About Us

Welcome to Historic Shelburne!
So many reasons to visit Shelburne, Nova Scotia …

We are nestled on the third largest natural harbour in the world and were once the fourth largest city in North America, when, in 1783 about 3000 United Empire Loyalists arrived in ships from New York City.

As a result of this migration, nearby Birchtown became the first free black settlement in Canada. United Empire Loyalists, who maintained allegiance to the British Crown during the American Revolution, creating an instant boomtown in the wilderness. The population swelled to 16,000 over the next few years, then decreased as the Loyalists moved to other parts of the province.

The waterfront heritage district retains an aura of the 18th century.  You will enjoy a visit to our museum complex; the the Ross-Thomson house, which has the oldest restored store in North America; the Shelburne County Museum, which has the oldest fire pumper in North America; the Dory Shop, where the art of dory-making can be seen several days a week; the Coyle House, where genealogical records for the region can be found and the Muir-Cox Shipyard, where the time-honoured craft of boat building is on display daily.

Shelburne offers much to her visitors, including a tourist bureau, museums, parks, accommodations, restaurants and galleries and craft shops.

A walking tour of the restored historic district is a must for you to enjoy the uniqueness of this special seaport town. The waterfront was the settling in 1994 for the movie “The Scarlet Letter” starring Demi Moore and Robert Duvall. Why not tour part of the remaining movie set and experience an authentic historic market square?