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Layton's General Store

8724 No.2 Highway, Great Village, Nova Scotia, B0M, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1989/11/10

Layton's General Store interior, showing conveyor mechanism for bringing in stock.; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2006.
Store interior, 2006
Layton's General Store, Front Elevation, Great Village, 2004; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
Front Elevation
Layton's General Store, Entrance Facade, Great Village, 2004; Heritage Division, Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, 2004
Entrance Facade

Other Name(s)


Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1860/01/01 to 1860/12/31

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2005/05/25

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Layton’s General Store is a one and one half storey, Greek Revival style building located directly on the main road in Great Village, Nova Scotia. The main section of general store was built circa 1860, with two smaller additions added later. Layton’s General Store became the largest mercantile establishment of Colchester County, outside of the capital town of Truro. Both the building and its surrounding property are included in the designation.

Heritage Value

Layton’s General Store is valued for its continuous ownership and operation, starting in 1870, by members of the Layton family of Great Village, Nova Scotia. In 1870 L.C. Layton opened the Layton’s General Store after arriving in Great Village from Amherst, where he had worked learning the retail business with B. Douglas & Co., general merchants. Layton entered into a partnership with J.A. McDorman in 1874, which lasted until McDorman’s retirement in 1898. The general store became L.C. Layton and Sons in 1912 when he took his three sons and two daughters into partnership. In 1959, Layton’s grandson, Robert Layton, purchased the store and has continued its ownership and operation well into the twenty-first century.

Layton’s General Store is valued as the oldest traditional general store, with little alteration to its exterior, left in the province. The facade is common to general stores of that era, with an overall domestic scale and Greek Revival detailing. Two large windows enclose the main door of the front elevation and provide lighting and display for the merchandise. Additions were made to the main building to accommodate a wareroom and flour and feed store. The building still retains original interior structural elements that reflect its commercial use, such as the conveyor mechanism to transport items from the loft to the ground floor.

Great Village was a prosperous shipbuilding and manufacturing community. Many of the store’s lines of dry goods were imported from England where Layton went regularly to purchase stock. Layton’s General Store became the largest mercantile establishment in Colchester County, outside of the capital Truro, and the largest general dealers in the whole county.

Source: Notice of Registration of Property as a Provincial Heritage Property, Provincial Property Heritage File no. 111.

Character-Defining Elements

Character-defining elements relating to the Greek Revival style of Layton's General Store include:

- all original elements of the exterior main façade;
- wooden detailing around the door and windows;
- transom above the door;
- four applied column details of the front façade;
- cornices surrounding the set back gable end;
- large windows on either side of the main door of the front elevation;
- all interior structual elements that reflect the commercial use of the bulding.



Nova Scotia

Recognition Authority

Province of Nova Scotia

Recognition Statute

Heritage Property Act

Recognition Type

Provincially Registered Property

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type



Commerce / Commercial Services
Shop or Wholesale Establishment

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Provincial Registry found at Heritage Property Program, 1747 Summer Street, Halifax, NS B3H 3A6

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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