'Canada's Ocean Playground'

Nova Scotia Archives

'Canada's Ocean Playground'

The Tourism Industry in Nova Scotia, 1870-1970

There's always been a reason to come to Nova Scotia... and a reason to return! This website celebrates how tourism began in our province, how it developed over its first century, and how its early history laid the foundations for the strength and vitality of today's mega-industry. Visitors have always been attracted to 'The British Province by the Sea' — for its old-world charm, the new-world warmth of its 'One Hundred Thousand Welcomes,' and the enduring mystique of its original maritime culture.

Tourism has been an identifiable industry in Nova Scotia since the 1870s, built consistently on strength, adaptability, versatility and collaboration. From the earliest days right up to the present, visitors have been tempted with marketing, tourist literature, places to go and things to do; gateways like Yarmouth, Halifax, Amherst and Sydney have welcomed them into the province; and core experiences — from luxury resorts to deep-sea fishing to sight-seeing and special events — have delighted them and kept them coming back.

This website uses archival photographs, documentary art, film clips, and the largest known collection of Nova Scotia travel literature — all held by Nova Scotia Archives — to tell the story of a century of tourism in this province.

Nine virtual exhibits or 'chapters' explore different sub-themes, each with its own introduction. The first seven listed in the left navigation bar can be globally explored by entering individual names, words or phrases in to the Search Box above. The other two — Nova Scotia Information Service and Clara Dennis — are so large (2200 images for NSIS and 2500 for Dennis) that they each have their own separate Search Box.

In total, the website offers 6700 digitized images or pages for you to explore, plus three background articles providing additional context and suggesting ways to look at the archival material. 'Ciad Mile Failte' ... enjoy!


This project was made possible in part through the Canadian Culture Online Program of Canadian Heritage, Library and Archives of Canada and the Canadian Council of Archives.

Nova Scotia Archives — https://archives.novascotia.ca/tourism/

Crown copyright © 2020, Province of Nova Scotia.