|Incorporated||December 18, 1889|
|• Mayor||David Kogon|
|• Deputy Mayor||Sheila Christie|
|• MLA||Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin PC Party of Nova Scotia|
|• MP||Stephen Ellis Conservative Party of Canada|
|• Land||12.07 km2 (4.66 sq mi)|
|• Urban||12.38 km2 (4.78 sq mi)|
|Elevation||22.11 m (72.54 ft)|
|• Density||779.4/km2 (2,019/sq mi)|
|• Urban density||770/km2 (2,000/sq mi)|
|• Change 2016-21||−0.1%|
|• Census Ranking||452 of 5,162|
|Time zone||UTC−04:00 (AST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−03:00 (ADT)|
|Access Routes |
Hwy 104 (TCH)
|Median Income*||$36,539 CAD|
|NTS Map||21H16 Amherst|
Amherst ( // AM-urst) is a town in northwestern Nova Scotia, Canada, located at the northeast end of the Cumberland Basin, an arm of the Bay of Fundy, and 22 km (14 mi) south of the Northumberland Strait. The town sits on a height of land at the eastern boundary of the Isthmus of Chignecto and Tantramar Marshes, 3 km (1.9 mi) east of the interprovincial border with New Brunswick and 65 km (40 mi) southeast of the city of Moncton. It is 60 km (37 mi) southwest of the New Brunswick abutment of the Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island at Cape Jourimain.
According to Dr. Graham P. Hennessey, "The Micmac name was Nemcheboogwek meaning 'going up rising ground', in reference to the higher land to the east of the Tantramar Marshes. The Acadians who settled here as early as 1672 called the village Les Planches. The village was later renamed Amherst by Colonel Joseph Morse in honour of Lord Amherst, the commander-in-chief of the British Army in North America during the Seven Years' War."
The town was first settled in 1764 by immigrants from Yorkshire following the expulsion of the Acadians, with the original settlement being located 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) southwest of the present town on the shore of the Bay of Fundy.[ citation needed ] These settlers were joined by United Empire Loyalists (Loyalists who fled the American colonies during the American Revolution). A mill was built on the current townsite, and the residents moved there to be closer to work.
During the 19th century, Amherst became an important regional centre for shipbuilding and other services to outlying communities. An indication of the town's importance in Canadian history is seen with its four Fathers of Confederation: Edward B. Chandler, Robert B. Dickey, Jonathan McCully, and Sir Charles Tupper.
During the late 19th century, local industrialists and entrepreneurs constructed many fine Victorian and Edwardian homes along Victoria Street East, leading toward the farming hamlet of East Amherst. Many notable residents have lived in this district, including Tupper, Senator Thomas R. Black, the Barker Family, the Lamy Family, the Pugsley Family and Mary (Molly) Simmons Critchley.
Amherst gained brief notoriety in the late 19th century as the location of alleged poltergeist phenomena afflicting Amherst resident Esther Cox in 1878 and 1879, which became known as the Great Amherst Mystery after the publication of a popular book on the affair.
Amherst experienced unprecedented industrialization in the late 1870s after the Intercolonial Railway of Canada constructed its main line from Halifax to Quebec through the town in 1872. The location of the railway line away from the Bay of Fundy coast further consolidated the town at its present location as industry and commercial activity centred around this important transportation link. The economic boom created by the arrival of the Intercolonial Railway lasted through World War I and numerous foundries, factories and mills opened, giving rise to the nickname "Busy Amherst".
In 1908, the manufacturing output of Amherst's industries was not exceeded by any centre in the Maritime Provinces. Many of the fine old buildings along Victoria Street are considered industrial artifacts because they were constructed during a period of tremendous industry growth. Local contractors employed local craftsmen, who used local materials. Notice the emphasis on sandstone and brick, both locally produced and delightful detail which reflects the skilled craftsmanship prevalent in the 19th century.
Amherst's prosperity would not last as the failed economic policies of the federal and provincial governments, coupled with World War I, saw the town's industrial economy begin a slow decline during the 1910s. The Amherst Internment Camp for prisoners of war and enemy aliens was set up at Malleable Iron Foundry in Amherst from April 1915 to September 1919,and Russian revolutionary Leon Trotsky was incarcerated there for one month after he was arrested in Halifax, Nova Scotia in April 1917.
During the Amherst general strike in 1919, worker unrest over social and economic conditions led to mass protests in sympathy with the Winnipeg general strike.
The eventual closure of companies such as Robb Engineering & Manufacturing (purchased by Canada Car and Foundry and then closed) and Amherst Pianos, among others led to a resignation of lost dreams as the town was overtaken by other newer manufacturing centres in central Canada during the 20th century. Amherst had a modest-sized industrial park constructed during the 1960s when the Trans-Canada Highway was being developed. Today the majority of the town's major employers are located there, including Emmerson Packaging and IMP Aerospace.
During the Second World War, the Royal Canadian Navy named a Flower-class corvette HMCS Amherst.
The town is currently served by Via Rail's Halifax-to-Montreal train Ocean .
Amherst is the retail centre for the Cumberland region and the southeastern part of Westmorland County (New Brunswick). The town has several national retailers including Walmart, Sobeys, Atlantic Superstore, Canadian Tire, Kent Building Supplies, Giant Tiger, Dollarama, Home Hardware, and Hart, in addition to various fast food restaurants and seven auto dealerships. The Amherst Centre Mall is home to retailers Coles, Northern Reflections, Mark's, Eclipse, Charm Diamonds, Bell Aliant, Telus, and EastLink, as well as the Amherst Artisan Gallery.
The heritage downtown draws visitors to speciality retailers Deanne Fitzpatrick Studio, Mrs. Pugsley's Emporium, and Birkinshaw's Tea Room. Dayle's Grand Market houses several businesses in a historic department store with a grand staircase and tin ceilings. Shops include an antique coin dealer, a vintage clothing shop, a ladies clothing and shoe store, and a collaboration of more than 100 local artisans.
Amherst is home of the Amherst Ramblers, a Junior A Hockey League team from the Maritime Hockey League. All home games are played out of the 2,500 seat Amherst Stadium. The season usually runs from mid-September to early March every year. The Ramblers draw some of the largest crowds in the Maritime Hockey League, and have placed third in average attendance over the past few years. They won the Atlantic Championship in 1989 advancing to the Centennial Cup tournament in BC. They also hosted the Centennial Cup in 1993 and the Fred Page Cup in 2019.
Every August, Amherst hosts an eight-team little league baseball tournament, featuring four teams from New England.
Amherst experiences a humid continental climate (Dfb). The highest temperature ever recorded was 34.4 °C (93.9 °F) on 18 August 1935. The coldest temperature ever recorded was −37.2 °C (−35.0 °F) on 18 February 1922. In 2020, Amherst only recorded 800.4 mm (31.51 in) of precipitation.
|Climate data for Nappan, 1981−2010 normals, extremes 1890−present|
|Record high °C (°F)||16.8|
|Average high °C (°F)||−2.7|
|Daily mean °C (°F)||−7.7|
|Average low °C (°F)||−12.6|
|Record low °C (°F)||−36.7|
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||106.1|
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||47.9|
|Average snowfall cm (inches)||62.4|
|Average precipitation days (≥ 0.2 mm)||14.3||11.9||13.2||13.0||14.7||14.2||13.1||12.3||11.7||13.6||15.1||14.0||161.2|
|Average rainy days (≥ 0.2 mm)||5.3||4.9||6.9||10.0||13.8||13.6||12.7||12.1||11.4||12.8||12.3||6.9||122.6|
|Average snowy days (≥ 0.2 cm)||10.4||8.4||7.3||3.6||0.52||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.09||2.8||7.6||40.7|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||93.9||108.6||137.9||146.5||186.0||208.5||229.7||218.0||161.1||130.7||76.2||79.3||1,776.1|
|Percent possible sunshine||33.1||37.2||37.4||36.2||40.2||44.4||48.4||49.8||42.7||38.4||26.7||29.3||38.6|
|Source: Environment Canada|
In the 2021 Census of Population conducted by Statistics Canada, Amherst had a population of 9,404 living in 4,480 of its 4,799 total private dwellings, a change of -0.1% from its 2016 population of 9,413. With a land area of 12.07 km2 (4.66 sq mi), it had a population density of 779.1/km2 (2,017.9/sq mi) in 2021.
|Canada 2006 Census|
|Ethnic Origin||Population||% of Total Population|
In the period between 1996 and 2006, Amherst lost over half of its Black population.The African Nova Scotian community has lived in the area since 1783, largely settled around the south end of the town in an area called Sand Hill.
Amherst is served locally by EastLink TV. The station also serves the communities of Springhill, Oxford, and others in the county, as well as Sackville, New Brunswick.
Saint John is a seaport city of the Atlantic Ocean located on the Bay of Fundy in the province of New Brunswick, Canada. Saint John is the oldest incorporated city in Canada, established by royal charter on May 18, 1785, during the reign of King George III. The port is Canada's third-largest port by tonnage with a cargo base that includes dry and liquid bulk, break bulk, containers, and cruise. The city was the most populous in New Brunswick until the 2016 census, when it was overtaken by Moncton. It is currently the second-largest city in the province, with a population of 69,895 over an area of 315.59 km2 (121.85 sq mi).
The Bay of Fundy is a bay between the Canadian provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, with a small portion touching the U.S. state of Maine. It is an arm of the Gulf of Maine. Its extremely high tidal range is the highest in the world. The name is likely a corruption of the French word fendu, meaning 'split'.
Annapolis County is a county in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia located in the western part of the province located on the Bay of Fundy. The county seat is Annapolis Royal.
Cumberland County is a county in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia.
Truro is a town in central Nova Scotia, Canada. Truro is the shire town of Colchester County and is located on the south side of the Salmon River floodplain, close to the river's mouth at the eastern end of Cobequid Bay.
New Glasgow is a town in Pictou County, in the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. It is situated on the banks of the East River of Pictou, which flows into Pictou Harbour, a sub-basin of the Northumberland Strait.
Kentville is an incorporated town in Nova Scotia. It is the most populous town in the Annapolis Valley. As of 2021, the town's population was 6,630. Its census agglomeration is 26,929.
Bridgewater is a town in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, Canada, at the navigable limit of the LaHave River. With a 2021 population of 8,790, Bridgewater is the largest town in the South Shore region.
Yarmouth is a town in southwestern Nova Scotia, Canada. A port town, industries include fishing, and tourism. It is the terminus of a ferry service to Bar Harbor, Maine, run by Bay Ferries.
Port Hawkesbury is a municipality in southern Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada. While within the historical county of Inverness, it is not part of the Municipality of Inverness County.
Sackville is a town in southeastern New Brunswick, Canada. It is home to Mount Allison University, a primarily undergraduate liberal arts university. Historically based on agriculture, shipbuilding, and manufacturing, the economy is now driven by the university and tourism. Initially part of the French colony of Acadia, the settlement became part of the British colony of Nova Scotia in 1755 following the Expulsion of the Acadians.
Windsor is a community located in Hants County, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is a service centre for the western part of the county and is situated on Highway 101.
Antigonish is a town in Antigonish County, Nova Scotia, Canada. The town is home to St. Francis Xavier University and the oldest continuous Highland games outside Scotland. It is approximately 160 kilometres northeast of Halifax, the provincial capital.
The Tantramar Marshes, also known as the Tintamarre National Wildlife Area, is a tidal saltmarsh around the Bay of Fundy on the Isthmus of Chignecto. The area borders between Route 940, Route 16 and Route 2 near Sackville, New Brunswick. The government of Canada proposed the boundaries of the Tantramar Marshes in 1966 and was declared a National Wildlife Area in 1978.
Oxford is a town in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is 32 km (20 mi) east of Amherst. The town is directly serviced by Routes 104, 204, 301, and 321. Despite its small size and demographic, Oxford is the world's largest processor and distributor of individually quick frozen (IQF) wild blueberries.
The Isthmus of Chignecto is an isthmus bordering the Maritime provinces of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia that connects the Nova Scotia peninsula with North America.
Parrsboro is a community located in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Aulac is a Canadian community in Westmorland County, New Brunswick. It is located between the college town of Sackville and the provincial border with Nova Scotia.
Fort Lawrence is a Canadian rural community located on the Isthmus of Chignecto in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, which is named after Fort Lawrence.
LaPlanche Street is the historic connector between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada. Located on the Isthmus of Chignecto, LaPlanche crosses the Tantramar Marshes between Amherst, NS and Sackville, NB. Historically, it hosted the key forts of peninsular Nova Scotia and continental Acadia and witnessed the Battle of Fort Beauséjour, the key battle between the two colonies during the Seven Years' War, and the Battle of Fort Cumberland of the American Revolutionary War.
Leon Trotsky's description of his month in Nova Scotia April 1917