Located in the western part of Nova Scotia, the Annapolis Valley is formed by a trough between two parallel mountain ranges along the shore of the Bay of Fundy.
Long settled by the Mi'kmaq Nation, the valley experienced French settlement at the Habitation at Port-Royal, near modern day Annapolis Royal in the western part of the valley, beginning in 1605 and continuing through to the British-ordered expulsion of Acadians in 1755 and at Grand Pré in the eastern part of the valley. New England Planters moved in to occupy the abandoned Acadian farming areas and the region also saw subsequent settlement by Loyalist refugees of the American Revolutionary War, as well as foreign Protestants.
Today, the valley is still largely dominated by agriculture but also has a growing diversity in its economies, partly aided by the importance of post-secondary education centres provided by Acadia University in Wolfville, and the Nova Scotia Community College campuses located in Kentville, Middleton, Lawrencetown, and Digby.
Michelin has an important truck tire manufacturing plant in Waterville and the Department of National Defence has its largest air force base in Atlantic Canada located at 14 Wing Greenwood.
The valley is home to the annual Apple Blossom Festival, held in late spring.
The larger population centres in the valley from west to east include:
Kingston / Greenwood
Kentville / New Minas
ABOUT NOVA SCOTIA
Nova Scotia's 580-kilometre-long peninsula is surrounded by four bodies of water: the Atlantic Ocean, the Bay of Fundy, the Northumberland Strait and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Its geographic location, together with large, ice-free, deep-water harbours, has been a key factor in the province's economic development.
Nova Scotia is a mosaic of rugged headlands, tranquil harbours and ocean beaches. Its indented shoreline stretches 10 424 kilometres, while inland is a myriad of lakes and streams. The land is framed by the rocky Atlantic Uplands, the Cape Breton Highlands and the wooded Cobequid Hills. The agricultural areas of Nova Scotia are predominantly lowlands. When the glacial ice withdrew from coastal Nova Scotia 15 000 to 18 000 years ago, the ocean flooded ancient river valleys and carved out hundreds of small protected harbours which later became fishing ports.
Nearly one-quarter of Nova Scotia's population of approximately 941 000 report the British Isles as their place of ethnic origin. Significant portions of the population also report either French or European origins.
Many residents of Nova Scotia are of German, Dutch, Polish, Italian, Jewish and Lebanese descent. After the War of 1812, several thousand Black people, including the Chesapeake Blacks, settled in the Halifax area; in 1996, more than 18 000 residents of the province reported having Black origins. More recent immigrants to Nova Scotia have included Chinese, Indo-Chinese, African, Asian and eastern European groups.
Nova Scotia's economy is highly diversified, having evolved from resource-based employment to include many types of manufactured goods as well as business and personal services.
Tourism is an important sector in the provincial economy. Total tourism receipts exceed $1 billion and over 30 000 people are employed in the many aspects of the industry. More than two million people visit the province each year, with almost one quarter of these coming from outside Canada.
*Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition, Copyright (c) 2003.