor)

Located just a short drive from Windsor, this museum showcases fossils from the local area and offers guided tours of the nearby Blue Beach fossil site, which is known for its significant paleontological finds.

Fort Edward National Historic Site

Off King St on Fort Edward St
{Hwy 101, Exit 6first left at King Streetleft again up street facing Fire Station}
c/oWest Hants Historical Society Box 2335, Windsor, NS B0N 2T0
(902) 798-4706 fax (902) 798-8571

Fort Edward National Historic Site’s Blockhouse is the oldest such structure in Canada, and was erected in 1750 by Maj. Charles Lawrence as the main assembly point during the Acadian Expulsion of 1755. Flora MacDonald, a famous supporter of Bonnie Prince Charlie, spend the winter here of 1778. An interpretive display, located in the Blockhouse, gives details of the Fort’s history. Open June 28-August 30: Mon-Sat 10:00 am-6:00 pm, Sun noon-4:00 pm, remainder of year by appointment. Grounds open year-round.
Admission free, donations welcome.

Halliburton House Museum

414 Clifton Avenue, Windsor
Box 2683, Windsor, NS B0N 2T0
(902) 798-2915 fax (902) 798-5619

Thomas Chandler Halliburton (who lived 1796-1865) was a lawyer, judge, historian and Member of both the Nova Scotia Legislative Assembly and the British House of Commons. He is best remembered as the author who created Sam Slick, the Yankee clock peddler whose witty sayings became part of everyday speech (including “It’s raining cats and dogs”, “The early bird gets the worm”, and “Facts are stranger than fiction”). Halliburton’s one-and-a-half storey 1836 wooden villa is set on a 40-acre estate overlooking Windsor, has since undergone extensive alterations and is refurnished with authentic mid-Victorian items. A series of walking trails now wind throughout this extensive estate with its tall trees and old apple orchard. Once a year (the first weekend of August), Sam comes to life and hosts a four-day, all-out gala festival. Parades, barbecues, car shows, dances, outdoor concerts and fireworks are only some of the events. Open June 1-October 15: Mon-Sat 9:30 am-5:30 pm, Sun 1:00 pm-5:30 pm. Admission fee.

Hants County Exhibition Grounds

(Windsor Country Fair & Windsor Exhibition Grounds)
221 – 249 Wentworth Road
PO Box 368 Windsor. Nova Scotia, B0N 2T0

The >Hants County (Windsor) Exhibition Grounds hosts many equestrians and is home to Canada’s oldest Agricultural Fair, Hants County Exhibition, held since 1765. The Windsor Country Fair, is a unique combination of events. Auctions, a Flea Market, Farmers Market, Food Fair, Factory Outlets and performances by local bands. Special events or themes occur each weekend. The Fair is open mid May to mid October, on weekends and holidays.

Howard Dill Enterprises- Giant Pumpkins

RR#1 400 College Road Windsor, Nova Scotia Canada BON 2T0
Tel: (902) 798-2728 Fax: (902) 798-0842

Visit giant pumpkin patches and a seed centre at the home of Howard Dill, four-time World Champion pumpkin grower and the developer of “Dill’s Atlantic Giant” pumpkin variety, which has produced world record pumpkins up to 450 kg (1061 lb). Previous Guinness World Record holder. Open year-round.

King’s-Edgehill School

33 King’s-Edgehill Lane, Windsor, B0N 2T0
902)798-8233 Fx: (902) 798-0134

Founded in 1788, it is Canada’s oldest private residential school. Historic Hensley Memorial Chapel, Convocation Hall, the Headmaster’s house and several other buildings date from the 19th century. Rates: Open year round. Office hours 8am-4:30 pm.

Long Pond

120 Clifton Ave, Windsor, NS B0N 2T0

Often referred to as the “birthplace of hockey,” Long Pond is a historic and picturesque pond where ice hockey is believed to have been first played in the early 1800s. It’s a must-visit for hockey enthusiasts.

Meander River Farm & Brewery

906 Woodville Rd, Ashdale, NS B0N 2A0

A family-run farm and brewery offering craft beer, cider, and farm products. Visitors can tour the farm, taste the brews, and enjoy the scenic surroundings.

Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia

132 Gerrish St, Windsor
P.O. Box 2697, 132 Gerrish Street, B0N 2T0
(902) 798-5841 fax (902) 798-3311

Touring theatre for the young, known for its unique blend of puppets and performers and for its unusual retelling of traditional and contemporary children’s classics. Mermaid plays an ambassadorial role for Canada, having performed at The Royal Court in England, the World puppetry Festival in Japan and the Smithsonian Institute. Visitors are invited to visit Mermaid’s headquarters where props and puppets from their many productions are on display. Donations accepted. Open year-round. Mon-Fri 9 am-4:30 pm

Shand House Museum

389 Avon Street, Windsor, NS B0N 1H0

When the Shand family built this ornate late-Victorian house in 1890-91, it was the latest thing. It had central heating, closets, electric lighting and even indoor plumbing. Climb the tower steps for a panoramic view of the river, where you would have seen large vessels along the wharves when Windsor was a major shipping and manufacturing town. Most of the things acquired and used by the Shand family since the house was built are still there. Open: June 1-October 15: Mon-Sat 9:30 am-5:30 pm, Sun 1:00 pm-5:30 pm. Admission fee.

Ski Martock

RR#3, Windsor, NS B0N 2T0
Exit 5 off Hwy 101
(902) 798-9501 Fax: (902) 798-9510

Martock has seven trails with 100% snowmaking coverage & 100% night skiing. Ski Martock has 600 feet of elevation and serves over 100,000 skiers per year. It has a cozy lodge, a sports boutique, and sleigh rides, as well as mountain biking and other outdoor activities in the summer.

Ste. Croix Vineyard

10328 Nova Scotia Trunk 1, Windsor, NS B0N 2T0
Website: Ste. Croix Vineyard
A local vineyard offering wine tastings, tours, and a picturesque setting. It’s a lovely spot to enjoy locally produced wines and learn about viticulture in Nova Scotia.

The Dill Farm & Pumpkin Patch

400 College Rd, Windsor, NS B0N 2T0

Another attraction at Howard Dill Enterprises, the pumpkin patch is a fun destination for families during the fall, offering pumpkin picking, hayrides, and other seasonal activities.

The Spitfire Arms Alehouse

29 Water St, Windsor, NS B0N 2T0
A British-style pub offering a cozy atmosphere, live music, and a menu featuring classic pub fare and local seafood.

Tidal Bore

Off Route 14 east, at the Tidal View Farm on the St. Croix River
9865 Highway 236, South Maitland

Windsor’s most famous attractions is the Tidal Bore. On the Fundy side of the Windsor Causeway the average daily rise and fall of the tide is over 12m (40 ft). The leading edge of the incoming tide as it rushes up the river. On the Meander River this Bore can vary from 26 cm (10 in.) to 1m (39 in.) according to the phases of the moon.

West Hants Historical Society Museum

281 King Street, Windsor
Box 2335, NS B0N 2T0
(902) 798-4706 fax (902) 798-8535

In a former Methodist Church are displays of the cultural history of one of Nova Scotia’s oldest communities, and the household, industrial and shipping technologies of a by-gone era. Extensive library and archives provide NS and Hants County genealogies of many local families. Admission free, donations welcome, research fee, $2.00/day . Donations appreciated.Open June 21-August 31 daily 10:00 am-6:00 pm; Winter 10:00 am-4:00 pm

Windsor Fire Department Veteran Memorial Museum

100 King St (the Civic Building), Windsor
902 798-2000

This museum was established in 1992 by veterans of the Windsor Fire Department to preserve and show to the public the history of Windsor area fires and firefighting equipment. Artifacts and pictures depicting fire apparatus development since the Great Windsor Fire on October 17, 1897. Admission free, donations accepted. Open year-round by appointment.

Birthplace of Hockey Museum (formerly Windsor Hockey Heritage Centre)

128 Gerrish Street, Windsor
Box 430, Windsor, NS B0N 2T0
(902) 798-2504

Photos of players and teams from formative years of Canada’s great winter game, ice hockey. Artifacts include the equipment with which the game began–wooden pucks, hand-made one-piece hockey sticks carved by Mi’kmaq natives, stock skates and world-famous Starr skates–as well as early forms of protective equipment. Open year-round. Mon-Sat 10:00 am-5:00 pm subject to change. Admission free, donations welcome

Windsor Waterfront Park

Water St, Windsor, NS B0N 2T0

A scenic park along the Avon River, perfect for picnicking, walking, and enjoying views of the water. The park is a great place for relaxation and outdoor activities.

Windsor - Fort Edwad view north over low tide mudflasts
Windsor - Fort Edwad view north over low tide mudflasts

Windsor, Nova Scotia Area Map