The stories behind some of Truro’s street names
A photo taken on July 23, 1872, when a crowd gathered at the Truro Common for a dedication of a memorial to honour Dr. Alexander Forrester, first principal of the Normal School. The first building on the left is the courthouse. The tall one next to it is the Truro Boot and Shoe Factory. Next, is the Prince of Wales Hotel, the Cobequid Hall and post office. Turning the corner onto Queen Street is the residence of William McCally. In 1887 the Common was renamed Victoria Square to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.
Have you ever stopped to wonder how some Truro streets were named?
The Colchester Historeum and archives is filled with fascinating facts about the area, including some of the stories behind street names.
Burnyeat, Adams, Archibald
and Cottage Streets Elizabeth Burnyeat was born in England and moved to Canada when her father came as a visiting missionary, based in Truro, in 1820.
She married Adams Archibald in 1843 and they moved into her family home - Longfield Cottage.
The property included an area between Archibald, Adams and Burnyeat Streets, which were all named after family members. Cottage Street was named after Longfield Cottage.
Adams and Archibald Streets were deeded to the town by the executors of Adams Archibald’s estate and the names were was stipulated in the deed.
Charles Blair Arcibald was born in Truro in 1823. He operated a stage line and became Truro’s first mayor in 1875. He was reelected in 1876, 1877, 1880 and 1881.
Longworth Avenue Israel Longworth was born in Charlottetown and studied law with Adams Archibald. He opened a law office on Truro’s Common in 1861 and lived in a home at the corner of Prince Street and Longworth Avenue (which was named after him). He was Truro’s second mayor.
Forrester Street Forrester Street was named in honour of Rev. Dr. Alexander Forrester, who was born in Scotland and came to Nova Scotia in 1848. He was a minister in the Presbyterian Church and when the Provincial Normal School opened in 1855 he became its first principal. He remained in that position until his death in 1869.
When the street was widened in 1948 some residents were upset, claiming it was equivalent to mutilating Forrester’s body.
Aberdeen Street Aberdeen Street was named after the Earl of Aberdeen, the seventh Governor General of Canada (1893-1898) to commemorate the visit of Lord and Lady Aberdeen to Truro in 1894.
Alice and Louise Streets There is more than one story about how Alice and Louise Streets got their names. Mrs. Ross Archibald told some people the streets were named for her two eldest daughters but it was later learned that Alice Street had been in existence in 1878 and Alice Archibald wasn’t born until 1885.
Alice Street is now believed to have been named for Princess Alice the third child of Queen Victoria. Princess Alice was born in 1843 and died of diphtheria in 1878.
Laurie Street may have been named for Colonel Francis Duke Laurie, who married Adams Archibald’s eldest daughter, Joanna.
Arthur Street was named after Prince Arthur, who was the seventh child of Queen Victoria and became the 10th Governor General of Canada. He laid the cornerstone of the Truro Civic Building in 1912.
Brunswick Street Brunswick Street is one of the oldest streets in Truro and is thought to have been named for Brunswick, Germany, the ancestral home of the Hanoverian monarchs of Great Britain. The street is referred to in council minutes from April 1876.
The name of Centennial Drive was suggested by Mayor JG Glassey. It commemorates two centennials: Canada-1967 and Truro- 1975
Charles Street Charles Street was named for Charles Thomas, lawyer and son of David Thomas, Truro’s seventh mayor. David Thomas deeded a portion of the land to the town.
Court Street got its name because the courthouse was near where the welcome centre is now located.
The courthouse had been built in Bible Hill in 1799 but was taken down in 1803 and re-assembled in Truro. In 1844 the building was sold and a new courthouse was built on the west wide of Court Street. This building was used until 1902, when the building at the corner of Queen and Church Streets opened.
The Esplanade Esplanade is shown as “Railway Esplanade” on an 1878 map. For years it was an open public space.
Exhibition Street Exhibition Street got its name because the exhibition grounds used to be located along it. Exhibition buildings were built there in 1875 and demolished around 1908.
Ford Street got its name because it was part of the road to the ‘lower ford’ of the Salmon River (near where the bridge is now located).
Lorne Street was named for the Marquis of Lorne, fourth Governor General of Canada and husband of Princess Louise. The couple visited Truro in November 1878. He composed the lyric of “Unto the Hills,” which is based on Psalm 121.
Lyman Street was named after Lyman Walker, a town councillor who served as chairman of the school board and of a committee that had the first street signs erected, in 1889.
A street once known as Cedar Street was renamed Normandy Avenue in 1947. The name was
given to commemorate those who fought on the Normandy beaches and in recognition of those whose ancestors were from Normandy.
Park Street was given its name because the marsh in the area had been known as the Park Marsh. The reason the marsh was given the name is uncertain, but there were some reports that a small park had been located at the north end of the street.
Philip Street was named in honour of Prince Philip.
Prince and Queen Streets
A road called Back Street was renamed Prince Street to commemorate the visit of the Prince of Wales (later Edward Vlll) to Truro in 1860.
Front Street was renamed Queen Street after the visit.
Robie Street was named after Simon Bradstreet Robie, a resident of Halifax who represented Truro in the House of Assembly for several years.
Walker Street was named after Truro businessman and town councillor A. Judson Walker.
– Information from documents at the Colchester Historeum.
A photo of the “cottage” that gave Cottage Street its name. Longfield Cottage was the home of Adams Archibald and Elizabeth (Burnyeat) Archibald.