Canso, Nova Scotia Trans-Canada Highway information



Canso owes its very existence to the fishing industry, and was founded by Basque fishermen in 1604 because of its location at the end of the Canso Peninsula. The final collapse of the Atlantic ground fishery in the 1990s could have sounded the last bell for Canso. The local fish plant, run by Seafreez Foods Inc., operates some of the most modern, state of the art processing and freezing equipment in the world. New and different species processed here for expanding markets worldwide keep this company viable. Canso once was a cornerstone of the co-operative movement in the 1930's, and it is returning to the roots with the recent founding of the Canso Trawlermen's Co-operative.

The name Canso came from the Mi'kmaq word kamsook which means "opposite the lofty cliff", referring to the steep cliffs of Chedabucto Bay, or possibly the heights of Isle Madame, 13 km to the north of the town. This area was identified in 1686 as Canseau on Jean-Baptiste-Louis Franquelin's first map of Acadia, though a later map referred to the Straits of Canceaux,a slightly differnt spelling. In 1749, Surveyor General Charles Morris introduced the curent spelling.

Official Website

FoundLocally's Business listings for Canso


Canso Attractions

Canso (Whitman House) Museum
1297 Union St, Canso
902 366-2170 or 366-2525
Housed in the 1885 Whitman house, illustrates the history of Canso Town and eastern Guysborough County, with exhibits from Canso Harbour. Guides will show you a bird's-eye view of the town from the widow's walk on the rooftop. Displays include panoramas of Canso by folk artist Mel Schrader, period furniture, photographs and other memorabilia, including from the Western Union office. Open daily June 1 to September 30 9 am to 6 pm, remainder of year by appointment. Allow 1 hour. Admission free, donations welcome.

Grassy Island National Historic Site
30 Union Street, Canso
on Canso (Town) waterfront just off Union Street
902 366-3136 or 366-2170
Once a thriving fishing community, Grassy Island became a casualty of the Anglo-French rivalry for North America, when it was destroyed and abandoned in 1744.. Today the site commemorates the significant role the fishery played in international trade and commerce in the early 18th century. The Visitor Reception Centre features an audio-visual show on the Grassy Island settlement, life-size dioramas of the interiors of three island properties--a tavern, a merchant's house, and a military officer's residence. Open July 1 to September 15 . daily 10 am to 6pm. Allow 30 minutes. Admission includes a boat cruise to island that departs daily at 10 am and 4 pm (weather permitting).

Port Bickerton Lighthouse Beach Park & Nova Scotia Lighthouse Interpretive Centre
{640 Lighthouse Road, Port Bickerton
(about 45 km southwest of Canso)
Box 142, Bickerton West, NS B0J 1A0
(902) 364-2000 (June 15-September 30)
The Port Bickerton Lighthouse Beach Park and Nova Scotia Lighthouse Interpretive Centre has two buildings housing lighthouse artifacts and pictures, interpretive panels of the flora in the park, as well as, marine related displays. Directories containing information on all the lighthouses in Nova Scotia can be found in the main building. An observation tower has been erected on top of this building where at one time the operational light has been situated. Guides can answer your questions. Hiking trails and boardwalk lead to a beautiful sandy beach. Open June 15-30, daily 9:00 am-5:00 pm, July & August, daily 9:00 am-6:00 pm, September 1-30, daily 9:00 am-5:00 pm. Admission, individual $2.50, family $6.00, season pass $10.00

Whitman House Museum
{1297 Union Street}, Box 128, Canso, NS B0H 1H0
(902) 366-2170
The Museum illustrates the history of Canso Town and eastern Guysborough County, with exhibits from Canso Harbour. You will get a bird's-eye view of the town from the 'widow's walk' on the rooftop. Displays include panoramas of Canso by folk artist Mel Schrader, period furniture, photographs and other memorabilia. Operated by: Canso Historical Society . Open June 1-September 30, daily 9:00 am-6:00 pm, remainder of year, by request. Admission, free, donations welcome

Community Map

Site Features  
Translate:
Halifax Search  Click to expand this menu

Halifax Info & Links  Click to expand this menu
Choose a Province  Click to expand this menu
Cities & Provinces (W to E)  Click to expand this menu