493 Prince Street, Truro, Nova Scotia, B2N, Canada
493 Prince Street
Links and documents
Listed on the Canadian Register:
Statement of Significance
Description of Historic Place
Victoria Square is an area of parkland located at 493 Prince Street in Truro, NS, where four of the town’s major roadways converge. It is an open grassy space planted with flower beds and trees, and is distinguished by a formal wrought-iron entrance gate and public art. There is a modern building on the site containing the Truro Tourist Bureau. The heritage designation applies to the land only.
The site of Victoria Square has been set apart as common community property since the founding of the Township of Truro in the summer of 1760. All the major roadways leading to and from the settlement originated from this single location, and it was natural that the area would become the commercial, transportation and administrative centre of the community. It remained so until the completion of the railway link to central Canada in 1872, when these activities began to gravitate toward the railway station at the other end of town.
Originally called the Truro Common, the square was surrounded by the Court House, public and professional offices, and the township’s most prominent businesses and hotels. It was also called the Truro Parade, reflecting its use as a place to drill local militia units.
Victoria Square is valued for the many historic and community events that took place here. Edward Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, took part in a tree planting ceremony on the Common during his visit to Truro in 1860. It was the site of many official puiblic proclamations, including the one announcing the incorporation of the Town of Truro in 1875. In 1887 when ceremonies were held throughout the British Empire to mark Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee, the site was officially named Victoria Square.
Victoria Square is also valued for its associations with the first mayor of the Town of Truro, C.B. Archibald, and entrepreneur Hiram Hyde both of whom, in the years before the railway was completed in 1872, operated mail and passenger stagecoach services from this location to Halifax, Pictou and Amherst.
Source: Planning Department, Town of Truro, file 10MNS0021
Key elements that define the site’s heritage character include:
- the expanse of quiet, lawn-covered open space in the heart of one of the town’s busiest areas;
- the position of the bounding streets relative to one another, reflecting a historic reluctance to encroach upon the site;
- partial enclosure by wrought-iron gates and fencing, created by local artist George Rockwell in 1986;
- evidence of structures and features reflecting the site's history;
- public artwork displayed on the site, including tree sculptures and wrought-iron railings;
- commemorative tree plantings and plaques;
- formal plantings of flower beds and a tree-lined arcade.
Local Governments (NS)
Heritage Property Act
Municipally Registered Property
Theme - Category and Type
- Peopling the Land
- Developing Economies
- Trade and Commerce
- Developing Economies
- Communications and Transportation
Function - Category and Type
- Civic Space
Architect / Designer
Location of Supporting Documentation
Planning Department, Town of Truro, PO Box 427, Truro, NS B2N 5C5; file 10MNS0021
Cross-Reference to Collection