Download GPX file for this article
43.7633333333-65.3236111111Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Shelburne is a town in South Shore region of Nova Scotia.


The Cox Warehouse on Dock Street

Many of Shelburne's buildings were built by Loyalists - Americans who were loyal to the British Crown who fled the American colonies after the British lost the American War of Independence. In 1783, waves of Loyalist settlers landed in Shelburne's harbour, expanding the village's population to 17,000, making it the fourth largest city in North America. Many of these settlers were Black Loyalists, slaves who had been promised their freedom and land for aiding the British cause.

In 1787, government distribution of provisions to the new settlers was terminated. As the settlement was not yet self-supporting, many settlers put their houses up for sale or abandoned them. They left for England, New Brunswick, Upper Canada, and the United States. About half the population of African Americans left, many going to the new colony of Freetown in West Africa (now Sierra Leone). By the 1820s, the population of Shelburne had dwindled to about 300.

Fishing remains a primary industry. Other economic activities include tourism, ship building and repair, aquaculture, logging, fish processing, and the manufacture of barrels, institutional furniture, granite monuments, and marine supplies.

Shelburne has been used as a film set for numerous films, and for the 2014 TV series The Book of Negroes, in which Shelburne portrayed itself.

Get in[edit]

Shelburne is

  • 97 km from Yarmouth (ferry from Portland, Maine) along Highway 103,
  • 197 km from Digby (ferry from Saint John, New Brunswick) along Highways 101 and 103, and
  • 208 km from Halifax along Highway 103.

The closest airport with scheduled service is Halifax International Airport.

Get around[edit]

There is no scheduled bus service in the region.


Present day barrel factory
  • Shelburne Historic Waterfont. Open year-round for external viewing. A collection of authentic, restored original buildings that have been the locations for numerous films, including Mary Silliman’s War, The Scarlet Letter, Virginia’s Run, and Wilby Wonderful, and for the television miniseries Moby Dick (2009), and The Book of Negroes (2015). Free.
  • Shelburne County Museum, 8 Maiden Ln, +1 902-875-3219. June 1-Oct 15 daily 9:30AM-5:30PM. Oct 16-Dec 19 and Jan 6-May 31: W-Sa 9AM-1PM & 2PM-5PM. A restored home built in 1787 by David Nairn, a cooper from Scotland. Canada's oldest fire pumper - a 1740 Newsham. From the founding peoples - the Mi'kmaq, Loyalist, Black Loyalist, Acadian and Welsh - to the glorious age-of-sail shipbuilding era and the fishery, the County Museum tells all through fascinating artifacts like model ships, antique tools, portraits, costumes and maps. $4 per person; under 16 free..
Tall Ship Larinda
  • Black Loyalist Heritage Centre & Historical Site, 119 Birchtown Road (7 km northwest of Shelburne on Hwy 3.), +1 902-875-1310, +1 902-875-1293, toll-free: +1-888-354-0772, . Oct 16-May 30: generally open M-F 9AM-4PM, but call to confirm. June 1 to Oct 15: daily 10AM-5PM. The first massive wave of Black immigration into Canada took place in 1783, when about 3,000 Black Loyalists fled New York City after aiding the British on the losing side of the American Revolutionary War and sailed to Nova Scotia. They settled in Annapolis Royal, Digby and Saint John among other communities, but the largest Black settlement became Birchtown, just outside the booming town of Shelburne. The centre tells their story, and includes a 19th-century community Church and school. $9.20/adult; $5.75/senior (ages 65+); $5.75/youth age 6-17 and free for children 5 and under. Family Pass for $23 includes 2 adults and maximum 3 children. Prices include HST..



Sobeys Food and Drug is the only grocery store in Shelburne.


  • Charlotte Lane Cafe, 13 Charlotte Lane, Shelburne, +1 902-875-3314. Open in the summer from mid-May: Tu-Sa Lunch 11:30AM-2:30PM and 5:00PM-8:00PM. Swiss-inspired food with a local flair. Ask for gluten-free options. Some vegetarian dishes. Pasta $18-20; mains $19-40; lunches $12-14.
  • Mr Fish, 104 King St, +1 902 875-3474. M-F 10AM-7PM; Sa Su 9AM-6PM. Fast food, fish and chips.
  • Scotia Lunch, 64 King St, +1 902 875-2876. M-Sa 7AM-7AM; Su 8AM-7PM. Diner with seafood, pizza, etc.




Go next[edit]

Routes through Shelburne
YarmouthPubnico  W Nova Scotia 103.svg E  LiverpoolHalifax
YarmouthPubnico  W Nova Scotia 3.svg E  LiverpoolHalifax
ENDS at S Nova Scotia Route 340.svg NKemptville  W Nova Scotia Route 203.svg E  END

This city travel guide to Shelburne is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.