Great Canadian Parks / Nova Scotia

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The Parks / Nova Scotia / Cape Breton National Park



Originally, the Micmac fished along the Gulf at Ingonish, and there are some historical references to Norsemen landing on the shores of Cape Breton in the 10th century. John Cabot reputedly made his first landfall in the New World at Aspy Bay off the east coast of Cape Breton in 1497. In 1521 we know that Portuguese fishermen camped on the Atlantic side. Early settlement at major centres such as Louisbourg, Sydney and Ingonish were fishing communities. The walled city of Louisbourg was constructed by the French in 1713 to guard the Atlantic approaches to Quebec and the St. Lawrence, primarily from the British. Its site extended over 100 acres, encompassing a fortress, a vast harbour and an entire village. Obsolete before its completion, it surrendered on both of the two occasions it was attacked. In 1745 it was sacked by a force of New Englanders and in 1758, its capture by James Wolfe on his way to take Quebec led to the end of French rule in Canada. Expelled from mainland Nova Scotia, Acadians moved northward in the 1700's followed by extensive Scottish immigration from 1791 - 1828. Lone Shieling, set in the deciduous forest that has never been cut, is a reproduction of a crofter®s hut. Erected in 1942, it commemorates the Scottish heritage and symbolizes Cape Breton's links with the Scottish Highlands, former home of many of the island's first settlers.


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