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North America > Canada > Atlantic Canada > Nova Scotia > Annapolis Valley > Wolfville

Wolfville

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Wolfville is a town of 4,200 people (2016) in the region of Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. It lies on the Bay of Fundy. It is home to Acadia University.

Understand[edit]

History[edit]

From ancient times the area of Wolfville was a hunting ground for many First Nations (Aboriginal) peoples. They were attracted by the salmon in the Gaspereau River and the agate stone at Cape Blomidon, with which they could make stone tools. Many centuries before European contact, Mi'kmaq people, related to the Algonquin and Ojibwe peoples, migrated into Nova Scotia. The Mi'kmaq were seasonal hunters, using dogs and travelling on webbed snowshoes to hunt deer. They used the various semi-precious stones (including jasper, quartz, and even amethyst) from the Blomidon area to make arrowheads.

French settlement in the Wolfville area began in about 1680. The Acadians prospered as farmers by enclosing the estuarine salt marshes with dykes, and converting the reclaimed lands into fertile fields for crops and pasturage. In 1713, Acadia was ceded to the British.

Until the establishment of Halifax in 1749, the British remained at Annapolis Royal and Canso. The French-speaking Catholic population grew over the intervening years to well over 10,000 and the Minas region (Wolfville and environs) quickly became the principal settlement. Acadia was a borderland region between two empires, and this caused a complex socio-political environment to develop for the Acadians. The British and the French coaxed and threatened the Acadians in attempts to secure their loyalty. This led many Acadians to attempt to maintain a neutral path; while others openly supported either the French or the British.

In 1755, the British deported approximately 2,000 Acadians from the area around Wolfville, and tens of thousands of others Acadians from the broader region. The villages lying beyond Grand-Pré were burned by the British forces, and still more buildings were destroyed by both sides during the guerilla war that took place until 1758.

Around 1760, the British government in Nova Scotia made several township plots of land available in the Annapolis Valley for colonization by English settlers. Because of pressure on agricultural lands in New England, Anglophone farmers moved north in search of fertile land at a reasonable price. Between 1760 and 1789, more than 8,000 people known as New England Planters emigrated to the land around the Annapolis Valley.

The New England Planters set up a primarily agricultural economy, exporting cattle, potatoes, and grain, and later apples, as well as developing lumbering and shipbuilding. They settled and re-used the same dyke-lands as the Acadians had used before them, repairing and later expanding the agricultural dykes. They developed a major expansion in 1808, the three-mile-long Wickwire Dyke, which connected the Wolfville and Grand Pre dykes. This allowed the agricultural development of an additional 8,000 acres. The settlement became known as Mud Creek. In 1830, the town changed its name to Wolfville, in honour of Elisha DeWolf, the town's postmaster at the time.

The Windsor and Annapolis Railway arrived in 1868. Wolfville became a seaport devoted principally to the export of apples from the orchards of the fertile Annapolis Valley.

Get in[edit]

The nearest, and most used, airport near Wolfville is Halifax International Airport in Halifax. Wolfville is an hour away from Halifax taking Highway 101 West and can be reached through exit 10 or 11.

Get around[edit]

Most attractions in Wolfville lie on its Main Street which can be accessed most comfortably by walking along its sidewalks.

Kings Transit serves large portions of Annapolis Valley. Fares (2019): adult $4, student/senior $2.25, children 5-11 $2.25, children under 5 free. From Wolfville, there are buses to Greenwood and Kentville every hour M-F, every 2 hours on Saturday, and never, never on a Sunday.

See[edit]

  • Wolfville Waterfront Park (travelling east on Main Street, turn left at the Library Pub). A view of the Bay of Fundy and some of the highest tides in the world. Free.
  • Acadia University Art Gallery, 10 Highland Avenue, Beveridge Arts Centre, +1 902 585-1373. Tu-Su noon-4PM. Exhibitions are presented from internal and external curatorial projects, submissions from artists and exhibitions from other cultural institutions including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and international organizations.
  • Randall House Museum, 259 Main St, +1 902 542-9775. Late May to mid-Sep: Tu–Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1:30-5PM; mid-Sep to mid-Oct: Th–Su 1-5PM; otherwise by appointment. Wolfville's community museum. By donation.
  • Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens, 32 University Ave (on the Acadia University campus), +1 902 585-2665. Conservatory: daily 8AM-10PM, gardens: dawn to dusk. The main outdoor collection of the Botanical Gardens is divided into nine unique habitats that are found in the Acadian Forest Region. A 1.5km hike through the woods follows an old brook and takes you through a variety of forest habitats. There is a coffee bar in the beautiful lobby of the K.C. Irving Environmental Science Centre. Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens (Q29467638) on Wikidata Harriet Irving Botanical Gardens on Wikipedia

Do[edit]

  • Harvest Moon Trailway. A safe, 110-km multi-use route from Annapolis Royal through Wolfville to Grand Pré. It that through picturesque communities with farm markets, wineries, craft beverage producers, restaurants, pick-your-own fruit farms, and accommodations. Most of the trail is smooth and hard-packed but a number of sections are shared use and surface conditions may vary from season to season.

Buy[edit]

Wolfville has a whole host of small shops along its Main Street; including gift shops, hiking apparel shops, clothing stores, movie stores, and book stores. For general needs, Wolfville has a Shopper's Drugmart and a Pharmasave along its Main Street.

  • Wolfville Farmers Market, 24 Elm Ave. W 4-7PM, Sa 8:30AM-1PM. 70 farmers, chefs and artisan vendors.

Eat[edit]

  • Just Us Café, 450 Main St, +1 902-542-7474 x301, . Su 9AM-8PM, M-F 7AM-8PM, Sa 8AM-8PM. Sells mainly baked goods, hot drinks, and sandwiches.
  • The Naked Crepe Bistro, 402 Main St (on the Main Street, next to the Save Easy, Pivet House, and across from the Post Office), +1 902 542-0653. Daily 9AM-10PM. A small bistro with a breakfast selection, thin crust pizzas, and a large selection of crepes.
  • Troy, 12 Elm Ave., +1 902 542-4425. Good Turkish and Mediterranean food. No raki though, unfortunately (as of spring 2014).

Drink[edit]

The Library Pub
  • Library Pub Wine Tavern, 472 Main St, +1 902 542-4315. A great place to visit on St. Patrick's Day.
  • Luckett Vineyards, 1293 Grand Pre Rd, +1 902 542-2600 (reservations not accepted). May-Dec daily: tasting bar 10AM-5PM, bistro 11AM-4PM.
  • 1 Lightfoot & Wolfville Vineyards, 11143 Evangeline Trail, +1 902 542-7774. Tasting room: May-Dec hours vary. Restaurant: May Th-Su noon-5PM; Jun-Oct daily noon-5PM. Focused on classic vinifera including chardonnay, pinot noir, riesling, and other German-styled whites specifically selected for this microclimate. Reservations strongly encouraged. Tasting flights $8-12.
  • Gaspereau Vineyards, 2239 White Rock Rd (3 km from downtown Wolfville), +1 902 542-2199. May-Oct: daily 10AM-5PM, Oct-late Dec: F-Su 10AM-5PM. Rieslings and fruit-forward, terroir-driven elegant white and robust red wines.

Sleep[edit]

Connect[edit]

  • Tan Coffee, 378 Main St (Located on the Main Street next to the Tim Hortons), +1 902-542-1225. A small café with wireless internet access.

Stay safe[edit]

The town's council has declared Wolfville to be a nuclear-free zone, so at least you're safe from nuclear attack as long as the council's resolution is respected by the nuclear powers.

Go next[edit]

Routes through Wolfville
YarmouthAnnapolis Royal  W Nova Scotia 101.svg E  WindsorHalifax


This city travel guide to Wolfville 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.