Small, but mighty

An­napo­lis Royal makes list of top 22 small towns to visit in Canada

Annapolis Valley Register - - FRONT PAGE -

When free­lance writer Lisa van de Geyn put to­gether her list of ‘20+ Small Towns to Visit in Canada Now’ for Cana­dian Liv­ing, she in­cluded An­napo­lis Royal for a va­ri­ety of rea­sons, in­clud­ing its his­tory, cul­ture, and that it’s a hot spot for the arts.

“The slower pace in these 22 Cana­dian towns is per­fect for those trips that de­mand ex­plo­ration and re­lax­ation,” she said in the Dec. 12 ar­ti­cle that also in­cludes Pic­tou, N.S. in its list of great lit­tle com­mu­ni­ties.

“It’s al­ways ex­cit­ing when some­one else sees the town you live in in the way that you see it,” said Mayor Bill Mac­Don­ald, “rich in his­tory, cul­ture, and a qual­ity of life that’s re­mark­able.”

While van de Geyn is also a cham­pion of the big­ger, bustling cities, she’s ob­vi­ously dis­cov­ered the pluses of the in­ti­macy of small places.

“But there’s some­thing to be said for those smaller places - the towns, vil­lages, ham­lets … where there are fewer folks and not as many take­out op­tions but still plenty to of­fer,” she said in the story. “We picked some of our favourites that are full of per­son­al­ity, his­tory, small- town hospi­tal­ity, and stun­ning land­scapes with gems to dis­cover.”

Mac­Don­ald knows some of those places and cer­tainly doesn’t dis­pute her choices.

“I’ve been to a num­ber of those other small towns,” said Mac­Don­ald. “My heart be­longs to An­napo­lis Royal but all of the com­mu­ni­ties that have been iden­ti­fied are spe­cial in their own way.”

He said ev­ery com­mu­nity should be proud of its his­tory and the cit­i­zens of ev­ery one of those com­mu­ni­ties iden­ti­fied in that group can feel very, very proud.

“I’ve been to most of those com­mu­ni­ties and they truly are spe­cial in their own right,” he said, “and worth a visit.”

In a brief thumb­nail sketch of An­napo­lis Royal, van de Geyn said to go there for the his­tory.

“Cana­dian his­tory buffs, this one is for you,” she said in the ar­ti­cle. “This des­ig­nated Na­tional His­toric District is often called ‘ Canada’s birth­place’ - it was the home of the Mi’kmaq be­fore the 1600s, when early set­tlers from Europe ar­rived. There are more than 130 his­toric build­ings, homes and other sites, in­clud­ing Canada’s old­est house on Canada’s old­est street. The town also has a pretty hap­pen­ing cul­ture scene and is a favourite place to visit among artists, per­form­ers, and crafts­peo­ple.”

“The Town of An­napo­lis Royal and King’s The­atre, Parks Canada, all pub­lic events rec­og­nize that we are on … an­ces­tral ter­ri­tory of the Mi’kmaq peo­ple and that they oc­cu­pied those lands for mil­len­nia be­fore Euro­peans ar­rived,” Mac­Don­ald said, pleased that van de Geyn in­cluded men­tion of those who first lived here, “and we share the land with them and we rec­og­nize their sig­nif­i­cance.”

LAWRENCE POW­ELL

Fort Anne Na­tional His­toric Site is the iconic photo of An­napo­lis Royal, a town steeped in his­tory, cul­ture, and the arts. The au­thor of Cana­dian Liv­ing’s ‘20+ Small Towns to Visit in Canada Now’ cited those qual­i­ties when she in­cluded Nova Sco­tia’s small­est town on that list.

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