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Victoria Square

493 Prince Street, Truro, Nova Scotia, B2N, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1982/07/06

Truro Common, sketch of area in 1875; Heritage Division, N.S. Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
Truro Common in 1875
Victoria Square, formal entrance, 2004; Heritage Division, N.S. Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
Main entrance
Victoria Square, tree sculptures, 2004; Heritage Division, N.S. Dept. of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
Tree sculptures

Other Name(s)

493 Prince Street
Truro Parade
Victoria Square

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2004/09/28

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.

Heritage Value

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

Character-Defining Elements

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.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (NS)

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Municipally Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce
Developing Economies
Communications and Transportation
Peopling the Land

Function - Category and Type



Civic Space

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Planning Department, Town of Truro, PO Box 427, Truro, NS B2N 5C5; file 10MNS0021

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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