Old Town Lunenburg: A Significant World Heritage Site Of Canada | Kidadl


Old Town Lunenburg: A Significant World Heritage Site Of Canada

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Old Town Lunenburg is a port town in Nova Scotia, which is one of the two urban neighborhoods in North America assigned with the status of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

The town has designated the title in 1995, almost 242 years after its establishment. Despite being more than two and a half centuries old, the town has retained its old wooden architecture due to the efforts of its inhabitants at preserving the structural design.

This made the town one of the best examples of a planned British colonial settlement, which prompted UNESCO to put Old Town Lunenburg under its protection.


The oldest records state that the area that became Lunenburg was originally inhabited by Mi’kmaq, the indigenous people of Canada’s Atlantic Province and the Gaspé Peninsula of Quebec.

In the 1620s, Acadians, who were French colonists, settled in the area and co-existed with the Mi’kmaq peacefully. In 1713, the present-day area of Nova Scotia, which was originally under French rule, was ceded to the British under the Treaty of Utrecht. The British founded the town of Halifax and erected Fort George to defend the town against Mi’kmaq, Acadians, and French colonial attacks in 1749.

When the British were unable to house Protestant settlers from Europe in Halifax in 1753, they resettled them out of Halifax. In December 1753, the settlers of Lunenburg rose in a rebellion when the British couldn’t distribute the needed resources satisfactorily. The Lunenburg Rebellion lead to Lunenburg being declared a republic briefly, but the British soon put the republic down and took back control. Many settlers started residing on the Acadian side, and in 1754, Lunenburg had a sawmill and a store.

Lunenburg Academy, a national historic site, is a secondary school for grades 9-12. It was one of the first public schools in Lunenburg, established in 1850 to meet the growing demand for education.


Due to being a coastal town, the temperatures in Lunenburg never enter the extreme zone, rendering the weather of Lunenburg moderate.

The winters are mild when compared to places of similar elevation and location, and the summers are cool instead of hot and humid. Though calm, the winters are wet and winter rains are common, with rarely occurring heavy snowfall lasting for short periods. Thick fog can happen at any time, and spring conditions often arrive later than anticipated. On the whole, July to September is the driest period for Lunenburg, with November to May being the polar opposite, seeing heavy rainfall.

Old Town Lunenburg is considered by many to be one of Canada's prettiest towns.


Old Town Lunenburg has always had a thriving economy, which is what made it a settler attraction in the 1800s.

The chief economic activities carried out in Lunenburg traditionally were off-shore fishing and shipbuilding, though now they’re declining trades. Shipbuilding is still carried out by three companies found in the town, but the industries exist to repair and restore ships rather than build new ones.

In the economy of Nova Scotia, Lunenburg County experienced a decline in its fishing industry in the early 1800s. The county's fishing industry has been replaced by others such as tourism and forestry. The town's economy is supported by these industries and their local businesses.

Lunenburg County has a lot to offer in terms of resources. These natural resources were important throughout the early days of Lunenburg's economy. Fishing was the county's main industry in the eighteenth century. During the 19th century, shipbuilding became another important factor of Lunenburg's economy. This part of their past is still displayed today with historic shipyard buildings at the South Shore Museum and Discovery Centre.

Forestry has been an important industry in Nova Scotia. The beautiful trees and scenery add to the allure of Lunenburg County. Forestry has been a significant part of their economy since the late 1800s when it became an important industry in Nova Scotia.

Tourism is another factor that contributes to Lunenburg's local economy. The town offers a lot of opportunities for visitors to enjoy its rich culture. Popular attractions include the Clock Tower, Old Town Lunenburg, and Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic. In addition, there are many scenic viewpoints around the town. The beautiful trees and interesting architecture attract visitors from all over.

Over the past few decades, tourism has surpassed the conventional economic industries, and this threatens the much-celebrated balance found in Lunenburg. The entire reason that Lunenburg is a World Heritage Site is due to the preservation of its traditional heritage. But the declining fishing and shipbuilding industries threaten the authentic feel of Lunenburg, which is what UNESCO is striving to safeguard now. Currently, the most common occupation in the town is sales and services, employing 24% of the population.

Tourist Attractions

Lunenburg Distilled is a culinary adventure where tourists explore the waterfront on foot or by boat.

On the tour, they hear stories about rum-running during the time of Prohibition and also visit the world’s only floating rum warehouse. They also taste the award-winning rum manufactured at Ironwork’s Distillery from materials grown by the local farmers. The tour is capped off by a gourmet dinner on the deck of the world-famous schooner Theresa E. Connor.

People can also take a trip on the Bluenose II. The schooner was built in 1963 and is a replica of the famed schooner Bluenose, which was manufactured in the town of Lunenburg itself. The Bluenose was the reason behind Lunenburg receiving the identity of a shipbuilding town, and the Bluenose II serves as a memoir for this identity.

The Fisheries Museum of Atlantic provides a deep and interactive look into the heritage of Lunenburg. The museum is built in a former fish processing plant and proves to be an interesting look back at the past of the town. Tourists can interact with the exhibits or hear stories from former fishermen or the family members of fishermen and gain passionate knowledge about the town’s history.

Lunenburg model town is a miniature diorama replica of Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. It is located on the ground floor of Lunenburg Municipal Hall. The Lunenburg model town was built by Dr. Arthur H. Hayward over many years for his personal pleasure and as an educational tool.

More tourist attractions include the Lunenburg waterfront, the fishing village, commercial streets, and more. The culture of the urban community is something that makes the town attractive.


What is Lunenburg known for?

Lunenburg is famous for preserving the look and feel of British colonial times of the 1800s to the present.

Who built Old Town Lunenburg?

Old Town Lunenburg was built by Protestant settlers from Halifax, resettled by the British in 1753.

Is Lunenburg a good place to live?

Due to it being a thriving economy, and being far from the busiest cities, Lunenburg is extremely desired by many people for settling down.

What is the significance of Old Town Lunenburg?

Old Town Lunenburg is the best example of a planned British colonial settlement, getting it the designation of a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Where is Old Town Lunenburg situated?

Old Town Lunenburg is located in Nova Scotia.

How far is Old Town Lunenburg from Halifax?

Old Town Lunenburg is at a distance of 42 mi (67.5 km) from Halifax. The distance via road is 60 mi (96.5 km).

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